The Plan

The basic plan is to travel round the world backpacker stylee for about 12 months. I will be travelling on my own and intend to stay in hostels and guest-houses.

As much of the journey will be done over land as possible, so I get to see the countries I am passing through instead of scooting over the top by air. The original intention was to take a very literal round the world route, but this meant if I spent Christmas in Sydney, I would catch the monsoon on the Indonesian island chain when travel is close to impossible. The solution to this was to fly up into South East Asia and head back towards Australia, effectively doing a segment of the original route backwards. My itinerary as currently booked / planned is as follows :

10th Sept ‘03

Fly to Toronto & catch up with my old mate Jim

18th Sept ‘03

Fly to New York & revisit the Big Apple for a few days

24th Sept ‘03

Cross the US on a Green Tortoise bus (14 days). The route should allow for a day in Washington DC, spotting alligators in the Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia, a day in New Orleans, on to the Carlsbad Caverns, stopping at Zion National Park and a day at the neon madness of Las Vegas.

7th Oct ‘03

Chill out in San Francisco and see a few more mates (Seth, Derek & Al)

21st Oct ‘03

Fly to Apia in Samoa. Spend some time on a Pacific Island.

6th Nov ‘03

Fly to New Zealand. Find out why everyone who has been there likes it so much.

3rd Dec ‘03

Fly to Oz. Spend Christmas and New Year 2004 in a summer climate.

14th Jan ‘04

Fly to Bangkok. Head northeast to Laos, then into Vietnam and Cambodia. Back into Thailand heading south and catching a Full Moon party before heading into Malaysia and Singapore. Island hop through Indonesia to Darwin in North Australia. Should take around 5 months.

June ‘04

Overland from Darwin to Uluru, and then on to the south of Australia. Make my way to Perth.

June ‘04

Fly to Hong Kong. Spend a little time here before heading up overland through China to Beijing.

August ‘04

Catch the Trans-Siberian railway from Beijing to Moscow

Sept ‘04

Make my way overland back to UK

My RTW ticket is flexible on the dates of travel so I do not have to stick rigidly to the above schedule. I am in the midst of preparation & so far I have :

  • resigned from my job & should finish on 20th June
  • booked my place on a Green Tortoise bus
  • booked a RTW ticket with the Star Alliance
  • bought my travel insurance that allows me to do most dangerous (& fun) activities with Navigator Travel Insurance. Cost less than the big companies as well.
  • bought most of the kit I will need like a decent rucksack & sleeping bag. Just need to find underwear that doesn’t bunch up and chaff when hiking.
  • bought a small mountain of travel guides... most of which I will have to reacquire on the road as I have no intention of lugging them all with me.

Just had the first in the large set of vaccinations I require. Found out that most of them need multiple injections over a series of weeks and the cost is going to be between £300 & £400!!. Turns out I need :

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B (3 injections)
  • Rabies (3 injections)
  • Japanese encephalitis (3 injections)
  • Tick borne encephalitis (3 injections)
  • Typhoid
  • Polio
  • Diphtheria

In addition I have decided to get a couple of wisdom teeth removed. They only caused me a little trouble before but that could be much more serious in the back of beyond. Its not a wonderful experience and several weeks later I still have a large crater slowly filling out at the back of my jaw.

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