As we continue to plan out the rough route of our trip and start hammering out the details, we find things we need to rearrange. Our first attempt had too much time in South America, had Europe during peak season, and more long-haul flights than we wanted to endure. We’ve cleaned up the timeline without sacrificing anything. Here are our changes and some examples on why the timing makes sense for each region.
Check out our ever-evolving route on TripHappy.com!
Starting Point – June 2019
The start of our trip changed significantly to accommodate a better flow of travel and not have some unnecessarily long flights (after all, we want to enjoy the journey as well as the destinations!). Now, Africa will be our first continent with Namibia and South Africa on the itinerary. In order to break up the long journey, we are traveling to New York City to visit my cousin and perhaps some of Brianna’s east coast family for a couple weeks and then continue onward to South Africa. This helps break up a long haul flight since our trip would have had us landing in New York to go to Africa anyway.
Africa – July/ August 2019
This is the best time of the year to see wildlife in Africa. It is also winter there so the temperatures will be more reasonable, especially in the desert of Namibia. It is a higher season for tourism but luckily not as much as other African countries like Tanzania. We plan to go to Cape Town, South Africa, and Namibia for about a month each. Namibia will be great for camping, especially around Etosha National Park where there will be plenty of opportunities to see the big 5.
Europe – September through December 2019
We will fly from Cape Town to Kiev Ukraine to begin our European adventure. Fall colors will be nice to see as well as all the various cultures and historical landmarks. We’ve already looked at places like Croatia and Romania, so those are musts. The rest is up in the air until we nail it down. We got our feet wet in Norway last year and can’t wait to see more of what Europe has to offer.
The end of our Europe journey will be in Madrid which has a direct flight to Colombia for cheap. Depending on how much we want to see we will either leave Europe in November or December. Where we spend Christmas is actually a big deal to us. Where should we go?
South America – January to March 2020
This was the original starting point for our trip, but it got moved to better accommodate Europe. This still works well for timing on going to Patagonia; we are just hitting it on the other end of peak season, around March. Penguins hatch in December and March, so this change works well. We will just have to be careful with Peru if we want to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. The trail is closed in February. From Punta Arenas Chile, we will then fly to Seoul Korea which is the cheapest flight into Asia.
Asia – April to June 2020
Asia is perfectly timed for Spring cherry blossom season, which we realize will be popular, but we will be off the beaten path much of the time. We plan to spend some time in Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia primarily, but we might hit some other nearby countries as time allows. We’ve made a lot of friends in Japan, so we will want to spend some time with them. China and Vietnam are more difficult to enter, and might make better one-off trips. We will try our best to visit at least one of them. From Asia, we will continue south to Australia and New Zealand to wrap up the trip.
Australia / New Zealand – July to August 2020
This is winter time in Australia which will keep the temperatures mild. Not much planning has happened on this other than we really want to go. For flights it will be much cheaper to go to here straight from Asia than from other parts of the world. We will primarily stay on the south eastern coast of Australia and then head to New Zealand visiting both the north and south islands. Hobbits!
Home – September 2020
If this plan holds, we would be heading home in September. We will restart our lives in Oregon and spend time with our family. Perhaps some of them will join us for portions of our trip (hint hint!).
Do you have anything you would change about our timeline? We really appreciate any feedback, especially from those who have also done long-term travel.
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