A Travellerspoint blog

Proposed Itinerary

A quick rundown on the countries we plan to visit...

rain 8 °C

Let me get straight to the point today then, here is the proposed itinerary that we chalked out for this trip of ours. It spans 3 continents over 3 months. We're looking at jumping ship from South America ---> Australasia ---> Asia. Ready or not, here it comes!

Participants:

* Sesh
* Sandeep
* Sharad

Proposed Schedule and Itinerary:

Between March-June-2011

* Stage 1: South America
* Stage 2: Australasia
* Stage 3: East and South East Asia

Stage 1 - South America (4-5 weeks here)

* Brazil
* Argentina
* Peru
* Chile
* Costa Rica

Stage 2 - Australasia (3 weeks here)

* Australia
* New Zealand

Stage 3 – Asia (4-5 weeks here)

* China
* Thailand
* Philippines
* Indonesia

We started out with a lot more countries in each continent but then tried to "trim the fat", if I may. Malaysia, Japan and South Korea were part of Stage 3 and Fiji was part of Stage 2. After some careful consideration, we decided that for several reasons (financially and time wise) we would not be able to do justice to countries like South Korea and Japan by running through them in such quick fashion. Pretty soon you will see why Japan and South Korea were some of the countries that got the axe, cost being the major consideration. Lots of people may disagree with our country selection, but we decided that our main purpose would be to try and enjoy the trip while also seeing as many countries as possible without getting burnt out. I'd like to think of it as wolfing down all that grease at a buffet when you're quite hungry but walking out feeling sick at the end - It happens to me all the time.

Anyhow, Finances! Let's give this topic a quick once over shall we? Our budget for the trip at the moment is a whopping USD 10,000. That's a lot of money in anyone's books and we really hope to be able to stretch our dollars as much as we can. How do we each plan to pay for this? Personally, I plan to sell my car and salvage what I can from it, I figure the memories you get from seeing places far outweigh the ones you get from driving around the your neighbourhood. The major cost we foresee off the top of our heads is definitely transportation. Almost 50% of the 10 grand might have to be allocated to travel by air, sea or land. 25% might be Accomodation and 25% food and drink...and more drinks of course. These percentages will shift based on the kind of deals we get for airfare. Basically,
1) USD 5000 = Transportation (This includes flights from North America - South America - Australia - Asia, local travel via buses, cabs, bullock carts etc. This might not be enough but lets assume that it is for now)
2) USD 2500 = Accomodation (Hostels, hotels, sleeping at friend's houses, sleeping by the roadside. To make things less expensive, we might book night trains/buses so we can kill two birds with one stone.)
3) USD 2500 = Food and drink... not much else to say here.

We plan to book all our major plane tickets while we're still at home and find cheap tickets to travel from country to country once we get there. After searching through multiple travel blogs, we came across this wikipedia entry http://wikitravel.org/en/Round_the_world_flights
What this basically told us was that we had the option of booking "Around the World" flights from various airlines and their partners (The big three include Star Alliance, Oneworld and Skyteam). This sounded quite sweet given that we might be able to do it all in one go without the help of travel agents and such. We're definitely keeping that as an option before we explore several others. The same wiki link also lead us to some travel agents who apparently are the best in the business when it comes to booking RTW (Round The World) trips.
I'll post these links here as well for your reference:
http://www.airtreks.com/
http://www.roundtheworldflights.com/
http://www.travel-nation.co.uk/

Given that Airtreks is the only one based in the USA, we might use them as our first option should we decide to use travel agents. So...this is where we are at today and we hope to surge ahead and get some concretes out of what seems like information overload at the moment.

I could go on and on but I'll stop here and give you (and myself) a breather. Before I go, I'll leave you with a quote from a book called "The Geography of Bliss - Eric Weiner" that I found interesting.

“Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude.”

Thanks for reading...
Much warmth,
Sandeep

P.S: A group of us recently visited Sri Lanka and I thought I'd post a few pics from that trip here.
A pic of a few more members of our gang.
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Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
(L-R: Arun, Ram, Varun, Sesh, Sandeep and Sharad.)

A view of the beach in Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
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Posted by 2011 16:21 Archived in USA Comments (0)

A brief introduction

If you haven't heard of us yet, reading this will break that rather thin ice...

First off, let me start by saying that when I write about travel, I tend to let myself get carried away and possibly digress a little more than I should so please bear with me. The main purpose of this blog is to keep us (who will be introduced shortly) on track and also give you all an insight into our lives. So here we go then!

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Bar Hopping in Chicago.
(Left to Right: Sesh, Sandeep, Sharad)

Named Sesh, Sandeep and Sharad, we are three friends who grew up together in the city of Chennai, India. We've known each other for too long now I must admit. Since we graduated from school and university, we work different jobs in different countries now, but it's a small world with everyone being just a few emails or IMs away we've managed to stay in touch quite a bit.

Sharad studied economics in the UK and then worked for a large bank there for a few years. After the recession hit, he moved back to India and has been making quite a few ripples in the microfinance industry since then. There are three things that define Sharad - Wikipedia, Youtube and Chicken Biriyani. Intelligent as he is, I can safely say he's the most financially inclined of the group given his ability to balance excel sheets while polishing off the last few morsels of his chicken biriyani all at the same time. Apart from that, the man is a walking wiki-monster - he remembers every wikipedia fact he has read in the last few years and can reproduce them in his sleep (although the validity of these facts is yet to be determined). His prior travelling experience includes most of Europe, South India, Sri Lanka and the US.

Sesh on the other hand was born in the US (legally of course!) and came back to India to get his schooling done. At six feet and two inches - he's the tallest guy of the group and also the youngest. He can be quite a handful when he doesn't have his morning cup of coffee but most times he's a gentle giant with quite a sense of humour. He is the most generous when it comes to giving advice and helping you find your feet in times of need. He is a huge sports fan and has a good depth of knowledge on topics that range from medicine to movies. After a long stint with the healthcare industry in the US, he plans to get his Masters degree in the near future. His prior travelling experience includes a few countries in Europe, South India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the US.

I guess that leaves me, Sandeep...I am not very good at talking about myself but I'm sure that with time, my friends here will fill in those blanks quite happily. A few things off the bat - standing tall at 5 ft 7 inches, I'm the shortest of the group and also the handsomest (that's what she said!). I work for an oil & gas company in the US and have been here for nearly a decade now. I like to travel cheap...period. What can I say, it gives me thrills and lots of times, I find that the best things in life are things that don't come attached with a rather large price tag. My prior travelling experience includes a bit of Europe, South India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore, North America.

If you're still reading, you're probably wondering why we decided to start this blog. Well, like everyone else on this site, we are quite excited about travelling and seeing the world. Being in your 20's with no wife, kids or other responsibilities can be a blessing in many ways and we decided to embrace the opportunity to take a break from life to do something different. Our time frame is set for next year between March-June. While we don't have too many details yet, we've already started chalking out a quick road map to figure out what places we want to visit. We plan to visit three continents in three months. We will be sticking to the Southern Hemisphere for now unless plans change in the last minute. The basic idea is to keep things open ended and try to learn as we go along. None of us have planned for something so big before and we are all uber excited! If we can pull this off, we believe that it will be a turning point in our lives and will make us better off in many ways. I don't want to make you go brain dead with too many details so I will save that for my next post.

A few other things to note - Sesh and I are planning on making a trip to South Africa in June to go see the FIFA World Cup! We got tickets through a lottery system last year and will be following the Netherlands (Go Oranje!) for two weeks as they bludgeon through their opponents in the group stages. Planning for that will have to be done asap and we will keep you posted about that as well in our blog.

Posted by 2011 15:25 Comments (9)

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