After 763 days, Emily and I are finally continuing with our travels! This time our planned route is a little different. For those of you that didn’t know about our original travelling itinerary, you can read about it here.
We spent six amazing weeks in South Africa, India and Sri Lanka before we were forced to abandon our trip and fly home due to COVID-19. We crossed our fingers but, it soon became apparent that it wasn’t going to be viable to travel anytime soon.
In January 2021, we moved to Manchester when I got my first job in journalism as a Reporter at Cavendish Press. I’ve met some great reporters along the way and thoroughly enjoyed my time covering Greater Manchester’s courts over the past 15 months. However, with the world now beginning to gradually open its borders once again, we believe now is a great time to continue travelling.
When we started thinking about the possibility of travelling again earlier in the year, there was still a lot of uncertainty surrounding COVID – and there obviously still is! At the time of planning, the West (USA and Canada) were more open to travel than the East (in particular Asia, as well as Australia and New Zealand). You were able to travel so long as long as you had been double jabbed, which we both are.
There were parts of Asia that we could have travelled to, but Australia and New Zealand’s borders were completely shut. Therefore, we made the decision to start our adventure where it was originally due to finish – North America. Recently, Australia and New Zealand have announced the reopening of their borders, which was very, very welcome news for us!
The first two or so months have almost been planned to the day, due to only being legally allowed to spend 90 days in America on a visiting VISA, but the rest of our trip is less time restricted and more subject to change.
The beginning of our time away will see us fly from Heathrow to Washington, visiting New York, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Vancouver and Anchorage along the way. As part of our time in North America, we are also travelling via car down the West Coast from San Francisco through Los Angeles to San Diego, before picking up an RV in Las Vegas and travelling to the Grand Canyon, Bryce National Park, Zion National Park and Death Valley.
We have booked two Contiki tours in North America. The first – an 11-day tour of Canada and the Rockies, which you can read about here. The second is a 10-day tour of Grand Alaska commencing in Anchorage, similarly, which you can read about clicking here.
We’ll then make the loooong 17-hour journey over to Fiji via LA, where we’ll spend the next two weeks island hopping around the Mamanuca & Yasawa Islands.
COVID permitting, the plan is then to spend the next six weeks travelling via hop-on, hop-on coaches around the North and South Islands of New Zealand starting in Auckland. Emily has distant family members in Christchurch too, who we are hoping to visit.
Australia is next and I cannot wait to travel down the Gold Coast from Cairns to Melbourne – I just hope we don’t come across any huntsman spiders! We’re then due to spend three weeks in Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands in Indonesia before visiting Kuala Lumpur and the island Langkawi in Malaysia.
We’ll then embark on another One Life Adventures tour, this time of the Philippines – where we’ll spend the next 10 nights island hopping. I thoroughly enjoyed the One Life tour of Sri Lanka we did two years ago! A side trip to Tokyo, Japan is then next on the cards for five nights.
It’ll now be an ideal time of the year to travel around Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We’ll get around by hop-on, hop-off bus shuttles, which will gradually 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. We also intend to spend time on the Western Island of Ko Phi Phi and the Eastern Islands of Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan in Thailand (hopefully in time for a monthly full moon party)!
The final leg will see us return for one week to a country that already has my heart – Sri Lanka, before flying home via Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. (I tried to persuade Emily to be in Qatar for the World Cup, but she wasn’t having any of it)!
If you’d like to keep up-to-date with our travels, then you can enter your email to receive notifications of blog updates at the bottom of this article; follow my blog by clicking the link, or drop me a follow on Twitter at @AlecW95.
Dates (subject to change)
22 Apr Heathrow – Washington
25 Apr Washington – New York
30 Apr New York – Chicago
03 May Chicago – Toronto
07 May Toronto – Vancouver
20 May Vancouver – San Francisco
22 Jun Las Vegas – Anchorage
04 Jul Anchorage – Fiji
16 Jul Fiji – Auckland
27 Aug Christchurch – Cairns
23 Oct Melbourne – Bali
10 Nov Bali – Kuala Lumpur
14 Nov Kuala Lumpur – Langkawi
01 Nov Langkawi – Manila
04 Dec Manila – Tokyo
09 Dec Tokyo – Bangkok
02 Feb Bangkok – Singapore
08 Feb Singapore – Colombo
13 Feb Colombo – Dubai
20 Feb Dubai – Heathrow