Episode 1: How I am travelling 52 international locations in 52 weeks

52 weeks and 52 international locations, travelling world wide at random on the most cost effective ticket each Tuesday? Some name it loopy. We name it ex-STA employees member and all-around solo backpacker extraordinaire Discovering Alexx.

Ever hear of these loopy adventures that you simply’d LOVE to do however don’t know how? That is a type of adventures, and I’m going to indicate you all of the ins and outs of how I’m making it occur. 

I’m Alexx. A Kiwi, long-time STA Traveller, and now a full-time journey blogger at Discovering Alexx, and I’m exploring the world solo for a complete 365 days! I’m visiting a new nation each week for a complete 12 months, and my route relies fully on the most cost effective flight out there every Tuesday. Sure, I’m loopy. Right here’s all it’s essential to find out about my 52 in 52 journey, and how one can comply with the journey. 

How’d you provide you with the concept?

I’ve simply been dwelling in London for 2 years on a working vacation visa, working at STA Journey’s head workplace within the international advertising group, however sadly my visa expired mid-June (sob!). Not fairly able to make the 18,000km transfer again to my little nook of the world in New Zealand, I knew that I wished to journey long-term, however had no thought the place to go! I endure from main evaluation paralysis (it’s a matter, okay…) so having to determine the place to spend my restricted funds to go to was tremendous powerful – it simply pressured me into an limitless downward spiral of Google analysis, going round and round in circles journey prices, flight logistics, occasions that I wished to see and attempting to prioritise my wanderlist (Which is unattainable, by the way in which!) 

Then I assumed, why not simply guide the route primarily based on the most cost effective flight out there every week? Meaning I prevented decision-making anxiousness, saved prices down, AND added in some locations I wouldn’t have gone to in any other case. Win, win, win! 

Received’t you simply be going spherical in circles?

My route is to a brand new nation every week, so as soon as I’ve been to Paris for instance I can’t fly into every other French airports. If France is the most cost effective possibility from a future vacation spot, I simply skip previous that and select the subsequent nation that I haven’t been to on the journey. 

Why are you doing it?

Other than the truth that I believe it’s an excellent cool solution to discover some new locations, I’m doing it to indicate how flexibility can massively hold prices down! If I had selected a route that I wanted to stay to with particular dates then which means I’ve no room for motion once I’m flight prices, however by simply testing all of the choices and never having a set thought of the place to do, I’m in a position to follow an excellent tight flight finances.

I’m additionally obsessive about constructing out final itineraries once I journey, like the best possible matters to see, do, eat and expertise in every vacation spot, and I like the problem of discovering the matters which are completely value spending your cash on in 52 random locations. Typically that is likely to be an expertise to splurge on, like a scorching air balloon journey in Cappadocia, however generally it could possibly be only a particular meal at a cool cafe, just like the breakfast sharing plates at Holybelly in Paris. Divine! Nobody likes losing cash on their journey so I’m right here to share some tips about what I reckon was well worth the cash (and what wasn’t!). 

So, are you travelling on a finances?

Ab. So. Lutely. I do have some financial savings (round £12okay complete after accounting for all my flights) however you possibly can run by that extremely shortly whereas abroad. I’ll be doing just a little little bit of distant freelance work on the street which can assist with free stays and day excursions, however in every cease I’ll be sussing out the most effective methods to economize too. 

How a lot will it price in complete?

It’s unattainable to know, as a result of I don’t even know the complete itinerary but! From some check itineraries it seems just like the flights for the entire 12 months will price between £4,000-£4,500, however that features a check-in bag (and can be about £1,500 cheaper with cabin baggage solely, if you happen to’re a packing wizard). Lodging will vary drastically relying on the location, however dorm rooms most likely received’t be any dearer than Paris, which was £35 an evening. Some locations, like Cambodia and Vietnam, can be extra like £5 an evening!

To maintain prices down I’ll be cooking my very own meals as a lot as doable, taking public transport or strolling as an alternative of personal transfers and taxis, and continually looking for the most effective offers on actions and experiences. 

How do you put together for a visit like this?

To be completely trustworthy, I’m most likely not ready sufficient! I wish to say that I’m winging it with confidence. I’ve travelled a good quantity, have moved overseas solo and I actually thrive in fast-paced and barely worrying conditions which is often a curse, however on this case, it’s been actually useful. I’ve my inter-country transport booked up till January however solely have a small quantity of lodging booked up to now, that is one thing I’m engaged on for the time being. I’m a mega-nerd for organisation so that is certainly one of my favorite elements! 

When it comes to preparation instruments, I can undoubtedly share some secrets and techniques. I’ve acquired a Google MyMap for each single advice that folks have given me for every totally different vacation spot, color coordinated into consuming locations, picture spots, actions and lodging. Airtable can also be a lifesaver, it’s a spreadsheet/database hybrid with some wonderful features that are perfect for itinerary planning. Then I take advantage of Google Calendar to plan out my days and ensure I’m taking advantage of my time in every place, in addition to setting apart some down time for recharging. 

Are you travelling solo?

I positive am! I do have some family and friends popping out to see me at varied elements of the journey, however for nearly all of the time I can be actually flying solo. All the time eager to have journey buddies although so if anybody is crossing over with my itinerary please let me know!

Any solo feminine journey ideas?

Ask me in a 12 months and I’ll most likely be capable of offer you LOADS extra, however I’ve beforehand written a weblog with a few of my solo feminine journey ideas proper right here.

Will you be staying within the metropolis that you simply fly into?

Not essentially! In some locations I can be staying put and exploring my arrival metropolis in depth, however in some locations I’m actually eager to discover additional afield.

The place is it taking you?

I’ve booked the primary 26 weeks up to now, so I do know the place I’m going to be till January 2020! Flight tickets are usually solely launched 11 months upfront so I can’t guide all the way in which up til the tip (July 2020) simply but, however can be doing that within the subsequent few months. I’m presently scripting this from my hostel in Zaragoza on the second week of the journey! 

To date, the itinerary is as follows:

Week 1: Paris, France 

Week 2: Zaragoza/San Sebastian/Bilbao, Spain 

Week 3: Brussels/Bruges/Ghent, Belgium 

Week 4: Warsaw, Poland 

Week 5: Vienna, Austria 

Week 6: Milan/the Dolomites, Italy 

Week 7: Budapest, Hungary 

Week 8: Jordan (exploring the entire nation on a tour) 

Week 9: Cyprus (the entire island)

Week 10: Crete, Greece 

Week 11: Sofia, Bulgaria 

Week 12: Hamburg/Munich, Germany 

Week 13: Porto, Portugal 

Week 14: Zurich/Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

Week 15: Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Week 16: Dublin, Eire 

Week 17: Bucharest, Romania 

Week 18: Israel (varied stops) 

Week 19: Turkey (varied stops) 

Week 20: Baku, Azerbaijan 

Week 21: Dubai, UAE 

Week 22: Delhi & the Golden Triangle, India 

Week 23: Bangkok to southern Thailand 

Week 24: Malaysia 

Week 25: Singapore 

Week 26: Bali, Indonesia 

Week 27: Every week off for a household wedding ceremony again residence in NZ 

Week 28-52: No thought simply but! 

And the place will the second half of the journey go? 

It’ll undergo Australia and the Pacific Islands, extra of Asia, North and Central America, and again over to Europe. Sadly, flights to Africa and South America are by no means actually the most cost effective possibility so it most likely received’t take me there. Oh effectively, they are often for an additional journey! 

What are you most excited for?

It’s unattainable to decide on one however I do have a pair! Extremely excited for Jordan and Israel as a result of these are two locations that I by no means dreamt I might go to, tremendous eager to lastly get to Budapest and Cyprus, and I LOVE Indonesia so I used to be stoked when that got here up for my New Yr’s Ever cease! 

Wherever you’re not trying ahead to?

In no way, I’m a agency believer that each one international locations have one thing wonderful so that you can uncover it doesn’t matter what you’re into. I’m additionally not visiting anyplace with a critical security warning due to insurance coverage and in addition my dad and mom’ psychological well-being, ha. You’re welcome, Mum! 

The place are you going to remain?

I’ll keep in a mixture of hostels, accommodations and guesthouses, relying on the vacation spot and dwelling prices. In Europe it’ll principally be hostel dorms to maintain prices down, perhaps a non-public room if I would like a little bit of a well being kick and quiet time, however in Asia the guesthouses are tremendous low-cost and ultra-authentic which I like.  

What about your environmental impression?

That is a extremely necessary matter for travellers proper now, and one thing I’m undoubtedly conserving in thoughts. To start with, I’m not truly flying each single week! I constructed the route off the most cost effective vacation spot to fly to however then checked every week’s journey on trains and buses too, and booked them in the event that they labored out logistically. Within the first six months I’ve acquired three trains and two buses in there.

Secondly, whereas a flight each week does have an effect, it’s necessary for me to share that these flights are short-haul, totally on low price carriers who’ve newer fleets with extra environmentally-friendly engines, and that I’m offsetting each single flight all year long. I take advantage of myclimate.org to examine my carbon footprint and the primary 21 flights even have a 25% smaller footprint than a single return flight from London to New Zealand!  

All of us should be very conscious of our impression on the planet when travelling, however I additionally suppose it’s about minimising your detrimental impression (offsetting carbon credit, watching plastic use and many others) in addition to maximising your constructive impression (procuring native, opening your thoughts to new experiences and methods of life, and doing good wherever you journey). Whereas carbon output is a vital evil, I reckon we must always all be utilizing journey as a pressure for good. 

Another methods I’m attempting to be extra sustainable are: 

  • Utilizing eco-friendly shampoo, conditioner, physique wash and laundry bars as an alternative of travelling with these little plastic bottles. I take advantage of those from Ethique right here. 
  • I journey with Huel powder which is a nutritionally full meal, you simply add water and also you’ve acquired a shake with all of the nutritional vitamins and minerals you want! I’ve this for breakfast every day simply to make sure my digestive system has some consistency whereas I’m travelling to locations with completely totally different cuisines every week. Huel is vegan and sustainably-produced, it avoids meals wastage (preferrred for hostels!) and it’s tremendous simple to take with you for an journey day, that means there’s no want to purchase plastic-wrapped snacks. 
  • Taking my Bobble filtered water bottle in all places I’m going and by no means shopping for a plastic water bottle 
  • Travelling with tour firms with robust sustainability insurance policies, like G Adventures and Contiki

I’d like to know your tips about sustainable journey as effectively, inform me within the feedback beneath!

How can we comply with alongside?

I’ll be writing some STA Journey vacation spot guides for quite a lot of cities and international locations all through the journey, which we can be linking to simply beneath! If you happen to’d like to take a look at all my journey photographs you could find me on Instagram @findingalexx, or learn extra about my adventures at www.findingalexx.com 


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