Our Big Trip

In less than 2 weeks, we slip the surly bonds of California, departing on Our Big Trip (OBT) and our new roving retirement lifestyle. First stop, Australia.

Sydney Opera House

Where Are We Going?

Like everyone else, I’m sure you want to know where are we going. Here is the list of countries we will be visiting:

Australia Nepal Tanzania
Japan England Kenya
Thailand Scotland Zimbabwe
Laos Malta Botswana
Vietnam Egypt South Africa
Cambodia Jordan Argentina
India Israel Peru

Some of these stops are on tours and others we are attacking on our own.

Pyramids of Egypt

21 countries in all, over 170 days; roughly 8 days per country. When I share our plans with friends, I commonly get these responses:

I’ve always wanted to go to <place> OR
<Place> is great, you’ll have a wonderful time
Are you going to <specific place> while you are in <place>?

Me: Why do you ask? Should I check out something else in <place> if I can?

Why aren’t you going to <place>? OR
You have to go see <place>.

Me: I remember a friend telling me years ago “Going to Spain? You simply MUST visit the Azores; the beaches are fantastic!” With limited time to see all of Spain, taking the time to see the Azores on my first trip didn’t seem like a good bang for the buck. Eight days per country will still only touching the surface in most places, but we had to make choices and we may get there another time (I haven’t given up on the Azores, either).

I couldn’t be away that long because <excuse> OR
That sounds so exciting, I wish I could do that.

Me: Then start small and go where you can, when you can.

 I’m jealous! (usually followed by a long sigh)

Me: Don’t be that person. Just don’t. Be happy for me and start thinking about how you can make something happen for yourself. Then I can be happy for you too :-).


How We Managed Our Itinerary

Admittedly, this is an ambitious itinerary, it might be like taking a long drink from a fire hose. Trip facts:

  • Some stops are on our own and others are on tours
  • Some stops are more active (the African Safari) and some more restful (beach week in Thailand)
  • We are flying Business class on longer flights to help with jet lag and combating airborne confinement.
  • Whenever we get thrown a curveball, we will attempt to classify that under “It’s an Adventure“. Historically, some of our best travel memories have come from curveballs. 

Oddly, I get only a few questions about cost. I guess people figure it is rude to ask what the trip is costing us. For our part, we believe we are saving money on this trip. Right. Truly, every stop represents some bucket list item for one or both of us. Rolling them all up into OBT makes senses to us. Spreading the trips out would just mean more flights over time that would ultimately cost more. Additionally, we are saving by not paying for an unused house while we are traveling.

Today, we have the time, money and health to do this. When conditions like this align, Carpe Diem!

For information about how we planned our trip see Planning Our Big Trip.

What places are your bucket list and why?

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  1. Here’s a response you probably have not received; I don’t envy you! Well, not really. You’ll make many memories. Have a good time and be careful out there. Lila and I are in Porto, Portugal. We left the states April 18. I’m tired of all this travel and want to go home! We have things booked through July 15, so we just have to stick it out. BTW, the Azores are indeed quite beautiful!

  2. Love what you’re doing and that you’re sharing it with all of us! Keep it up!!!

  3. I am so HAPPY for you and Diane. I would love to see the dates of your OBT – just in case Mark and I can join you somewhere in the world. This is exciting!!

  4. Hey Diana and Mike,
    I really enjoy reading about your travel adventures. Lets me live vicariously. Lol. Keep them coming! Safe travels!
    ~ Sabine

  5. Thanks, glad you are enjoying our posts. It’s a little more work than we thought.

  6. Ha! I fell right into that “I’m jealous” trap already in an email to Mike.

    When you reach Egypt give the kushari a try. It is a fast food in Egypt served from gleaming clean tile walled restaurants. Cheap, fast, and tasty.

    Merchants are hard bargainers though you will be well prepared to do the market price negotiation dance from the other places you have already visited. There are probably two perfume/papyrus/gold shops in Cairo that are owned by uncles who seem to have thousands of nephews eager to show you the way.

    Happy trails!

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