Going around the world always seemed like one of those unreachable dreams, until one day we set a date and first destination for it: April 6, 2019, Russia. From then on, everything changed.
And after Russia, came Mongolia, China and Hong Kong. We then continued on to Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. Until we arrive in Australia, where we are currently before starting again on the other side of the planet. In between, dozens of cities, adventures, trips by every imaginable means of transport, different cultures, extraordinary people and an experience that has changed forever who we are and how we see the world.
But before we tell you about our journey, we want to go back and explain what led us to make this decision.
Setting the goal: why did we decide to go around the world?
Breaking with the predictability of our lives was the first of two reasons that pushed us to leave everything behind. The second: repentance. To regret doing so would weigh less than never having tried.
Working from 9 to 18, with an hour for lunch, stopped being attractive when we saw that it was what would be waiting for us during the next 35 years and that, if we were lucky enough that another crisis like the one in 2008 did not take us away from working life before.
We filled our backpacks with these arguments and soon realized that nothing else would fit. We had no choice but to fulfill the great dream of our lives: to go around the world.
Leaving ManzanaresLeaving Plasencia
Pepe is from Manzanares (Ciudad Real) and Isabel de Plasencia (Cáceres), and both are residents of Madrid, with good jobs and a comfortable life. No different from the vast majority of young people. We always liked to travel and in our conversations the romantic idea of leaving everything to travel without a return ticket kept appearing. Like many, we thought it was an exclusive option for celebrities or rich people, until we asked ourselves, what does it take to go around the world? Could we do it?
The preparations: how did we manage to start the round-the-world trip?
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Having the goal, we only needed the plan to achieve it.
The first thing was to set a budget, and how long we would need to reach it. Obviously it was not easy, we had to give up many plans and make some sacrifices, but we never doubted that it would be worthwhile.
Then we made a list of destinations we’d like to go to. We looked at flights, how expensive or cheap each destination was, how many days to spend in each place…
After deciding that Russia would be the first destination because it is the easiest and most economical country to connect Europe with Asia, we had no doubt that the criterion we would follow to connect one country with the next would be proximity.
Since then, nine months have passed and our eyes have seen so many places that when we are asked what we liked best of all what we have seen we do not know what to answer.
And so, with the mixed feelings only understood by those who have left their loved ones behind in search of their dreams, we said goodbye to our hometowns and took a plane to the first stop in our new life: St. Petersburg.
Around the world on the move: a new life of experiences
A life that took us aboard the Trans-Siberian, from Moscow to Lake Baikal. 5642 kilometers by train, crossing 5 regions and 5 time zones. Or by camel in the Gobi desert, after crossing the unknown Mongolia in a van, where we were lucky enough to be able to live with nomadic families, sleeping in Ghers, sharing meals and games with them.
A life spent walking along the Great Wall of China, the Zhangjiajie cinema (famous Avatar park), modern Shanghai or the magical city of Fenghuang.
Walking the chaotic avenues of Hong Kong and the organized streets of Kyoto.
A life photographed at the foot of Mount Fuji, in the neon of Tokyo, or in the Shinto temples of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. Falling in love with Japan has been one of the easiest things about the trip.
And this life we have chosen, takes you from end to end, and from the most absolute Japanese order transports you to the madness of Vietnam. To Hanoi and its street stalls. To Ha Giang, her ethnicities and different ways of life. Or Lan Ha Bay and its impressive rock formations rising from the sea.
It has given us the opportunity to tour Cambodia, from the remote beaches of Koh Rong, to the imposing Angkor Wat, discovering the sad history that the Khmer Rouge left in this country.
To admire the Petronas Towers up close and to marvel at Singapore.
To enjoy the paradisiacal beaches of the Philippines, the atmosphere of the surfing island of Siargao, the crystalline waters of El Nido and to learn how its people, with very little, live with a constant smile.
Finally, this new life has brought us to Australia, a country that has given us the necessary time to assimilate everything we have experienced, from which we continue to discover dazzling landscapes along its coasts, where we have dived its Great Barrier Reef and have been left speechless in front of the most famous Opera House in the world.
How does all this continue?
Of course, with more trips, more dreams and more adventures. A 2020 in which we will continue to travel through Australia, we will make the jump to New Zealand, we will continue to Hawaii and only time will tell where this list of countries ends that one day, sitting from the couch of our house, we decided to start.
Looking back, we still find it hard to believe how lucky we are to be able to make this journey. We still find it hard to believe that it was less than a year ago when we left home with the uncertainty of what the coming months would bring and whether we would be able to remember it to tell our children and grandchildren one day.
In order not to forget it, and because of the happiness that helps us to help other travellers to fulfil their dreams, we decided to open a blog and an Instagram account where we keep everything we have experienced and we are waiting for your comments to encourage you to take the first step if you have the same doubts as we did at the beginning.
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