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I remember when travelling around the world once a year was enough to satisfy my wanderlust. Those were simpler times…and certainly less expensive ones. But last year’s mid-summer European adventure was enough to convince me that maybe there’s room in my schedule – and my travel budget – for two, month-long trips each year.
My first choice for this summer’s trip was actually Europe. A week in Greece with the girls and then perhaps an apartment in Paris for a few weeks before heading back to the hectic football season schedule that awaits in September. But with summer fares to Europe holding fast in the $1,200 neighborhood and Greek protests threatening to spoil my fun even if I did splurge for a flight, dreams of Europe quickly faded.
And then fate intervened. Or, more accurately, a Delta fare sale too good to ignore – $878 round-trip from Atlanta to Sydney! It wasn’t just the allure of Sydney that convinced me, but all the other possibilities in that part of the world. “Down under” may sound like the middle of nowhere – but it is most certainly not. In fact, lots of fantastic islands are just a short flight away from Sydney. An excellent opportunity for a summer in the South Pacific! What’s not to love? So, after a few weeks of planning, the ultimate itinerary looks like this:
Stop #1 – Sydney, Australia
Stop #2 – Auckland, New Zealand
Stop #3 – Tonga
Stop #4 – Western Samoa
Stop #5 – Fiji
Stop #6 – Brisbane, Australia
Including a 2-day Dateline-crossing, cringe-inducing, coach-seat-sitting flight to Australia, the trip will be 29 days worth of Oceania adventure. My friend Shannon – who you may remember from last year’s European trip – will be joining me for the first 8 days before flying home from New Zealand. Then I’ll be off on my own for a little island hopping – South Pacific style. Though not technically a “RTW trip” I figure any trip that involves 4 crossings of the International Dateline (try to keep up with hotel nights on that one!) is worthy of a starring role on the website.
With departure only days away, there is so much to do. But I’m excited to spend some quality time in the Pacific region – seems my previous trips there have only scratched the surface. But for now, I’m staring down the barrel of 15 hours in coach…and that’s just from LA. Wish me luck.