I’m a planner, so much so that our last two holidays have had their own enormous trip folders. Within these folders are multi-coloured dividers containing each day’s accommodation, maps, possible hikes, potential places to eat… Seriously. Feel free to mock but my approach to planning and research has always reassured me that we’ve experienced every trip to the fullest.
Obviously I realised that carrying a folder around with 13 months of planned activities wasn’t going to happen and letting go of my control freak ways has been difficult, liberating and a bit scary. We’ve had to book a few flights in advance to satisfy border officials that we aren’t planning on squatting in their country but we’ve left our options in between fairly open so we don’t feel tied into concrete plans.
Canada, 10th June – 25th July
We fly into Calgary on the 10th June to start our 6 week road trip around Alberta and British Columbia. The practical reason for heading west to east on our RTW is to ease ourselves in gently to travelling long term, by the time we get to the more challenging countries we should be far more confident. In Canada we’re planning on taking it slow and not trying to see too much, it’s such a vast country that we’ll most likely stay within the southern parts of each province.
Canada To Do:
- See whales migrating north in the Pacific. Saw a humpback but no grey whales 🙁
- Spend time on the wild north coast of Vancouver Island. Done!
- Explore the less well known national parks of the Rockies. Done!
USA, 25th July – 20th October
We’ll catch a train from Vancouver to just north of Seattle where we’ll pick up our U.S rental car and begin a 3 month trek across the country and back. This is the most controversial part of the trip as most people can’t understand why we want to spend 3 months of a year long trip in a western country. The answer is, we’ve fallen in love with this amazing country and we won’t feel satisfied until we’ve properly explored it from coast to coast. I’ve been blown away by what the U.S national parks have to offer and we’re determined to see as many as possible.
USA To Do:
- Finally see the Grand Canyon. Done!
- Stay in a fire lookout in either Washington or Oregon. Done!
- See a baseball game at Wrigley Field. Done!
Rarotonga, a week or so in October
Photo credit: fabvirge
We plan to spend around a week in the Cook Islands soaking up the sun and relaxing after a hectic few months in the U.S. We wanted a break somewhere in the South Pacific before heading to New Zealand and Rarotonga looks perfect, plus we couldn’t believe the flight deals available.
Rarotonga To Do:
- Hike the coast to coast trail. Done!
- Photograph an amazing sunset. Done!
- Eat, sleep and soak up the sun!. Done!
New Zealand, November/December
Photo credit: joeforjette
Visiting New Zealand has been number 1 on my bucket list for so long that I can’t quite believe I’m going. The rough plan at the moment is to fly into Auckland and out of Christchurch, we’ll road trip it in between and think we’ll spend 6-8 weeks there but are leaving it very open.
New Zealand To Do:
- Hike a glacier. Done but in Canada!
- Sea kayak. Done!
- Bungee jump (this one is Paul, there is no way you will find me on a bungee!) Done!
We’ll continue to head west after the first 6 months, we know Australia and South East Asia will be on the list but exactly what, when and how are still very much open for debate!
We’d love to hear what you think of our plans so far and also if you have any tips/suggestions. Don’t forget, if you like this post you can click on the little heart just below.
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