So I have this list I've created called The Epic List of Amazingness (working title -- name suggestions welcome). Ultimately, this is a list of all the places I want to see and all the things I want to do in my life. Some are random (visit a working dude ranch), some are weird (be on a game show), but all are legit. All are things I've read about, thought about, and/or dreamed about and damn it, I'm going to work hard to get them done! The crazy thing is that the majority of them require travel -- a lot of travel. Hell, visiting every continent is on there, so there's gonna be some travel!
The thing that's actually currently the last thing on the list (#78, although it probably won't be last for long) is to buy--and of course, use--a Round-The-World Plane Ticket. Yes, these things exist. Did you know about these? I just learned about them a few weeks ago.
I've heard about them since I've started doing my research on my travels and honestly I thought it'd be way out of my league -- around the world?! Are you kidding me? But today, on some down time at work, I got to thinking ... hmm... I wonder what that all entails? Well, I went to StarAlliance.com to find out.
Star Alliance is actually an alliance of airlines around the world that have partnered together -- making around the world travel actually feasible. There are some limitations to this round the world expedition -- the main one being you have to be traveling in the same direction for each leg of the trip (namely, east or west). For instance, if I started from Seattle, I'd have to travel west to Japan and continue traveling west until I got back to the States (it doesn't have to be a straight shot west of course, you can jaunt north and south as much as you want as long as your general direction is west).
So, just for fun, I pulled up the handy-dandy little itinerary map they had and started looking and clicking on places I'd like to go (you can have up to 16 flight segments). Below is a screenshot of what I came up with (click to enlarge):
Now this was just a random itinerary I created by looking at the map and clicking on places I wanted to go. Not bad, huh?! Oh how I wish I could do this right now!! (Although I would switch the Naples stop to Venice.)
But let's just pretend I was planning on doing this now. The next stage after the picture above is to choose my exact flights. I'm not exactly sure if there's a time limit in which all of these have to be completed by, but I do know I'd be able to stretch it out over a year. I could spend a week in Tokyo, two months in Istanbul, then a month and a half in Prague and so on and so forth. And I wouldn't have to just stay in those cities -- I could of course travel around on my own, I just need to be at the airport to catch my next flight. Amazing, right?!
Now, I'm sure you're thinking, but wait a second here. Flights are ex.pen.sive. How on earth can someone afford to buy all this!? Well, surprisingly, it's not as costly as one might imagine. If I booked each of these flights individually, it'd probably be astronomical. But with this, the flight estimate (since I didn't actually pick out my exact flights for this exercise, is just an estimated cost) is $7100!
That seems cheap to me! Does it to you?! Or have I just been looking at too many flights lately and they all seem expensive when figured individually? To travel to 16 different countries for $7100?! To travel.the.world?! To put it in perspective and to be fully transparent -- I'm trying to figure out a budget for my current travel plans (which you can see here) and the estimated airfare is about $3500 (ouch -- that still makes me wince). See what a bargain a 16-city flight at $7100 is now?!
I'm going to do it. I'm going to find a way to take a year and make a trip like this. It's going to happen. Just you wait.
But, yes, first I'll get through this upcoming adventure -- the adventure that will be 2014. The rest of the world can wait while I explore India, Indonesia and Ireland. Yeah, baby.