A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Go Big Or Stay Home

For the past 25 years my friend Jamie has given me one consistent piece of advice: “Go big or stay home.”

Depending on the context this advice has taken on different meanings. For example, when Jamie says it during a game of golf he means, “Go ahead, cut that dogleg – you can take your tee shot over those trees.”

If we were out for a night on the town, the phrase (a taunt, really) would mean something all together different. But we’ll save that discussion for another time – this is, after all, a family travel blog.

Still, Jamie’s advice was ringing in my ears when I picked up the phone to dial the OneWorld alliance to book our round-the-world tickets. I was about as nervous as a person could be. My stomach was in knots. My hands were sweating.

I kept repeating to myself: “Go big or stay home.”

So here’s what I did. I gave the ticketing agent my credit card number. In return, she gave me a confirmation number. Bottom line, we now have four round the world airline tickets.

Our tickets allow twenty travel segments and will take us to five continents. (We expect to hit our sixth continent by land.)

Here’s the basic itinerary:

Washington, DC – Quito, Ecuador
Quito – Cuzco, Peru
Cuzco – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires overland to Santiago, Chile
Santiago – Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland – Sydney, Australia
Sydney – Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong – Bangkok, Thailand
Overland through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam
Overland to Beijing, China
Beijing – Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo – Delhi, India
Delhi – Amman, Jordan
Overland in Egypt and Israel
Amman – Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul – Budapest, Hungary
Budapest overland to Madrid
Madrid – Washington, DC

We’ve got a departure date now too: July 24, 2008. Our tickets allow us one year to complete our travels.

I’ve mentioned before the signs that appear to be pushing us forward on this trip. I may have gotten another one today.

I was reading one of the Boots n All discussion forums today and learned that OneWorld member airlines are imposing new limitations on round the world tickets bought after June 1, 2008. Another sign the timing is right for this trip?

It’s hard to describe the combination of excitement and sheer terror I feel right now.

One thing for sure. We’re not staying home.


1 Sujatha { 05.07.08 at 10:33 am }

Congratulations!! Looking forward to reading about your adventures.

2 Dan { 05.07.08 at 10:38 am }

Way to go Craig!

3 highland place { 05.07.08 at 1:16 pm }

GOBOSH! That Jamie cat is spot on! As they say in Ecuador, “Suena grande o vete al carajo” Peace.

4 Theresa { 05.07.08 at 1:22 pm }

Wow! That’s exciting. Does it feel more “real” now?

5 Rachael { 05.07.08 at 5:05 pm }

Any idea if you’ll be in Auckland before October 6th? If so, you’re invited to a genuine kiwi lamb roast with pavlova for dessert. Truly.

6 Nomadic Matt { 05.07.08 at 9:15 pm }

Good luck on the trip!

I used to live in Thailand and if you need any tips or advice I’d be glad to help!

7 Tucker { 05.08.08 at 5:46 am }

Talk on, brother, talk on …. when you don’t know whether to mess, faint or throw up, good things are about to happen.

8 Go Big or Stay Home: Taking the Sabbatical Plunge | Escape 101 { 05.08.08 at 5:52 am }

[…] at The Wide Wide World, Craig has just bought four round the world airline tickets. He posted their full itinerary that […]

9 John DeWilde { 05.08.08 at 6:28 am }

Wow that is awesome. We also just bought our OneWorld tickets this week and the June 1 change was a big motivator for that. Great to hear things are moving forward and we continue to enjoy your blog.

10 Rich { 05.08.08 at 8:00 am }

Congratulations on taking the big step! Let’s see if our tarvel iteniaries can get us in the same place (Egypt? Europe?) at the same time.

11 shirley { 05.08.08 at 8:46 am }

Wow! Am I an ignorant, hearth-loving parochialphile,

or is this not an exotic itinerary? (My dream sabbatical is a year in Paris.)

When you set out to create your itinerary, what were the considerations that guided you?

Tell me more about your choices.

12 Linda in Oregon { 05.08.08 at 10:00 am }

Whew! I’ve got tears in my eyes and goosebumps all over! So excited for you all!

13 Madzia { 05.08.08 at 8:44 pm }

The countdown begins! This is great Craig .. I can feel the excitement and terror and I don’t think you would have it any other way 🙂 All the best!

14 Craig { 05.08.08 at 9:05 pm }

Thanks to all for your good wishes, suggestions and invitations. It’s really sinking in now. And it feels good.

15 WanderingsSean { 05.13.08 at 6:22 pm }

Nice. You have taken the first step to no regrets!
We’ve been on the road for nearly 200 days now ourselves and are thankful for each day out here.
Going to Quito I see… I hope you’ll make the financial sacrifice to visit the Galapagos Islands–so worth it no matter the cost.

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