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Help with an epic journey

Travel Forums Round the World Travel Help with an epic journey

1. Posted by Jacaranda (Budding Member 61 posts) 9y

Anyone got any information on overland/sea travel for round the world trips starting in Australia up through Asia, Europe, Africa, north then south America, (Antarctica) followed by island hopping back to Australia.

Basic plan as follows get on a yacht as a crew member from Darwin Australia up to top of Indonesia or Thailand go overland Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Mongolia, Russia. Cruise most of Europe and work for a year.
Down to Morocco, Algeria, Mali, unsure of further travels in northern Africa if to rough will fly to South Africa. Then back to Europe, (north to Iceland/ Greenland and into Canada/Alaska preferably by yacht or any other form of sea travel).
Work again in America for possibly a year and travel around America
south to Mexico through to Columbia, Peru, brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile. Try get work on icebreaker down to Antarctica then jump a yacht back through the Pacific Ocean to the islands followed by New Zealand and back to Australia.

I've had this trip in my mind ever since I was about 10 years old constantly drawing on every atlas I ever got at school the route I would take.

I know it's in epic journey and will probably take the better part of 5+ years. I will return home on occasion when feasible.

I'll be camping, riding bikes, horses, donkeys, trainhopping, hitching taking as few tourist buses as possible basically.

Basically all I want to know if anyone has an information on preparing for long times abroad in foreign lands any websites anything that can help me. Particularly tips on overland travel through countries. I realise preparing visa's my be difficult and returning home every so often may be my only option to secure them.

I know I sound like a complete mad man and, it's probably true.

Cheers and happy travels.

2. Posted by Jerryrock (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

Sorry man, dont have any advice, but fair play for going on such a trip!

3. Posted by Jacaranda (Budding Member 61 posts) 9y

Cheers mate thanks for the support

4. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y

Sounds like a good plan. I had a similar dream once and I fufilled about half of it. It took me 3 1/2 years of roaming wherever I felt, got to see alot of countries, and work in a few. But my plan of doing it all overland never happened and I flew everywhere. But it was all good fun.

I don't know if I can help you too much, but heres a few comments I can think of at the moment.

First of all: Working. Your plan is to work in Europe and America. You might want to consider the legality of this, look into Visas, and really consider your options if this is your planned source of income while on the road. I don't know what options Aussies have for working in the United States, but I know for us Canadians its pretty much impossible unless you get sponsored by a company and all that fun paper work that goes with it. Working in summer kids camps is often a possibility (for Brits anyway, so I'm sure Aussies too) and I've met several foreigners who have done that. And there is always under the table work. I have a friend who went down to California and picked oranges under the table. But the thing with under-the-table work is that its never garanteed, is hit and miss, and probably should be planned as a main source of income.
Its the same deal in Europe. Its not as simple as just walking up and getting a job with an employer in Germany. That's illegal and 95% of the time - impossible. You need the right visas and for some countries it may be out of the question for an Aussie. As I said, I don't know what the options are for an Aussie, but its something that you should look into, and plan ahead for.
One way around all this, and probabaly your easiest and most logical option is Working Holiday Visas. As a young Aussie you have the opportunity work in many countries for a year with little questions asked through this agreement. Here's a website that is a good place to start, with some info on whats available for whom and some links on more info. With a quick glance it looks like Aussies have more options than most nationalities and there are many countries in Europe where you can work. Lucky you.

For general tourist visas for most countries that you visit, they can almost always be arranged on the road, and so you won't have to return home or anything to get them. I for certain this is true for all of Asia and South America, but I can't say from experience in Africa.

Routes: Well, I can't help you at all with Africa so I'll leave that for someone else. Sea travel will pretty much be your most challenging feat. I've read a few post here and on other boards about the possiblitiy of getting to Greenland by ship, and really it didn't sound like a practical option. When you can luck out and find a cargo ship or something, its usually far more expensive than flying. Keep looking, and don't give up hope, but keep in mind that your best option in the end might be to fly from London to Canada.
And one thing that you defienlty overlooked in planning your route - You absolulty cannont go overland from Thailand - Myanmar -India. All Myanmar land borders are closed to foreigners. Yes, there are a few places were you can cross the border from Thailand to see tourist sights just on the other side, but you cannot travel the further than border. You have two options. Fly. Or head north from Vietnam or Laos into China, to Tibet, and down into Nepal. As of now, there are no land borders between India and China open so you have to go via Nepal. This is planned to change in the future thought, so keep your ears open. By the time you get there, there may be a border or two open.
Also, Bhutan is pretty much the most expensive country on the planet to visit. This isn't because its an expensive country, but because you are required to take a government regulated tour that costs somewhere around $250 per day. Its crazy. You might want to give it a miss unless you are rolling in the dough.

that's just about all the advice I can think of at moment, other than, Where's Bolivia on your list?

5. Posted by Jacaranda (Budding Member 61 posts) 9y

Thanks for the post

Sounds like you did an epic journey yourself good to hear.

This information on the work and visa's is great and that webiste is a god send thanks a heap mate. basically i will be working anywhere i can although would prefer it to be legit just for insurance reasons, so i think working holiday visa's is the way to go. The type of work doesn't concern me either as long i don't wind up working in a fireworks factory with a bunch of chain smokers.

As for the route i realise that travelling overland won't be possislbe every where but hopefully i can manage ways around this is as i really wanna do it overland. The large cost of some transportation hopefully can be outweighed by getting yacht work so i can afford a bit of extra cash on a cargo ship only time will tell. i have also learnt since i posted that burma is pretty much impossible to cross over unless you have balls of steel, sadly mine a copper.

I heard about bhutan costing that much and it's one of the highest on my list of places to go i might have to work a bit longer just to spend 3 or 4 days there or try find another way in like volunteer work.

As for bolivia it's just been added.

Thanks again mate this information is priceless

6. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

I think that for the most part a lot of it will remain a dream and not come in to reality unless you fly a lot of the way.

Russia is a real big pain in the arse to get a visa for, and travelling there is very very restrive on the visa, so chances are that you wouldn't be able to do the sort of thing you'd like legally in Russia. You could do the trans siberian, but unless you have a way out of the country on a flight or have proof of a flight somewhere after Russia you'll most likely not be granted a visa. I was lucky in that I had planned all overland travel in getting to and from Russia, but mine was going overland from Ukraine to Finland and I had proof of a flight leaving Finland within the visa time frame. You also need to have exact dates of travel and tell them exactly the places you will be staying, because if you are caught in other areas that you aren't meant to be staying, you'll get in trouble, usually a bribe will get you off the hook with the corrupt as hell police in Russia though.

Working in America for a year, unless you are qualified for something like a teacher, scientist or some other highly qualified job, it is very unlikely that you'll be able to work in the US legally. The only solution I found possible was to get a working holiday visa for Canada, and then travel to and from the US when the need for work arised. Otherwise you are most likely limited to working illegally like all the Mexicans do.

The bit of your trip that has "north to Iceland/ Greenland and into Canada/Alaska preferably by yacht or any other form of sea travel" well you'll be paying a hell of a lot of money for anything other than a flight on Icelandair Express from London. Getting to Greenland is awfully expensive, and once there it is even more expensive. I saw a tour doing something like what you are talking about which was about $18,000AUD per person if you travelled as a couple, or I think it was $24,000AUD for one person. So unless you are filthy rich that part of your trip is unlikely to eventuate without relying on expensive airtravel. Iceland is by far the most expensive place I have ever been in 48 countries, but Greenland is meant to be a lot more expensive.

The getting to Antarctica is also very very expensive but I haven't been there yet. You could go all overland from Canada to Ushuaia in very southern Argentina where the Antarctica cruises depart from in November/December/January. Unless you prebook a cruise a good part of a year in advance which is hell expensive, you have a very good chance of getting all the way there after months on the road and discovering no cruises have any space for more passengers. If by some chance you fluked it and one of the cruises had a vacancy, then you could get yourself a on day of departure bargain which is a more realistic price.

Myanmar has very very restrictive rules for visas as well and is pretty much impossible to get to without a flight.

Man that would be a killer going overland from Canada all the way to Ushuaia overland!

I have got loads of travel websites which might be of help for some parts of your trip, and another which would be loads of help for asking questions on as it has many thousands more members than this site. So if you want you could PM me and I could try and send some links of some of the best travel sites I have in my favourites column, because I am seriously addicted to travel so I've looked for years for the best travel sites.

Goodluck with your epic journey and hopefully you can get it all done. Itd be great if you could.

7. Posted by carosterns (Respected Member 159 posts) 9y

Sounds like a fab idea.

You are obviously a sailor??? Do they still do the Darwin to Ambon race or similar. I know they stopped doing the race a few years back as it wasn't safe, I don't know if they have started doing it again. This is the best way to get into a crew going that way.

As for travelling across Russia, I have booked onto the Trans Monoglian from St Petersburg to Beijing. If you book the trip through an agent they will give you a letter to use for your visa application. You don't have to be in a group tour, just book through them. The turn around time for my visa was a week as have been most of the visas I have applied for. You shouldn't have to go back home to get them, just stay in one place for a week or so.

In Africa, if you are going to Kenya and Tanzania, I got my visas at the border. I recommend getting one in advance if you plan to go to Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

I don't have any preferred websites except the hostel booking ones I use and of course the CNN weather site. I generally surf alot before going anywhere to get a broad view. I find TP is a handy place to pick up little titbits if you have the time to watch the forums and touch base with people who have been to the places you are going.

Hope you manage to pull this trip together, it sounds fab.

8. Posted by Jacaranda (Budding Member 61 posts) 9y

Hey thanks for the post greatly appreciated.

Nah I’m not a sailor, although I used to work on fishing boats, I’m not a complete greeny but there's something unfulfilling about pulling up 13 dolphins in your net that doesn't agree with me on any level, so I quit. I have always loved the ocean. I've been on it since I was 3 years old although never tried my hand at sailing, which has always appealed to me. I'm moving to Melbourne in the next few weeks and I might make a nuisance of myself down the mariners to see if I can get a bit of experience, it never hurts.

As for the Darwin to Ambon race I’m unsure if it's still running but it sounds like a good chance at getting to where I need to go I’ll have to do some research I’ll post you what I find out.

It's ridicules the amount of effort it takes to get just from point A to point B and they technology is good for us, sometimes I doubt this. Thank you very much for the info on Russia and Africa this is all relatively new to me so it very handy. I have taken note of all this in my little black book.

Once again thanks for the post and happy travels

9. Posted by Jacaranda (Budding Member 61 posts) 9y

Hey again,

the Darwin to Ambon race is still up and running you can get info at www.darwinambonrace.com.au it start the 21st of july. A good option if you have a bit of experince and can get on a yacht. Also found this one as well the darwin to kupang rally www.sailindonesia.net this also starts in july but travels further and to more places. I think the hardest part of any journey is just getting started this is an exellent option.

Cheers again for all the help.