We finished our second big trip (Big Trip 2.0), so we figured it was about time we shared a few statistics about it! We chose to spend a good chunk of time in Africa, revisited a bunch of favourites, and got some time to explore in our home country…
Before we get started with the Numbers…
How did this trip actually take shape? Well here goes…
NYC Colombo, Sri Lanka
Starting off, it was again freezing temperates in NYC. We headed to Sri Lanka for a friend’s wedding. Talk about a drastic climate change though! We were both hit by the hardest jet lag we’ve ever had.
Kandy Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya Haputale
We hit up a few different locations this time around, but also made some repeat trips to some old favourites. I had a bit of misfortune where my bag was stolen, which forced me into some serious minimalist travel in terms of my clothing situation…
Negombo Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand was another repeat visit. Bangkok is a great city with plenty to see and do, which we’d missed last time (the grand palace was closed due to the passing of the king of Thailand). Considering my lack of clothing, it was also a great spot to restock on some essentials (having more than a single pair of underwear is pretty helpful). To make the most of this return visit to Thailand, we decided to head south to parts we’d not seen before.
Bangkok Hua Hin
Singapore was yet another repeat visit- a bit of a theme for this trip so far. It’s such a great country (with fabulous food) and it was a nice dose of a big modern city before we embarked on our African adventure. We did a little shopping (picked up a couple of sweet linen shirts for when we were on safari!), and a lot of eating while we were here!
Singapore Johannesburg, South Africa
This is where the real adventure begins. Africa! South Africa is a country which has always been in my consciousness, due to being from New Zealand, but wasn’t anywhere I thought I’d ever visit. We were both aprehensive and excited, and had no idea what to expect. We rented a car, and embarked upon an epic road trip (more on that later).
Cradock Plettenberg Bay
Plettenberg Bay Oudtshoorn
Gansbaai Cape Town
Cape Town Franschhoek
Springbok Fish River Canyon, Namibia
At this point, we entered Namibia. When we were planning our trip in South Africa, we didn’t have much concept on what else to do. Fortunately National Geographic had just released an awesome spread on Namibia. After seeing that, we had to go. We spent A LOT of time camping there…
Fish River Canyon Luderitz
Ngepi Katima Mulilo
Katima Mulilo Kasane, Botswana
Enter Botswana. Throughout our trip in Namibia, people had told us over and over again how awesome and organised Botswana was. We saw some incredible sights (literally elephants for Africa), but in our opinion Namibia is better! We did meet some very friendly South Africans while we were here, who introduced us to the Braai. We also took a quick jaunt into Zimbabwe to visit Victoria Falls. There was no way we could be that close to one of the great waterfalls of the planet and not see it!
Kasane Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Kasane Elephant Sands
Elephant Sands Francistown
Francistown Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Khama Rhino Sanctuary Mokopane, South Africa
Back into South Africa. I was a little worried I’d be given some trouble coming back into the country (New Zealanders have to get a tourist visa in South Africa), due to the fact that our flight out was on the very last day of my visa, but no troubles! We spent our last few days doing a little bit of hiking, but generally just chilling out. Our stop in Pretoria was the first time sleeping under a roof in a couple of weeks, and we thouroughly enjoyed having a dedicated kitchen to cook up some delicious food.
Johannesburg Casablanca, Morocco
We’d booked our flight from Jo’burg to Casablanca a good while back (due to my SA visa requirements), but upon further reading, we decided that Casablanca wasn’t a place we’d like to spend much time. As soon as we arrived, we booked it to Fez, which sounded much more our style. We only had about a week in Morocco, but it was the perfect amount of time for what we wanted.
Tangier Madrid, Spain
After months of travelling rough, we were really looking forward to some of the familiar comforts of Europe. I’d been wanting to go to Spain for about a decade. My parents took our family to Europe back in 2007, and I’d wanted to visit then, but it just didn’t work out with our itinerary. I finally made it! Apart from our two weeks in Croatia in 2017, this was the first time we’d really road tripped in Europe. We got lucky and our rental was upgraded to an Audi (nicest car I’ve ever driven), which definitely left us with a rosey view of the driving situation!
Salamanca Porto, Portugal
A friend of ours had organised for us to stay in his family’s holiday home in the south of Spain, but we had some time to fill in before that appointment, so decided to make our way south through Portugal. Of all the places we visited in Portugal, I think Porto was my favourite.
Lisbon São Brás de Alportel
Back into Spain, making our way ever closer to the Costa del Sol. First stop was Seville, which was simply outstanding. Possibly the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. Once we made it to our holiday home hook up in Fuengirola, we were able to take it a little easier on the driving and take day trips every other day from there.
Madrid New York City, USA
After a few final days in Madrid, we reluctantly packed our bags for the final time and headed back stateside. We had a graduation to attend near the city, but after that we still had two weeks before we could kick our subletters out of our place and move back in. We decided to fill that time by exploring some of upstate New York and Vermont. We’d also been pinged to attend a family reunion out west, so we were able to include a jaunt out to New Mexico and southern Colorado. Then- due to some misfortune weather- our flight back to Albany from Albuquerque left us stranded in Chicago, so we had an impromptu visit with a friend there for day. Finally, we picked up our car in Albany, and drove back home to NYC for the first time in about 5 months.
NYC Lake George
Lake George Manchester
Lake George Burlington
Where We Went
Time in Each Region:
Asia: 4 weeks
Africa: 9 weeks
Europe: 4 weeks
USA: 2 weeks
|Least Expensive||Most Expensive|
|Accommodation||Namibia (this varied A LOT)||Singapore|
|Country to get around||Sri Lanka||Portugal|
This trip was a bit different from our last, in that we spent a good portion of this one road tripping our way across the countryside! For the Southern African, American, and European portion of our trip, we rented a car. Aside from driving, we did the usual combinations of flights, trains, buses, and taxis!
How We Got Around
For the first time, we also kept a rough estimate of how long we spent traveling with each mode of transport. Despite the number of flights we took, the time we spent driving far eclipsed the amount of time we spent taking all of those flights.
To put some of these numbers into perspective, those 177 odd hours of driving we did are the equivalent of driving for 7 days straight. The total amount of time spent in transit? We could have sat through the entire extended cut of the Lord of the Rings trilogy 27 times, and still had some time left over. Tempting, I’m sure…
We covered some huge distances on this trip; including our flights, we made it 15.61% of the way to The Moon!
It’s also interesting to compare the average distances we traveled on any given driving day. Given the size and lack of population density of Namibia and Botswana, it’s no surprise that an average trip was pretty far. On the other hand, South Africa is equally as huge, so it came as a surprise that our average was much lower there. Overall, the distance we covered while in Southern Africa would have taken us from NYC to LA, and back!
So there you have it! A bit of a look at where we went, and how we got there! Keep an eye out for the budget breakdown of this trip, coming soon. In the mean time, feel free to check out the budget of our first 6-month trip.
Got any questions or remarks? Let us know in the comments below!