Round the world without odour eaters
Easter Island (7)
French Polynesia (11)
Hong Kong (8)
New Zealand/Aotearoa (50)
* The End
* Day 189: London baby!
* Day 188: Museums
* Day 187: MTR
* Day 186: Kowloon Park
* Day 185: Peak tram
* Day 184: Central and Admiralty
* Day 183: Fly away
* Day 182: last day in Kiwiland
* Day 181: Auckland
* Day 180: Bouncy pillow
* Day 179: Christchurch
* Day 178: Christchurch
* Day 177: Fairlie
* Day 176: Hooker valley
* Day 175: Mt Cook/Aoraki NP
* Day 174: Oamaru
* Day 173: Dunedin cafe culture
* Day 172: Taieri Gorge Railway
* Day 171: Otago Peninsula
August 18, 2004
Frequently asked questions
1. Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Nathalie, I'm 29 and Belgian. I live in the UK (about 30 minutes from London) with my boyfriend Keiron. This Blog is a report about my six months Round the World (RTW) travel from October 2004 to April 2005 (if all goes as planned).
2. So, where are you going?
I am flying from London Heathrow to Havana, Cuba, where I will follow a Spanish course and salsa course for a few weeks with Don Quijote, to get me all set up for the rest of South America. Then I am flying to Santiago, Chile where I will be joining a Journey Latin America tour called Nandu, which will take me to the tip of the world, Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and back up to Buenos Aires. From then on, I will be travelling independently through Argentina up to Bolivia and Peru and back down again to Chile. In Chile, I am meeting up with my boyfriend Keiron, who has been travelling South America with a volunteering project called VentureCo, and we will be travelling together to Easter Island and Tahiti. In New Zealand, we will rent a car and travel from the North to South Island, camping on the way. We fly from Auckland to Hong Kong, where we will spend ten days trying to figure out what is next. When we fly home to London Heathrow after six months travelling, we will be jobless, homeless and penniless...
3. Why did you decide to go travelling rather than get married and have babies?
Every choice you make in life is an adventure. No adventure is in itself better than the other, but they can't usually be experienced at the same time. At the moment I don't have a car or a mortgage. I have a job and a rented flat I didn't mind giving up. So now was the perfect time to go travelling, as all those other adventures can come later...
4. Why are you not travelling with your boyfriend all the way?
Basically because we want to experience different things or the same things in different ways. Keiron wanted to join a volunteering programme, I wanted to experience Cuba. Keiron wants to hike Macchu Picchu, I want to take the train... Rather than having to compromise all the time, it made sense to find a way to do those things. Plus: isn't it very romantic to meet up with your loved one in Santiago, Chile?
5. Aren't you afraid to travel on your own?
Nervous, yes, afraid, no. I have made a few citytrips alone before, and I quite enjoy my own company, so I'll be fine. The Spanish course in Cuba will give me the confidence to get by in the language and I am sure I will meet great people on the way.
6. How did you decide where to go?
There are always places that have a certain appeal to them, very often for seemingly trivial reasons. I wanted to go to Cuba because my salsateacher in Belgium was Cuban and he is a lovely guy, as well as fiercely proud of his country. I wanted to visit Ushuaia because it's such a beautiful name for a city. I wanted to visit New Zealand because of Lord of the Rings and because I think there are too many snakes in Australia (I have a snake phobia). I wanted to visit Hong Kong because I love Chow Yun Fat - even in spite of the snakes... And I saw a documentary on Easter Island which was really intriguing.
The rest really came together from there, researching the options, reading lots of books and gradually forming some sort of itinerary.
7. Is it expensive?
Yes and no. A round the world ticket is surprisingly good value, our trip was about 1500 £. If you go to countries such as Bolivia and Peru, you can live a lot cheaper than you would in the UK, whereas Tahiti is notoriously expensive. It really depends on how you travel and where you stay. We chose to rent a car in New Zealand, which is quite expensive, but will be camping, which should bring down the cost. So there are many ways to make a trip more affordable, although I have been saving up for it for a long time now.
8. How can you get six months worth of stuff in one backpack?
Well, you can't, so there's no point trying. But, surprisingly, in most of the rest of the world they also sell shampoo, soap, clothes, food, batteries...
9. What are you going to do when you get back?
That's the million dollar question! And the truthful answer is: I don't know. I hope that time will bring clarity and that by the time I get back, I will be enlightened. But we'll see. In any case, looking for a new job will be the first priority...
10. What is the most treasured item you will take?
I will only know for sure when I'm actually travelling, but I think that will be my Chaco sandals. I have worn them continually since I bought them and they are incredibly comfy.
Posted by Nathalie on August 18, 2004 01:36 PM
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