We’ve Got a Route!
The title of this post was supposed to be It’s A-route Time but the Pun Police over here gave me the veto. Well husband, I see you your veto and raise you one British teenager.
But on to more important news like…….we officially booked our trip! We nailed down our final route and bought three quarters of our airfare. Woot Woot! So to answer FAQ #1, our first stop is Oslo, Norway on August 9th (technically NYC on Aug 3rd but the U.S. doesn’t really count, right?) and then we tentatively plan to leave Japan at the end of July 2018. Now that we’ve got a plan, people want to know what countries made the Must-See List. Check out the list below and try to read it in all one breath. Or instead, if you don’t speak arrows, you could just look above at the awesome interactive map that my humorless husband built to show our route.
PDX–>NYC–>Norway–>Hungary–>Slovenia–>Croatia–>Montenegro–>Albania–>Greece–>Italy–>Spain–>France–>Germany–>Netherlands–>Malaysia–>New Zealand–>Australia–>Vietnam–>Laos–>Thailand–>Malaysia–>Singapore–>Indonesia–>China–Japan–>Maui (I’m lobbying for a week of hardcore phoning it in in Hawaii before we have to hit the ground running back home. Again, no-fun husband is attempting to veto my Maui bill so please campaign on my behalf.)
I know, I know – you’re probably looking at this list of countries and thinking you ding dongs! What about Austria, and Cambodia and the Maldives and and AND. And well, we had to make tough decisions. Like us, you need to accept that we can’t go everywhere and see everything. Some countries are going to be butt hurt about it (sorry Russia) but it just had to happen. And although our route might seem pretty dialed in, we’ve purposely left in some wiggle room. If we head far enough south in Spain we might have to cross the Straight of Gibraltar and check out Morocco. If we get the urge, there might be a side jaunt to Fiji while we’re in Australia. And who knows, possibly sneak in a trip to the Philippines while we’re hanging out in Indonesia. There, are you happy? Overall, we had to narrow down what we call our “pillar” countries to at least help us tame the beast.
Total side note: I’ve been spelling Philippines wrong my whole life. It’s not like Phillip added some ines to his name. Oh no no. It’s Philipp minus an “l” and a “p”. My bad Philippines.
So, how exactly did we dial it in you wonder? Well to start, Tim and I each had 3 darts to throw at our huge ass world wall map. If your dart landed in an ocean you got a do-over. If it landed in Kazakhstan…just kidding. There were no darts, just a lot of world travel books, late nights googling, and one very important spreadsheet that we created. We call it our seasons spreadsheet because in it we researched all the high seasons, low seasons, shoulder seasons, festival seasons, monsoon seasons, European holiday seasons, most crowded seasons, ALL THE GD SEASONS, in order to hone in on the best time to visit that country. We’re planning to make the spreadsheet available for download once we clean it up a bit. Lucky you.
In order to determine our route, we made this graphic and squinted as hard as we could until our route popped out at us like a Magic Eye autostereogram.
We also took into account that we really wanted to experience the Adriatic coast when the weather was sunny and agreeable. I’m calling it now, I think Slovenia and Albania are going to be sleeper hits so I thumb my nose at you high season. We also needed to hit a weather bullseye with SE Asia since we will be there for almost 5 months and want to avoid the gnarly monsoons. Plus, we wanted to be in Australia during their summer months (Nov-Jan). Ultimately, the approach we ended up taking for planning this trip is to follow the sun. The coldest we anticipate getting is spending November in Germany.
And a big thanks to AirTreks (wassup Chris!) for hanging in there and sending us numerous airfare itinerary revisions as we plotted and over-analyzed this sucker. Feels so good to have finally pulled the trigger. It definitely feels *really* real now.
p.s. As promised in the last post, my new favorite drink name in Portland is…… Solange In An Elevator, courtesy of the super yummy restaurant Tusk. Go eat their Mezze plate and thank me later. Or better yet, take their Magic Carpet Ride and you’ll want to make out with me.
p.p.s. Did you catch the hidden image in the title photo? Relax your eyes and see it here.