It looks to me as it was yesterday when I started this great adventure that was about to lead me to meet awesome people and visit many wonders spread all over the planet. Well, now I can say “mission accomplished!“
131 days after, I’m back home. It is time now to process all the information and experiences I’ve lived during the past months. Despite what will eventually come out from it, I want to state that this adventure has been worth living. I deeply believe it has changed myself somehow and it has opened my eyes in many ways that is hard to imagine that it would possible to had happened in the depressed version of Spain we are unfortunately living in, for too much time now… My intention is to write a post about some of those findings.
Actually, this trip was not as well planned as many people would have done… Improvisation has become my main rule (what a nice way to say that I’m a lazy boy! ). Starting with the fact that I booked my Round The World (RTW) ticket just 1 week before jumping into the first flight or other improvisations like adding many extra stops all with less than 24h notice, attending amazing events like Burning Man (with less that 2 days of preparation) or Geeks On a Beach in Philippines, etc. The image attached at the begining of this post illustrates the evolution of the itinerary during the time. As you can see, at the very beginning it was a two months trip to San Francisco but ended up visiting 23 cities in 15 countries and spending almost 5 months to complete all of it. What follows is the final itinerary: Barcelona – New York – Chicago – San Francisco – Palo Alto – Los Angeles – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – Burning Man – Tokyo – Seoul – Shanghai – Hong Kong – Bangkok – Singapore – Boracay (Philippines) – Siem Reap (Cambodia) – Ubud/Bali (Indonesia) – Sydney – Melbourne – Dubai – London – Dublin – Madrid – Barcelona. I know I missed many important regions like LATAM, Africa or India among others, but this only means that I should do another trip shortly!
Some random advice based on my experience are: reduce your luggages (mine was 17Kg but I guess that it could be reduced to 12 – 15Kgs). My suggestions for a summertime trip is to bring with you 4 t-shirts, 1 shirt, 1 shorts (it would be ideally if they are hybrid swimming pants), 1 trousers, 1 towel and sunglasses. In terms of underwear, I guess that being equipped for 7 days in a row would be enough. Regarding electronic devices, I would suggest to only bring with you your phone and maybe laptop/iPad. It could be a good thing to have an external battery. In my case I carried: 2 phones, laptop, ebook, iPad mini, 2 goPro’s (WTF!), a digital recorder, external battery, 5 tripods. Too much…
Going to hostels is a good option not only because you save a lot of money, but because it helps you to easily meet a lot of people and have fun.
Doing a little bit of planification will save you a lot of money in booking flights. I recommend you to use a RTW ticket because it is very cheap option and have a lot of advantages: it allows you to do as many changes on the dates as you want with no extra cost (you even can modify the dates of missed flights without cost… I did it!). There are many ways to take advantage of the frequent flyer’s miles, check this website to learn about how to hack this programs.
Focus on experiencing everything and meeting people. Leave no regret behind. Be free don’t set time constrictions to yourself. Embrace the unknown.
Maybe some of you are thinking in doing a trip like mine (I strongly encourage you to do so). In that case you may find useful to have the example of my final budget distribution so you can make an idea of how much money you could end up needing:
Some notes here: In my case I avoided using hostels or airbnb. Avoiding hostels was a huge mistake. Airbnb did not fit well with my improvised trip strategy… (you need some time in advance to arrange you accommodation with airbnb). I spent a lot more money in accommodation but thanks God I had some friends on the way that hosted me (special thanks here to Di-Ann and Elies). I ended up being a pro user of booking.com, hotels.com, hoteltonight, hotelquickly, hipmunk and agoda.com among others.
The amount of money spent on flights is sensible higher because I booked many last minute flights (up to ten) that contributed a lot to increase this section. Here what I’ve been using to book the flights are skyscanner.com and kayak.com
Transportation includes everything (metro, taxi, boats, car, etc.) excluding flights. In my case, what contributed the most here is that I rented a car in California for 5 weeks and I drove like crazy! I did more than 8.000Kms, so I spent a lot in fuel.
Before ending this post, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the people I’ve met during my way. This people has been the key element that made of this experience a huge success. Many times people ask me how I manage to meet all these interesting people… Well, there is no secret formula here. I guess it is a result of the not written rule that says “good people knows good people“. All I needed to have was a few contacts in advance and those people helped me with many introductions to some of their contacts. Also I relied a lot on the serendipity factor, it had a huge impact.
I will do my best to post shortly some conclusions of this trip, so stay tuned. As a headline I will say that “I’ve seen the future”!