A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Friday, January 16, 2009

RTW Ticket

Round the world in 365 days. Woohoo!

But now to deal with the transportation factor...

I've gone back and forth on the purchase of a classic round-the-world ticket or just buying one-way tickets as we go. I looked extensively at a hybrid option: booking the major air legs on a RTW ticket with some regional flights thrown in for spice. The major alliances and consolidators I considered were Star Alliance, One World, and Airtreks and the price was about 5-6k/piece for our general itinerary.

But after all that analysis I went to one of my favorite travel sites kayak.com and painstakingly priced each one way ticket and found out we could do it for several hundred dollars cheaper booking as we go. Aaaaand, the best part, we can change our itinerary whenever we want. Meet someone new going someplace we haven't heard of? No problem! One of my favorite memories of backpacking in Europe was hoping on a train and ending up somewhere I didn't expect I would go when I planned the trip at home. With a year long trip we would be foolish to think we can know what and where we will want to go, in sequential order, ahead of time.


Monday, January 5, 2009

The Inevitable Sickness

We are getting a small boatload of prescriptions for Antibiotics and Anti-malarials to try and buffer ourselves from the inevitable sickness that we will surely get. Everyone who has traveled extensively has a horror story of being ill on the road, and they absolutely love to make this the first story they relay to me when I tell them I'm going around the world. Everything from diarrhea in the pants on a long bus ride, to being so sick you can't get up and resort to getting sick "in bed", to having to go so desperately you end up going in the middle of a crowded street with families walking by and pointing. Ugh. I can do without this badge of honor. But it will surely come dear readers, and I'll spill it all (literally and figuratively).

Then there are the travelers that have eaten and drinken all the things you should never eat or drink and never seem to get sick. Can you say Anthony Bourdain?! (Well he may in fact have a royal taster, or intern of some sort.) I think some precautions are warranted, like eating well cooked dishes from crowded places and popular food stalls. But I'm sure there will be many questionable things that I consume. Each time spinning Montezuma's roulette wheel

They say to not eat lettuce or salad because it's washed in dirty water. But I love salad! Or iced drinks on a hot day. I love iced drinks on a hot day! Or unpasteurized dairy like milk and sour cream. Oh-my-god!! Well at least I think I can have thai iced tea (don't they make it with sweet canned evaporated milk?) I really hope so because in my dreams I'm chilling on a hammock outside my hut drinking a creamy thai tea every single day!

Should we all just take bets now on how many times I feel like I nearly die from my culinary indiscretions? I'm going to put my money on 5. Just enough to make the same mistake twice but not so many that I seem insane according to our buddy Einstein.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

All Shot Up

I went to get my second round of vaccinations today at the SF Travel Health Clinic. Apparently we need a lot vaccinations due to our itinerary so we are bracing to be human pincushions. I'm really not a fan of being jabbed but I guess I'd rather be safe then sorry. I'd rather not be knocked out with Yellow Fever in the middle of BFE.

And Poor Ron, he gets faint when he sees a needle. When he went to get his first round I gripped his sweaty hand and led him past all the adults getting blood drawn to lay down in the kiddie room. Then he proceeded to squeeze the life out of a stuffed Tigger while I distracted him with writing a shopping list for Whole Foods so he wouldn't pass out. The good news for him is that he gets the shots for free with Kaiser, while I'm paying almost $1500 due to my fantastic coverage with Blue Cross.

Twinrix - Hepatitis A/B - 3 shots
Typhoid - capsules
TDAP (Tetanus, Diptheria, Pertussis)
Yellow Fever
Japanese Encephalitus - 3 shots
Rabies - 3 shots

Um, Rabies? I guess there are a lot mangy stray dogs out on the streets wanting to nip at you? This is a slightly concerning thought.

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