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  #1  
Old 08-02-2015, 05:48 PM
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Default Help me plan my trip around the world!

Hey, everyone! I'm finally nearing the end of my graduate degree, which means that it's time for me to start planning for what comes next. No, not a job--you must have me confused with a responsible adult--but a vacation. To celebrate escaping from formal education, I'm going to take a year off and go on a trip around the world!

I've had the good fortune to meet up with several TCoD members already, but I thought this trip might be a good chance to visit some friends who live in more far-away places. If you live outside the US and would be interested in meeting up/hanging out with me, let me know! You're also welcome to join me for part of the journey if you're interested in anywhere I'm going, like, if you always wanted to go to Japan but don't want to go by yourself, you're welcome to join me! I'm open to going pretty much anywhere in the world at this point, and the only countries definitely on my itinerary right now are Japan, China, the UK, and Australia and/or New Zealand (how do I choose???). I've got time for at least 20 more or so, so there's plenty of room for trekking out to see friends!

It's still too far off for me to have a specific graduation date, but I'm expecting to graduate at around the end of August next year, which means my trip will start either in late 2016 or early 2017 and run for most of 2017. I'm not looking to make concrete plans yet, but I'd like to start getting a rough idea of an itinerary together. I don't expect anybody to commit to anything at this point, but let me know if you're interested in meeting up. Since I'm going to be coordinating with people from different places on the internet as well as RL, I'm going to be keeping track of things in a LiveJournal post. You can comment on that if you prefer it to this thread; I turned anon commenting on, so you don't need an LJ account to do so.

I'm also interested in any sort of travel tips/info you might have, whether you live in the country in question or only traveled there yourself. What has your favorite vacation been? Is there anything you recommend going/doing/seeing in a particular place? I also appreciate any disrecommendations you might have, like places that turned out to be lame, or really awful airports, or whatever other things you think it would be better to avoid.

In particular, I really enjoy trying new foods, so if there are any local dishes that I ought to check out, I'd love to hear about them. I have a huge sweet tooth, so recommendations of desserts/sweets/candy are especially good.

Things are pretty up in the air right now, but I'll be posting updates now and again as I start to get stuff nailed down, and I'll probably have some more questions later. Hope to see some of you in a bit!
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Old 08-02-2015, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

Oooh, come parkouring with me and Dragon in Canada! I mean, that's what Canadians do, right? And then we don't have to figure out the logistics of mailing you snow like we were planning!
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:13 PM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

As far as I can gather Australia and New Zealand are identical except that the latter has Hobbits and more sheep.
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:58 AM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

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Originally Posted by Eifie View Post
Oooh, come parkouring with me and Dragon in Canada! I mean, that's what Canadians do, right? And then we don't have to figure out the logistics of mailing you snow like we were planning!
I didn't... actually realize where you guys are. Uh. For some reason I thought you two were in British Columbia. Dragon sent me a PM about this... I'll CC you on it and we can discuss!

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Originally Posted by Sangfroidish View Post
As far as I can gather Australia and New Zealand are identical except that the latter has Hobbits and more sheep.
It also has kiwis, which are literally my favorite animals, though. But there's so much cool stuff in Australia! I might make Australia my primary destination, then pop over for a few days in NZ, assuming it's pretty easy to get between them.
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:00 AM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

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Originally Posted by Sangfroidish View Post
As far as I can gather Australia and New Zealand are identical except that the latter has Hobbits and more sheep.
Not really! New Zealand is generally much colder and prettier (so green), and the people are generally nicer - New Zealand is often considered to be Australia's Canada. NZ also treat their indigenous people much better and their govt is generally more ahead of the curve when it comes to social equality, the environment, etc. New Zealand is definitely a must, though! I haven't been there myself but everyone I know who has been has absolutely loved it. Also, you can go check out really cool animals like Kiwis and Kakapos and stuff.

Negrek you can always come chill in Perth if you do happen to come to Australia, but Western Australia is generally not on anyone's holiday destination list because there's not a huge amount to do. There are a few cool things like Rottnest (tiny island of small marsupials), The Pinnacles (cool rocks), and the Swan Valley/Margaret River (local produce and lots of wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine), but people tend to go to Sydney or Melbourne for like, culture, or whatever. If you want to see animals, rest assured that you will be able to find a wildlife park in most cities where you can shake hands with a kangaroo and get a photo and whatever. Perth has a pretty decent one where you can hold snakes and koalas and ride camels and stuff.

If you like museums, Canberra (australia's capital) is built almost entirely out of museums. You can also check out Mt Kosciuszko, which is the highest mountain in australia! It snows there in winter and people go skiing and whatnot. If you're planning on staying a while it is probably worth going and looking at the Important Things like Uluru and Sydney Opera house and whatever, just remember that Australia is really big, so if you're planning on doing a lot then you'll want a decent amount of time to do those things.

if you go to Australia basically any time outside of May-August, buy sunscreen and wear a hat

if you have questions about australia feel free to message me!

this is all the travelling advice i have, if you've travelled before a lot of it is probably well duh but idk
so many

  • If you're staying somewhere in europe sometimes it's easier and cheaper to actually book a short-stay apartment than a hotel room. If you plan on staying like a week or more it probably works out cheaper, plus you'll get decent internet and a kitchen and stuff. I've done this in Paris and Belgium, but I imagine that this is applicable to other places too.
  • Though if you're travelling for like a year I imagine you'll probably want to explore couchsurfing as an alternative? I've never done couchsurfing, but we host people at my house from time to time. Just be careful if you stay at a hostel and hold on to your valuables!
  • If you're in Europe, lots of places have free wifi, especially McDonald's, Quick Burger, Max, etc. and you can usually get away with not buying anything. This is great if you're in a small town that doesn't have a cultural centre or something and/or you're staying somewhere that doesn't have wifi.
  • Australia (or at least WA) is a bit less generous with wifi and it's often a bit slow. cafes often have wifi but you'll need to ask for the password.
  • if you end up couchsurfing it's often customary (but not a big deal) to give gifts; we gave our European hosts Australian chocolates and those were greatly appreciated. Also, tell stories! people often host couchsurfers because they want to hear cool things, so keep that in mind.
  • urbanspoon/yelp is honestly the best way to find somewhere genuine with good food that isn't expensive and i've found this true for basically everywhere i've been
  • be aware of what side of the road people drive on before crossing the road so you don't die (seriously)
  • do some research on healthcare and stuff if you can! get travel insurance obviously, but sometimes you can score free healthcare anyway. as an australian I'm entitled to some free healthcare in Sweden because of the reciprocal healthcare agreement!
  • photocopy your passport, take a photo of your passport & upload it to dropbox or something
  • I would try and keep in mind how tired you'll get when planning your accommodation. Maybe try and book into a hotel every so often so you can get a good rest, because couchsurfing/backpacking can really run you down. Also if you're eating out a lot it can be difficult to stay healthy, but stuff like apples, bananas, carrots, etc. are usually cheap at grocery stores or markets!
  • try and keep an itinerary of your stuff or a mental checklist when you're packing/repacking. i lost a dress somewhere in a french apartment and i'm still really sad about it
airports:
  • Paris CDG airport has really shitty wifi from what I remember but don't leave your bag unattended or they will literally get out the bomb squad and blow it up. I'm not kidding, we were waiting at the gate after like half an hour of warnings over the PA and then the ground shook because they blew up the bag
  • Doha airport is really cool and has great wifi but was apparently built on slave labour so maybe don't
  • Arlanda airport (sweden) is really cool, the staff are really nice and the wifi's real good.
my experiences in Europe:
  • don't go to Paris in winter because it's really really gross. I didn't like paris and I've been told it's because we went in January, apparently it's lovely in spring/summer??
  • the paris underground is really gross, bring hand sanitizer/gloves
  • however, France itself seems really nice. I stayed in Angouleme for the 2014 Comics Festival and I loved it! If you like bakeries you will be spoiled in France because there is basically a bakery on every street corner
  • Brussels is very, very friendly and lots of people speak english. It's kind of a tourist town but there are a lot of things to see and do (also the comics museum is there). There are also cafes that have self-serve or buffet-style set-ups with really healthy food, couches, and wifi. Look out for those, sometimes it's hard to find vegetables when you're touristing.
  • If there is a restaurant that looks suspiciously empty and has a big menu outside with lots of western food (hamburgers, pizzas, etc.), and/or there's a guy outside telling you to come inside because the food is so great, it's a tourist restaurant. Keep walking bc it'll be really expensive. I found these in France and Belgium but they're really common in other touristy places.
  • beware of people coming up to sell you trinkets, especially in Paris around places like the eiffel tower or the Louvre. most of the time they're just expensive pieces of plastic but sometimes they distract you for pickpocketing!
  • if you're staying for more than like a week or two in one place, see if you can score a deal for the local public transport. In Stockholm I bought a public transport pass that lasted 30 days and cost me about $100AUD, which worked out cheaper because it gave me access to the whole public transport system. Australia has similar things but they'll vary between states.
  • the stockholm public transport system is pretty good! it's more expensive than other places but it's punctual, clean, and fairly efficient.
  • swedish people don't really mind if you don't speak swedish and most of them speak english; french people in paris will give you some side-eye for not knowing french; belgians in brussels often don't care if you don't speak french and many speak at least a bit of english
  • partake in street food. strongly recommend crepes and roasted chestnuts in france and frite in belgium. look for bakery cafes for a cheap breakfast of bread, spreads, and coffee


oh lastly, if you don't already have travel insurance, i strongly recommend world nomads. they're reasonably priced and they're really cool about you adding more things to your trip as you go, plus the customer service is usually from your own place of residence and they're really helpful.
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Last edited by ultraviolet; 08-03-2015 at 04:11 AM.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2015, 10:56 AM
Ether's Bane Ether's Bane is offline
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

Let's continue in the Asia-Pacific region - I live in Malaysia, and this is what I can tell you. (In fact, since you're going to Japan, China, and either Australia or New Zealand, you could stick this in the middle of your Asia-Pacific swing.)

I live just outside Kuala Lumpur, the capital. Aside from catching up with me (if you want to), there's a bunch of stuff to do in and around KL (we locals call it by its initials). If you're into shopping, we have an absolute load of malls of all sorts and sizes here, including one that covers the bottom five floors of the Petronas Towers. If you're feeling bold, you might even want to check out Petaling Street, which is known for fake branded items. However, even though they're fake, going to Petaling Street is an experience unto itself. Now, I did say "if you're feeling bold", because it's also not really... the safest part of the city, shall we say.

There are also a bunch of museums around here, and other things that may be worth checking out are the bird park, the national mosque, and Batu Caves. (Though please be respectful for the latter two - Batu Caves is also a sacred Hindu site, on top of being a tourist attraction.)

If you want to go to other places in Malaysia, it depends what you're interested in. Penang (Pulau Pinang in Malay) is about an hour's flight from KL away, or five hours by road if you don't want to fly. It's known for its beaches and being a foodie's city, especially for Chinese food (which isn't surprising, since most people from Penang are of Chinese descent). I would not recommend other beach areas in Malaysia because they are either flood-prone or are unsafe in terms of criminal activity, except for Langkawi, which is also an hour's flight away (it's an island, so no road), though there's... not really too much to do in Langkawi. Another food city is Ipoh, about two and a half hours by road from KL. Malacca (Melaka in Malay) is about two hours by road from KL, and if you're into historical stuff, it's full of old buildings dating back to the colonial era. Kuching is two hours' flight from KL, and it's on the Malaysian part of Borneo. Over there, I would recommend checking out the orangutan sanctuary, the cultural village, and the cat museum (yes, that's a thing - the city's name is Malay for "cat").

I would also recommend going to Singapore if you have the time. It's a little nearer to KL than Penang is (though in terms of travel time, it's about the same because you have to go through customs). It has even more malls than KL (there's basically one on every other street), and among other things, it also has the most amazing zoo, a Universal Studios theme park, and a resort island called Sentosa, which is full of touristy stuff. Going back to the malls, if you go to Singapore, you absolutely must go to Orchard Road, which is Singapore's main shopping area. It'll be even better if you go in December, because every year, Orchard Road has amazing Christmas decorations put up. Also, just outside Singapore, about a half-hour back across the Malaysian border, is a Lego theme park. However, be wary after re-crossing the border if you choose to go there - the border city on the Malaysian side, Johor Bahru, is rather unsafe. (I know a lot about Singapore because my dad lives there, so I've been there many times, and, as you might guess by my usertitle, I want to move there someday.)

Similar to ultraviolet, if you have any other questions on Malaysia (or Singapore), just message me.

Here's the rest of my tips. (uv, I borrowed some of your tips and modified them, if that's okay with you.)

other tips
- Keep in mind that Malaysia and Singapore are both tropical, so ultraviolet's advice on sunscreen/hats applies here too, but year-round. Carrying an umbrella may also be advisable.
- Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, and this permeates many aspects of life here; for example, all food in supermarkets here is assumed to be halal unless it's in the specifically marked non-halal aisles, and some states of Malaysia have Friday-Saturday weekends, among other things. (By the way, in case you were wondering, I'm not a Muslim.)
- KL and Singapore both have good public transport systems.
- As mentioned before, certain areas of KL are rather unsafe, so either avoid them or be careful when going there. Also be wary of "beggars" and other "homeless people". Not because it's right to be classist, but because over here, a huge number of them are fakes trying to swindle you of your money.
- Places with Wi-Fi will normally give you their passwords if you ask.
- In Malaysia and Singapore, we drive on the left.
- You mentioned wanting to try out new foods. With that in mind, you simply have to eat some durian while here. I don't care if you love or hate it (I personally hate it); when you're a tourist in Malaysia, you just must. Other than that, keep in mind that a lot (not all, but a lot) of the local food here is rather spicy, but if you can't handle spicy food (like me), as I mentioned earlier, we also have loads of Chinese places that (presumably) serve very different stuff from the Chinese food you know.
- Speaking of which, something unique to Malaysia is that we have 24-hour eateries known as "mamaks". For a truly authentic experience, have a meal there at night (and by "night", I mean 8:30-9pm or later). Bonus points if there's a live sports event happening at the same time - they'll have it broadcast on the TV there, and this adds to the experience, since many also go to a mamak to watch sports (usually football, or soccer to you) as well as have a meal.
- Try to avoid taking taxis in Malaysia - many taxi drivers here either drive in an unsafe manner, don't use the meter, or both. Singaporean taxis are fine, though.
- Most Malaysians and virtually all Singaporeans speak English, but our local dialects of English are known as Manglish and Singlish respectively, and they have their own quirks which have been influenced by Malay, Tamil, and various Chinese languages. (Manglish and Singlish are virtually the same thing, though.) Most Malaysians aren't too bothered if you can't speak Malay; likewise with most Singaporeans and Mandarin.
- On a related note, road signs in Malaysia are in Malay, but Malay uses Roman letters, so you won't have a problem with the road signs.
- People of Malay descent use patronymic surnames, so they are referred to by their first name.
- Some notable cities and towns which are 90 minutes or less from KL, from closest to farthest: Petaling Jaya (or PJ for short - I live here), Subang Jaya, Puchong, Shah Alam, Klang, Sepang (where the airport is), Seremban, Genting Highlands
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Funny story involving swears. Friend of mine with a dirty mouth was getting owned in soccer. The ref threatened to red card him if he swore again. Very next play he hits the ball out of bounds, starts yelling "SHI-" then catches himself and finishes "-TAKE MUSHROOMS!" He got red carded.


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Last edited by Ether's Bane; 08-03-2015 at 12:47 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2015, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

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Originally Posted by ultraviolet View Post
swedish people don't really mind if you don't speak swedish and most of them speak english; french people in paris will give you some side-eye for not knowing french; belgians in brussels often don't care if you don't speak french and many speak at least a bit of english
I believe you can get by pretty much anywhere in western Europe without speaking a word of the local language, really. From what I've heard even if you do speak the language a lot of locals will hear your accent and insist on practising their English :p

Though the French are generally considered to be the most likely to get snooty about it.
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Old 08-03-2015, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

Now let's skip halfway round the world to the Caribbean!

To be honest, I can really only tell you about Puerto Rico. You probably know this, but it's one of the easiest countries to get into by a longshot since we're kind-of-but-not-really a part of the US (assuming you live in the US). Because of the weird territorial/colonial issues here, English is widely spoken, to the point that lots of menus even in non-tourist zones are in both Spanish and English.

A very important note is that there aren't cities per se here; everything is spread out around the municipalities (municipios in Spanish). The closest you can get to cities is San Juan, where you can find Rio Piedras, Santurce, and the famed Old San Juan, among others that I'm probably forgetting.

If you do go to Old San Juan, the tourism building will be near the harbor. There, you can get a free magazine just filled with restaurants and places you can visit. OSJ is also the part of the island that survives with the most Spanish era buildings and stuff, so you can find quite a bit of history things over there.

Right now, however, the metropolitan area (San Juan and a few adjacent municipalities) are going through water rationing due to a drought, so I recommend instead the more natural touristic options.

There are three bioluminescent bays in the country; two are on the mainland, one is in Vieques, an island municipality. This one's the best, plus you can go to Culebra to soak in the beaches. The one in Fajardo (which I've kayaked on and visited on numerous occasions) is in a beautiful nature reserve called las Cabezas de San Juan (and I think one in Vieques is, too). On the eastern side there is also the Yunque Rainforest, so I highly recommend going.

As was said previously in Australia/Malaysia/Singapore, bring sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water. Even if a certain municipality isn't officially affected by the drought, there is an abnormal heat wave. Almost as if there was some kind of global warming, or something.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

Come to Minnesota. We have hotdish.

And lutefisk, but I wouldn't suggest it if you don't like fish flavored jell-o.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

If you love 95+ (35+ Celsius) weather and lots of beaches, Florida is a nice place to visit. But, I rarely travel out of state (when I do, it's usually to somewhere in Mississippi or Louisiana) and I've never been out of the US, so I can't give you a lot of tips on international travel. So, just be careful, I guess. And good luck on finishing your grad degree!
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

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If you love 95+ (35+ Celsius) weather and lots of beaches, Florida is a nice place to visit. But, I rarely travel out of state (when I do, it's usually to somewhere in Mississippi or Louisiana) and I've never been out of the US, so I can't give you a lot of tips on international travel. So, just be careful, I guess. And good luck on finishing your grad degree!
And if you go to Florida then you can meet up with VM as well and I live not terribly far (same with Adriane)! :o
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

Since uv gave a pretty good rundown of Australia, I'll give you my two cents on New Zealand. I may be pretty biased - having grown up in Australia, New Zealand was more of a holiday destination for me than anywhere in Australia - but NZ has some fantastic vacation spots. I've only been to the North Island, but I used to go there often and absolutely loved it. The Bay of Islands is absolutely gorgeous, and I wholeheartedly recommend going there. While up there you should also check out the Waitangi treaty house, if you want to learn about the Maori culture. Like uv said, the ways that Australia and New Zealand treat their indigenous populations are pretty different. You're likely to see Maori art and architecture everywhere you go. You can take the famous "Hole in the Rock" cruise and see some dolphins; I always enjoyed that. If you drive up to the northernmost point, Cape Reinga, be prepared for one of the most beautiful views you will ever see. There's also a place further south called Rotorua that has geysers and mud pools and all kind of geothermal activity, if that sounds interesting to you.

Australia has more well-known attractions, and is definitely a great place to travel to, but you also will not regret going to New Zealand. It's been like ten years since I last went there and I'm getting intense nostalgia just remembering it ;_;
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Old 08-05-2015, 02:55 AM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

Look me up when you start planning the Japan leg in more detail. I will give you far too much detail about things you probably don't care about/won't be able to get to. :D

I'll probably be in London for the foreseeable future. But I will also probably spend a not-insignificant amount of time in Australia over the next couple years. Some manner of overlap would be good. (PS I am incredibly jealous that you have the time and funds to do this. >:()

I can also probably manage some not entirely useless advice re India and assorted places in Europe. (Should you suffer a lapse of judgement and decide to go to Slovenia, I can also point you in the right direction there.)

Quote:
As far as I can gather Australia and New Zealand are identical except that the latter has Hobbits and more sheep.
Actually Australia has the world's largest population of sheep. They outnumber the people by a fairly impressive margin.
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Last edited by opaltiger; 08-05-2015 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 08-05-2015, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

Come to Israeeelll.... I tempt you with cuddles with my dogs...... *u* no but really you should come and you can sleep at my place though idk where i'll be living in 2 years ahaha. But I can give you lots of advice on what to do and what not to do and we can go out and have fun AND CUDDLE DOGS ok. ;__;
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

If you come to Canada to see Dragon and Eifie you have to come over to the west coast at some point! It's super pretty and natural and has a surprising amount of things to do! Depending on when you come I'll be in either Vancouver or Victoria (university or home), but I highly recommend visiting both (and visiting me where I am!). Each city is lots of fun and encapsulates the west coast feel, but they both have their own unique atmospheres.

I'd probably suggest coming sometime around June, July, August, because it's one of the only places you'll find (outside of the Southern Hemisphere) that isn't obscenely hot. It's okay here in the winter, but there's little snow and lots of rain. PM me if you want my abundance of local knowledge!
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

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Originally Posted by Eta Carinae View Post
I'd probably suggest coming sometime around June, July, August, because it's one of the only places you'll find (outside of the Southern Hemisphere) that isn't obscenely hot. It's okay here in the winter, but there's little snow and lots of rain.
Hmm... maybe I'll move to the west coast...
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

If you visit Stockholm (and I'm there), I'll be happy to meet up and eat many pastries together.
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Old 01-24-2017, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

*crawls back into thread*

*dies*

Okay. Okay. So life happened, as it usually does for people in graduate programs, but finally at last I'm going to be getting out of here, so I can actually start committing to stuff and buying tickets and so on.

Here's a rough outline of the plan thus far. It's still subject to change quite a bit, especially in the later portions, since no doubt shit's gonna happen and not everything's going to work out as expected. Only thing that's 100% set in stone is the South Africa portion, since that's actually with a class that has actual start/end dates and whatnot.

I'm graduating February 24th and allowing a few days to wrap stuff up here/move my crap back home, and then I'll have a couple weeks there to make final preparations before heading out in mid-March. Most places I'm looking to spend a couple of weeks, but there are others where I'll have longer because there's more I know I want to do. So here's the current, really vague itinerary:

- Mid-March - April: Israel
- Maybe sneaking a European location in here, possibly Italy?
- April - May 13: Northern Ireland + UK
- May 13 - June 3: South Africa + Swaziland
- June 3 - July-ish???: Europe???

This is the most murky part of the trip. There are some places that I definitely know I'll be visiting, either as a result of personal interest or because I'll be visiting people there (Switzerland, Italy, Iceland, Sweden for sure, my Dad also wants to do a family trip of sorts to Greece), but I haven't really worked out an itinerary there yet. I'm probably going to go with more shorter daytrip/weekend kind of stuff here, rather than larger continuous blocks like in other places, since there's more stuff closer together and transportation around the continent is uncommonly good. Unfortunately, this is the high season for Europe, which is not good for crowds or for my wallet... idk, I guess I could leave from Africa to SE Asia instead and then re-cross the Atlantic at the end of my trip to enjoy lovely Sweden in... January? See below for more on that dilemma, I guess.

Looking at this again, I really don't have all that much time for Europe in general, do I? Goddammit.

- July-ish: Australia
- August-ish: Australia, New Zealand
- Septemberlike: Japan, China
- October: Peru
- November: Costa Rica, Mexico
- December: Mexico continues, onwards from there? Possibly the Caribbean? Hawaii?

There's no particular reason to stop at December--going March-March is how I'd like it, really. I could continue tooling around South/Central America for another couple months, although the places I have a particular burning want to go are already accounted for. tbh what I really want is more time in SE Asia, but the Africa trip's set in stone and I really, really want to make Peru in October to visit Machu Picchu, and I can't push that one back much farther because I'm trying to get in before the rainy season, which supposedly starts more or less in November. And once I've made it back to the Americas it seems really dumb and expensive to backtrack across the Pacific?? Arrgh.

As you can see, I'm good at planning. Also, several of you mentioned in one way or another that you might be interested in meeting up with me at some point. Some of you I've contacted about that, some of you I haven't. Some of you I've contacted and left hanging (sometimes several times...), for which I apologize! I'm bad at e-mail and communication to begin with, and I have so many fucking e-mails to deal with trying to organize this stuff you don't even know. I'm not ignoring you, I'm procrastinating and ignoring everyone.

Anyway, that's the current situation. Sorry for vanishing and mysteriously never speaking about this again, for, like, a year and a half or something after I posted this thread? And ignoring all your lovely replies? So I'll get to them now:

ultraviolet

Wow, thanks so much for typing all of that up! I'm proooobably not going to visit western Australia, although I'll be flying in from that direction anyway, so who knows? The opportunity to hold koalas is a serious argument in its favor, though. O_O The Important Things like Uluru and the Sydney Opera House are definitely on my list too, though. :P

And yes, after getting lucky in having brought sunscreen and a hat

And thanks for all the travel advice! I'll mostly be staying with people I know or in hostel-style accommodations because money, but there are a few places where I'll be in one spot for long enough that it might make more sense to look for a short-term apartment or similar. (And, yes, I'm sure at times I'll be willing to pony up for a real hotel just for some peace and quiet or, as was the case when I went to China, because the professor is insane and I don't want to sleep in a tent in a rainstorm on top of a fucking mountain.) Thanks especially for the wi-fi tips, I need my wi-fi.

Quote:
oh lastly, if you don't already have travel insurance, i strongly recommend world nomads. they're reasonably priced and they're really cool about you adding more things to your trip as you go, plus the customer service is usually from your own place of residence and they're really helpful.
Heh, literally every travel resource I've read recommends World Nomads first. Haven't looked too specifically into this yet outside of acknowledging that I'll definitely need to buy travel insurance, but World Nomads is definitely sounding like a good bet. :P

Ether's Bane

Thanks for so much detailed info! I especially appreciate the heads-up on what areas are kind of unsafe in addition to what's worth visiting. Lost of cool sightseeing options there, definitely (cat museum???? sign me up). I've been wanting to visit Singapore in particular, since I know (what I think is) a weirdly large number of Singaporeans, although the one I talk with on a regular basis insists there's nothing to do in the country but eat and shop. At the moment I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to visit as much as I want in the SE Asia area, but hopefully I'll manage to work in a bit more time!

Also, re: your tips, omg yes, I totally want to try durian! I'm super curious whether I'm going to be one of the people who loves it or one who hates it, and it just sounds so weird! All the food options you mentioned sound fantastic... late-night meals in particular are definitely my thing.

I liek Squirtles

I am definitely interested in visiting the Caribbean! I'm thinking I might do it towards the end of my trip, since as you mention it's convenient to the continental US, and it'll be winter where I live at that point, which is always a good time to be somewhere tropical. Although I imagine it's also the tourist high season there, which is perhaps less optimal. =/ Towards the end of my trip a lot of downtime on a nice beach will probably really hit the spot, too.

Thanks for all the info! Both the more city-ish (or municipality-ish) stuff and the more outdoors/environment stuff sounds great! I'm not going to pass up bioluminescent pools or rainforests any day of the week.

Phantom
Quote:
Come to Minnesota. We have hotdish.

And lutefisk, but I wouldn't suggest it if you don't like fish flavored jell-o.
tbh I've heard so much hyperbole about lutefisk that I'm pretty sure I'll be compelled to try it when I get the opportunity. XD

Octane and Autumn
Quote:
If you love 95+ (35+ Celsius) weather and lots of beaches, Florida is a nice place to visit. But, I rarely travel out of state (when I do, it's usually to somewhere in Mississippi or Louisiana) and I've never been out of the US, so I can't give you a lot of tips on international travel. So, just be careful, I guess. And good luck on finishing your grad degree!
Quote:
And if you go to Florida then you can meet up with VM as well and I live not terribly far (same with Adriane)! :o
I do like Florida! I've been a few times, but probably won't for this trip. I'll keep some kind of TCoD meetup in mind for any future travel there, though. XD

VM
Quote:
Since uv gave a pretty good rundown of Australia, I'll give you my two cents on New Zealand. I may be pretty biased - having grown up in Australia, New Zealand was more of a holiday destination for me than anywhere in Australia - but NZ has some fantastic vacation spots. I've only been to the North Island, but I used to go there often and absolutely loved it. The Bay of Islands is absolutely gorgeous, and I wholeheartedly recommend going there. While up there you should also check out the Waitangi treaty house, if you want to learn about the Maori culture. Like uv said, the ways that Australia and New Zealand treat their indigenous populations are pretty different. You're likely to see Maori art and architecture everywhere you go. You can take the famous "Hole in the Rock" cruise and see some dolphins; I always enjoyed that. If you drive up to the northernmost point, Cape Reinga, be prepared for one of the most beautiful views you will ever see. There's also a place further south called Rotorua that has geysers and mud pools and all kind of geothermal activity, if that sounds interesting to you.
Ooh, thanks for the lovely recommendations! I'm super excited to be going to New Zealand; it's been one of my top destinations for years. I have to admit that kiwis (the birds) are the biggest attraction for me. They've been my favorite animals since middle school, so getting to see them for real would be a big deal! If you happen to know any good kiwi-viewing spots, I'd love to hear about them.

(I have had the opportunity to see kiwis a couple of times in the US, since there's the odd zoo with one. However, they've always been asleep when I've gone to see them [nocturnal and all, although they're usually kept in dark enclosures], so at this point all I've actually gotten to see are sleeping kiwi asses. Which are still cute! But it would be nice to see them up and actually moving around. Also, I realize that kiwis aren't magically going to be more active in their native land, but hopefully there will be more total, thus greater chance of catching one awake??)

opaltiger

Quote:
Look me up when you start planning the Japan leg in more detail. I will give you far too much detail about things you probably don't care about/won't be able to get to. :D
Quote:
I can also probably manage some not entirely useless advice re India and assorted places in Europe. (Should you suffer a lapse of judgement and decide to go to Slovenia, I can also point you in the right direction there.)
I definitely will! It's a bit early for that with Japan in particular still, but hopefully there'll be more to nail down in a couple-three months. Slovenia, well, my guidebook manages to make it sound like a nice place, somehow. XD I'll take your word for it, though!

Quote:
I'll probably be in London for the foreseeable future. But I will also probably spend a not-insignificant amount of time in Australia over the next couple years. Some manner of overlap would be good. (PS I am incredibly jealous that you have the time and funds to do this. >:()
Totally! I'll get in touch once I have a more concrete idea of where I'll be and when.

pathos
Quote:
Come to Israeeelll.... I tempt you with cuddles with my dogs...... *u* no but really you should come and you can sleep at my place though idk where i'll be living in 2 years ahaha. But I can give you lots of advice on what to do and what not to do and we can go out and have fun AND CUDDLE DOGS ok. ;__;
Yes! Definitely! I'm looking forward to it. I'll try to get back to you soon!

Eta Carinae
Quote:
If you come to Canada to see Dragon and Eifie you have to come over to the west coast at some point! It's super pretty and natural and has a surprising amount of things to do! Depending on when you come I'll be in either Vancouver or Victoria (university or home), but I highly recommend visiting both (and visiting me where I am!). Each city is lots of fun and encapsulates the west coast feel, but they both have their own unique atmospheres.

I'd probably suggest coming sometime around June, July, August, because it's one of the only places you'll find (outside of the Southern Hemisphere) that isn't obscenely hot. It's okay here in the winter, but there's little snow and lots of rain. PM me if you want my abundance of local knowledge!
I keep considering Canada at some point, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to fit it in! It would actually most likely be in the winter if anytime, which I know is a great time to visit Canada. Also apparently all the national parks are free in 2017??? Arrgh, I just don't know when I could make it. (I've also been a couple times already, so it's lower priority.) Vancouver would definitely be a top pick if I do manage to squeeze it in, though!

Music Dragon
Quote:
If you visit Stockholm (and I'm there), I'll be happy to meet up and eat many pastries together.
Totally! And play Magic, of course. :D
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  #19  
Old 01-24-2017, 09:38 AM
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Negrek Negrek is offline
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

*crawls back into thread*

*dies*

Okay. Okay. So life happened, as it usually does for people in graduate programs, but finally at last I'm going to be getting out of here, so I can actually start committing to stuff and buying tickets and so on.

Here's a rough outline of the plan thus far. It's still subject to change quite a bit, especially in the later portions, since no doubt shit's gonna happen and not everything's going to work out as expected. Only thing that's 100% set in stone is the South Africa portion, since that's actually with a class that has actual start/end dates and whatnot.

I'm graduating February 24th and allowing a few days to wrap stuff up here/move my crap back home, and then I'll have a couple weeks there to make final preparations before heading out in mid-March. Most places I'm looking to spend a couple of weeks, but there are others where I'll have longer because there's more I know I want to do. So here's the current, really vague itinerary:

- Mid-March - April: Israel
- Maybe sneaking a European location in here, possibly Italy?
- April - May 13: Northern Ireland + UK
- May 13 - June 3: South Africa + Swaziland
- June 3 - July-ish???: Europe???

This is the most murky part of the trip. There are some places that I definitely know I'll be visiting, either as a result of personal interest or because I'll be visiting people there (Switzerland, Italy, Iceland, Sweden for sure, my Dad also wants to do a family trip of sorts to Greece), but I haven't really worked out an itinerary there yet. I'm probably going to go with more shorter daytrip/weekend kind of stuff here, rather than larger continuous blocks like in other places, since there's more stuff closer together and transportation around the continent is uncommonly good. Unfortunately, this is the high season for Europe, which is not good for crowds or for my wallet... idk, I guess I could leave from Africa to SE Asia instead and then re-cross the Atlantic at the end of my trip to enjoy lovely Sweden in... January? See below for more on that dilemma, I guess.

Looking at this again, I really don't have all that much time for Europe in general, do I? Goddammit.

- July-ish: Australia
- August-ish: Australia, New Zealand
- Septemberlike: Japan, China
- October: Peru
- November: Costa Rica, Mexico
- December: Mexico continues, onwards from there? Possibly the Caribbean? Hawaii?

There's no particular reason to stop at December--going March-March is how I'd like it, really. I could continue tooling around South/Central America for another couple months, although the places I have a particular burning want to go are already accounted for. tbh what I really want is more time in SE Asia, but the Africa trip's set in stone and I really, really want to make Peru in October to visit Machu Picchu, and I can't push that one back much farther because I'm trying to get in before the rainy season, which supposedly starts more or less in November. And once I've made it back to the Americas it seems really dumb and expensive to backtrack across the Pacific?? Arrgh.

As you can see, I'm good at planning. Also, several of you mentioned in one way or another that you might be interested in meeting up with me at some point. Some of you I've contacted about that, some of you I haven't. Some of you I've contacted and left hanging (sometimes several times...), for which I apologize! I'm bad at e-mail and communication to begin with, and I have so many fucking e-mails to deal with trying to organize this stuff you don't even know. I'm not ignoring you, I'm procrastinating and ignoring everyone.

Anyway, that's the current situation. Sorry for vanishing and mysteriously never speaking about this again, for, like, a year and a half or something after I posted this thread? And ignoring all your lovely replies? So I'll get to them now:

ultraviolet

Wow, thanks so much for typing all of that up! I'm proooobably not going to visit western Australia, although I'll be flying in from that direction anyway, so who knows? The opportunity to hold koalas is a serious argument in its favor, though. O_O The Important Things like Uluru and the Sydney Opera House are definitely on my list too, though. :P

And yes, after getting lucky in having brought sunscreen and a hat

And thanks for all the travel advice! I'll mostly be staying with people I know or in hostel-style accommodations because money, but there are a few places where I'll be in one spot for long enough that it might make more sense to look for a short-term apartment or similar. (And, yes, I'm sure at times I'll be willing to pony up for a real hotel just for some peace and quiet or, as was the case when I went to China, because the professor is insane and I don't want to sleep in a tent in a rainstorm on top of a fucking mountain.) Thanks especially for the wi-fi tips, I need my wi-fi.

Quote:
oh lastly, if you don't already have travel insurance, i strongly recommend world nomads. they're reasonably priced and they're really cool about you adding more things to your trip as you go, plus the customer service is usually from your own place of residence and they're really helpful.
Heh, literally every travel resource I've read recommends World Nomads first. Haven't looked too specifically into this yet outside of acknowledging that I'll definitely need to buy travel insurance, but World Nomads is definitely sounding like a good bet. :P

Ether's Bane

Thanks for so much detailed info! I especially appreciate the heads-up on what areas are kind of unsafe in addition to what's worth visiting. Lost of cool sightseeing options there, definitely (cat museum???? sign me up). I've been wanting to visit Singapore in particular, since I know (what I think is) a weirdly large number of Singaporeans, although the one I talk with on a regular basis insists there's nothing to do in the country but eat and shop. At the moment I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to visit as much as I want in the SE Asia area, but hopefully I'll manage to work in a bit more time!

Also, re: your tips, omg yes, I totally want to try durian! I'm super curious whether I'm going to be one of the people who loves it or one who hates it, and it just sounds so weird! All the food options you mentioned sound fantastic... late-night meals in particular are definitely my thing.

I liek Squirtles

I am definitely interested in visiting the Caribbean! I'm thinking I might do it towards the end of my trip, since as you mention it's convenient to the continental US, and it'll be winter where I live at that point, which is always a good time to be somewhere tropical. Although I imagine it's also the tourist high season there, which is perhaps less optimal. =/ Towards the end of my trip a lot of downtime on a nice beach will probably really hit the spot, too.

Thanks for all the info! Both the more city-ish (or municipality-ish) stuff and the more outdoors/environment stuff sounds great! I'm not going to pass up bioluminescent pools or rainforests any day of the week.

Phantom
Quote:
Come to Minnesota. We have hotdish.

And lutefisk, but I wouldn't suggest it if you don't like fish flavored jell-o.
tbh I've heard so much hyperbole about lutefisk that I'm pretty sure I'll be compelled to try it when I get the opportunity. XD

Octane and Autumn
Quote:
If you love 95+ (35+ Celsius) weather and lots of beaches, Florida is a nice place to visit. But, I rarely travel out of state (when I do, it's usually to somewhere in Mississippi or Louisiana) and I've never been out of the US, so I can't give you a lot of tips on international travel. So, just be careful, I guess. And good luck on finishing your grad degree!
Quote:
And if you go to Florida then you can meet up with VM as well and I live not terribly far (same with Adriane)! :o
I do like Florida! I've been a few times, but probably won't for this trip. I'll keep some kind of TCoD meetup in mind for any future travel there, though. XD

VM
Quote:
Since uv gave a pretty good rundown of Australia, I'll give you my two cents on New Zealand. I may be pretty biased - having grown up in Australia, New Zealand was more of a holiday destination for me than anywhere in Australia - but NZ has some fantastic vacation spots. I've only been to the North Island, but I used to go there often and absolutely loved it. The Bay of Islands is absolutely gorgeous, and I wholeheartedly recommend going there. While up there you should also check out the Waitangi treaty house, if you want to learn about the Maori culture. Like uv said, the ways that Australia and New Zealand treat their indigenous populations are pretty different. You're likely to see Maori art and architecture everywhere you go. You can take the famous "Hole in the Rock" cruise and see some dolphins; I always enjoyed that. If you drive up to the northernmost point, Cape Reinga, be prepared for one of the most beautiful views you will ever see. There's also a place further south called Rotorua that has geysers and mud pools and all kind of geothermal activity, if that sounds interesting to you.
Ooh, thanks for the lovely recommendations! I'm super excited to be going to New Zealand; it's been one of my top destinations for years. I have to admit that kiwis (the birds) are the biggest attraction for me. They've been my favorite animals since middle school, so getting to see them for real would be a big deal! If you happen to know any good kiwi-viewing spots, I'd love to hear about them.

(I have had the opportunity to see kiwis a couple of times in the US, since there's the odd zoo with one. However, they've always been asleep when I've gone to see them [nocturnal and all, although they're usually kept in dark enclosures], so at this point all I've actually gotten to see are sleeping kiwi asses. Which are still cute! But it would be nice to see them up and actually moving around. Also, I realize that kiwis aren't magically going to be more active in their native land, but hopefully there will be more total, thus greater chance of catching one awake??)

opaltiger

Quote:
Look me up when you start planning the Japan leg in more detail. I will give you far too much detail about things you probably don't care about/won't be able to get to. :D
Quote:
I can also probably manage some not entirely useless advice re India and assorted places in Europe. (Should you suffer a lapse of judgement and decide to go to Slovenia, I can also point you in the right direction there.)
I definitely will! It's a bit early for that with Japan in particular still, but hopefully there'll be more to nail down in a couple-three months. Slovenia, well, my guidebook manages to make it sound like a nice place, somehow. XD I'll take your word for it, though!

Quote:
I'll probably be in London for the foreseeable future. But I will also probably spend a not-insignificant amount of time in Australia over the next couple years. Some manner of overlap would be good. (PS I am incredibly jealous that you have the time and funds to do this. >:()
Totally! I'll get in touch once I have a more concrete idea of where I'll be and when.

pathos
Quote:
Come to Israeeelll.... I tempt you with cuddles with my dogs...... *u* no but really you should come and you can sleep at my place though idk where i'll be living in 2 years ahaha. But I can give you lots of advice on what to do and what not to do and we can go out and have fun AND CUDDLE DOGS ok. ;__;
Yes! Definitely! I'm looking forward to it. I'll try to get back to you soon!

Eta Carinae
Quote:
If you come to Canada to see Dragon and Eifie you have to come over to the west coast at some point! It's super pretty and natural and has a surprising amount of things to do! Depending on when you come I'll be in either Vancouver or Victoria (university or home), but I highly recommend visiting both (and visiting me where I am!). Each city is lots of fun and encapsulates the west coast feel, but they both have their own unique atmospheres.

I'd probably suggest coming sometime around June, July, August, because it's one of the only places you'll find (outside of the Southern Hemisphere) that isn't obscenely hot. It's okay here in the winter, but there's little snow and lots of rain. PM me if you want my abundance of local knowledge!
I keep considering Canada at some point, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to fit it in! It would actually most likely be in the winter if anytime, which I know is a great time to visit Canada. Also apparently all the national parks are free in 2017??? Arrgh, I just don't know when I could make it. (I've also been a couple times already, so it's lower priority.) Vancouver would definitely be a top pick if I do manage to squeeze it in, though!

Music Dragon
Quote:
If you visit Stockholm (and I'm there), I'll be happy to meet up and eat many pastries together.
Totally! And play Magic, of course. :D
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  #20  
Old 01-24-2017, 10:50 AM
RedneckPhoenix's Avatar
RedneckPhoenix RedneckPhoenix is offline
Let's talk about this "dairy" section.
 
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Default Re: Help me plan my trip around the world!

Wish I could take part in this vacation, but I live in a not-very-notable small town in Michigan, and also I'd only be 14 by the time you swing around, so...
But if you for some reason do come here, sometime during February would be ideal, because that is one of our biggest festivals, with ice-carving, horses, food, and all the stuff you'd probably find in a festival.
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