The map blurs as I gaze at it, countries bleeding pale green and yellow into a blue painted sea. Piles of books scatter across the floor around me, Lonely Planet guides and travel fiction tumbling together, stories of people in foreign lands mixing with pages of information, so many words that I wouldn’t know where to begin. My Macbook blinks, a dozen tabs open like windows to the other side of the world. This is trip planning when there is nowhere in the world you would not go.
In trying to thrash out an itinerary for the next Big Trip, my restless mind has wandered the globe in it’s entirety; from the wintery snows of Mongolia to the bright lights of New York, the forests and castles of Romania and the arid steppes of Central Asia. We were going to go back to India, then the next day we were going somewhere completely new; we were travelling overland through Eastern Europe, then we were flying half way around the world. We booked flights to Budapest for New Years Eve, then we changed our minds.
But, finally, something resembling travel plans have been made. Flights have been booked, of the one way, non refundable, long haul variety. Visas have been researched. Money is being moved into savings. We’re actually, definitely going.
We’re flying out of London on the 31st January 2016, on one way tickets to LA. From there we’ll be road tripping for around 3 weeks, through California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas, before heading down to the Mexican border.
We’ll be travelling overland through Mexico, via dreamy beaches, Mayan temples and anything that Frida Kahlo ever touched/saw/painted. And of course, more taco carts than is really reasonable.
From Mexico we’ll travel on through Central America, hopefully diving in Belize before meandering down through that little chain of countries into Columbia.
We’ll be spending a few months in South America. There’s so much I want to see that I don’t even know where to begin, but there will be mountains and salt flats and very long bus journeys.
After around 6 months in the Americas, we will be flying to New Zealand, where we plan to live and work for at least a year, road tripping around beautiful Middle Earth.
Those are our travel plans as they stand at the moment. They are all vague, and they will all change; because that’s the inevitable beauty of throwing yourself to the winds. It’s also why I don’t book round the world tickets, because I love the freedom of being able to change my mind in an instant and just board a bus to somewhere I never even imagined. The only certainty I have for now is the date – January 31, a palindrome of the Friday 13 on which I landed in Bali in 2013; and the fact that we’re flying into LA. From there, it’s all up in the air – just the way I like it.