The Big Trip

One Year Around The World

In 2014 we were finally able to realize our long time dream of doing a year long trip around the world. From the deep jungles of Central Africa to the golden deserts of Namibia. From Rio De Janeiro across South America to the mesmerising Galapagos Islands and Amazon forests. From massive Mayan temples in Mexico to beautiful beaches and lost cities in South East Asia. From the stupendous landscapes of China to the bubbling cities of other-worldly Japan. The 377 days we spent travelling across six continents and twenty-five countries gave us a chance to see unforgettable natural scenery, encounter fantastic wildlife and meet amazing people from all imaginable walks of life – experiences to change you forever and memories to last several lifetimes.

Interactive

Map

Travelling

Light & Slow

Planning To

Avoid Plans

Our Favourite

Stories

  Trains    Planes      Automobiles     Boats   Blogposts

Interactive Map

The map above shows our route around the world, and every stop we made, beginning in our hometown of Oslo, Norway.
Zoom in and click the pins for details. Black pins link to an article with stories, images and/or videos, just click the title.

377
Days
25
Countries
124
Kilometers
6
Continents

Planning the trip of a lifetime

Travelling the world was a dream we had ever since we met, but various unlucky circumstances had forced us to postpone it for years (read more about that here). In 2011 we finally set the date and began making plans. At first, planning for a full year of travel felt like a daunting task, but once we got into it, it was a lot easier to do than we first feared and most people probably think. Once we had laid out a budget, saw that we could save enough money and arrange the necessary practicalities, it was simply a matter of packing our bags and go. Here’s a short introduction into how we went about making the dream come true.

Light and slow – the only way to travel

Travel is easier, safer and more fun when you’re not bogged down by your stuff.

Previous travel experiences had taught us a few things about what makes travel more enjoyable, so we startet by agreeing on a few basic principles. Firstly, we wanted to travel as light as possible. Travelling light makes it a lot more fun and opens up possibilities of experience otherwise not available to you. Instead of desperately looking for a taxi once you exit a train station, you can simply walk into town, taking in your surroundings on the way. Or jump on that motor bike taxi for a fun ride with the locals. You’ll be out of your room in five minutes when you’re late for that check out, whizz through the airport when you’re late for that take-off, and it won’t break your back when you have to hurl your luggage onto a pickup truck. In short, travel is easier, safer and more fun when you’re not bogged down by your stuff.

Secondly, we wanted to travel slowly and with total freedom. There’s nothing like the feeling of complete freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. That meant staying away from round-the-world tickets and ready-made itineraries that, while perhaps cheaper, constrain your mobility and force your timing. By travelling on one-way tickets, booked along the way, we would be able to stay longer in places we liked, leave early if we didn’t, and change our plans on a whim. Travelling slow means having modest expectations as to how much to see and do within the time you have, and create your itinerary as you go while always staying flexible. Slow travel lets you enjoy every moment and be totally present where you are, without always thinking about what’s next. In fact, by seeing less you’ll often experience more.

Asle eating noodles while waiting for a bus in China  /  Charging up in hotel room (click image to enlarge)

Planning to avoid plans

Make sure your plans don’t get in the way of a great journey.

Our plan was to have as little planned as possible, while still having aims and a direction. So we started planning our trip with our own interests in mind, as one should do, by making notes of things we wanted to see and do. We soon found our lists were very focused on nature and wildlife experiences, so we started researching new places based on that, bought a few books, and started taking notes whenever we saw something in a movie or a documentary worth checking out. The result was not an itinerary, but simply a list of places we’d like to go, arranged by country and continent. The list gave us the freedom to seek out the places and experiences we wanted along the way, and research more as we go, while always staying flexible. We had no expectation to see everything on the list, but use it as a guide along the way.

We researched each countrys cost of living to establish a budget. Adding to that a separate amount for international flights, and one for special activities, and we had a total to save towards. Planning what to pack took time, but was also great fun. The 40 liter backpack we decided on was the smallest we’d ever travelled with, but the idea was to force us to pack smart. It turned out to be perfect – just large enough to hold what we needed, yet small enough to not feel too obtrusive or heavy. We arranged for our apartment to be rented out using an agent. They do charge a fee, but that way we wouldn’t have to think much about it while travelling. A couple of months before departure we had all our vaccinations taken. Then we bought tickets to our first destination, booked a room for the first week, packed our bags and we were ready to go.

The Great Wall, China. Choosing a good pair of all-round travel shoes meant we only had to bring the one, saving lots of weight and space.

Infographic

Visualizing facts about our trip

Have a look at this infographic we made, illustrating some key facts about our trip. Click the image to enlarge.

Our Favourite Stories

from

The Big Trip

Where Leopards Roam

By | Africa, Favourite, The Big Trip, Zambia | No Comments

Steven got out a torch, and searched the plains. “There! Two lions.” “Should I go get the car?”, Andrea asked. When he came back, he had a smart look on his face. “Well, listen. We could go out and look at the lions … or we could go back and watch the leopard I just saw by my bungalow”… Read the story about our two week exploration of Zambia’s Kafue National Park, one of the most beautiful and unspoilt wildernesses we’ve seen in Africa, as we alternate between bush tenting and luxury lodging “colonial-style”.

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The Warm Heart Of Africa

By | Africa, Favourite, Malawi, The Big Trip | No Comments

After a few days in Mbeya, we continued to Malawi and spent the next few weeks travelling south along the massive Lake Malawi, stopping at some beautiful lakeside resorts and charming towns on our way down. During that time we made a lot of new friends, travellers as well as locals, and we fell completely in love with this wonderful place and its charming people. Easy to see why it’s called the warm heart of Africa.

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Mzungos in the mist

By | Africa, Favourite, Primate Safari, Rwanda, The Big Trip | No Comments

“Suddenly Alfred signalled to us to stop, the trackers had located the Gorillas not far from where we were. The excitement moved like a quiet wave through the group. Leaving everything behind except our cameras, we slowly and in complete silence made our way towards them. Then we saw him. Sitting peacefully between the bushes quietly eating leaves, was the unmistakable black and silvery back of a silverback Gorilla.” Join us as we go on an exclusive and unforgettable trek deep into the misty jungles of Rwanda to end up face to face with the mighty Mountain Gorilla.

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