A couple of days ago I finally got round to visiting STA travel. In case you haven’t heard of it, STA is a travel agent that specialises in trips for students and young people, especially things like gap years, around the world flights, adventure tours and so on. I’ve known about them for years, and I knew I should go see them cus to be honest, I was being a bit ambitious attempting this by myself. Went into the flagship store at Victoria without an appointment, and after awkwardly hovering next to a team member for 20 minutes pretending to look at the brochures, not sure whether I was supposed to say hello, I was asked if I needed any help.
I guess the reason I’d been putting off going to the travel agent was really because I knew that if I started talking flights with them, I’d have to commit to specific destinations. One thing you should know about me; I’m super indecisive and seem to have mild commitment issues. But the meeting with Catherine at STA was very pleasant. We discussed my plans and the ideas I’d been considering. It was super useful because Catherine knows what routes are viable, which countries are worth going to, and which ideas of mine were pretty stupid. I asked her to be brutal with me and tell me if I was being too ambitious, frivolous etc. She consequently advised against visiting Japan (I’ll get there another time!) and Hawaii, although she suggested Fiji as an alternative – it’s much more geared towards backpackers (Hawaii is mostly resorts), it’s way cheaper aaaaand flights to Australia from California often stop there anyway. So it’s a no brainer really.
For some time, the plan has been to get a working holiday visa (WHV) for Australia. Well actually I kind of wanted to do it in New Zealand, but then I learnt that a good friend of mine was planning on going to Oz and working there. Thinking it would be more fun to go with a mate than to risk it alone, I decided to compromise. Catherine at STA said that Australia is more fun for younger people anyway, and that a WHV for New Zealand is more popular with people in their mid to late-twenties. I’m sure I’d enjoy either to be honest. This friend of mine (his name is Freddie) plans to arrive in Australia around the beginning of January. So this helped me build an itinerary. And without further ado, here it is;
Charlie’s Amazing Plan to go Around the World!!!
The week after my graduation on October 22nd, I’m flying to JFK, and am hoping to visit a few places in the northeast –
- New York
- Niagara Falls
- Toronto (maybe)
- Washington DC (maybe)
After three or four weeks there, I’ll fly to California, and check out a bit of the West Coast. Probably even spend Christmas there! –
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Las Vegas
- Grand Canyon
- San Diego (maybe)
- Other national parks (maybe) – Yosemite, Death Valley, Sequoia
After four or five weeks there, it’s time for a long flight over the Pacific to Fiji. I don’t know much about it yet so haven’t much of an idea about the itinerary. I’ll be there for New Years, and probably there for around 10 to 14 days.
Then I’m flying into Sydney/going straight on to Brisbane, to meet up with Freddie. We’re considering working in Gold Coast, an absolutely awesome looking city south of Brisbane. I haven’t decided on how long I’m going to stay in Australia, but depending on how much I’m enjoying it, I could be there for up to a year. During which time I’ll endeavour to visit as many places as possible. I also have numerous friends and far flung family members to check in on, so there’s no limit to the number of places I could go! –
- Tropical Queensland
- Perth (maybe. It is like super far away, but I’ve several contacts out there!)
After Australia it’ll be time to check out New Zealand for a few months. Catherine told me about the Kiwibus; a hop-on/hop-off coach that takes you between all the sites of interest, with a guide. And it’s a great way to meet other travellers. I wanna get outdoorsy whilst I’m there, doing lots of hiking and attempting all those high octane sports that I’ve always been too terrified to try…
After I’ve seen NZ, I’m gonna be on my way home… via South East Asia of course! Depending on my funds, I’ll be partying on beaches, traipsing through jungles and seeing ancient ruins and temples for anywhere between 2 and 6 months, who knows. Again, I have many friends in the region so will hopefully see as many of them as possible! –
- Malaysia (friends in Kuala Lumpur… and Kota Kinabalu I guess :P)
- Singapore (friends there too)
- Hong Kong (maybe, if my friend happens to be there)
And then fly home from Bangkok, apparently with a stopover in Oman… no idea when I’ll be back (much to my parents’ chagrin) but one thing is for sure; I am sooooo excited!!!!