I am a self-confessed travel-a-holic and am in the planning stages of a long jaunt overseas with my girlfriend who is now beginning to come around to the idea of escaping the mundane in search of the magical.
Money is an issue. We want to go for at least 4 months and do something really amazing. When we get back we will be looking for a home, considering marriage and all of that jazz. I appreciate we can still travel after this (and certainly will) but I am keen to do something really amazing.
I have been on 4 long trips (minimum 4 months, max 8) and been to many areas covered in the region specific sections of this site. I won't say where but some of the regular posters may have an idea of where I have been. My profile is also a bit of a give away although I haven't logged all of my travels on there.
My interests when travelling are too varied to type here - main things I like would be cultural immersion, meeting local people, the overall experience rather than ticking off sights.
I won't rule anywhere out (except Europe and USA) but will be travelling on a budget of around £3000-4000 and this will include flights, moving from A - B, eating, sleeping, drinking etc etc.
I live in the UK and would be looking to fly out of London. I don't have to fly.... Overlanding could be an option (I would then consider Europe )
If anyone is interested to help I would like to hear proposals for my trip. I want people passionate about a region/country to fight for it and tell me why I should go have a look. tell me that £3000-4000 is enough money to do this, that and the other.
Guided tours are fine, totally independent travel is fine - I am up for almost anything in terms of travelling.
Basically make my mind up for me! Hahahaha.
It's to hard to decide where to go when you are interested in so many places and can find many reasons to go to a huge variety of places.
Tell me what to do and why and I will see what I think.
Oh, departure date is between Feb and May 2010.
The winner will see me actually go on the trip and write a blog so there's an incentive for you
p.s - if no-one replies I will understand.
[ Edit: Edited on 22-Jan-2009, at 09:54 by joey22 ]
South America would be a nice trip for 4 months. Start in Brazil (Rio, Ilha Grande, Paratay), overland to Argentina via Iguazu (Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Patagonia if you have time), fly to Peru (do the Inca Trail, Cuzco, Puno), overland to Bolivia (Copacabana, La Paz, Salar de Uyuni), back into Argentina (via Chile if you want to) and do Salta, Mendoza and loop back to Buenos Aires for a flight back to the UK. You would also be able to add in Equador, Venezuela, Colombia if you were interested.
My other suggestion would be Malaysia (cos you can get cheap flights there!), fly to Vietnam and work northwards overland to China, get to Beijing and do Trans-mongolian/siberian back to Europe.
Have done most of suggestion 1 and done all of suggestion 2 apart fro trans-mongolian/siberian but would love to do it. Reading other people's blogs of this it sounds fab!
You could go sailing through the pacific/caribbean/wherever else on a tallship. Have looked up a couple on the web at different times that go island hopping (eg new zealand - easter island - pitcairn - etc & back again. From memory it was pretty expensive through the pacific though so if so probably not what you are after (or maybe you can just do a couple of the legs?). Maybe other similar things are cheaper...? I doubt this would give any cultural immersion but it there would surely be meeting of local people and have an overall experience in there. Just my thoughts anyway, can't hurt to give you ideas and let you dismiss the bad ones
Louby Lou your 1st suggestion is so uncannily similar to what I am considering - see my post in the south america section!!
And the 2nd suggestion I have thought travelling up into china from se asia. I ahve spent a lot of time in south east asia but not china.
i am all but sold on latin america but still open to ideas
thanks for the replies guys
I worked up this great itinerary for you but since the US is out of the question...
Well, my favourite region is the Middle East. One of my goals is to complete the Istanbul to Cairo overland trail. Due to time and money constraints I have managed to travel parts of it and I am looking forward to completing it.
4 months would a great time frame to do this classic overland route, especially travelling in spring. Flights to Turkey and Egypt are cheap from the UK and travelling in the region itself is cheap too. You can quite comfortably travel in Egypt on 20 GBP per day and person. To be honest, 4000 GBP for 4 months and 2 people including flights would be very tight, but the trip becomes doable when you travel for 3 months and spent a lot of time in Egypt and Syria, less in expensive Turkey. For the full range of options (including Lebanon and Israel) and travelling for 4 months I would recommend that you take 6500-7000 GBP for the 2 of you. This will be quite comfortable, staying at budget hotels in private rooms and eating out regularly.
The only potential problem I see is if your girlfriend is not sold on the region. Women can and do get a lot of hassle if they aren't prepared and don't know how to behave and if their boyfriends and husbands are stumped on how to "defend" them properly.
The second option I would like to point your nose at is overland from Turkey to your beloved India. I admit though that this is frought with some more problems than the first option, mainly Iran and Pakistan. Both have laws against unmarried people travelling together and staying in the same room and Iran demands that women cover up. Your girlfriend might object. The visa for both Iran and Pakistan are also harder to get for UK citizen than the single visa to Syria. Apart from that Iran is very safe to travel in, public transport is excellent, people are very friendly, crime almost non-existant.
Thanks for replies.
To avoid any possible confusion we would have £3-4000 each per person. £6-8 grand total.
[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jan-2009, at 02:32 by joey22 ]
Lol, then you'll pratically be rolling in money in the Middle East.
Daily budgets per day and person, staying at the better budget places:
35 EUR Turkey, maybe 40 EUR if you are in the touristy areas in Western Turkey
25 EUR Egypt
25 EUR Jordan + extra money for entry fees to sights (Petra + Wadi Rum)
20 EUR Syria
35 EUR Israel, maybe a bit more if you want private rooms in hostels
30 EUR Libanon
Turkey 3 weeks
Syria 2-4 weeks
Jordan 2 weeks
Libanon 2 weeks
Egypt 3-4 weeks
Israel 2-3 weeks
Flights to Turkey and Egypt should be 200-300 pounds per person if you fly charter or budget.
Note that thanks to the visa situation with Israel you usually travel Turkey-Syria-Libanon-Syria-Jordan-Israel-Egypt if you want to visit Israel. If Israel is not important to you, you fly into Egypt and go Egypt-Jordan by taking the ferry from Nuweiba to Aqaba. It is possible to go from Egypt to Jordan via Israel, but if you want to continue from Jordan into Syria you must use the ferry.
Flights from the UK to Egypt and out of Turkey should be cheaper than flights to Turkey and out of Egypt. This is because it is difficult to fly charter out of Egypt, you'd have to pay the normal one-way fare Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines and Air Cyprus charge. Turkey OTOH has budget flights to Europe, mainly to Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
BTW, from what I know your budget is a bit tight for South America, especially if it is supposed to include the flights.
leaning towards south america. fight fight fight
GAP Adventures has a trip into outer space. Leaves from Moscow and all flight training is included. If you don't mind losing your lunch a few times, it could be fun!