INSPIRATION #7 - An (almost) never ending trip around the world
DURATION: 365 days
GENERAL INFO: Solo traveler, 72 years old
TRAVEL PROFILE: After a long and all-consuming career life, traveling has become the main focus. Still "healthy and active" despite a mature age. Now it's time to live the dream of seeing as many countries as possible—some of them again—visiting friends and acquaintances while discovering new things. All to be done in a relaxed time frame in order to enjoy the traveling without worrying about organizing things alone.
Element 1 (28 days: Europe)
Days 1-28: The journey begins in Thessaloniki by spending a few days in the second largest city in Greece with the famous and historical Byzantine landmarks, continuing on by taking an 8 day hike around the dreamy villages of Pilion, through its green forests and breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. The following 6 days are spent comfortably enjoying driving around visiting the multiple historical sites: Delphi, Patras, Olympia and Sparta. After a few days spent in Athens, move on to a relaxing 10 day chartered sailing trip through the deep blue waters around the Aegean Islands: Paros, Mykonos and Santorini. Endless possibilities for docking the boat for a chance to check out the islands.
Element 2 (131 days: Asia)
Days 28-159: 8 days are spent exploring Kashmir and Ladakh, each with their unique temples and convents. Spend a few nights on a luxurious house boat on Lake Dal, followed up by 10 days in Delhi and Rajasthan. The Taj Mahal in Agra is an absolute must-see. Another 10 days are reserved for time in Calcutta, including Sikkim and Bengal, staying overnight between tea plantations in Darjeeling und a river cruise around the Ganges Delta. After an additional 10 days in Shanghai, with a private guided tour, a longer stop in Vietnam is planned for the next 28 days while traveling from Hanoi to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City. During the next 33 days in Thailand, there is plenty of time to experience Bangkok, then continue on to Chiang Mai and enjoy the planned day trips to the Golden Triangle which borders Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. The islands of Ko Samui and Ko Phi Phi offer some time for peace and relaxation. Bali doesn't fail to impress with its rice fields and temples throughout the mid section of the country before the landscape begins to slope down to the coast in Sanur, where the local culture offers a relaxing break.
Element 3 (85 days: Australia and Oceania)
Days 159-244: Starting in Darwin, on the legendary train The Ghan, this route takes you along through amazing landscapes, stopping in Alice Springs to see Ayers Rock then continuing on to Adelaide. From there, the rental car allows some extensive exploration of the Grampians and an opportunity to drive along the Great Ocean Road. After visiting the metropolitan cities of Melbourne and Sydney, a stop at the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley is just what the soul needs—the sprawling vineyards are heavenly. The Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef give off a tropical island feeling and the 3 day sailing tour is a perfect way to indulge all your senses. After 5 days in Auckland and driving around the North and South Island, all the well-known landmarks can be unveiled. The driving distances are short with reserved accommodations at boutique hotels or charming B&Bs.
Element 4 (64 days: South America)
Days 244-308: After 10 days of relaxing in Buenos Aires, the surrounding landscape of El Calafate naturally entices one to go hiking, perhaps to Perito Moreno Glacier and Fitz Roy.
During a 3 week stay in Lima, visiting relatives and acquaintances will take care of accommodations. Activities are self-reliantly arranged during that time. A stop in Rio de Janeiro, with its pulsing energy, exhilarating Samba and visits to the Favelas, is a must when traveling to Brazil. A visit to the Chapada Diamantina National Park offers the chance to hike up to 2,000 meters (6,600 ft). Finally, after visiting one more National Park near São Luis, it's time to take a 4 day river cruise along the Amazon, complete with jungle walks.
Element 5 (35 days: Central America)
Days 308- 343: 21 Days have been allotted to driving around exploring Costa Rica, stopping to see San José, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, La Fortuna, Limón National Parks and then driving on to Golfito. Rediscover the country with new destinations and reminisce in past memories. During a 3 week stay in Mexico City, a visit with family and friends provides nightly accommodations.
Element 6 (22 days: North America)
Days 343-365: First stop: visiting family for 7 days in Houston, then moving on to a 15 day excursion starting in San Diego, driving up through the well-known vineyards in California and then stopping in San Francisco. Previously reserved accommodations, including tours, have been arranged at vineyards along the way from south to north.
Locals in both San Diego and San Francisco are happy to share their behind-the-scenes knowledge of things to do, most of which are off the beaten path.
The itinerary mentioned above included: economy class flights, all accommodations with a mix of upscale Bed & Breakfasts, highly-rated hotels (with the exception of Houston), rental cars, booked tours and all described activities, the Ganges River tour, train tickets in Australia and Thailand, the itinerary planning from start to finish as well as continuous travel support provided by WELTREISE-TRAUM for over 1 year. Contact WELTREISE-TRAUM for a quote on the investment in your DREAM VACATION.