Monday, 22 September 2008

East or West which way is the best?!!!

Might sound like a random question but if you are going to do a ROUND the world trip, then you really must decide on which way round you are going to go! We have found that it is actually pretty important.

For the last 18months we have been planning to essentially go westwards, travelling through Africa - South America - Central America – Pacific – South East and South Asia – and finally Tran Siberian. This was based on some consideration of seasons but essentially not based on a whole lot of logic.

We have now decided to go eastward (the more traditional route). Essentially the final choice should be based primarily on the following things:

Seasons that you will encounter as you travel – some places you will really want the best season, like the trekking season in Nepal and Peru the best time to visit the glaciers of Patagonia and Summer/Christmas in Australia. There will then be other places that you MUST avoid at certain times, such as the hurricane season in Cuba (we made that mistake in our first plan!) the heat of the Middle East, and the monsoons of India/Sri Lanka. The only thing is that you can’t fix a logical route AND get the best weather everywhere; therefore the trick is to prioritise!

Specific events that are unmissable – it an obvious point but again the route, and the direction you travel should enable you to be in the right place at the right time for specific events. For example we will be taking in the New Years in Sydney, the Rio Carnival the Wildebeest Migration and hopefully the football world cup. Of course if you are not a football fan then being in South Africa during the world cup is probably not a good thing!! And in general be careful, as specific events push accommodation prices through the roof.

The most efficient travelling route – don’t try and get to every destination at the perfect time, otherwise you will find yourself travelling some really silly routes and criss-crossing around the world, clearly not good for the wallet or the environment.

The Jet Lag factor – if you travel eastwards you continually lose time (travel from NYC to LON and the 7hr flight seemingly takes much longer -12hrs) this continual jet lag could be a problem, as compared with the Westward journey where you theoretically gain hours as you go round. As we have not done a world trip before it is difficult to say how much of an issue this is, but possibly more of an issue is simply the number of travelling legs you do. Keep it to a minimum and allow time in between, I guess the biggest thing we have learnt is just how little time we feel we have, despite going away for 17months!

So in conclusion we have decided to go eastward, taking on the Tran Siberian first, then China, Japan, Tibet and you can see the rest….!

We will be doing a detailed route post very soon, but please do ask any questions!

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