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The two most common questions that come up for people contemplating a trip around the world are cost and safety. As you explore this website you’ll find information on:
Health and safety issues
Preparing for your trip
Links and contact information
During our trip we explored different modes of travel from first-class to backpacking. We spent time in nature, as well as in big cities. We sometimes took tours, and sometimes went on our own. We hope our experiences will help you have a more enjoyable trip.
Our trip starts in San Diego, California. We are flying from Los Angeles to our first destination: Tahiti. Rather than flying from San Diego to LA, we rent a car. It’s more comfortable and cost efficient. When we arrive at the airport we are informed that because of a storm in the east coast, our flight is delayed 12 hours. That means we won’t leave until the following day. The airline pays for dinner and one night stay at the Holiday Inn.
After emailing the hotel in Tahiti telling them we’ll arrive a day later, we decide to skip the Holiday Inn buffet, and make an evening of it. We’ve already returned the car, so we have dinner at the Encounter in LAX airport.
We finally arrive in Tahiti. We had planned to take a ferry from Papeete to Bora Bora but, we’re a day late. This means we’ve arrived at the start of a major local holiday weekend. All Tahiti ferries are sold out.
But, all is not lost. There are still flights to Bora Bora available. It is pricier, but we didn’t come all this way to miss the renowned ‘most beautiful place on earth’.
We spend 5 days on a Bora Bora motu. They were right. This has got to be the most beautiful place on earth. I wonder, after this, will every other destination be a disappointment? Maybe we should have started some place else…
From Tahiti, we go on to Australia. We’re going for it, the big 3: the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru (formerly known a Ayers Rock), and Sydney. First, we arrive in Cairns. From there, we take an incredible tour to the reef. The tour staff feed the fish from the diving platform. There are so many fish we don’t even have to snorkel. We sit on the platform where the water is waist deep and let the fish swim right over our laps!
Then we go to Kuranda where I get to cuddle a Koala. From Cairns we were going to take a tour bus through the outback to Alice Springs, and from there drive to Uluru. Or not…
It turns out that the tour we were planning to take does not leave twice a week (as it stated on their website), but only once a week. Lesson learned, but it’s too late to rearrange our flights, so we take a flight to Alice Springs. As it turns out, the drive would have been way too long. We fly in, arrive rested, and are able to enjoy the active environment.
From there, we fly to Sydney. We go to the fish market and have lunch on extraordinarily, exotic seafood. We stay a total of 2 weeks in Australia. Barely enough time. While in Alice Springs we meet a couple from Germany who were taking their time traveling through Australia by train. Maybe next time.
Next, Asia. The first place we wanted to arrive in Asia was Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Neither of us had been to Asia before, and we were a bit intimidated. We had heard a lot of good things about KL, and thought it would be an easier transition into Asia. Or not.
Kuala Lumpur turned out to be one of the most valuable experiences for me. I learned a whole lot about people, and about myself. From there, we go to Georgetown in Penang, which is one of my favorite places of the whole trip. This is a famous location for movies, and exudes tons of atmosphere. We end up staying an extra 4 days there, getting some much needed rest.
It is such a luxury to be able to decide to take more time to linger in a place. And to move on only when ready.
Then, on to Thailand. We start in the Southern beaches of Krabi. If you do nothing else while you’re there, go see Maya Bay, the location of the movie ‘The Beach’. It is spectacular, and it has the softest sand of any beach I’ve ever met. I’d have to say it rivals Bora Bora as one of the most beautiful places on earth…
Sick of minibuses, we decide to fly to Bangkok. It is everything I dreamt of. One of the things that impressed me the most about this city was how clean it is (with the exception of Kao San Road which is not a community). People maintain and care for themselves and their surroundings.
While in Bangkok, we take a few days to go to Siem Reap, Cambodia to see Angkor Wat. Apprehensive at first, we were in for the biggest surprise on this trip. Cambodia and it’s people are lovely. A few days was not enough. We will be coming back.
From Bangkok we fly to Doha, Qatar. An interesting stopover on the way to Greece.
We arrive in Athens. This place is like watching a myth come to life. I knew that all the ruins and temples were there, but actually being in their presence is like being transported to an alternate reality. It is truly indescribable.
A pleasant surprise about Greece is that it is one of only 2 places we visited around the world where we did not hear a constant stream of American music. The other was Cambodia.
From Athens we take a ferry to the Greek islands of Santorini (the fabled Atlantis), and Crete. This whole place is like being in a James Bond movie.
I get an ear infection in Santorini. My husband rushes me to the emergency clinic in the middle of the night. Surprisingly, there’s no one waiting, and I’m seen immediately. But the bigger surprise is, there’s no charge.
People here are warm and generous, and the food is SO good. We decide to skip Germany and end up staying in Greece 3 weeks.
From there, it’s on to the UK. We rent an apartment in London and pretend we’re Londoners for a while. Then we travel around by train to see castles and the countryside. I get sick again in the Cotswolds. This time there’s a charge at the doctor’s office, 69 BP, about 140 USD. Not too bad, and they were so apologetic for having to charge me.
Another 3 weeks, and it’s back to LA. We’re not quite ready to go home. We take our time, and decide to spend a couple of days in the California desert. Now I’m starting to feel like I’m home.