The ‘what’ is easy. We are having a gap year for a honeymoon – very indulgent! We got married in June, and in less than three weeks we’ll be flying from Heathrow to Moscow. After a couple of days there, we join up with a group to ride the Trans Mongolian railway, with stops at Lake Baikal, Ulaanbaatar and finishing in Beijing. After that the route is fairly flexible, but the aim is to go through China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia, before flying from Singapore to Sydney. A quick stop in Australia is followed by a few months in New Zealand, where we can slow down, earn some money and visit Hobbiton. The beginning of the end is a week in Fiji, and we finish with a road trip up the west coast of America, before flying home.
When is also quite clear. We’ve been planning this trip seriously for a year, and thinking and talking about it for even longer. We decided on booking round the world flights, so our dates are set. This actually helped a lot with planning, knowing when we’d have to get to and from set destinations. So it’s Tuesday 13 August 2013 to Moscow, and Monday 11 August 2014 out of Seattle. Singapore to Oz just after new year, and New Zealand to Fiji at the beginning of July.
Why not? After finishing university we travelled to South America and spent two months exploring Peru, Argentina and Brazil. After surviving the first couple of bus trips and hostel findings, we began dreaming about the next big trip. Two months flew by, we came home, got jobs (with Laura continuing to get more grown up jobs, I stayed put), moved into a house and time just passed along nicely. We’re very lucky in that we are both quite good with money, so we’ve been able to save up quite well over the last few years. We’ve explored getting a mortgage and buying a house, but that idea has never gotten much further than nosing around other people’s homes!
We continued to save and work, and in 2011 went on holiday to Mexico. It was only for a couple of weeks, but we took the old rucksacks, booked the first bit of accommodation and after a couple days moved on and spent the rest of the time travelling around the Yucatan. The feelings that you get buying bus tickets in a foreign language, bartering in shops and tracking down accommodation in each town all came flooding back, and fully reignited the wanderlust!
So, when we (finally) got engaged and began planning our wedding, we decided that it was now or never for the big trip. They say moving house and getting married are two of the most stressful things you can do; we’re adding Russian and Chinese visas to the mix. The world is too big and too accessible not to try and see as much of it as possible, so that is why.