A couple of posts ago I went into my Bucket List and on the first draft (which was online for a day) I went into my travel plans briefly. Realising that they were more worthy of a longer post, complete with elaboration, I decided to rewrite the blog entry and save the information for a few more weeks. Now I have decided - since the hype from my music post has died down - to publish these plans in full, as they currently stand.
I will start by explaining what I mean by "RTW". For those of you into travel, this acronym (for "round the world") is an important one, since it refers to a trip that is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Few people can afford to take the trip (both financially and because of it's duration) more than once in their lives and most people tend to do it before they turn 30.
Having 8 hours a day to think at work (since I often forget my iPod), I have found my thoughts increasingly focused upon my trip home, when I finally return to the UK, recently. Since travel is one of my main passions in life, a RTW trip seems like the best thing for me as I make the transition between young adult and mature adult (one who is ready for university and life).
Having had all this time to think about things - and with the Internet at my disposal when I return home each day - I have been able to plot a basic route with estimated costs, duration, distance and itinerary. Instead of returning home by flying a single jet East for 8 hours I have decided to be slightly more creative and go West instead. 8 hours is currently looking more like 2 years!
In 2010, having been in the country for 2 years, I will volunteer for the Winter Olympic games in Vancouver. After they finish I will begin preparations and last minute fundraising (probably returning to the 65-hour work week lifestyle for a few months!) before I am set to leave Canada in June.
The current plan is to travel down the west of America - stopping at various cities, national parks and points of interest - as I make my way towards southern California. If I can include work on a Summer Camp in this leg then I will since it will be a nice way to meet more friends, earn more money and have a great time. Once I reach San Diego I will board the first of many planes for the journey and head across the Pacific.
Having hit up some attractions (cities/national parks etc.) in Hawaii, Tahiti and Fiji, I will reach the northern tip of New Zealand for the second cross country road-trip of my journey. Visiting attractions as I go, I plan to reach the southern island within a few weeks and then fly across to eastern Australia.
In Australia I am told that work is available as a fruit picker in springtime so I will look into that as a job for a few weeks; aiming to make Australia the second working destination on the journey. Sightseeing plans include Ayers Rock, the Great Barrier Reef and the southeastern cities.
Photography is also a huge pull for a trip like this and I hope to get many
awesome photos as I go - as well as some footage to add to my "Life Video"
Heading away from "western civilization", I will catch a plane or boat to Indonesia for my southeast Asian leg of the journey. Passing through Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, I will reach China! The plan is to get the first of my three ESL jobs somewhere in China and also visit the many ancient attractions and diverse cities.
Preparation for this job will require a 4-week ESL course through a university in the coming months.
From China I will head to the Middle East, passing through Burma, Bangladesh, Tibet and India as I reach Pakistan. Hopefully one of these countries will be my second ESL experience as I stay 4-6 months in another Asian country! From Pakistan I plan to fly to Saudi Arabia before travelling through Egypt and Israel to Eastern Europe. Once past the East Mediterranean islands and through Turkey, my trip will become a join-the-dots between capital cities as I make my way North West towards Germany.
Along this stretch of the journey, I again intend to get some work in and am looking into another ESL experience, maybe in Romania. From Germany, around Christmas 2011, I will make my way along the final stretch of the journey and see Holland, Belgium and France before reaching London in the summer of 2012, as the Summer Olympics begin!
Inspirations for this planning have been drawn from many areas of my life but one notable person that has done similar things with his life is Matt Harding, who in 2005 danced in front of landmarks around the world and became a viral video. Another viral video was of a guy that flew with a GPS tracker and traced the journey on a world map - drawing his self portrait!
Since a full time companion on these travels will be hard to come by - not many 20 somethings have 2 years to spare on travel, nor the desire to put off University until they are 23 - I am instead appealing to people to choose a period of the journey that interests them and join me for that leg. Hopefully this could result in a lot of variations throughout the journey for me and it will help me to grow and mature. By the time I reach home, I should be more than ready for University - where ever I decide to go!