Itinerary

Where are we going?  Here’s our itinerary…

More specifically…

Seattle, WA
Leaving Oct 6, 2008
Amsterdam
Oct 7: Just a 3-hour stopover on the way to Africa.
Johannesburg
South Africa: Oct 7 – Nov 2
Lusaka
Zambia: Nov 2 to Nov 22 (Victoria Falls)
Nairobi
Kenya / Tansania: Nov 22 to Jan 1 (Mt. Kilimanjaro)
Adis Abeba
Ethiopia: Jan 1 – 19 (Denakil Depression)
Cairo
Egypt: Jan 19 – Feb 10 (Pyramids, Nile)
Petra
Petra, Jordan – short trip around Feb 11
Haifa
Israel: Feb 10 – Mar 7 (Kibbutz Gal Ed)
Rabbah
Amman, Jordan – flying out from here Mar 7
Dubai
UAE: Mar 7-12 (man-made islands, indoor ski)
New Delhi
India: arrive Mar 12 (Delhi, Amritsar, Mcleod Ganj)
Kathmandu
Nepal (Annapurna Circuit)
Lhasa, Tibet
Lhasa, Tibet (Temples, Monks)
Chengdu
Chengdu (Mountains, Lakes, Hot Springs)
Yangshuo
Yangshuo (Jagged Mountains)
Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam (Halong Bay)
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia: Flying out from here Sept 1
Sydney
Australia: Sept 1-7 (visit Gary/Jo/Susie)
Nouméa
New Caledonia: Sept 7-14
Fiji
Fiji: Sept 14-21
Honolulu
Hawaii: Sept 21 – Oct 5 (Kauai, Hilo)

Is this itinerary set in stone?  No.

First off, we weren’t able to book the return flights on the dates we wanted because the airlines don’t know their schedule that far in the future.  So, for now we have tickets with bogus return flight dates and we’ll need to call the airlines to change the tickets in a few months.  That means that the dates for the back-end of our trip (from Kuala Lumpur on) are likely to change.

OK, so the dates might change, but what about the locations?  Those are more likely to stay the same but they might change too, especially the part between New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur.  Why is that part special?  Because we’re doing that part completely overland; in other words, that’s the one part of the trip for which we didn’t buy flights — we plan to do it with buses/trains/jeeps/etc.  Since we don’t have pre-booked flights, we may also decide to change our path.  Who knows, we may decide to skip China in favor of Burma and Laos, or maybe we’ll try to do all three.  We just need to find some way to reach Kuala Lumpur in time for our flight.

I created a Google Map to capture all this info.  We’ll try to keep it up to date as we tweak our itinerary.

How did we choose this itinerary?

It was a pretty complex / organic / haphazard process.  We picked Nepal right away because both of us have wanted to hike near the Himalayas for a long time.  Africa was also an early pick because neither one of us has set foot on that continent.  I added Yangshuo (Chinga) because I was there once and loved it and I want to share it with Pnina.  Pnina added Mcleod Ganj (India) for the same reason.  Of course, we added Israel because it’s in the middle and we have lots of family and friends to visit there.  And there were other places we picked up because they were on the way and interesting, such as Dubai.

There were a few places we considered but ended up dropping.  Early on we thought we might include South America as part of this trip but we decided to chop it.  Why?  Because even a year is only so long and we don’t want to feel rushed — our rule of thumb is 1-month-per-country.  We wanted to visit Tahiti on the flight back but it wasn’t available in our particular package, so we took Fiji instead.  We thought very hard about visiting Bhutan but recently decided to skip it because at $200-per-person-per-day it’s just too much.

Do we know what we plan to do in each of these countries?  Not really.  We have some very high-level ideas about stuff to do, some of which I listed above, but mostly we’ll figure it out as we go along.  There’s really no way to plan every day’s activity for a full year, and even if it was possible we wouldn’t want to do that.  The greatest thing about going on a year-long trip is that if you like a place then you can hang around longer and if you don’t then you can leave earlier.

What do you think?  Have you been to any of these places?  What would you recommend doing/skipping?

UPDATE – Sept 22, 2008

We haven’t even left and already we’ve hit our first adventure…

There was a major fuck up with our round-the-world flight tickets.  I’ll get into the details in another post, but the short of it is that our tickets (which we purchased back in June) were in fact never really issued, meaning that as of last night we didn’t have any actual tickets!  I spent 90 minutes on the phone with NWA this morning and luckily I managed to get everything straightened out.  Our new itinerary is almost identical to the old one except that instead of Bali we’ll stop in New Caledonia, and also some of the dates are a little different.  I updated the itinerary listed above (but not the picture – it still shows us stopping in Bali).  Crisis averted.  Whew!

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3 responses to “Itinerary

  1. What do I think? I think I’m jealous!

    As you know, Sarah and I have been to quite afew of those places, so we will definitely have a lot to talk about tonight over dinner.

    That said, I’m really excited for you two, and even though Sarah and I had a similar opportunity, I’m really jealous that you two will get to make this trip together!

  2. me too–JEALOUS! i am going to use you as a travel guide when you get back. can’t wait to hear all about your amazing adventures.

  3. Hey, any chance your flights and accommodations have a buy 2, get 2 free special? Take Jess and I, please! We’re jealous, no fair! 🙂 We did go to Hawaii earlier this year and spent a few days on the big island in both Hilo and Kona. I’ll talk with Jess cause she has the memory to recommend stuff.

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