I thought I'd just give a brief overview of where I'm planning to go on this trip, although I'm prepared for my plans to completely change at times. This will be a lesson in flexibility! (A lesson I think I need to learn...)
I booked my ticket with STA Travel and it cost £2200, so considering the amount of flights it includes, and the distance I'll travel, I absolutely could not fault the deal. There are some mileage and destination restrictions, but luckily everywhere I wanted to go fitted in nicely with those.
So the plan!
On 20th February I fly London to Rio, and I'm there for the spectacular Carnival period. I've got tickets booked with a friend (who happens to be travelling in Brazil at the same time as me) to go to the Sambadrome and watch the samba parade there, which just looks fantastic. (I'm a big fan of Latin dancing, so that was a big draw of the Rio Carnival for me).
I'm then planning to make my way down the south coast of Brazil and end up at Iguassu Falls on the border of Argentina, and then go to Buenos Aires. From there I'll fly to Peru and work my way down the coast to fly out of Santiago, Chile. I'm hoping to arrange some volunteering for when I'm in Peru (yes, I'm actually volunteering in Peru...) but that's still high up on my to-do list!
Then I've booked a Kiwi Experience bus tour of New Zealand to take in both islands and see the sights. And possibly even do a skydive! It will be winter there, so I'm preparing to wrap up warm. Might be a bit of a change after South America...
Then I've got a Working Holiday visa for Australia, and hope to be there for a few months while I work and build my funds back up. And conveniently wait for the weather to warm up.
I fly out of Cairns and have a week in Hong Kong before heading into Bangkok and traversing South East Asia in a loop, and then I come back to the UK from Bangkok. At the moment I'm expecting to be back in January or February next year (my flight ticket is valid for 12 months from the date of departure) but obviously if my money runs out I'll be back sooner! Flexibility, Miles, flexibility...
My ticket is flexible, in that I can change the dates (and even destinations) for a fee. I bought STA Travel's Multi-flex Pass, which allows for three changes without an admin fee charged by STA Travel. However, if the price of the ticket I want to change it to is more expensive than what I paid, I have to pay the difference.
And that's the flow of my trip! As you can imagine, I am incredibly excited. And while part of me just wants to leave right now and start exploring the world, another part of me is still very attached to the UK and home. I know I'll be fine once I'm out there (I've lived in Japan twice, for which I kept a different blog - Memoirs of a Gaijin) but there's a lot to get done before it's a reality.
Wish me luck!