Round the World Travel Plans
As I mentioned last week when I revealed my plans for the next few months, I’m planning a 4 month trip around the world. I know 4 months doesn’t sound like much time for a round the world trip, but it probably only counts as a “round the world” because I will technically round the globe with a round the world ticket. I read lots of posts which mostly recommended not buying a round the world ticket, but with my limited time and the Delta Skymiles I’ve been stockpiling, it was a no brainer for me. For 180,000 Skymiles and $167 in taxes, I secured a RTW ticket with just a few gaps to fill in with non-SkyTeam airlines.
(Check out my thoughts on the round the world ticket after the trip was over.)
About a month after the wedding, the first leg of my trip will be on July 8th from Atlanta to Frankfurt, the official move to Andy’s (sorry, our) place in Freiburg. I’m going to spend the summer settling in, taking German classes, and mostly spending time with Andy. I’m also taking some time at the end of August to go to La Tomatina, a huge annual tomato fight, in Buñol, Spain. Flight number 2 of my RTW ticket will take me from Frankfurt to Singapore at the end of September. I didn’t spend much time in Singapore last time I was there, so I might stay for a few days to see the city. I’d especially like to go to the night zoo since I’ve heard it’s really great.
My friend Amanda and I have been trying to plan a couple trips for quite some time now, so we decided to work some of them into my 4 month trip. At the beginning of October she is going to meet me in Indonesia. Our plan is to spend about 2 weeks visiting Bali, Lumbak, and Borobudur. Then we’re flying to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia where we will spend a few days before making our way to Brunei. At the end of those 3 weeks, our flight takes us back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Amanda will fly back home.
From Kuala Lumpur, I will most likely fly to Cambodia. I’m definitely going to try to be more flexible at this point, but I so enjoy the planning part of traveling that I at least know I’ll be spending about 6 weeks traveling between Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. I definitely plan on going to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, but beyond that I haven’t done a lot of research yet. Flight number 3 of the RTW ticket is at the beginning of December from Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam to Melbourne, Australia. I spent some time in Australia (Perth, Ayers Rock, Cairns, and Sydney) last spring, but I didn’t make it to Melbourne. I’d also like to see Tasmania, but it depends on how much time I have.
From there I’m going to New Zealand. This has been high on my list for years now, so I’m really excited. Plus Andy is going to meet me there for about 2 weeks or so for Christmas and New Year’s. There are a few specific things/places Andy wants to see, so I’ll save those for when he gets there. It’ll be a challenge to figure out the best way to avoid too much flying back and forth from one end of the country to the other, but I’ll make it work. In total I think I’ll have about 4 weeks there. Then at the beginning of January I’m flying to Tahiti to meet up with Amanda again. We’re spending 2 nights in Bora Bora, at a price that’s about the same as what I estimate 6 weeks of lodging will cost in Southeast Asia. Then we’re going to Easter Island for a week. Flight number 4 of my RTW ticket is from Tahiti to Seattle.
I decided to spend the last few weeks of my trip back in the States seeing friends and family before returning to Germany. So my first stop is to visit my friend Andrea in Seattle. Then flight number 5 is to Las Vegas to visit my friend Rachel, followed by flight number 6 to Atlanta to see my parents and as many friends as possible. Since a RTW ticket purchased with miles has a lot more restrictions than one purchased with cash, I could only do 6 legs. Luckily it worked out pretty well for what I wanted to do. RTW tickets don’t allow you to go beyond your starting point, so I’ll still need to make my way from Atlanta to Frankfurt. February isn’t a popular time to fly to Europe, so I’m hoping to get a buddy pass from a friend.
While I’m not looking forward to being away from Andy for all this time, taking a long term trip, even 4 months instead of the traditional year-long variety, is something I’ve wanted to do for years. It’s incredibly important to me, and I’m so grateful to be with a wonderful man who understands that. We’ve spent the past 10 months getting to know each other and developing a relationship mostly through Skype and email, I’m sure we can handle a few more months.
If anyone has any advice about any of the places I’m going to, I’m all ears (eyes?). I’m going to be reading more blogs than ever this summer while I’m researching this trip.
May 23, 2011 @ 1:36 AM
Sounds like it’s gonna be an awesome adventure! And you’ve made some good choices in destinations, particularly Singapore and Melbourne. 🙂
But most of all, very jealous of you visiting Bora Bora and Easter Island. Have a great time and looking forward to reading all about it!
May 23, 2011 @ 5:41 PM
Thanks Kieron! Not too long until your trip too!
May 23, 2011 @ 6:03 AM
How exciting! I think that it’s super important that you do some world travel on your own, especially if it’s a dream of yours! I think that even as a couple, sometimes you just have to get out there on your own, that’s on my list of things to do as well!
Let us know when you are going to be in Melbourne because we’ll be in Sydney and have a friend coming to Melbourne in November that we might fly down to see.
May 23, 2011 @ 5:44 PM
Yeah, I know there are places I want tower that Andy isn’t interested in, so I’m sure I’ll take more trips with my friend Amanda or even by myself. I’ll definitely let you know when I’m in Melbourne, should be the beginning of December.
May 23, 2011 @ 8:09 AM
What a super-exciting itinerary! Very excited to read about your adventures to come.
May 23, 2011 @ 5:45 PM
May 23, 2011 @ 9:32 AM
thats excellent!!!! please take lots of pictures 🙂
May 23, 2011 @ 5:46 PM
Thanks JR! Of course I’ll take tons of pictures!
May 23, 2011 @ 12:27 PM
That trip sounds so exciting! And it sounds like you have enough time in each spot to really get a feel for the place. I wanna read lots about your Singapore portion of a the trip. I’ve never been there, but for some reason it keeps creeping up the list for me these days 🙂
May 23, 2011 @ 5:48 PM
Thanks Sabrina! Lots of people have been interested in Singapore, should be a good first stop!
May 23, 2011 @ 8:38 PM
Wow, I practically haven’t been in any place you mentioned, except Singapore (and I didn’t love it to be honest) – WOW again, looks like a great plan and includes… Easter Island! And New Zealand! All these places are my dream, and I would be sooo excited to if I were you.
Well you have a lot to be excited now! Wedding, moving to another country, RTW trip… This is all great 🙂
May 24, 2011 @ 12:13 AM
I wasn’t too impressed with Singapore either but it was the easiest/closest place I could fly into in order to get to Bali. I didn’t really spend much time there so I’m giving it another chance. I am very excited, although it is kind of scary to make all these changes.
May 25, 2011 @ 5:18 PM
I’m sure all the fear will be replaced with pure excitement once you take off with your first flight:)
May 25, 2011 @ 6:17 PM
Thanks Giulia! I’m sure you’re right!
May 23, 2011 @ 6:05 PM
Make sure you buy a six-pack of Monteith’s Summer Ale, and have a barbie on the beach for Christmas day.
(Ancient Kiwi tradition – I shit you not.)
May 24, 2011 @ 12:09 AM
Well if it’s tradition….
May 23, 2011 @ 6:06 PM
oh, and if you bring some back to Germany for me, I will love you forever 😉
May 24, 2011 @ 12:10 AM
I’ll see what I can do, but you might have to get Andy to handle that request 🙂
May 23, 2011 @ 9:23 PM
4 months is a long time & I am glad you are going to be doing a RTW trip even if it is not a year. You are doing it for very fucking cheap makes me jealous. Sounds like you have an amazing plan… I can not wait to see you in Europe its going to rock!
May 24, 2011 @ 12:14 AM
Only the RTW ticket is cheap. The New Zealand, Tahiti, Easter Island parts are going to be expensive! I’m looking forward to meeting you in Europe too!
May 23, 2011 @ 10:26 PM
Oooh, I missed your big announcement! CONGRATS! It’s gonna be amazing.
May 24, 2011 @ 12:15 AM
May 24, 2011 @ 9:27 PM
Wow, sounds great. Nice job with the RTW ticket. Super jealous of your Easter Island and Kota Kinabulu. It’ll be an awesome four months.
May 24, 2011 @ 11:21 PM
Thanks Mike! I saw your tweet earlier that you’re on your way to Israel, sounds awesome!
May 24, 2011 @ 10:10 PM
$167 now that is a sweet deal – congratulations!
May 24, 2011 @ 11:21 PM
Thanks! Definitely glad I saved those Skymiles!
May 24, 2011 @ 11:34 PM
Wow, good for you, Ali! Sounds like an amazing trip in the making.
And, if you need any NZ travel tips, you know who to turn to! 🙂
May 25, 2011 @ 12:44 AM
Thanks Amanda! And yes I will definitely be coming to you for NZ tips!
May 28, 2011 @ 6:48 PM
Visiting La Tomatina should be great 🙂 If you go to the South Island of NZ, don’t forget to stay 1 night in the “old slaugtherhouse” hostel in Hector (http://www.oldslaughterhouse.co.nz/). That hostel is built on the side of a hill overlooking the forest and the ocean, its great 🙂
May 29, 2011 @ 10:33 AM
Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll have to check that out!
May 29, 2011 @ 6:33 PM
Wow – it all sounds incredible. Enjoy every second! 🙂
May 29, 2011 @ 9:10 PM
July 1, 2011 @ 1:21 PM
Yay! Congrats on this trip! And I’m so glad I got to see you again and meet Andy at TBEX.
July 1, 2011 @ 6:37 PM
Thanks Akila! It was great seeing you again too! Hopefully we’ll run into each other again on the road somewhere!
Facing the Flights Again » Grounded Traveler - Expat Adventures in Germany
November 15, 2011 @ 8:45 PM
[…] necessary. I will likely go down to New Zealand at Christmastime to be with Ali as a part of her travel in southeast Asia. This would mean 24 hours in flight in two jumps of roughly 12 hours each. So I may get my chance […]
November 7, 2012 @ 12:18 AM
We have been reading your blog, and have been addicted! Would love any feedback about our route and any other advice you may have!
November 7, 2012 @ 3:04 PM
Thanks Hannah! I’ll take a look and email you.