When we created this itinerary, we planned our stops around weather and festivals. We hope to never hit super cold temps unless we’re visiting glaciers, mainly because we don’t want to pack thick, heavy clothes. Though we realize it’ll start to get chilly when we plan to be in South America. The good news is that we have a friend in Buenos Aires who can store a box of winter gear for us until we arrive.
I (Tara) look at our itinerary and know that there’s probably no way our trip will unfold like this. We planned it out with the mindset of “If this were to be our last trip, where do we really want to visit and where do we have to travel to knock off some bucket list items?” Naturally, a lot was excluded due to timeline and budget constraints (see “outtakes” — for our next rtw 😉 — at the end of this post).
While I’m obviously looking forward to the whole trip, experiencing Tomatina and Oktoberfest has been on my bucket list for quite some time. Recently, I’ve become obsessed (yes, obsessed is the right word here) with doing an overland trip in southern Africa. Also, I can’t get Iceland, Turkey, India and a large portion of SE Asia out of my head. Eeee! I’m so excited!
Back to your regular scheduled programming…
Mike’s thoughts: I’m most excited to cage dive with great whites in South Africa, live in an apartment on Paris’ left bank and be in India for Diwali while staying with a friend’s family. While Tara took the approach of squeezing in a number of festivals on our trip, I looked at it as keeping us on an endless summer. That required skipping some festivals or locations, but on the whole, ensuring we visit more places overall during comfortable weather conditions (fingers crossed). Initially, we wanted to root ourselves in various cities for long periods of time, but that seems more like an idea for our second rtw—after we see more of the world and find locations we love and would want to live in.
The fact of the matter is that festivals have the potential of inflating the cost of everything from food to lodging, while diluting the experience from that of a traveler to that of a tourist. Yes, festivals introduce you to an aspect of a culture, but oftentimes visitors outnumber locals. We’re already going to pay higher prices to travel in high season, so limiting in other areas where possible will help spread our budget further.
Leave a comment letting us know your thoughts on what we’ve come up with. Way too ambitious? Recommend a festival, an experience, an African overland tour company? Most importantly: Where should we spend New Year’s Eve?! All advice and opinions welcome!
|June 2012||Iceland||Independence Day (June 17)|
|late June through late September||West/Central/Eastern Europe||Running of the Bulls (July 6-14), La Tomatina (Aug. 29) and Oktoberfest (Sept. 22 – Oct. 7)|
|late September through late October||southern Africa||overland|
|late October through early November||South Africa||—|
|early November through early December||India and Sri Lanka||Diwali (Nov. 13-17) and Pushkar Camel Fair (Nov.)|
|mid-December through end of February 2013||SE Asia, China, Japan||Full Moon Parties (monthly, Thailand) and Chinese New Year (Feb. 10)|
|March||Australia||campervan coast to coast|
|April until we run out of money||South America and Central America||—|
Outtakes that’ll hopefully make it on our next rtw itinerary: Holland when the tulips are in full bloom, the Holi Festivals of Colours in India, anywhere where we can see the Northern Lights, Monkey Buffet Festival in Thailand, pyramids in Egypt and Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, to name a few.