Around the World in 90 Days

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Monthly Archives: September 2010

Next movie…Ethiopia…I think?

The next country after Belgium will be Ethiopia.  So it’s time to pick an Ethiopian movie.  Problem?  There aren’t many films or documentaries taking place in Ethiopia.  IMDB has only 29 movies listed.  Many of these are not available on netflix.    So I list the movies that are available.

Teza is a movie about an  Ethiopian who returns home after years of studying medicine in Germany, he finds Ethiopia completely transformed into a violent, war-torn country under the rule of Haile Mariam Mengistu.  He is trying to figure out where he fits into this new world.

Altetu is a movie about the first Ethiopian to win the Olympics.  It is uncertain if this is available through Netflix.  It apparently was presented in the Nashville film festival.  I can’t find a trailer.

And that’s it.  Seriously  That’s it.  Of 29 movies only one is definitely available.  The other may be available.

In Bruges: Our First Movie Prep…

Lessons learned from In Bruges:

1. Don’t shoot a child

2. Jumping off a tower with a gun in your front pocket will only smash the gun.

3. Bruges is amazing and gorgeous and I can’t wait to go!

Long story short In Bruges gets 5/10 and the city of Bruges gets a 9/10.
I think the poster says it all

Decisions, Decisions

Six continents (sorry, One World doesn’t fly to Antartica). Scores of countries. A maximum of sixteen flight segments. Just three months. However do we choose? Consider the options:

Europe. We’re paying for the stopover, so we’re including a quick look at London and Belgium, but Europe’s always close enough that we can visit it some other time (even though this will be my first time to set foot on the actual continent in my 34 years).

Asia. Never been there, and would love to visit, but we’ve gotta prioritize, so–another time.

Africa. My sister and family live in Kenya, and we have friends in Botswana this year, so it’s a definite inclusion. We seem to get there fairly often, though, so we’re only planning on about three weeks.

Australia. Life-long dream, that. Wish we could spend three months there, but I expect we’ll visit again before too many years.

Papua New Guinea. It’s the haziest part of our trip, given its social instability and limited infrastructure, but I’m looking into options.

South America. I’ve spent about three months there, and Lisa’s never been, so there’s a lot I’m looking forward to sharing with her (Iquitos, Banos, Quito, Santiago) and a lot I can’t wait to discover with her (Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires, Bolivia, and more).

The world is vast and the opportunities limitless. This trip has taken a decade to find the time for, and I don’t foresee us having another full three months to spare any time soon, so we’re going to make the most of it, while keeping our eyes open for things to come back to.

Another Kind of Preparation

We have decided to fully prepare for the trip we are going to need to buckle down and watch some movies.  We must watch a movie for each country we are visiting.  It must be shot on location in the country in question.  It must also show something about the culture, scenery or gist of the country.

We are taking suggestions…

First up?  In Bruges

. . . Well, not a movie we’d recommend to anyone feeling down (extremely dark comedy with copious swearing mixed with spiritual and philosophical ponderings, violent images, and a whole lot of death and irony), and it didn’t really tell us anything about the culture since it was about tourists, but Bruges the city looks like it will be terrific. Stay tuned for our next, slightly more uplifting selection . . .

Three months?!

That’s what two different friends said when I told them of my future round-the-world travel plans. And yeah, three months is about four times longer than the longest trip I’ve ever taken. But for a trip around the world? If only. Three months in Africa? In Australia? In South America? In Europe? Sure. But when you’re circling the globe, hitting more than a dozen countries on four continents, three months is just skimming the surface.

Meanwhile our travel plans keep shifting. First I figured out that our tickets would cost more than I thought because, while we’re paying a set price per number of continents, we’re paying for a) our starting continent of North America, and b) Europe too, because our plane has to land in London to get to Africa via the One World alliance. Soooo, we decided we might as well spend a few days in London and maybe hop over to Belgium too while we’re at it, since I’ve only been to England and Ireland in the Europe realm of things. At least I know my next RTW trip will be cheaper than this one that hits Europe, Africa, Australia, and South America.

Then earlier this week I discovered that, oops, there’s no One World connection between Nairobi, Kenya and Johannesburg, South Africa, so we’ll have to buy separate tickets on another airline to get between them. Why no carrier in the One World alliance offers a flight between two of Africa’s biggest cities, I have no clue. Then I figured out that a) every takeoff and landing actually counts as its own segment, so we needed to make sure every flight we take is direct, and b) even though we’re allowed up to 16 flight segments, we’re only allowed a maximum of four per continent. Crazy, eh? Fortunately we can buy up to two extra segments at just $150 apiece, so that’s probably how we’ll get to Iquitos (accessible only by boat or plane) in the Amazon.

I also discovered that the only One World flight between Australia and South America is Sydney to Buenos Aires. We weren’t planning to visit Argentina, but I’m certainly up for visiting Buenos Aires, so as of Wednesday, that’s added to our itinerary.

The good news is, while not all the flights we’ll need are available every day of the week, we can otherwise leave our travel dates open and adjust them as we go.So what’s the new route? Here’s how it’s looking as of September 17, 2010. We’ll leave the last week of December for London, probably take a ferry over to Belgium with some friends, then head to Ethiopia (via Nairobi). Then the Indian Ocean beach town of Mombasa via the overnight train from Nairobi, followed by a week or so with friends in Botswana via Johannesburg. After that about two weeks bumming around Australia, then a week or so in Papua New Guinea. Then off to Buenos Aires; Santiago, Chile; then a little trek around Bolivia, Lake Titicaca, and Cusco, the nearest town to Macchu Picchu (which I think I just misspelled). After that grubby Lima; amazing Iquitos; and our last country–Ecuador, right on the equator. Finally, since we’ve gotta go through Miami on our way home, we just might spend a day or three there chilling in the sunshine.

Over the last year we’ve had to discard ambitions to visit places like Tahiti, Easter Island, and Rio, because they simply weren‘t accessible on our airlines from our route. We’ll catch those spots some other trip, but for now, the aforementioned route will do just fine–after all, there’s only so much time.

Direct…

Direct flights are becoming the key to planning a successful trip.  Any layover counts as a “stop.”  For example to fly oneworld united to Nairobi we stop in London, thus adding a continent and a stop.

Shocking in this day and age there are no direct flights on the oneworld alliance from Nairobi to Johannesburg.  So the itinerary may need to be modified.

I am really starting to get excited about the trip overall, no matter where we end up!

The Master Plan

The plan is years in the making, even before we were married this was discussed and planned!  Right now we have narrowed our focus to the southern hemisphere.  Plusses to this include the year without winter.  Summer year round anyone?

This is all tentative of course until our tickets are purchased. We are going via oneworld Explorer.  Five continents and Fourteen Countries (at least)!
Baltimore to London (maybe a side trip to Belgium)
London to Nairobi
Nairobi to Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa to Nairobi
Nairobi to Mombasa via Jambo Deluxe  and then back to Nairobi
Nairobi to Gaborone (via Johannesburg)
Gaborone to Livingston
Livginston to Johannesburg
Johannesburg to Sydney (this part is not completely planned)
Australia to Papua New Guinea
Australia to Easter Island
Easter Island to Santiago
Santiago to Quito
Quito to Lima
Lima to Iquitos
Iquitos to Cusco
Cusco to Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca to Bolivia
Bolivia to Baltimore

And so it begins…

Tompaul and I have always dreamed of going around the world.  Our adventure will begin this next year January 2011!  Three months, five continents, one bag each!

Please stay tuned for more info and updates.