Episode 1: How I’m travelling 52 nations in 52 weeks

52 weeks and 52 nations, travelling around the globe at random on the most cost effective ticket each Tuesday? Some name it loopy. We name it ex-STA employees member and all-around solo backpacker extraordinaire Discovering Alexx.

Ever hear of these loopy adventures that you simply’d LOVE to do however do not know how? That is a type of adventures, and I’m going to point out you all of the ins and outs of how I’m making it occur. 

I’m Alexx. A Kiwi, long-time STA Traveller, and now a full-time journey blogger at Discovering Alexx, and I’m exploring the world solo for an entire 365 days! I’m visiting a new nation each week for a complete yr, and my route is predicated totally on the most cost effective flight obtainable every Tuesday. Sure, I’m loopy. Right here’s all you have to find out about my 52 in 52 journey, and how one can comply with the journey. 

How’d you provide you with the thought?

I’ve simply been dwelling in London for 2 years on a working vacation visa, working at STA Journey’s head workplace within the world advertising and marketing workforce, however sadly my visa expired mid-June (sob!). Not fairly able to make the 18,000km transfer again to my little nook of the world in New Zealand, I knew that I needed to journey long-term, however had no thought the place to go! I undergo from main evaluation paralysis (it’s a factor, okay…) so having to determine the place to spend my restricted funds to go to was tremendous robust – it simply compelled me into an limitless downward spiral of Google analysis, going round and round in circles journey prices, flight logistics, occasions that I needed to see and attempting to prioritise my wanderlist (Which is not possible, by the way in which!) 

Then I believed, why not simply guide the route primarily based on the most cost effective flight obtainable every week? Meaning I prevented decision-making anxiousness, saved prices down, AND added in some locations I wouldn’t have gone to in any other case. Win, win, win! 

Received’t you simply be going spherical in circles?

My route is to a brand new nation every week, so as soon as I’ve been to Paris for instance I can’t fly into some other French airports. If France is the most cost effective choice from a future vacation spot, I simply skip previous that and select the following nation that I haven’t been to on the journey. 

Why are you doing it?

Apart from the truth that I believe it’s a brilliant cool option to discover some new locations, I’m doing it to point out how flexibility can massively preserve prices down! If I had selected a route that I wanted to stay to with particular dates then which means I’ve no room for motion once I’m flight prices, however by simply testing all of the choices and never having a set thought of the place to do, I’m capable of persist with a brilliant tight flight funds.

I’m additionally obsessive about constructing out final itineraries once I journey, like the very best issues to see, do, eat and expertise in every vacation spot, and I like the problem of discovering the issues which might be completely value spending your cash on in 52 random locations. Generally that may be an expertise to splurge on, like a scorching air balloon journey in Cappadocia, however generally it might be only a particular meal at a cool cafe, just like the breakfast sharing plates at Holybelly in Paris. Divine! Nobody likes losing cash on their journey so I’m right here to share some recommendations on what I reckon was well worth the cash (and what wasn’t!). 

So, are you travelling on a funds?

Ab. So. Lutely. I do have some financial savings (round £12ok whole after accounting for all my flights) however you may run by way of that extremely rapidly whereas abroad. I’ll be doing a bit little bit of distant freelance work on the highway which can assist with free stays and day excursions, however in every cease I’ll be sussing out one of the best methods to economize too. 

How a lot will it value in whole?

It’s not possible to know, as a result of I don’t even know the complete itinerary but! From some take a look at itineraries it seems to be just like the flights for the entire yr will value between £four,000-£four,500, however that features a check-in bag (and could be about £1,500 cheaper with cabin baggage solely, if you happen to’re a packing wizard). Lodging will vary drastically relying on the location, however dorm rooms in all probability gained’t be any dearer than Paris, which was £35 an evening. Some locations, like Cambodia and Vietnam, will likely be extra like £5 an evening!

To maintain prices down I’ll be cooking my very own meals as a lot as potential, taking public transport or strolling as an alternative of personal transfers and taxis, and always trying to find one of the best offers on actions and experiences. 

How do you put together for a visit like this?

To be completely sincere, I’m in all probability not ready sufficient! I prefer to say that I’m winging it with confidence. I’ve travelled a good quantity, have moved overseas solo and I actually thrive in fast-paced and barely irritating conditions which is often a curse, however on this case, it’s been actually useful. I’ve my inter-country transport booked up till January however solely have a small quantity of lodging booked thus far, that is one thing I’m engaged on in the intervening time. I’m a mega-nerd for organisation so that is one among my favorite components! 

By way of preparation instruments, I can undoubtedly share some secrets and techniques. I’ve obtained a Google MyMap for each single suggestion that individuals have given me for every totally different vacation spot, color coordinated into consuming locations, picture spots, actions and lodging. Airtable can be a lifesaver, it’s a spreadsheet/database hybrid with some superb capabilities that are perfect for itinerary planning. Then I exploit Google Calendar to plan out my days and ensure I’m taking advantage of my time in every place, in addition to setting apart some down time for recharging. 

Are you travelling solo?

I positive am! I do have some family and friends popping out to see me at numerous components of the journey, however for nearly all of the time I will likely be actually flying solo. All the time eager to have journey buddies although so if anybody is crossing over with my itinerary please let me know!

Any solo feminine journey suggestions?

Ask me in a yr and I’ll in all probability be capable to provide you with LOADS extra, however I’ve beforehand written a weblog with a few of my solo feminine journey suggestions proper right here.

Will you be staying within the metropolis that you simply fly into?

Not essentially! In some locations I will likely be staying put and exploring my arrival metropolis in depth, however in some locations I’m actually eager to discover additional afield.

The place is it taking you?

I’ve booked the primary 26 weeks thus far, so I do know the place I’m going to be till January 2020! Flight tickets are usually solely launched 11 months prematurely so I can’t guide all the way in which up til the tip (July 2020) simply but, however will likely be doing that within the subsequent few months. I’m at present scripting this from my hostel in Zaragoza on the second week of the journey! 

To date, the itinerary is as follows:

Week 1: Paris, France 

Week 2: Zaragoza/San Sebastian/Bilbao, Spain 

Week three: Brussels/Bruges/Ghent, Belgium 

Week four: Warsaw, Poland 

Week 5: Vienna, Austria 

Week 6: Milan/the Dolomites, Italy 

Week 7: Budapest, Hungary 

Week eight: Jordan (exploring the entire nation on a tour) 

Week 9: Cyprus (the entire island)

Week 10: Crete, Greece 

Week 11: Sofia, Bulgaria 

Week 12: Hamburg/Munich, Germany 

Week 13: Porto, Portugal 

Week 14: Zurich/Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Week 15: Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Week 16: Dublin, Eire 

Week 17: Bucharest, Romania 

Week 18: Israel (numerous stops) 

Week 19: Turkey (numerous stops) 

Week 20: Baku, Azerbaijan 

Week 21: Dubai, UAE 

Week 22: Delhi & the Golden Triangle, India 

Week 23: Bangkok to southern Thailand 

Week 24: Malaysia 

Week 25: Singapore 

Week 26: Bali, Indonesia 

Week 27: Per week off for a household wedding ceremony again residence in NZ 

Week 28-52: No thought simply but! 

And the place will the second half of the journey go? 

It’ll undergo Australia and the Pacific Islands, extra of Asia, North and Central America, and again over to Europe. Sadly, flights to Africa and South America are by no means actually the most cost effective choice so it in all probability gained’t take me there. Oh effectively, they are often for an additional journey! 

What are you most excited for?

It’s not possible to decide on one however I do have a pair! Extremely excited for Jordan and Israel as a result of these are two locations that I by no means dreamt I might go to, tremendous eager to lastly get to Budapest and Cyprus, and I LOVE Indonesia so I used to be stoked when that got here up for my New Yr’s Ever cease! 

Anyplace you’re not trying ahead to?

Under no circumstances, I’m a agency believer that each one nations have one thing superb so that you can uncover it doesn’t matter what you’re into. I’m additionally not visiting wherever with a severe security warning due to insurance coverage and in addition my dad and mom’ psychological well-being, ha. You’re welcome, Mum! 

The place are you going to remain?

I’ll keep in a mixture of hostels, resorts and guesthouses, relying on the vacation spot and dwelling prices. In Europe it’ll principally be hostel dorms to maintain prices down, perhaps a non-public room if I want a little bit of a well being kick and quiet time, however in Asia the guesthouses are tremendous low cost and ultra-authentic which I like.  

What about your environmental impression?

That is a very essential matter for travellers proper now, and one thing I’m undoubtedly preserving in thoughts. Initially, I’m not truly flying each single week! I constructed the route off the most cost effective vacation spot to fly to however then checked every week’s journey on trains and buses too, and booked them in the event that they labored out logistically. Within the first six months I’ve obtained three trains and two buses in there.

Secondly, whereas a flight each week does have an effect, it’s essential for me to share that these flights are short-haul, totally on low value carriers who’ve newer fleets with extra environmentally-friendly engines, and that I’m offsetting each single flight all year long. I exploit myclimate.org to examine my carbon footprint and the primary 21 flights even have a 25% smaller footprint than a single return flight from London to New Zealand!  

All of us have to be very conscious of our impression on the planet when travelling, however I additionally assume it’s about minimising your unfavourable impression (offsetting carbon credit, watching plastic use and so forth) in addition to maximising your optimistic impression (purchasing native, opening your thoughts to new experiences and methods of life, and doing good wherever you journey). Whereas carbon output is a vital evil, I reckon we should always all be utilizing journey as a pressure for good. 

Another methods I’m attempting to be extra sustainable are: 

Utilizing eco-friendly shampoo, conditioner, physique wash and laundry bars as an alternative of travelling with these little plastic bottles. I exploit those from Ethique right here. 
I journey with Huel powder which is a nutritionally full meal, you simply add water and also you’ve obtained a shake with all of the nutritional vitamins and minerals you want! I’ve this for breakfast every day simply to make sure my digestive system has some consistency whereas I’m travelling to locations with completely totally different cuisines every week. Huel is vegan and sustainably-produced, it avoids meals wastage (perfect for hostels!) and it’s tremendous simple to take with you for an journey day, which means there’s no want to purchase plastic-wrapped snacks. 
Taking my Bobble filtered water bottle in all places I am going and by no means shopping for a plastic water bottle 
Travelling with tour firms with sturdy sustainability insurance policies, like G Adventures and Contiki

I’d like to know your recommendations on sustainable journey as effectively, inform me within the feedback under!

How can we comply with alongside?

I’ll be writing some STA Journey vacation spot guides for a wide range of cities and nations all through the journey, which we will likely be linking to simply under! In case you’d like to take a look at all my journey images yow will discover me on Instagram @findingalexx, or learn extra about my adventures at www.findingalexx.com 

 

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