We’re on our way. After two years of planning, two years of saving and many months of getting rid of almost everything we own, we’re now sat on a one-way flight to Hong Kong. With 7kg of baggage each (yes, SEVEN, even Staci has only seven kilos of luggage) packed neatly in the backpacks, two passports and (too) many pants, the time has come to start the journey, although Staci now says she wished she had packed a few more pants.
We got on the flight, sat and chatted, and tried to reflect on the emotions that we were feeling. You would think this would be something quite deep and meaningful, i mean, we’ve had plenty of time to think about it. Was it excitement, for the journey ahead? Was it nerves, for the unkown to come? Was it even sadness, to leave so much family and friends behind? No, it was “weird”! And that isn’t even an emotion!
In reality, i think it is actually a combination of all of the above and much more, because, no matter how long we have to process this kind of thing, like any major thing in your life, it doesn’t actually become ‘real’ until the very moment it arrives. Like a shockwave, the emotion takes over.
Before we left, a few people asked us what had made us decide to do this in the first place, or why we had decided to travel long term. It’s a mixture of many experiences over the last few years, partly, because a trip to Brazil in February 2015 changed the way we saw many things in life, it made us re-evaluate the importance of material possesions, taught us that happiness can be found in many ways, and truly showed us that the only way to really discover a place is to go there, not read or listen to the stories about it.
Inspiration is a major contributor to the whole dream, inspiration from people who had done this or similar before us, particularly from two very good friends who had also planned and experienced their own round-the-world trip a few years ago. But also, the inspiration came from many others too, basically, anybody who has a passion for something and follows through with it and dedicates a significant portion of their life to it, whether that’s travelling, animals, helping others or anything.
The decision that this might happen was made the weekend we came back from that trip to Brazil, within a week we had figured out how we were going to be able to make this dream come true, and since then, small details may have changed, but we’re chasing that dream and we’re going to make the most of every day we get to live it.
So, the rough plan, which will more than likely change, is made, it’s 16 (but maybe more) countries, it’s 4 continents, it’s 12 months and it’s over 40,000 miles around the world.
The route of where we will visit is on a map on the homepage here, we will keep it updated as we go along and make more decisions, but for now, the plan as we set off is;
We start in Hong Kong for New Year celebrations,
We then head to Japan for couple of weeks, take in the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima with some off-the-beaten-track in between also.
Then we go to China for three weeks, during the Chinese New Year Spring Festival. The plan is to go to Shanghai, Shenyang, Harbin for the Snow and Ice Festival (Google it), Beijing for Chinese New Year, Guangzhou and Yangshuo.
After that we travel back to Hong Kong, to fly to Vietnam in February.
In Vietnam, we will arrive in Hanoi, and go overland by train down the whole country to Ho Chi Minh City over 5-6 weeks, with many stops on the way.
Then it is over in to Cambodia, to see Angkor Wat and hopefully much more of the country.
After that, we will go to Thailand for the Thai New Year (Songkran) Festival, here we will meet my Sister and our Neices for a couple of weeks and we can’t wait to see them already.
After Thailand, the plan is still open for discussion, but as of now we plan to go to;
Malaysia, for a few weeks
Indonesia, for a month
Australia, for around 5-6 weeks
New Zealand, for around 5 weeks
Then we have a flight to Argentina booked already in September as we got a bargain for the flight from Auckland to Buenos Aires.
Then it is on to the rest of the South and Central America plan;
It’s almost the same list of countries we came up with when we first decided we wanted to do this long term, some have changed, and some might yet still change, but the general plan has stayed the same. As a further thought, if anybody has any comments on travelling to the Philippines, we would love to hear them, as we are considering going to there also.
The Blog – Passport and Pants
I was trying to think of a good website name for the blog, I spent a while trying to think of something witty, I didn’t have many ideas, but then it came to me, as anybody who knows Staci will know, the most important things she owns is her Passport and Pants, so really, the name was staring us in the face all along.
We will update everybody who is interested in our trip by hopefully keeping this blog up to date where we can, which might be an issue due to lack of internet in places, but we are 38,000 feet in the air right now and managing to do it so we’ve started well at least.
Thanks for following, and we will add the first batch of pictures soon…