Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The trip has begun! For those of you I haven't already told, I'm traveling for a while now that school is done. At the moment it seems like most of it will be done with my two high school friends, Leon and Ian. Depending on how things go, we will likely split up and meet back together at various points throughout the trip. We booked a round-the-world ticket through the OneWorld alliance. Although it's a little more expensive than other rtw tickets, it allows us significant flexibility for timing (most of these flights are open-dated) and route (for a small fee the entire trip can be changed). The itinerary is roughly as follows (and will no doubt change significantly):
Oct 14th (yesterday) Boston > NYC via boltbus
Oct 15th (today) NYC > Buenos Aires, Argentina (Oneworld)
Late October?: Local trips to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Montevideo, Uruguay. Maybe southern Argentina too.
November 15th?: BA > Lima, Peru (Oneworld)
November 17th?: Lima > Cuzco, Peru (to see Machu Picchu)
November 22th?: Cuzco > Lima
November 23rd?: Lima > BA, Argentina (Oneworld)
November 24th?: Iguacu falls, Argentina/Brazil border
December 1st?: Iguacu > BA
December 6th: BA > Sydney, Australia (Oneworld)
December 17th: Sydney > Queenstown, New Zealand( Oneworld)
January 3rd?: Queenstown > Auckland, NZ (Oneworld)
January 17th?: Auckland > Melbourne, Australia (Oneworld)
February 16th?: Melbourne > Hong Kong, China (Oneworld)
February 23rd?: HK > Kunming, China (w/trip to Lixiang)
March 4th?: Kunming > HK
March 5th?: HK > Beijing, China (Oneworld)
March 19th?: Beijing > Shanghai via train
March 31st?: Shanghai > Beijing
April 2nd?: Beijing > Tokyo (Oneworld)
May 1st?: Tokyo > Bangkok, Thailand (Oneworld)
Late May?: Local trips to Laos, Vietnam
June 1st?: Bangkok > Mumbai, India (Oneworld)
Mid June?: Local trips around India
June 15th?: Mumbai > Helsinki, Finland (Oneworld)
Late June/Early July?: Local trips to Stockholm, Sweden, and St.Petersburg, Russia
July 15th?: Helsinki > Budapest, Hungary (Oneworld)
Late July/Early August?: Local trips around Eastern Europe
August 15th?: Budapest > Zurich, Switzerland (Oneworld)
Late August/September/October: Local trips around central Europe
Latest return date possible, October 15th, 2009: Zurich > NYC.
The above dates are outrageous estimations and as the trip progresses they will undoubtedly change. Also, these are my dates - Leon and Ian may have very different ideas of where to spend time. Ian also has an earlier last possible return date (in August) because he left earlier than Leon and me.
In an attempt to get started on the right foot, Leon and I (after saying hi to my former housemates and dropping off our backpacks) went out to a popular Jazz club last night (Dizzy's club) and heard some great music and got a couple drinks. Got back around 2 and fell asleep instantly despite being really excited for the beginning of the trip. I woke up around 6 when my housemates were getting up to work so I could say hi before I left, since I will be gone when they get back.
I won't post too much about my expectations or predictions for the trip, because a)I want to get outside for a jog before we leave for JFK and don't have much time and b)They probably won't make any sense at this time anyways because honestly, I don't really know what to expect or predict. I'll type something sensible on the upcoming 12-hour flight to post here when I get in Buenos Aires. No doubt I'll also have some pictures to show by that point as well.
I will try to keep this blog filled with observations, commentary, and anecdotes, as opposed to a recounting of daily activities. If anyone notices it starts to turn into dull mumbling, please yell at me in the comments.
Next post will be from the southern hemisphere.