Travelling the world…

Alec and Emily Selfie

The next nine or so months will see my girlfriend, Emily and I travel around the globe with flexible flights to 12 different countries.

After I finished my Masters in Sports Journalism, I was at a crossroads in my life. I applied for the position of Media Assistant at Rochdale FC – a perfect entry level job which would have kick-started my career in the journalism industry.

However, after three successful interviews, I was told that I didn’t have enough experience for the role. I was gutted, but they always say that things happen for a reason…and I’ve been planning this trip ever since!

It’s fair to say it took a couple of months to persuade Emily but she soon came around. Em gave up her first salary paid job as a Digital Account Executive on 5 January (I still struggle to understand what she really did) and we moved out of our apartment in Castlefield, Manchester a few days later.

We’re both now home in Blackpool for the next few weeks and are looking forward to having some time with our families before we leave.

I’m sure there will be challenges along the way, including being away from home for such a long time, but we’re both so excited to get started!

Itinerary

South Africa ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 

Our adventure begins on 9 February in one of the most multicultural cities in the world – Cape Town, South Africa.

*I should note that all of our flights and bus passes booked through STA Travel are flexible. This means if we wish to have more time in one country, we are more than likely able to do so. Alternatively, if we want to leave a country early, the chances are we can do.*

After spending around a week in the capital, we will then travel along the coast and famous ‘Garden Route’ pass to Port Elizabeth on the Baz Bus.

From here, an internal flight is needed to get to Johannesburg, where our 4-day Safari to Pilanesberg Game Reserve begins. We really hope to see the big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo).

You may wonder why we didn’t opt to visit the world famous Kruger National Park, but I didn’t like the thought of having to take malaria tablets, as they are likely to have adverse side affects.

India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ 

An 11 and a half hour flight via Abu Dhabi will eventually see us land in New Delhi on 27 Feb.

India is notoriously hard to navigate around on your own, which meant we were encouraged to book an organised tour.

Andy and Jess, who are the travel agents overseeing our trip suggested GA Adventure’s 8-day ‘Golden Triangle’ tour of India because it is considered to be India’s most famous and popular tour. Therefore, we took their advise and booked the tour which commences on 1 March.

Sri Lanka ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ

A relatively short 3 hours 40 minute flight will see us land in Colombo – Sri Lanka’s capital on 8 March – Emily’s birthday!

This spectacular country is renowned for its Buddhist temples, heritage sites and wildlife, but likewise, it isn’t the easiest to travel around.

Andy highly recommended One Life’s 12-day tour of Sri Lanka, because he had completed the tour himself. Therefore, we decided to book onto the 12-day tour, beginning 9 March.

Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ

This is by far the longest part of our nine months away, which will see us spend around 10 weeks in these four different countries.

We have booked a hop-on, hopoff bus service that will take us from Bangkok in Thailand to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia, through to Ho Chi Minh City and up to Hanoi in Northern Vietnam, which we estimate will take around 4 weeks, but then the rest is down to us!

We then plan on flying from Hanoi to Phuket in Thailand in order to visit the Western island of Ko Phi Phi.

Internal flights or rail will then be needed to get to Surat Thani, in order for us to see the Eastern islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao. We also intend on being on the island of Koh Phangan for their monthly moon party on 7 May!

The plan is then to travel south to Penang and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia before flying out of Singapore at the end of the month.

Bali ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ

10 days of sandy beaches, crystal blue oceans and cocktails.

We’ve not organised any tours or transport in Bali as we don’t intend on travelling too much. However, we would like to spend a few days on the nearby Gili Islands.

Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

G’day maaaate, put another shrimp on the barbie!

We’ve estimated we’ll need at least six weeks in Australia. Therefore, we’ve booked a 60-day hop-on, hop-off bus service that will take us from Cairns all the way to Melbourne, passing through Rockhampton, as well as along the Gold Coast.

This package also includes 3 days on Fraser Island, 2 days sailing on the Whitsunday Islands, as well as a Great Barrier Reef Cruise!

New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ

By this time it’ll be September, which will mean we’ll get to see New Zealand in its natural beauty.

Similarly, we’ve secured hop-on, hopoff coach transport, which starts in Auckland and will take us all around the Northern and Southern Island.

We estimate that we’ll need around one month here.

Fiji ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ

We’ve then organised to go island hopping in the Mamanuca & Yasawa Islands for 10 days.

More sandy beaches, blue waters & cocktails!

USA & Canada ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

Our mammoth trip concludes with 6 weeks in USA, starting off in Los Angeles.

We intend on hiring a camper van to drive along the West Coast of America, as well as visiting Las Vegas & The Grand Canyon.

In truth, we haven’t planned this far ahead yet, but I imagine we’ll catch an internal flight to Vancouver in Canada and then fly to Toronto to see the Niagara Falls.

The amazing thing about STA Travel is that all of our flights are interchangeable, but as it stands, we fly home from New York on 20 October.

And there you have it… our journey eventually comes to an end 10 days before my birthday.

How have we afforded to fund this trip I hear you ask?

As many of you will know, I sadly lost my Dad on 15 December 2018 to the bitch that is cancer. Like me, my Dad suffered a stroke three years prior and subsequently we soon discovered from scans that he had also developed lung cancer.

Obviously, I would rather have my Dad here but it is thanks to his inheritance that we are able to embark on this amazing adventure!

If you have any questions or want to share your experiences if you’ve visited any of these destinations, then please get in touch via our contact page or social media.

One thought on “Travelling the world…

  1. Sounds so amazing Alec, I am very jealous! And btw you should definitely go to the Gili Isles off Lombok, I was there over 20 years ago (ouch), best diving and most beautiful island, clear starry skies! Canโ€™t wait to hear what you are getting up to xx

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