Touring Across the World
I’ve traveled all over the world, in a single itinerary, 4 instances now. The primary was when my eldest daughter was 10. We flew LA-Orlando-Paris-Dubai-Oman-Borobudur-Bali-Sydney-LA in two weeks. Then when my son was 10, we took two and a half weeks to journey LA-Copenhagen-Greenland-Seychelles-Abu Dhabi-Mumbai-Singapore-LA. Each have been superb, quick, enjoyable journeys, all about seeing among the world’s coolest locations in a brief span of time – the other of how we normally journey.
RTW journey three was earlier this 12 months we headed to Yao Noi, Thailand for my daughter’s winter break. It wasn’t about flying all over the world – it merely labored out greatest to journey west to east the complete journey: LA-Doha-Phuket-Bangkok-Taipei-LA. Phuket/Yao Noi was our solely actual cease although.
Visiting the Seven Continents in One 12 months
That journey to Thailand was in mid-February, and at that time I had visited 5 continents in 2023. I began the 12 months in Ushuaia, Argentina, sailed to Antarctica on January 1st, got here again to the US, after which flew to Italy on the finish of January. It popped into my head that I had an opportunity to see all seven continents in 2023, which I had by no means completed earlier than. The final time I had an opportunity, in 2014, I by no means made it to Australia.
Quick ahead to September. I wanted to fly to Japan for the Journey Journey World Summit. My pre-summit plans in Japan fell aside, so I had just a few additional days to get there. I made a decision on a whim to journey to the convention through Africa and Australia to have the ability to go to each continent this 12 months. It was 100% not touring deeper, however I really like spontaneous, loopy journey typically!
Reserving My Round The World Journey
Reserving every part was a problem. This was loads of flying and I needed to journey as comfortably as attainable whereas paying as little as attainable. I used to be additionally versatile as to the place in Africa and Australia I visited. I performed with no less than a dozen totally different African locations, wanting on the whole journey time, and ease, of attending to them from LA, in addition to award ticket availability. Ultimately I selected Zanzibar. This was barely disappointing, as I sort of hoped to go to a brand new nation, however I used to be in a position to get a free, award ticket on Qatar Airways from LA to Zanzibar through Doha, all in enterprise class. Qatar Air has the most effective enterprise class on the planet – 15-hour flights are literally pleasurable! So Zanzibar it was.
From Zanzibar I checked out half a dozen Australian locations, all the normal suspects, and settled on Perth, which I hadn’t been to earlier than. I booked Zanzibar to Doha in financial system utilizing factors – it was a daytime flight so it didn’t make sense to make use of extra factors than obligatory. After which I discovered a separate Doha-Perth business-class ticket on Qatar, once more for factors. Thus far so good – I’d be capable to get from LA all the best way to Perth, basically without cost.
That’s the place my luck ran out. From Perth I wanted to fly to Sapporo, Japan, and I couldn’t discover any award tickets in any respect, and business-class tickets weren’t pricing fairly. So I booked an affordable financial system ticket on Singapore Air – Perth-Singapore-Nagoya-Sapporo.
Then from Sapporo again to LA, I as soon as once more couldn’t discover an award ticket (regardless of A LOT of looking out), however I used to be in a position to buy a one-way enterprise class ticket on EVA Air for an inexpensive quantity. Total I’d be flying all over the world in 9 flights, 5 in enterprise class and 4 in financial system, with 4 paid for with factors. Not excellent, however not too dangerous.
Now the highlights…
Flying to Doha
Proper earlier than my journey, a buddy posted on Fb that he had simply seen the Northern Lights on his flight to Iceland. I had by no means (in 101 nations) seen the Northern Lights, so on the airport I requested the Qatar Airways rep if there have been any seats on the left (north) aspect of the airplane. He moved me to 1A. Just a few hours into my flight, I regarded out and noticed them! They solely lasted for ten minutes or so, and the pilot by no means made an announcement, however they have been unbelievable! Severely, get a window seat on the left should you’re flying over northern Canada or Greenland September-March or so.
I had a 10-hour layover in Doha. Sadly this was on a Sunday afternoon/night, when the museums in Doha have been closed (I actually like the town and particularly the souk and museums). I subsequently booked a room on the Oryx Lodge proper in the course of the airport. I slept for just a few hours, labored out on the lodge’s fitness center, took a bathe, explored the airport, and had a pair meals within the lounge. I extremely suggest getting a room when you’ve got an extended layover and also you don’t plan on heading into the town.
I first visited Zanzibar 20 years in the past with mates. We break up our time between Stone City and a distant seashore, did a spice tour, biked round and relaxed. This time, with solely three days / two nights there, it didn’t make sense to remain removed from the airport. I booked the Tembo House Hotel on the seashore, the place I had stayed my first journey. Greatest resolution ever!
I took a taxi to the lodge after which checked into my room, considered one of their nicest suites, proper on the seashore. For 2 days I explored Zanzibar by myself, having breakfasts and dinners on the lodge and lunches on the town. Completely cherished the lodge, my room, and sunsets on the seashore.
My last day I had to take a look at by 10am, however my flight to Doha wasn’t till 5pm. I booked a full-day tour with Explore Zanzi. Khamis and Abui met me on the lodge at 8am and took me on a strolling tour of Stone City for 2 hours. I had solely explored the city on my own (or with mates) earlier than, so this stuffed within the gaps, and I noticed a lot extra. Liked the historical past too.
We then returned to the lodge, the place I shortly modified, and we hopped in a ship proper on the lodge. Fifteen minutes later we arrived at a sandbar at low tide. This was a beautiful setting! I snorkeled and walked across the sandbar whereas they ready a seafood barbeque lunch for me on the seashore. All the pieces was superb, however the octopus was the most effective I’ve ever had. Then when the tide began developing a bit too excessive, we boated again to the lodge, I modified for my flight, they usually drove me to the airport. One among my favourite journey days ever!
Perth and Rottnest Island
Due to flight instances, my two nights in Perth actually translated to only one full day. I used that day to take a ferry to Rottnest Island, or Rotto because it’s referred to by Aussies.
I left my lodge (the Doubletree Perth Waterfront) at 8:10am, boarded the Rottnest Express ferry on the close by Barrack Road Jetty at 8:15, and at 8:45 we departed for Rottnest Island. The boat trip took roughly an hour and a half every method, arriving at 10:15 and departing at 4pm. I had rented a motorbike upfront via the ferry firm and acquired it simply after disembarking.
Rottnest Island is an Aussie trip vacation spot, both tenting or renting pretty rustic cabins. It’s fairly, with seashores, however actually it’s all in regards to the quokka – the native marsupial with no predators. Quokkas are technically everywhere in the island, however they’ve gotten used to individuals, and getting individuals meals (despite the fact that you’re not allowed to feed or contact them), and loads of them hang around close to the settlement – the world close to the ferries with eating places, espresso locations and reward shops. I had lunch on the settlement, however primarily spent the day biking across the island, and I discovered quokkas a number of totally different locations. In the event that they have been sleeping I didn’t strategy them, and a few hopped away as I bought shut, however no less than half a dozen instances I used to be in a position to lie on the bottom with them for selfies – the final word (free) memento from Rotto. With 10,000+ quokkas on the island there have been by no means too many individuals close to any explicit group, and I normally had them to myself.
It in all probability goes with out saying, given the pictures, however sure, this was simply as enjoyable and funky as you assume it will be. Extremely advisable should you’re wherever close to Perth!
From my lodge in Perth, I walked to the primary prepare station and took the cheap prepare to the airport, and three flights later I arrived in Sapporo, Japan. I’ve been to Japan many instances, however this was my first time in Hokkaido, within the far north.
I took the prepare from the Sapporo Airport to Sapporo’s central station, and walked to my lodge, the Tokyu Stay Sapporo Odori. I selected Odori as a base because it’s on the orange metro line, which was most handy for the convention I attended. However it labored nicely as there’s a big pedestrian mall there, there are quite a few ramen locations (together with Ramen Alley), and it was the situation of Sapporo Autumn Fest, with tons of of meals stalls via most of September. I’ll base in Odori once more after I return.
My first full day in Sapporo, earlier than the beginning of the convention, I headed an hour outdoors of the town to Lake Shikotsu. It rained all day, which wasn’t preferrred, however I nonetheless biked 20+ km, hiked via the well-known Moss Hall, kayaked on the lake and a tributary, had an incredible sushi lunch (with fish from the lake), and bought a great really feel for the world. Hokkaido is all about lakes and nature. In case you’re heading to Japan, add it to your agenda after Tokyo and Kyoto. It’s a really totally different world, however nonetheless rooted in Japanese tradition and customs.
Throughout my week in Sapporo I additionally bought to the Okurayama ski leap stadium, and I spent a morning exploring Maruyama Park and climbing Mount Maruyama. Maruyama Park was my absolute favourite place within the metropolis – great with forests, shrines and torii gates, and solely three subway stops from Odori. My full weblog submit on Hokkaido and Sapporo is HERE.
Touring Across the World to Go to Each Continent – The Numbers
Due to my enterprise class tickets, my whole around-the-world flight bills have been round $3,000. I may have lowered that significantly by flying in financial system from Sapporo again to LA.
Tembo House Hotel in Zanzibar was $160/evening. My day with Explore Zanzi was $165. The DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront was $195/evening. The Rottnest Express ferry and bike rental have been $85. The Tokyu Stay Sapporo Odori was $92/evening. Meals and floor transportation weren’t costly wherever.
And parking at LAX was free since I had saved up sufficient factors at The Parking Spot for a 14-day reservation. Loyalty pays in all places, even with airport parking!
Across the World – Abstract
I LOVED this around-the-world journey! It was my first loopy journey for the reason that pandemic, and it was enjoyable to expertise three very totally different locations on three continents in two weeks. Plus now I’ve visited each continent in a single 12 months – one thing that not lots of people have accomplished.
Zanzibar is magical, and cheap, and remarkably simple to succeed in and discover. Perth, with the Rottnest Island quokkas, is a bucket checklist vacation spot. And Hokkaido was stunningly stunning, with superb meals and nonetheless very Japanese. The ATWS convention lured me there, however it was an ideal vacation spot for a fast RTW journey.
The Seven Continents – Your Flip
What number of continents have you ever gotten to in a 12 months? Do you agree with my Australian and African stops, or would you may have chosen different locations?