Planning Starts – Japan to Caribbean via Europe and North Africa 2024 – 2025
Planning has started for our 6 or 7 month long trip that will take us to Japan, then through Europe and North Africa and then on down to Miami in the United States before we embark upon a cruise and independent travel throughout a number of the islands in the Caribbean.
Essentially we are book ending the main trip sector, which is Europe and North Africa with 2 months in Japan and 6 weeks to 2 months in the Caribbean. We fully intend to come back to Japan for a longer stay after this long trip.
Our trip from Prague to Portugal will take us down through Vienna to the Dalmatian coast, passing by or through countries like Austria, Croatia and Serbia before heading into Greece and experiencing some of the Greek Isles. Athens, Mount Olympus, and other classic locations with their incredible history will be on the trail as well. We might make a brief sojourn into Türkiye to visit Gallipoli before heading on down to Jerusalem possibly via Cyprus to inspect some of the holy land locations. Naturally right at the moment there is a question mark hanging over any visitation to Israel with the Gaza conflict currently underway. While in the region we plan to visit Petra in Jordan before heading to Egypt to see the pyramids and the Nile plus the Suez Canal.
While we plan to visit Tunisia and Algeria along with Morocco, we probably will not visit Libya. Morocco was recently the location for an earthquake which destroyed buildings in towns and cities around Marrakesh.
Worst case we will be able to visit Fez and Casablanca before making our way north to cross the waters and reach Gibraltar before continuing on into Spain and then across into Portugal.
We want the timing of this trip to coincide with fall in Japan so we can experience some of the beautiful autumn colours and reaching the northernmost parts of our European trip before it gets too cold. Spending the northern European winter months travelling through the Mediterranean will hopefully help us avoid the coldest weather.
Departure from Portugal towards the end of February or start of March will take us to the United States where we will probably land in Miami before taking a cruise through the Caribbean. We also plan to undertake some independent travel in the Caribbean using airlines and the limited number of ferries that are available between a few of the islands.
This trip will take between 6 and 8 months and apart from wanting to take Helen to Prague and enjoy the beauty of that city and experience the pyramids and Petra. My only other bucket list item is to see a sloth and that may be in Costa Rica towards the end of our journey.
On our last massive journey to South America, Europe and Thailand. I ended up losing 23 kg due to all of the walking that we were doing. I have maintained that weight loss and certainly hope I don’t lose another 23 kg on this next journey.
We are using the same travel agent to book our round-the-world tickets and for the sections on each of the continents, we will do our own planning with airline, bus or train booking to get ourselves to the various locations that we want to visit. There are only a handful of places that I have been before on this journey. I’m very excited to see the locations that we are going to visit.
When I reflect back on our last long trip, our decision to travel with backpacks rather than checked luggage was one of our smartest ideas. We will do that again. We booked round-the-world business class tickets and we combined that with staying in booking.com style accommodation, sometimes only booking as we arrived at our destination. We have much more experience with overseas health matters such as using online doctors and using e-sim cards in our phones to maintain connectivity with the Internet.
So I hope you follow along with us as we plan, book and embark on what will be our biggest adventure yet.
By the way, this trip will take place after our one-month adventure to Taiwan, which begins on 15 November this year.
As you have now seen the plans, would love to hear from you if you have been to a place somewhere along our intended path and would like to recommend it. Also for those who haven’t been but have heard about these amazing places. We had folks recommend places we had never heard of and we were so glad we went there based on that person’s recommendation.
We had a dear family friend who asked us how much our South American adventure cost us. They had just bought a brand-new car costing over AUD40,000 but less than AUD50,000. That was about how much our trip cost us. 6 months of travel including South America, Europe and Thailand creating a memory that will last a lifetime. I include that comparison because both have value and both would be chosen based on either a need or a preference. The key thing is whatever decision you might make given similar choices, hold no regrets, but let it inform your consideration for your next decision should a similar set of options arise.
I think it is also important to add that we are in our 60s and still in good health. We love exploring places on foot and I hope we can do that for many years to come. I definitely don’t want to be that person who waits and saves up enough money only to find that they have to visit those places in a wheelchair or walking frame.