The route I chose is not quite the typical route for RTW’ers. Because a lot of people who go on similar trips leave from either Europe or Australia it makes sense for them to travel East. I am leaving from Chicago, Illinois and decided to travel West instead. A lot of this had to do with wanting to see Japan first and not start out in ‘difficult’ countries like Tanzania or India. The weather was taken into consideration as well.

Planning a route for a RTW trip can take a lot of work. It is certainly possible not to plan at all, but if you want to avoid monsoons, winter and other unpleasentries it’s best to plan ahead. ??Unfortunately, there is no magic way to determine what your route should be.

I started thinking about where I wanted to go on my RTW about 5 years ago, when I first met people traveling RTW. I have always wanted to go to Japan, but Asia seemed very far away. I decided that I would go to Asia on my RTW and avoid places I had already been, namely Europe. In my mind my RTW trip would be about new places and seeing all of the exotic places I didn’t have time to fly to on a two week vacation.

My favorite tool for planning a route is the library. By visiting the four closest libraries to my house I am able to read guide and picture books on almost anywhere in the world. To get an idea of where I might like to go besides Japan I read other people’s online travel journals, books about travel, lists of World Heritage Sites and travel message boards like Lonely Planet’s Thorntree. I have also become very good at geograpy and spend many nights pouring over atlases, connecting land routes together and determining where border crossings are.

I have split up my route below into Phase 1 and Phase 2. Phase 1 is the RTW trip I started in Japan during September, 2004. Phase 2 is the RTW route started in South Korea during June, 2006. You can read more about why the trip is split into two phases in the about section of this site. I plan to cover most of Asia and India overland (assuming the Maosit rebels and king of Nepal cooperate) and then flying to Africa. However, based on my rough estimates I will arrive in Africa during rainy season, so I haven’t decided if I will start in South Africa and head North or in Jordan and head South through Egypt. As I found out during Phase 1, plans change and schedules can be thrown off by months or even a year so I intend to cross that bridge when I come to it.

Jump down to: Phase 1 Route | Phase 2 Route | Original Proposed Routes

The Route Traveled to Date: Phase I & II

September 2004–March 2005 & June 2006–August 2007
USA» Japan» China» Vietnam» Cambodia» Laos» Thailand» Myanmar» Thailand» Myanmar» Thailand» USA

Click the links to open a route map with travel times for each country: USA» South Korea» Mongolia» China» Kyrgyzstan» Uzbekistan» Tajikistan» Kyrgyzstan» China» Tibet» Nepal» India» Jordan» Egypt» Ethiopia» Kenya» Madagascar» Kenya» Uganda» Democratic Republic of Congo» Uganda» Rwanda» Uganda» Kenya» Tanzania» Kenya» England» USA

Last updated December 15, 2007

to be updated…