Today is a really important day. We now have less than four months until we head off on our ‘Once in a Lifetime Trip’ and we have been quietly busy planning and organising on and off for the last few months. “Why is today so important?” you might be wondering. Because today people, our request for HomeSchooling for a year has officially been accepted – Eeek! I’m not sure why, but this one thing makes the whole trip seem more real to me.
So, as a result, I thought it was about time for an update. We officially leave Italy at 1.55 p.m. on Friday 7th September and we fly directly to Bangkok where we will have just under 4 months in South-East Asia. The plan is to visit Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia in those four months and from there we fly from Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar Bali to visit Indonesia (Bali and East Java) for a month.
The next leg takes us to Cairns in North East Australia, where our we intend to make our way down the East Coast to Melbourne (possibly with an internal flight between Cairns and Brisbane – that bit isn’t quite decided) whilst swimming, surfing, snorkelling and visiting some old friends along the way. Then we fly from Melbourne to Christchurch. The plan is we have four weeks to discover the South and North Islands of New Zealand…and yes, again catch up with some old friends along the way!
So, you may have noticed that I have said ‘the plan is to have four weeks…’ this is because up until our flight into Christchurch all flights are booked and confirmed. We should be leaving Auckland and flying to Hawaii four weeks after we land in Christchurch, but we are waiting for the flight to confirm…it should be any day now!
We have to wait a little while longer now to confirm our next few flights but the intended itinerary goes a little like this:
Hawaii – Costa Rica
Costa Rica – Mexico
Mexico – California
California – New Orleans
Toronto – Lisbon
Lisbon – Rome (September 6th 2019!)
Thanks to the good people at Travel Nation, who specialise in Round The World Travel, and who have been looking after us in this adventure, the stress of booking flights has been taken away from us and they have been on hand with loads of advice whenever we ask…thank you!
So, moving on to where we will be staying. The questions that have kind of surprised me most and that I’ve been asked by lots of people are “Have you booked all your accommodation? Where are you staying?” and the short answers to these are “No!” and “We don’t entirely know yet”. To be honest, booking a years worth of accommodation for a family of four is somewhat daunting. We have looked at and are still looking at all kinds of options – couch surfing, house sitting, work away, hotels, hostels, airbnbs, camping and it will effectively come down how we can make our budget go further for us.
We have confirmed some bits though – we’ve booked our first few nights in Bangkok so that we know where we are going when we take our first intrepid steps off the plane. We’ve booked a few nights in one of the National Parks that we want to visit, a few hours outside of Bangkok, where accommodation is limited. Then, to be sure that we have somewhere reasonably nice to stay, we have booked an apartment for Christmas and a lovely little Balinese villa for New Year – they will be our two accommodation splashouts of the year at the hefty price of between £30 and £50 per night for four! It doesn’t sound much, I know, but given that we have a daily budget of £100 a day for four, which has to include flights, insurance, accommodation, food and drink, travel, excursions, activities and any other costs you can think of during a year of travelling, £50 a night for four beds is verging on the over extravagant!
So, what else have we done? We’ve found house sitters to look after our house, apartment rental, dog and chickens, we’ve dowloaded maps of each country and identified some of the things that we don’t want to miss on our way, we’ve researched all the visa requirements, we’ve asked the doctor about any necessary vaccines, we’re in the process of getting one of our passports renewed as it wouldn’t have seen us quite through the whole year (and it didn’t seem fair to send Josh back to Italy on his own 2 months before us – lol!) and we’ve applied and been granted homeschooling permission.
And the rest, my friends, is still to be seen, but keep reading and we’ll keep you posted – and all of my friends dotted around the globe, if we’re in your area we’ll come knocking on your door…