The Trip

DEPARTURE DATE: 28th February 2015

HOMECOMING DATE: 8th September 2016

 

ASIA (3 months)

P1020347

This is the part Ash didn’t look forward to. He was mostly scared of getting lost and having no way of finding our way; he was scared of language barriers and scams; he was scared that he was going to starve to death as he’s not big on spicy food (neither am I). I tell him this is the fun in travelling, however what didn’t help that it started as a whirlwind two-week tour of Thailand transformed into an itinerary of at least six weeks, and eventually 3 months! Below, I’ve got our original travel plans and added what actually happened. Surprisingly, not MUCH changed.

Flight to Hong Kong, stay for a few days
Possible side-trip to Taiwan or the Philippines
Overnight train to Nanning, China
Bus Flight to Hanoi, Vietnam
Visit Halong Bay
Travel through Vietnam, hitting Hoi An, Nha Trang, and wherever else we fancy, ending in Saigon (added: Hue)
Bus to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, visit Sihanoukville before heading up to Siem Reap
Bangkok for Songkran
Chiang Mai.
VOLUNTEERING WITH ELEPHANTS!!
Tubing in Vang Vieng? If this is no longer much of an option, I may plan a trip to Luang Prabang instead
Head to some Thai islands, do the Full Moon Party. I’m really trying to narrow down the list. Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi
Unexpectedly visit a friend from home in Khanom and party hard
Make our way down Malaysia
End in Singapore

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND (14 months+)P1030615

I’ve had this part planned since the first time I even thought of a round-the-world trip. However, it all COMPLETELY depended on where we worked and lived. 6 weeks in, our plans had already changed twice and that was with two jobs!

This was the main itinerary for our travels:

  • Road trip from Cairns to Sydney, stopping at Magnetic Island, the Whitsundays, Fraser Island, Brisbane, Byron Bay and as many places with stupid names as possible (added: Noosa, 1770, Agnes Water, Mission Beach, Airlie Beach, Rainbow Beach)
  • Stop off in Sydney for a few days
  • Great Ocean Road between Melbourne and Adelaide
  • Trip to Uluru during the year

We ended up living in Brisbane for 6 months – in that time we road tripped down to Sydney and took a weekend trip to Melbourne.

Our east coast road trip then went the opposite way to above, starting in Brisbane and finishing in Cairns.

Unfortunately we ran out of time in Melbourne to do the Great Ocean Road, and ran out of money to go into the Red Centre. :(

New Zealand is one of the few places I didn’t really have planned out. My itinerary consisted of Queenstown and Milford Sound. In the end, we visited Auckland, Rotorua, Hobbiton, Wellington, Wanaka, Queenstown and Christchurch. I also managed to hitch a ride with some fellow backpackers and went to Mount Sunday! (Edoras in LOTR) And we chose the worst day possible to go on our Milford Sound cruise.

UNITED STATES / CANADA (up to 3 months – ended up only being 5 weeks!)

It’s safe to say this part of the trip went tits up, but we will return!

The original plan was to hire a car with a couple of friends, but none of us saved enough to do it. Here’s a very rough itinerary or what we were going to do:

  • Visit family in eastern B.C. and Alberta
  • Vancouver
  • Road trip down to San Francisco
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Possibly give Los Angeles another chance…
  • Las Vegas
  • Looking to do a Trek America tour of national parks as I honestly think that was an incredible way to experience them (Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, Monument Valley & perhaps others)
  • Salt Lake City, visit family friends of Ash’s
  • Colorado
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Chicago
  • New York City
  • Boston & New Hampshire, visit camp, the old hangouts & a few friends
  • Back to New York for a bus up to Toronto, visit a friend in Kitchener
  • Back to New York to fly home!

INSTEAD, we still visited Canada. Except we flew into Vancouver first to stay with a friend we lived with in Brisbane! We then visited relatives in Christina Lake and Kimberley, and embarked on an incredible week’s road trip with my aunt & uncle through Kootenay, Banff & Jasper national parks before ending the whole trip on a high staying with a cousin in Banff town.

As it happened, flights direct to Canada were super expensive and our cheapest option was to fly to Hawaii and on to Vancouver. Even with 5 nights in a hostel (who knew there are hostels in Hawaii?!?), this is going to save us over $350. Well, it would be rude not to!

So our plans may not have gone fully ahead. We are planning to come back Stateside to do that road trip, and hopefully our friends will be able to too. But our replacement plans? Well, I think they’re pretty awesome, don’t you?!

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