The Plan: The Route for our Round the World Trip

globeWith just over  6 weeks to go before we head off on our Dream Trip, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. First up: Where are we going?

This has been one of the hardest questions to answer.

Just imagine: one year of your life to go wherever you want! Where do you even begin?

The truth is that while there are a few spots in the world that have tugged at our hearts and demanded our attention from the beginning, we’d happily stop in almost every country if we could swing it.

Our limitations are time and money and avoiding winter (you thought I was kidding?).

And so, after a lot of hand- wringing we’ve finally come up with what we think will be the big picture working itinerary for this trip.

We’re expecting that this list may look different when we’re done with it. World events, unexpected weather changes and whimsy will likely send us off in directions we hadn’t banked on. The type-A in me is trying to accept that and we’ve intentionally left a lot of it open and flexible so that we can have some spontaneous experiences if the mood strikes.

But our intentions are these: (drumroll please…)

June 30- July 15 – Western Canada

July 15-20 – Seattle Washington, Portland, Oregon

July /August  –South America

August/ September – China

September/October – Australia/New Zealand

November – Southeast Asia

December/January/February  – Africa

Feb/March  –  Dubai/India

April/May/mid-June – Europe

late June – Eastern Canada

July 2012 — Toronto

In the days and weeks to come we’ll introduce pages detailing the specific countries and cities we’re looking at. Then we’re hoping you’ll help by weighing in with tips from places you’ve been and ideas on where we should go and what we should do. But for now…what do you think?

Would you have planned it differently? What’d we miss?

There’s still time to make changes and we’re all ears.

 

 

 

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{ 21 comments… add one }

  • Mom2twoboys May 15, 2011, 9:07 PM

     My 11 y/o thinks your trip sounds awesome!  We’ve traveled through China with our kids (we lived in HK).  You’re going to be there when it’s pretty hot in most places (which is maybe fine with you).  Beijing is pretty miserable when it’s hot–go there as late as possible.  Other places we’ve been with the kids that they’ve enjoyed–Qinghai and Qinghai lake; Xi’an; Dandong (that will not be too hot–it’s somewhat higher in elevation–it’s near North Korea–you can go on a boat along the river); Beijing (many, many places to go there)–if you’re going to the great wall, go to Mutianyu rather than Badaling–at least when we were there, many fewer people (another good great wall spot is Shanhaiguan and that area); Guilin and Yangshuo–lots to see and do there.  And of course, Hong Kong is a great place to spend time with kids.  Avoid Disney, but see Ocean Park, if you’re interested in that kind of thing.  Of course, there are many other places–these are the highlights of places we’ve been.  I’ve had friends who spent time in Chengdu–the problem with CD is that it is so large and sprawling you spend most of your time traveling to sites of interest.

    If you travel by train, travel hard sleeper if you’re going overnight. That is the best way to find people to interact with.  It’s not too bad (sleep on your valuables), though sometimes the A/C overworks (my son got frozen one night, from Xining to Xian).

    Xian, Beijing, Guilin/Yangshuo, Shanghai-you won’t have troubles finding people who speak English.  Stray too far off the beaten path, and it will be much more difficult if you don’t speak Chinese.

    Enjoy!  We took a 3 month, 10,000 mile road trip through the US last fall after returning from HK.  It was a lot of fun!

    Reply
    • Heather Greenwood Davis May 15, 2011, 10:41 PM

      This is so awesome! Thank you so much. I’ve got a few posts going up over the next few days where I’ll be asking for even more of this type of information. Appreciate so much that you took the time to write it here.

      Reply
  • Mom2twoboys May 15, 2011, 9:07 PM

     My 11 y/o thinks your trip sounds awesome!  We’ve traveled through China with our kids (we lived in HK).  You’re going to be there when it’s pretty hot in most places (which is maybe fine with you).  Beijing is pretty miserable when it’s hot–go there as late as possible.  Other places we’ve been with the kids that they’ve enjoyed–Qinghai and Qinghai lake; Xi’an; Dandong (that will not be too hot–it’s somewhat higher in elevation–it’s near North Korea–you can go on a boat along the river); Beijing (many, many places to go there)–if you’re going to the great wall, go to Mutianyu rather than Badaling–at least when we were there, many fewer people (another good great wall spot is Shanhaiguan and that area); Guilin and Yangshuo–lots to see and do there.  And of course, Hong Kong is a great place to spend time with kids.  Avoid Disney, but see Ocean Park, if you’re interested in that kind of thing.  Of course, there are many other places–these are the highlights of places we’ve been.  I’ve had friends who spent time in Chengdu–the problem with CD is that it is so large and sprawling you spend most of your time traveling to sites of interest.

    If you travel by train, travel hard sleeper if you’re going overnight. That is the best way to find people to interact with.  It’s not too bad (sleep on your valuables), though sometimes the A/C overworks (my son got frozen one night, from Xining to Xian).

    Xian, Beijing, Guilin/Yangshuo, Shanghai-you won’t have troubles finding people who speak English.  Stray too far off the beaten path, and it will be much more difficult if you don’t speak Chinese.

    Enjoy!  We took a 3 month, 10,000 mile road trip through the US last fall after returning from HK.  It was a lot of fun!

    Reply
  • Mom2twoboys May 15, 2011, 9:11 PM

     Sorry–somehow this got posted twice–feel free to delete one–I can’t seem to.

    Reply
  • Darleen May 15, 2011, 10:04 PM

    Sounds amazing. I am not sure about which countries to visit first or in what order – to get the best weather. Possibly China should be done at later time?
    You have highlighted most areas I would visit – is Peru and Britain included? How will you be traveling? Since you are staying flexible does that mean you are booking tickets as you go?

    It is the dream of a lifetime!

    Reply
    • Heather Greenwood Davis May 15, 2011, 10:44 PM

      Hi Darleen,
      Hoping that some of the upcoming posts will help to answer some of these questions but the short version – Peru is a maybe. Love the country so it’s only on the fence because of timing and the fact that we took the boys to Machu Picchu a few years ago (loved it!). Britain is likely but that won’t be until the Spring. We’re flying to most places but we’re hoping to do some overland as well. It’s easy to plan for that in Europe where we are fairly familiar with train routes/workings. Not sure how it will work in the rest of the world.
      And yes the ticket issue is a mixed bag. We’ll have some before we leave home, some as we go and some last minute decisions.
      Totally agree that it’s a dream come true. :)

      Reply
  • Carrie May 15, 2011, 10:21 PM

     Crazy question but…how are you packing for your around the world adventure?  If you buy things will you ship them home?  I love that you are doing this….so excited for you!! 

    Reply
    • Heather Greenwood Davis May 15, 2011, 10:46 PM

      Oh the packing issue is coming up in a post as well! The key will be to pack light. The less we bring, the less we have to worry about losing. And yes, we’re definitely thinking we’d ship things home if it was something we really felt we had to have. Thanks for the well wishes!

      Reply
  • Monique May 16, 2011, 12:04 PM

    I didn’t think you were kidding about that avoiding winter thing. It’ll be in Canada when you get back. I’m so excited for your adventure. Do contact me if you come to the Benelux area.

    Reply
    • Heather Greenwood Davis May 16, 2011, 1:28 PM

      Will do! And save me some of your Canadian travel time. Would be great to meet you in person. 

      Reply
  • Maija @ Maija's Mommy Moments May 16, 2011, 3:35 PM

    So exciting for you!  Can’t wait to live vicariously through your adventure. 

    Reply
    • Heather May 16, 2011, 2:41 PM

      Thanks Maija. Hope to see you before I go!

      Reply
  • Ikki Hirasawa May 17, 2011, 6:46 PM

    awesome man!!

    Reply
  • Marsha May 31, 2011, 3:28 PM

    I was not expecting that your trip would include any Canadian destinations (since it is the origin of your trip), but that’s great!  Looking forward to following you and your family online during your worldwide travel.

    Reply
    • Heather Greenwood Davis May 31, 2011, 7:51 PM

      I think it surprised a few people. We knew from the outset though that we wanted Canada to be a part of the trip. It’s too easy to always say, “We’ll get to Canada later.” I wanted them to have a sense of their home country – not just Toronto – and have that factor in to how they react to/perceive the places we visit.

      Reply
  • Marsha May 31, 2011, 3:28 PM

    I was not expecting that your trip would include any Canadian destinations (since it is the origin of your trip), but that’s great!  Looking forward to following you and your family online during your worldwide travel.

    Reply
  • Brandilynn June 12, 2011, 12:31 AM

    Come to Scotland! We’re good people :)

    Reply
    • Heather June 12, 2011, 9:24 AM

      I believe it Brandi. I recently discovered I’ve got Scottish roots! Would love to come there if we can.

      Reply
  • Nasra September 5, 2011, 4:06 AM

    If you get the chance, you should visit Shanhaiguan, about two hours north of Beijing.  It s where the Great Wal begins.  The old town is walled and is a fascinating place to walk around and get a feel of old China.

    In Xian, the Muslim area and market are fantastic!

    Reply
    • Heather September 7, 2011, 12:54 AM

      We’ve left Beijing but we did hit the Muslim quarter in Xian. Best dumplings yet!

      Reply

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