I am one of the lucky ones. I have already been around the world and while I didn’t quite manage it in 80 days like Phileas Fogg, I did manage to spend five months with my beloved hubby visiting beautiful countries, meeting new friends, trying new foods, and sampling plenty of new wines, so all in all it was quite a trip!
Travelling around the world has never been easier than it is today. A RTW flight ticket can cost as little as £900, and depending on the level of accommodation you choose, you can make your way around the globe for less than you might think. We, on the other hand, blew our budget completely, but the memories of that four month trip doing nothing and everything, is worth more than any amount of “printed paper” as my other half calls dinero, and I wouldn’t hesitate in packing my bag and doing it all again tomorrow.
Our round the world flight ticket included the following flights: London – Hong Kong – Macau – Bangkok – Singapore – Perth – Sydney – Christchurch – Auckland – Fiji – Los Angles – London, and apart from the odd boat ride or short flight, we travelled across Thailand and Malaysia over land.
Thailand has its highs and lows (like most countries) and while I possibly wouldn’t rush back to Bangkok, Phuket or Koi Samui, I would certainly love to revisit the enchanting town of Chiang Mai in the north.
We seemed to eat our way through Malaysia! Delicious food on every corner, combined with friendly locals and tropical heat, made this one of our favourite Asian destinations. Penang, the Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lumpur are all on the ‘revisit’ list.
Singapore is Singapore, and as one of the cleanest, safest, friendliest countries in Asia, I can definitely see myself returning one day… Orchard street is still calling!
Our next destination – Australia, took us to the magnificent west coast of Perth and the Coral Coast. We spent weeks finding new beaches, visiting vineyards and counting Kangaroos – before heading off to discover the rest of the country. Stopping off at places like Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, and the Whitsunday’s along the way, our seven-week stay in Australia was extremely expensive, but so very worth it, and if I ever win the lottery – I will be back!
New Zealand is a very special place and the minute we landed in Christchurch we felt at home. Combining beautiful scenery with great people, and delicious seafood with superb wines, New Zealand has it all, and yes, it is already on the revisit list.
Next stop – Fiji! As I have written in previous blogs, I never dreamed I would get to visit the Fiji Islands, but visit them we did – and they are more beautiful that you could ever imagine. Waking up to the sounds of gentle waves, walking along the white sandy beaches, and snorkelling with reef sharks… I can’t wait to go back!
Flying over the Pacific Ocean is a strange experience. With the changing time zones, you actually arrive before you have taken off! From Fiji we headed across to Los Angeles in the good old US of A, and after a couple of days in Cali, we jumped on a cruise ship.
After a week cruising along the Mexican Riviera, we headed off to Las Vegas for our final week of madness before return home and back to reality. We make almost an annual pilgrimage to Vegas, so that is definitely on the revisit list (oh yes, and so is Mexico!).
A couple of year previous to our round the world tour we spent 10 weeks touring South America, and lived almost two years in South Africa, so we have seen vast amounts of this beautiful planet, but now I find my ‘revisit’ list is almost as long as my ‘to visit’ list.
Well, I’m not quite 40 yet, and they say that’s when life really begins, so maybe this was just a practice run? Around the World and back again – I suppose I had better get on with it!
Wendy Kaufmann is the owner of Equatours Limited. A family owned and family run business specialising in unique travel experiences to countries below the equator.
Fully bonded tour operator, our packages are inclusive of all travel arrangements, accommodation, insurance and a personal travel guide is with you every step of the way to make sure your trip with us is a holiday of a lifetime.