In the first half of 1998 I gave up my job in the UK so that I could take an extended trip of nine to twelve months backpacking around the world. I left the UK on 30 November 1998 and returned on 14 December 1999.
To anyone else contemplating doing the same I would say GO! I delayed for far too long, and now regret not leaving sooner.
I am using a round-the-world air ticket which has been put together by Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, and Ansett Australia. The basic details of this ticket is that it gives unlimited stopovers so long as the total mileage travelled does not exceed 29,000 miles. The routes of these three airlines cover most of my planned itinerary with the exception of Micronesia.
See here for my route map. I intend to depart from London in the autumn of 1998. My first destination will be California, I'll fly into Los Angeles, spend a few days there and then go on up the coast to San Francisco. I'll then return to LA to pick up a flight to Hawaii, where I intend to spend Christmas and the new Year.
For years I have wanted to visit Micronesia, all the fault of picking up a cheap travel guide years ago when I was a student! I also have a cousin in Guam, so it seems an ideal time to visit. I'll pickup the Continental Micronesia service to fly me through the Micronesian Islands to Guam, and then on to Palau. One of my hobbies is scuba diving so I hope to dive a number of the islands, including Chuk and Palau. Its then back to Hawaii, and then down to New Zealand, onto Australia (visiting a few friends in the process) and then up into SE Asia.
I'd like to get to Bali, up to Jakarta, across to Singapore and then go up the Malaysian peninsular into Thailand. Hopefully the political situation in Cambodia will have improved enough to allow a visit (I particularly want to see Ankor), then its on into Vietnam.
Next major stop is India, I visited there for three weeks a few years ago and I hardly began to see the country.
Then its back home to the UK.
I was incredibly over-optimistic about the number of countries I would be able to visit. I have found that I am spending longer than anticipated in each destination (particularly Hawaii and New Zealand), and therefore am running short of time. In July I changed my tickets and now Bali will be my last stop.