The dream for a round the world trip was growing in my subconscious for a very long time. But finally, here I am: one more week to the freedom! All this happened in September 2010, when I started my four-month trip from Canada to Asia and Africa via Europe.
Half of the trip was well-organized but the other half was “let’s see what the day brings”. Africa wasn’t planned, it just happened two weeks prior the departure and was a rush against time for the Gambian visa and Yellow Fever vaccination to meet Joyce, my Taiwanese muse…
In short, the itinerary was: Canada – Romania – Nepal – Tibet – Nepal/Annapurna – India – Thailand – Laos – Vietnam – Cambodia – Back to Thailand – The Gambia – Senegal – Romania – Canada.
For Tibet and India, I joined the ‘G Adventure’ tours. Otherwise I travelled alone following the Indochina route of the main world adventure tour companies and being creative down the road.
Duration: 4 month.
Four months passed by so fast… And it was a very good trip: excitement, adventure, romance, friendship!
I never felt in danger and no bad things happened to me. That doesn’t mean the World is very safe. Maybe I am just lucky.
I was sick one week in Vietnam having a very bad coughing. Other than this and some kind of skin reactions due to vaccinations, I was like new!
In Tibet I overestimated my capacity to deal with high altitude sickness. It was bad, especially at night.
Otherwise, three months of sunshine and blue skies in Asia and Africa, with only three days of rain!
Travelling alone is the best way to see a new place and to interact with the locals or other fellow travellers. Interesting, the majority of solo and long-term travellers I met were women, not men.
The way I travel can be described by this encounter in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Walking the streets I met Heidi from China:
Me: Where are we here?
She: I don’t know.
Me: Where are you going?
Me: Let’s go nowhere!
Not everything went well. The biggest mistake was not to take my debit card with me and to rely too much on travel cheques. In Vietnam the banks were reluctant to accept travel cheques and cash withdrawal by VISA. The worst happened in Africa, but the good luck there was Joyce, a Taiwanese nurse.
I travelled light, with only one luggage, under 20 kg and a backpack, no cellphone and no laptop. For photos I used the compact Sigma DP1 and DP2s outstanding photo quality cameras. After intensive use, DP1 died in Cambodia. Always have a back-up camera!
The cost of the trip? Priceless!
If I would do it again? Yes!