I’ve traveled a fair bit, but I’ve always wanted to do a big trip. I remember doing my first liveaboard in 2001, and being really impressed with the dive guides. The guides were people like me who had decided to take a break from the rat race (one was a postman, one was an accountant) for a bit to pursue their dreams. In their cases, they had decided to take a long time out. My tendency to over-think things caused me to wonder what they’d do for a pension when they got back to the UK.
An opportunity has come my way to take a couple of months out and do some travelling. Quite apart from broadening my physical horizons, I’m hoping that the trip will be mind-expanding as well. My route will take me all around the world, via Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and finally the Cook Islands.
Here’s an interactive map of the route:
It was a toss-up between South Asia and South America for a short while. I ended up picking this route because I wanted to experience some good, life-affirming culture shock. Speaking a few Romance languages, I’ve never struggled to understand or make myself understood when travelling. This trip will be different, and whilst travel broadens the mind, culture shocked travel does so in far larger measure.
But why these countries?
From popular culture, to food and my own studies of martial arts, I have always wanted to visit Japan.
Hong Kong is a must-see, of course.
My travels through Cuba back in 2002 opened my eyes to the fascinations of a country that names itself a “Socialist Republic”, especially for this history buff, so I figured a trip to Vietnam would be a great thing to do.
I’d agreed to visit Thailand with my great friend Duncan, and we both heard great things about the diving there.
I’ve got a pretty fixed itinerary, but considering that I want to see so much in only two months, this is inevitable. I remember chatting to someone about this trip the other day, and he remarked that he remembers the time during his travels when the epiphany came and he realised he was completely without responsibility and just tossed a coin to decided whether to head West or East. The catch was that this was during a 12-month trek round India. Whilst I don’t think I’ll get that total immersion, I’ll come as close as I ever have.
And I’m thrilled!
Here’s the booked itinerary, which may change. I’ll be blogging as regularly as connections allow. Check out the RTW 2012 Blog Map or just read through the posts in reverse-chronological order like a normal blog.
|2||Tokyo,||April 23, 2012|
|3||Kyoto,||April 28, 2012|
|4||Hong Kong,||May 1, 2012|
|5||Hanoi,||May 3, 2012|
|6||Halong Bay,||May 5, 2012|
|8||Hue,||May 7, 2012|
|9||Hoi An,||May 8, 2012|
|10||Ho Chi Minh City,||May 11, 2012|
|11||Bangkok,||May 12, 2012|
|12||Ko Samui,||May 15, 2012|
|13||Bangkok,||May 25, 2012|
|14||Sydney,||May 25, 2012|
|15||Alice Springs,||May 31, 2012|
|16||Uluru,||June 1, 2012|
|17||Cairns,||June 2, 2012|
|18||Great Barrier Reef,||June 3, 2012|
|19||Cairns,||June 8, 2012|
|20||Brisbane,||June 9, 2012|
|21||Auckland,||June 9, 2012|
|22||Rarotonga,||June 9, 2012|
|23||Los Angeles,||June 17, 2012|
|24||London,||June 18, 2012|