How to organise the itinerary – So, here is how it all begins…
We actually begin our backpacking life at the beginning of December 2014, a month before we fly to our first destination. We gave our notice in the flat we lived in London in the end of November and then we were already “backpacking” around the British capital. In order to save some money, we were staying at friends’ houses, putting this month rent towards our big trip.
The good thing about it is, we began getting used of having a backpack as our wardrobe and all the logistic about dirty clothes and how to organise our staff in order to not lose anything. The bad part is that after almost eight years (for Tiago) and three years (for Fernanda) living in London, you can imagine just how much stuff we had!
Where will we fly?
So, the first stop is Rome. We fly to Italy on December 29th, 2014, just to spend New Year’s Eve. Right on the second of January we fly to Cairo and stay there for eight days. We will stay there mainly for leisure. The idea is to visit the cities of Upper Egypt. We haven’t booked anything yet – apart from one day hostel in Cairo – and will decide where and how to go to places once we are there. That’s the way we have always travelled, actually. We research a lot in advance, but never really book anything until we get into the country. We believe in talking to the locals and having a better sense of the culture as well as understanding a bit better about the options and places.
Then, on the 9th of January we fly to Nairobi, in Kenya, where we will live for three months in the rural town of Tala, working, learning and giving support to a Spanish/Kenyan organisation called Más Por Ellos/Lisha Mtoto. As the tourist visa in the country is valid for three months only, we will not be able to stay any longer.
After the African continent…
We take our flight to Iran and stay there for as long as the country allows us, which shall be about 20 days. After exploring Iran, we fly to Jordan and meet up with an Israeli friend who we met in India, in 2010. Then, the three of us will cross the border to Israel and go to the Dead Sea and the old city of Jerusalem until finally reaching Tel Aviv. Our main plan is to work and live in a Kibbutz during our time there, but the cost of the volunteer visa will force us to stay for a couple of weeks only and just travel around.
From Israel, we will fly to St. Petersburg in Russia, where we will take the Trans-Siberian train, crossing Siberia to Mongolia with two stops in Russian’ villages. In Mongolia, we will volunteer in a ranch for a couple of weeks and then travel for a while around the Land of Eternal Blue Skies. We will leave Mongolia around July 2015 and from this point we don’t have anything scheduled yet. We just know we are going down towards South Asia.
The idea is to leave the trip quite open which will allow us to change plans and be more flexible and relaxed with our itinerary. As we already said, we like to arrive in the country, talk to people, feel the place and then make our plans. It would be almost impossible to create a whole itinerary considering we have no idea what is ahead of us.