After a long absence from traveling (and thus blogging) due to some pesky knee surgery issues for Mark, we’ve embarked on our longest trip ever… 4 months and a day. We left Dallas on January 14, and ‘holding thumbs’ that all goes well, we will return on May 15. The first and last legs of our trip are to Whistler, British Columbia, Canada (about 70 miles north of Vancouver) where we are building a home.
This is our 3rd OneWorld Around the World airline ticket… 16 flights on 4 continents; 5 if you count a connection in London. The majority of our trip consists of 5 weeks in New Zealand, a month in Vietnam and Cambodia, and 3 weeks in South Africa, but there are a few other stops as well. The trip looks like this:
Dallas –> Vancouver
Vancouver –> Hong Kong –> Melbourne
Melbourne –> Auckland
Auckland –> Hong Kong –> Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Hanoi –> Tokyo –> Hong Kong –> Johannesburg –> Cape Town (yikes!)
Cape Town –> London –> Vancouver
Vancouver –> Los Angeles
Los Angeles –> New York City
New York City –> Dallas
We’ll be adding two countries to our ‘been there’ list: Vietnam and Cambodia, bringing our total to 70 for Shauna and 71 for Mark. (Shauna needs a girls’ trip somewhere to even this up so it’s not so messy to write about!)
Other new places and experiences:
Kayaking across the Auckland harbor at night
Touring Lord of the Rings movie sites
Hiking New Zealand’s famous ‘tracks’
Homestays and an overnight cave tour in Vietnam
Visiting the Zulu/British battlefields, and
Hiking the Wild Coast in South Africa.
There will also be many intra-country flights and transportation by car, kayak, sailboat, mountain bike, hiking, riverboat cruise, motorcycle, and classic 1930’s Indochine style junk… stay tuned for details 🙂
First Stop: Melbourne, Australia
The only thing that beats traveling to new places is traveling to new places with, or meeting up with, friends. In this case, we were lucky enough to be hosted by our friend Greg ‘Gibbo’ Gibson, and his lovely partner, Margaret. We met Gibbo on our Bikestyle Tour de France trip in 2013… a trip where we were the only (non-cyclist) Americans among a fairly hardcore – and hilarious – group of Aussie cyclists. Needless to say, our cheeks – on both ends – never hurt so much! As Gibbo put it, it only took him 60 years to find the right partner, and after meeting Margaret, we have to agree (we had no way to compare, but she’s gorgeous, smart, funny, and generous, and she finally has him dressing correctly, so we think he got it right)! A huge thank you to them both for their hospitality.