I’ve been telling my family and friends for a while now that I want to backpack the ENTIRE world FOREVER ok well some of the world for a year. At first I was planning on quitting my job and backpacking Europe for 3 months, but then it turned into 6 months. So I planned away made an itinerary and did more research. As I was doing this research I found that tons of people go on these “Gap year / RTW trips” (RTW = Round the World) not just Europe but all over the world (obviously) and well as I kept reading about them I thought wow why can’t I do that.
So now here I am planning away for my year RTW trip!!! I plan on leaving a year from now in the beginning of August 2011. That will give me enough time to get everything together for my RTW trip. Since I’ve known for a while that I want to do this here is my tentative itinerary.
Europe – 90 day Schengen Zone (this is 80 out of 90 days planned)
- Paris, France – 7 days (Loire Valley/Versailles/Provins)
- Bruges, Belgium – 3 days ( Brussels )
- Amsterdam , Netherlands – 5 days* (den Haag/Delft)
- Berlin , Germany – 5 days
- Kraków , Poland – 3 days (Auschwitz)
- Prague , Czech Republic – 3 days
- Budapest , Hungary – 3 days
- Vienna, Austria – 2 days
- Salzburg, Austria – 4 days (Hallstatt/ Innsbruck )
- Munich , Germany – 4 days
- Madrid , Spain – 7 days (Toledo/Segovia)
- Barcelona, Spain – 5 days (Montserrat/Sitges)
- Nice , France – 2 days (Eze)
- Florence, Italy – 5 days (Pisa/La Spezia/Cinque Terre)
- Venice , Italy – 3 days
- Rome, Italy – 7 days (Vatican City/Ostia Antica/Orvieto)
- Sorrento, Italy – 5 days (Amalfi Coast/Pompeii/Vesuvius)
- Athens, Greece – 7 days (Marathon/Schinia/Vouliagmeni/Santorini)
I know you may be thinking wow that is pretty planned out but when I make plans I like to have just about every detail planned out. So because I had already done research on Europe I decided to keep 3 out of the 6 months I had already made an itinerary for. I believe Europe will be an ideal place to start so I could get used to all the things that come along with long term backpacking. Having a detailed itinerary at first will also give me the comfort I’ll need until I can finally let loose and go with the flow. Hopefully that will happen by the time I transition to The Middle East, India and South East Asia because I do not plan on making an itinerary as detailed for them.
The Middle East – 3 months
I plan on travelling through Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel & then finally Egypt. I am fascinated by the Egyptian culture and want to spend at least a month (or longer) in Egypt. That will give me about two months to make my way down there from Turkey.
India – 1-2 months
India belongs to the continent of Asia but I don’t believe it. I think India is India and it can’t be placed anywhere. I am as fascinated to the Egyptian culture as I am to the Indian culture. I want to get to India and explore all that it has to offer at a relaxed pace.
South East Asia – 4 months or until the money runs out!!!
I’m going to end my RTW trip where it seems most people start it. While I’m in South East Asia the countries I really want to visit are Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
So there you have it my plan. Nothing written above is set in stone and can change at any time. I may fall in love with a place I didn’t think I would and maybe hate a place I thought I wouldn’t. Along the way I want to visit the major sites and cities of those countries but also go off the beaten path and indulge in what the different cultures have to offer.