Q. Where in the world are you?
A. We always update our map with our latest deets (you should see a red icon on our current location), so check it now and check it often!
Q. What are your favorite countries?
A. So far (in the order we visited them), New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, and Turkey stole our hearts. We also liked Vietnam quite a bit—it was the highlight of our time in Southeast Asia.
Q. What countries have the best food?
A. Not coincidentally, our favorite food happens to be in our favorite countries! You can carb yourself silly in Taiwan, eat beef that melts in your mouth in Japan, or cook incredible meals out of the back of a van using the freshest meat and veggies imaginable in New Zealand. Hanoi also has some great food (bun cha, I’m looking at you!).
Q. Did you guys get one of those around-the-world (RTW, check my lingo!!!) tickets?
A. Yes, we did. Now, there is a lot of back-and-forth on the Internets about the disadvantages of these types of tickets (namely, that you can string together a lot of low-cost carrier airline flights for much cheaper, and that RTW tickets take away some of the spontaneity in traveling). But for the life of us, we just couldn’t figure out how people could fly around the world cheaper. When we tried to price out our itinerary, we were getting quotes at around $10K each. Maybe we were looking in the wrong place or maybe it was our destinations, we’re not sure. We ended up purchasing 4-continent passes through OneWorld and it cost us $3700 each (about $285 per leg). We bought our tickets in New Zealand because it was about $1500 cheaper to do so (vs. the United States). Why? We don’t really know, but it works! We did this by calling the Cathay Pacific office (a OneWorld affiliate) in Auckland and buying over the phone. Of course, this means we did have to buy a one-way ticket to New Zealand (about $700 each) and a one-way ticket back from our final destination (Chile), so all told we’ll probably spend about $5000 on our airfare. We had to choose the itinerary beforehand, but we can change the departure dates at any time at no cost (any changes to the itinerary cost $100, so it’s important to take care in choosing your destinations).
As for the spontaneity argument, we can totally see that. We’ve tried to build a lot of time into our trip so that we can wander off in certain areas if we hear about some cool place from other travelers. And, we can always opt to stay in a certain area longer without incurring any charges. Plus, as a friend of ours who has traveled extensively pointed out, when you really like a place, it’s easy to just stay put, and having the departure ticket really helps get your booty in gear. Maybe this is a disadvantage for some, but it is motivating for us…this is an around-the-world trip, after all.
Q. Are you SERIOUSLY not going to XYZ town?!? How could you skip it?!?
A. We realize we are playing the world’s smallest violin when we say this, but a year is not enough time to see the world (and wouldn’t it be sad if it was?!?). Plus, we’ve traveled before, and we’ll travel again (we’re dreaming of doing an extended trip like this at least 2 more times in our lives)! On this trip, we’re more interested in making sure we have enough time in each region to see what we want to see, rather than rushing from country to country in a mad dash for passport stamps. That being said, please feel free to suggest other destinations! It’s always great to get firsthand recommendations from other travelers.
Q. How much does a trip like this cost?
A. We’re not really sure yet, check in with us at the end of the trip! We do, however, have a budget and will try to average US$80-$100 US$100-$120 (sorry, U$80-100 turned out to be unreasonable given that we are not staying in dorm rooms) per day for the both of us while we are on the road. We may need to “borrow” from cheaper parts of the trip (ahem, Asia) while we’re in the more expensive areas (Moscow, Japan). We are spending quite a bit of time in Asia and two months in Taiwan, where Hope’s grandparents have an apartment, so we should be able to stay within budget, but with the US dollar all over the place right now it’s hard to give a definitive answer.
Q. How do you pack for a year-long trip?!?
A. Bit by bit, we’ll be updating our Gear section with info on the clothes, electronics, and other schtuff we packed for this trip. Click here for the latest info!
Q. Do you have a cell phone?
A. We bought a simple, unlocked Nokia while we were in Saigon, and purchase SIM cards in most countries we visit. For the most part, SIM cards have been very easy to obtain—they are usually available at the airport or from your friendly neighborhood corner store. The few exceptions are Taiwan (where you have to bring your passport to a cell phone store to get a SIM card) and Turkey (where foreign mobiles are only operational for 10 days before the government places a block on your phone—this is to prevent Turkish citizens from buying their cell phones abroad).
Have questions you would like to frequently ask us? Contact us!