The Short Version
I’m going travelling for eight months.
The not so Short Version
After four years of corporate life since leaving university, my company has kindly agreed to let me take unpaid leave so I can indulge in a backpacking world tour whilst I have some semblance of youth (I’ll be 26 less than a week into it). Whilst it was always my intention, it comes at a good time: my job took me abroad over 20 times in 2016 and, although I love the privileges of work trips, the constant cycle of planes, meeting rooms and hotels rekindled a longing for a more basic type of travel.
I’ve been on a quite a few backpacking trips, but I didn’t take a gap year either side of university so this will be by far the longest time I’ve been away in one go. A few things are different now to then…. I’m a bit saggier around the edges, have worse hangovers and a shit ginger beard BUT I also have more money to spend and have a greater appreciation of free time! All this leads me to try and squeeze as many memorable treks, climbs, dives, site visits, safaris and raftings(?) in as possible, across a host of countries and cities I’ve not visited before; of course there will still be plenty of shandies drunk along the way too.
I’m particularly excited to spend a long period of time meeting people from outside the three bubbles in which I’ve floated the majority of my life (my Buckinghamshire hometown, Bristol University, The City of London). That being said, I’m not going to try and pretend this trip doesn’t taste strongly of soapy water – my flights are on airmiles, I will jump on a plane rather than a four day bus and I have a re-start date for my job; but it is what it is, and it will be fun.
Whilst I’ve researched things I want to do, I have resisted my consultant’s habit of planning to the nth degree. I want to strike the balance of making sure I fit the key things in (eight months isn’t as long as it sounds) and flexibly shaping my route as I go.
To that end, I’ve settled on a route which, at the high-level, has three parts to it; the sequence of these chunks were decided by seasons & the Lions tour. To give an idea what I might end up doing in each, I’ve mapped below the rough route I could follow for each and any fixed dates; but I’ll just have to wait and see what route I do end up taking!
Part 1: India and Nepal
- 5th Jan – Arrive in Delhi from LHR
- 14th Feb – Fly out of Kathmandu to LHR (via Delhi)
Part 2: South America
- 20th Feb – Arrive in Rio from LHR
- 24th Feb to 1 Mar – Carnival (Rio)
- 21st Jun – Fly out of Bogota to Auckland (via Santiago)
Part 3: New Zealand, Australia & South East Asia
- 22nd Jun – Arrive in Auckland from Bogota (via Santiago)
- 24th Jun – First Lions test (Auckland)
- 31st Jun – Second Lions test (Wellington)
- 22 Aug – Fly out of Hong Kong to LHR