Around the world trip – any suggestions ?

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  • Charles-P

    My wife has decided we need to take a year out probably in about two years time and do one great around the world trip that covers the sights we have not been able to do in detail when I was in business. We already have the following on our ‘bucket list’ but could others here make suggestions ? To give some background, we are both in our early fifties, physically fit, enjoy walking and driving but are not fans of camping or the RV lifestyle. We tend toward five star hotels where possible. We share interests in architecture, fine wine, good food, natural history and art, I am always keen to see aviation or motor racing related sites or activities. So far we have

    The Galapagos Islands
    The Grand Canyon
    The Northern Lights from either Iceland or Norway
    Easter Island
    Angkor Wat
    Mount Fuji
    Yellowstone National Park
    Walking the Appalachian Trail (at least some it )
    Bora Bora
    Swim on the Great Barrier Reef
    Machu Picchu
    Torres Del Paine Park
    Everest Base Camp
    Racetrack Playa in Death Valley
    Bonneville Salt Flats during speed week
    Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Utah
    Palm Spings Air Museum
    The Smithsonian
    National Museum of the United States Air Force Ohio
    A trip on the Oslo to Bergen railway.
    Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
    The Danube Express
    The Kremlin and other sites in Moscow.

    All suggestions welcome and appreciated.


    Hi Charles P
    Maybe you can let us know where you’ve already been, and already discounted.

    Just off the top of my head, I’d immiedately add Vancouver and then the train through the Rockies.
    And even more impressively, the Great Rift Valley.betweeen Naivash a and Nakuru


    Cancuklad – yes having read your comment it may well have been better if I had done that (Doh!).

    We have traveled extensively in Europe and have seen the major sites there such as Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Venice, Vienna etc. We both know Africa well and I was raised in the bush so no interests toward the Game Reserve type trip. We have done little in the USA apart from New York and North Carolina (our son is at Duke Law School) so we are keen to see the US in greater depth.
    Asia is an area where we know little outside of Tokyo and Bali. We know the Middle East well.

    Thanks again


    Charles, may I suggest you also consider:

    Trekking in Tasmania
    The Cameron Highlands – beautiful for walking
    The Iguazu falls
    The Falkland Islands – on our list for next winter
    I would second Vancouver and the Rockies


    If I was planning a year out trip of a lifetime, I would certainly want to include places that I would not usually go to on a standard holiday, places that at the end of the trip I could say WOW, done it. These lists are very personal to each of us, but I would include….

    1. a visit to North Korea

    2. or the DMZ from the S Korea side

    3. I am fascinated by Mt. Everest and whilst I would love to see the summit, the reality is although you can buy your way up, more people die on the decent. My “summit” would be to spend a night at advanced base camp. The down side of this is it would take 26 days of the trip out.

    4. I would love to experience a trip on a container boat, with just few other guests and the ships crew for company. I’ve heard this can be great fun.

    5. Interacting with animals, whether helping with baby elephants or gorillas etc – this must be hugely rewarding

    6. swimming with Great Whites

    7. hiring a car in China, perhaps with a guide and just driving…

    8. Going on a food tour of New York with Anthony Bourdain as my host

    9. Great Wall of China

    10. of course another QM 2 crossing…


    …you could also add a trip on the orient express….I rode the Trans-Siberian express…I certainly recommend investigating that…it will be interesting what you eventually decide…


    Are you intending to self fly this itinerary in your new Pilatus?


    MartynSinclair – thank you, some really interesting suggestions there. Base Camp of Everest is on the list and something I very much want to do, I agree the summit is possible but at my age I think I might be pushing it. The Great Wall of China was on our first list but curiously everyone I spoke with that has visited was less than enthusiastic, sort of “yeah well we’ve seen it now”. I visited the DMZ with a South Korean military group some years ago including a tour of the Joint Security Area, interesting to see but like the Berlin Wall ultimately depressing.


    Fly from Maui into Phoenix……
    Route northwards via
    The Grand Canyon
    Las Vegas
    Area 51
    San Francisco
    Seattle-trip to the Boeing plant

    Ferry to Victoria and ferry to Vancouver (Nanimo-Schwartz Bay
    Drop car off n Vancouver

    Rocky Mountaineer to Calgary.

    Fly to Minneapolis
    And rough it………
    Greyhound pop on and off ticket all the way down the Missippi to New Orleans


    canucklad – those are some excellent suggestions – thank you. The Rocky Mountaineer train in particular looks magnificent.

    Regarding Area 51, I once employed briefly a consultant who had previously worked there, he was very candid and said it was simply an advanced weapon and flight research centre which the US government hyped up with stories of UFOs flying saucers etc to divert attention from the real UFO reverse engineering research centre at Ross Ice Shelf …… it’s possible he was having fun with me however 🙂


    JohnHarper – thank you for your ideas and Ekond222 for yours. All new items we are adding to a growing list. I had thought of the Trans Siberian Express but I thought the journey long and potentially boring as a result, is that the case ? The Iguazu falls look fascinating and we could certainly add that to the South American leg of the trip.

    Thank you again both for your ideas, I am most grateful.


    CharlesP – looking at your list I’m amazed that you’ve not crossed most of these off – your wife is very right and you should do a serious RTW! Forgetting Southern Africa assuming you know there, but maybe the north (Ethiopia) (plus if you have not been Egypt & Morocco as they could become like other parts of the arab world not worth visiting any more) would suggest for a few starter options in addition

    USA: New Mexico (around Albuqueque/SantaFee), Four Corners (for places like Mesa Verde, slot canyons like Antelope etc near Page) Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion are all “musts” but for this trip do your planning with the AAA Indian Country Map. Forget the East Coast as this is easily done on several short trips from Europe. California coast is great, Sequoia forests marvellous and up through Oregon to magical places on the Olympic National Park near Seattle.

    Canucklad is a Vancouver fan and much round there to enjoy but Rocky Mountaineer brings us to train journeys…from Copper Canyon in Mexico to the Coast, Bergen to Oslo certainly, some great routes in both New Zealand but in Aussi the Ghan was not my favourite. Another goodie that has (I believe) just reopened is in Equador.

    South America: Your selection should include places like Mexico City, Oaxaca (Monte Alban) in Mexico, Antigua in Guatemala,even Parts of Colombia but Peru is a must (gold museum near Lima) as is the Galapagos. can think of so many more superb places to visit but I suspect one years RTW is not enough though would highly recommend Easter Island!

    Asia: Certainly Ankor and the surrounding areas and maybe down by boat to Pnom Phen (interesting old palace and horrendous Pol Pot prison, likewise the temples & riverside in Laos near Luang Prabang but my favourite around there is undoubtably Burma and is now pretty easy to get around. You see to have missed out on India – it can be hard work but if you like great hotels and that style of food you should at least dip in for maybe a couple of months. Leh is an alternative to Lhasa, Srinagar looks a bit iffy at present but at least a rail trip to Simla would be good. If you like tigers Ranthambore is not the best choice try Bhandavgar instead you are more likely to se them from your elephants back without screaming locals scaring them off. Some stunning places to explore nearby and you are not far from the classic circuit.

    Will forgo further suggestions other that to say the the great barrier reef has serious competition in the northwest of Australia along Ningaloo where, around early March there is the option of swimming with Whale Sharks.



    Charles, a couple of things from me.

    First the Oslo-Bergen trip. To do it properly you need to do it twice, once in Winter and once in Summer, it really is a very different but equally spectacular trip each time. Remember though, in winter the days are short.

    I must also recommend you add Egypt to your list. Early morning before the crowds at the Valley of the Kings is an awesome experience. If you go to Cairo too the Egyptian museum is a must, and I guess while there see a pyramid or 3, like the Great Wall of China a bit of an anti climax unless you did not know they were big!

    Edited to correct spelling.


    Hope you have a wonderful trip. Charles!
    *I strongly second Moscow, and Easter Island – they’re in my personal top four places I’ve been. But the other two in my top four are Jerusalem; and Moorea [fabulous, and much better to me than the nearby main island of Tahiti] – I recommend them. About Everest Base Camp, Martyn said try Advanced Base Camp, but that’s on the North [Tibet] side: the usual ‘Everest Base Camp’ [in Nepal] has no ‘Advanced’ site, and is reputedly a much better trip though still very time-consuming as Martyn said. [Signed, GivingupBA, PS I’m an ex-climber but have never been to Everest].



    Is there a risk of getting into a ticking the box feeling during these type of trips? Another day another wonder of the world – have you looked at the events calendar for 2018/19 and considered building in these type of experiences. Can be a great way to meet like minded people but also means that the locations the events are taking place in can be very busy but that can also bring fun.

    Any new skills you like to add? Keeps the brain in gear and brings a different purpose to part of the journey.

    Finally have you thought about asking friends and family to meet up with you in certain locations – Christmas in X with Y & Z where X could be on Bondi Beach or helping in a refuge in Manila maybe.

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