Creating the Big Trip

When Ryan and I first started dating, I had this idea of the big, post-Peace Corps trip I wanted to take. It started in Israel and Jordan, moved to India for Yoga Teacher Training, travelled through southeast Asia and ended in Australia visiting my friend J living in Brisbane. When Ryan and I got more serious and he wanted to travel with me, I realized it no longer made sense.

We shifted it around, added and dropped some things. Most of the advice out there says you have to pick your “pillars,” or places you must go, and build around that. My pillars were: Taj Mahal, Mumbai, Myanmar, Angkor Wat and Petra.

I still wanted to do the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), so we decided I’d depart Ethiopia earlier than Ryan and attend the YTT north of New Delhi and then we’d commence the trip in New Delhi when Ryan could join me. Unfortunately, due to the fact I would need to leave the first possible COS date and I can’t know that until August, I had to drop the YTT dream, however our trip is still beginning in New Delhi—mostly because it’s easy and affordable to get there from Addis Ababa.

We brainstormed ways to fit Jordan and Israel in (and hopefully Cairo!) that would make sense, and came up with taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Moscow. But first, we have to get to Beijing… it made sense to just go from west to east in southeast Asia: Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam. We’re hitting Vietnam right at Tet (or Lunar New Year) and will fly up to Shanghai afterwards, taking the bullet train to Beijing.
Due to the unrest and conflict currently happening between Moscow and Ukraine, we are opting to cut our train trip short and take it to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

However, we still want to complete the original circuit and make it to the Middle East, so we added Turkey in lieu of Russia followed by Jordan and Israel. Thankfully, we recently booked our flights back to the States from Israel and were able to get a long layover in Cairo, so at least we’ll get to see the Pyramids!

And that is how our Big Trip went from just an idea I had a year and a half ago to a reality starting in around 8 months.

How did you plan your last trip?

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  1. Veronica says:

    This sounds amazing! Have fun!

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