Back in February, after months of back & forth deciding where in the world to begin, I finally booked by RTW tickets, thanks to Air Treks. Now that the cat is out of the bag and the destinations are set in stone, I’m excited to share my itinerary with all of you!
Mid June – Mid July: West Coast USA
Growing up in the Midwest, I haven’t gotten many opportunities to venture out to the western edge of the U.S. so I’m taking a month to get to know the other half of the country. I’ll start in Denver, see for myself what all of my friends rave about in Vegas, spend 2 weeks falling in love with San Francisco, attend the World Domination Summit in Portland, and visit the city named as a must-see by many, Seattle.
End of July – Beginning of September: Iceland, Russia, and Turkey
This is where the real fun begins. I’ll be visiting 3 countries I know very little about but that fascinate me beyond anything. Reykjavik, Iceland has been named a top destination to visit in 2012 and a country many friends have visited so I’m thrilled to go. As for Russia and Turkey, I’m taking the recommendations of Katie Going Global and Adventurous Kate to visit two countries that aren’t at the top of people’s itineraries. So stoked about this part of my trip.
Mid September: Israel
Having worked at a Jewish organization for the past year or so, I’ve come to learn that Israel is held close to the hearts of my fellow employees. I’ve gained a tremendous amount of respect for the culture, and finally being able to see for myself the beauty of Israel they speak so highly of will be an honor.
End of September – End of October: Thailand
My plan is to rent an apartment for a month to wander around Bangkok and all of Thailand’s many islands and beaches. Thailand seems to be a backpacker’s paradise with cheap accommodation and to-die-for street food so if I fall in love with the country, I may never move on.
End of October – Beginning of November: Hong Kong
Originally, Hong Kong was just going to be a stopover on my way to Japan, but I figured I’d get a taste of China without setting foot on the mainland. Although Hong Kong is still technically part of China, the city has its own government and is also considered a separate entity. I’ve heard Hong Kong is a mixture of a bunch of different cities around the world so it’ll be interesting to see what it is all about.
November – Beginning of January: Japan
Finishing off the year in Japan, I’ll get to explore Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hiroshima and spend Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s abroad. My grandmother’s side of the family hail from Japan, and after doing so many presentations on the country back in elementary and middle school, I’m over-the-moon to immerse myself in the culture my family is so proud of.
January 2013 – Beyond: Australia and New Zealand
THE LAND DOWN UNDER! I have longed to visit Australia for too long so naturally, I am most excited for this part of the trip. If I don’t end up working/teaching English in Japan, I’ll spend 3-6 months in Australia working on miscellaneous freelance projects. While I’m there, I’ll take the ferry across to New Zealand to cross off some of the items on my One Day Mondays list, and maybe even venture out to Fiji for some quality time in authentic paradise.
From Australia/NZ, I don’t know what I’ll feel up to. I could very well go home for a while to refuel or I may keep going. Only time will tell.
If I keep going, I’d like to trek around Africa including the Road Junky Retreat in Morocco, Intrepid Travel’s 60-day Africa Encompassed trip, seeing the pyramids in Egypt, and Madagascar.
The adventure begins June 13. See you on the road!