As I sit in the middle of our new apartment’s living room, still filled with half-emptied boxes and correspondence addressed to the previous tenant, I am forcing myself to wake up from the summer haze I have been sucked into since the end of our trip back in July.
I am living one of those moments when reality is hitting you so hard in the face that you start to wonder whether all those planes you took and all the places you saw are indeed real or if they are merely a figment of your imagination. I guess the nearly 10 thousand photos we brought with us are witness to the former, so for both your and my sake, I will try to put an order to this wonderful mess of an adventure!
Now, like any good storyteller would say: Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
Fast-rewind to last summer, me about to turn 30, second guessing some of my recent life decisions and realising I have so many things left in my bucket list that it has now become a barrel. Need to solve that ASAP.
As I have told you already, travelling has always been the spice of life for me, something that fuels my soul and forces me over and over to leave my comfort zone and become part of something wider. Ok, I will stop the metaphysical thoughts right there and tell you that, by this time last year, I somehow had a clear sense of what I wanted to do with my time and my hard-earned money. It’s like a voice in my head wouldn’t stop repeating “what are you waiting for?”
So I made Mr Vet a proposition that not everybody would accept: let’s leave our jobs and go on an adventure!
I say not everybody would accept such proposition because, as romantic as it may sound to take off on an adventure, it requires quite a lot of courage to leave the familiarity and security of a life you have built with lots of effort and time in order to pursue a dream that may or may not match what you had imagined in your head.
Of course, he was crazy enough to say yes and that made me one crazy happy little chipmunk 🙂
Now you may think that’s the hardest part of planning a world trip, that once the decision is made, the stars conspire to help you design the trip of a lifetime and that all you have to do is buy a one way ticket. WRONG! Or at least, not applicable to us, as you will soon see.
As a bit of background info, Mr Vet had plans to continue his training in the UK and we knew that we needed a return ticket to avoid the risk of opening up a cocktail bar in some Pacific island and never coming back, hahaha, so first of all came the decision to establish the length of this upcoming adventure according to our commitments back in the UK and second, the hard task of setting a budget and starting saving up to make this trip a reality. Exciting, I know…
Taking all of those factors into account, we ended up deciding that we would spend around 4 months on the road in total. Not the longest world trip ever, but surely nor the shortest!
As you can imagine, the world is far too big to tour it all in 17-18 weeks, so we had to carefully consider which destinations we were dying to see on this trip and which ones could wait for another time. Believe it or not, THIS was the hardest part of organising our world trip! Japan, don’t hate me, we will meet soon enough 😉
One thing you may have guessed by following me on social media, is that I have a predilection for all things Asian, so when it came down to designing our itinerary, it was clear that Asia, and more specifically South East Asia, was going to make it into the Top 5. However, again we run into the same dilemma: the Asian continent is huuuge. How many countries do we want to visit, for how long? Shall we stick to the “popular” places or go off the beaten path? Aaarrghh! Shall we rather stay home and watch all seasons of Planet Earth in one go?
Of course, the design of a world trip will totally depend on your preferences, budget and travel style, but if after reading a million blogs and watching a similar amount of YouTube videos, you are still feeling more lost than Nemo, I suggest you call in the experts, aka the travel agents. Even though we wanted to handle the trip planning as much as possible and knew those travel packages where everything is timed to the millisecond were not meant for us, we were lucky to count with the help of my cousin Ana who owns a travel agency in Spain. She was able to give us some useful insights on what each country had to offer when we were in doubt and that helped us make up our minds!
So after all this ramble, I think you are more than ready to finally meet our baby:
~ OUR WORLD TRIP ITINERARY 2018! ~
And the reasons why we chose these places (of all the places in the world to choose from!)
We wanted to start by an exotic but not too chaotic country. The former Ceylon, where most of the tea we consume worldwide is produced and monkeys walk around like any other citizen seemed like a good place to start.
The lighthouse in the colonial town of Galle
They always get the best views!
Technical pit stop in the heart of South East Asia to briefly enjoy the smells and flavours of this buzzing city. We visited Thailand 4 years ago. A lot has changed since, the food is still amazing tho.
Angkor Wat at sunrise. Need I say more?
Bucket list getting smaller
Vietnamese rolls, Vietnamese noodles, the iconic Ha Long Bay and the cinematic rice fields, Vietnamese Bun Cha… Can you tell we picked Vietnam because of its food? Yeah, can’t hide from that one.
The wonderful rice terraces of SaPa, close to the Chinese border
Found the perfect Bun Cha in a backstreet corner. Yum!
Neither of us are yoga enthusiasts, yet we wanted to see what all the fuss with Indonesia was about. Bali has much more to see than 5-star hotels and infinity pools. One of Mr Vet’s all time dreams was to see wild orangutans and I can say this was one of the highlights of our trip! Besides, look how pretty these temples and villages are!
Tirta Gangga Temple – a delight for all your senses!
Initially Australia was in the cards, but we soon realised we would need one extra month (and its corresponding budget) to prepare a half-decent visit of the Oceanic continent, so in the end we swapped the kangaroos for the up and coming destination in the Pacific: The Philippines. Now what is there to see in the Philippines, you say?
Unforgettable pink sunset in El Nido – Palawan Island
USA WEST COAST ROAD-TRIP
When we told our friends and family about the trip, they thought the United States was an odd plot twist after visiting SE Asia, but we had been dying to do the once-in-a-lifetime road trip along the West Coast and we were determined to fit a few of its National Parks in our itinerary. I had even taken driving lessons before leaving so that Mr Vet could also enjoy the landscape, aren’t I a sweetheart? 🙂
The imposing hoodoos of Bryce Canyon
Joshua Tree National Park at sunset
And jumping south towards the other Americas and the opposite season! We knew we would only have a taste of what the southern continent had to offer, but we figured if we liked it, we could always come back.
Did you know the driest desert in the whole world is in the north of Chile? We could hear the Atacama Desert calling our names.
Cowgirl in the Altiplanic flats
The cherry on top of an amazing, unforgettable, remarkable world trip!
That old mountain of Machu Picchu inspires something wonderful in everyone who visits, I must tell you. We didn’t even mind the +2000 tourists we had to share the views with. We walked around one of the wonders of the world and if that’s not something freaking magical I don’t know what is, glamistas!
Santa Catalina monastery in Arequipa and its photogenic terracotta walls
The best kept secret during the colonisation era, a wonder we can all enjoy nowadays!
That’s it, guys, the big reveal! This was our world trip itinerary 2018!
Hope you enjoyed it and let me know in the comments: what destinations would you have picked if planning such a journey?
I will be sharing some tips on how to organise a world trip in a couple of weeks. Until then… stay fabulous!