So I’m so excited to announce that in February 2018, after 3 years of working in London, we will be leaving our lives in London to travel long-term for a second time.
This trip is going to be our biggest yet. If all goes to plan we will cover over 20 countries in at least 3 continents. We don’t have time limits, but we obviously do have money limits, and at a guess we expect the trip will take 18-24 months.
I like to look at it as split into 3 sections; South America, then Asia and finally Africa. We have a route planned to begin with (I know it’s ‘cool’ to be spontaneous and just go with the flow, but I really enjoy travel planning, so I just couldn’t help it okay). However, apart from our flights to Brazil in February, our first few hostels and a couple of things in Patagonia in March we haven’t actually booked anything. As we like to have the flexibility to change our plans and spend longer, or less time, in a place if we wanted to.
There were a few important things that we learnt from long-term travel last time. Firstly, having time constraints was something we really wanted to avoid, so apart from a few things like when family come out to visit us and nipping home for a wedding, we don’t actually have any time constraints at all.
Another vital thing that was in our plan from the beginning was that this time we want to travel with 40L (hand luggage sized!) backpacks. I was so jealous last time whenever I saw anyone with a small backpack I have decided that minimalism is the way forward. After testing this approach on our more recent trips around Morocco and Europe we have been fully converted to using hand luggage only, it’s just soo much better. This trip however is going to be much longer and involve such a variety of climates, so my packing list for this trip is something I have desperately been trying to perfect, I’ve already done like 3 practice packs. I think amazingly it’s all actually going to fit… (I will soon be posting my packing list!)
(This will probably change as we go, but this is the ‘vague’ plan so far!)
South America – Approx 6 months
So in February 2018 we fly to Rio in Brazil (with a 1 day stopover in Portugal). We plan to travel south through Brazil and then Uruguay before we fly from Buenos Aires to the most Southern tip of South America in Patagonia.
We have our campsites all booked for the W-Trek in Torres del Paine (mega excited!) and from there we plan to take our time heading north up the Carretera Austral through the beautiful Chilean Lake District and eventually up to the desert landscapes of Northern Chile/Argentina.
From here we will be heading towards Bolivia, where we will be experiencing mega high altitude for the first time ever. I can’t wait to see the incredible looking salt flats of Salar de Uyuni, and we were also thinking of doing a Spanish course for a week in Sucre.
After Bolivia, we have a month or so planned to spend travelling around Peru, exploring more of the Andes mountains as well as the Amazon rainforest and the beaches on the northern coast.
From Peru, we will head to Ecuador and then Colombia. I am really excited for Colombia, which everyone seems to rave on about, so we have allowed lots of time for here.
2. Asia – Approx 8-9 Months
- South Korea
I fell in love with Asia back in 2014 and I’ve been dreaming of returning ever since, so yeah I can’t wait to finally be back in Asia!!
From this point in the trip we haven’t planned in quite as much detail as South America, just that we will probably fly to Japan from Colombia in August 2018. We hope to see as much of Japan as possible and we will spend at least a month here. Shaun’s parents may come out and visit us here too!
Next on the plan is South Korea. I’m a huge Korean food fan, so I can’t wait to head here! Also while we are that far east we would also like to visit the Phillipenes, especially Palawan island! It looks like paradise and would be like a ‘holiday from travelling’ for a bit!
The next part of the trip is a country we have already been to on our last big trip and absolutely fell in love with. So, providing we get a long enough visa we will then probably spend at least 4 months in India. It seems a long time, but there’s so much of India we still want to see and we don’t want to rush. To begin with we will be focusing on Goa and the South, if we are feeling tired of travelling we may chill in one place for a month before heading to Kerala, where we will be spending Christmas 2018 with my Dad and family.
After that, we will probably be heading North. I have recently become fascinated with the less-travelled North Eastern States of India, otherwise known as the ‘Seven Sisters’. So as long as we get all the required permits we would love to travel independently around this corner of India. Arunachal Pradesh looks especially amazing and from the little information I have found online and in books, it sounds an incredible off the beaten path adventure.
Bangladesh also really appeals to us. I have read so little about Bangladesh but I feel it would be a really exciting trip.
From here we plan to join back up with the backpacker trail in Nepal. We will probably do lots of trekking in Nepal and are also considering a Tibet trip.
Africa – Who knows how long, maybe 4-5 months
- South Africa
Finally, Africa is the plan! Basically we will start in South Africa and head north until we have ran out of money, hopefully as far as Kenya. If we run out of money or are getting tired of travelling by then we will cut it down, travel slower, focussing on a few of the above African countries instead.
And that’s the plan! If I haven’t said enough times already I am so so so excited to jump back into long-term travel again. Staying in one place for nearly 3 years hasn’t been that easy for me but I will always look back at my time in London with fond memories. Now I just can’t wait for the next chapter to begin.