After studying (and a little backpacking) in Australia in 2015 I knew one thing for sure: after I finish my masters I want to pack my backpack again and leave for a long trip around the globe. I didn’t really have a plan, and I still kinda don’t. But that is my challenge. You could say I already have some travel experience, since I did make some pretty big trips as an eighteen-year-old, but these trips were kind of ‘organised’ since I was either following a language course, volunteering for an organisation or visiting international friends. Besides I was (and still am, up to a healthy level) a controle-freak. And since I tend to make life not to easy for myself, travelling without much of a plan seemed like a good idea. Close to departure I am not really sure if it actually was, but a challenge it is for sure.
So my plan, which is really more like a mission (see title): … travel back towards Australia, but slowly, without taking any plane…
Is that really possible? I don’t know yet. Can I afford that? I hope. Why for god’s sake? Well, at least I can answer that last question. There are more reasons why. Firstly I really think we should care about our planet and the ecological footprint we leave here. I am raised in a pretty ‘green’ and conscious family, but since I spent most of my last year on uni following courses about the environment, I hardly can make any choice in life no more without considering the impact it has on the world we live in. I know travelling is not the most green occupation in general, but it is something I was going to do anyway, so I better make my journey as green as possible. The way I hope to do this, is by travelling most large distances by train. If this is not possible (it might be because I don’t have any money left for the (way too) expensive trains…) I want to hitchhike, use blablacar or another car sharing platform or go by bus. Apart from that I plan to do some WWOOFing (working on organic farms all over the world) or something similar. The second reason is that I really believe that the journey itself is the most important part of travelling, not the destination. I think someone made a quote for that, you know, the kind of quote you’ll find on like every kind of ‘travel’ Pinterest board (yeah, I admit I am guilty too). I want to see the slowly changing landscape and meet people on the way… I don’t want to be ‘dropped’ somewhere unknown and having to adopt for one week because ‘the sole travels at the pace of camel’… The third reason (and last I promise, I will end my plea here) is that I love, but really looooove travelling by train. Especially the ones you can sleep in. I cannot sleep sitting straight (and really, I tried many times) … so long plane flights or nights on a bus are not my most favorite activities. Furthermore, I am also able to read on trains without getting sick, which makes the journey even more fun (and educational). For these reasons (and a couple more but those are quite obvious because it just seems sooo cool), I always dreamed to take the Transsiberian Railway through Russia and Mongolia. Since I also wanted to go back to Australia and Asia was the only continent not yet checked on my list, the Transsiberian Railway would fit perfect in my plan: crossing the East towards (South-East) Asia without any planes and then travelling down towards Oceania (if I get the chance I might go to New Zealand as well.. but first things first.)
So there you go, that is my “plan”. Part 1: Europe: getting to Moscow. Part 2: Transsiberian Railway. Part 3: …. I’ll leave it like that. The only thing I organised is a ride to Hamburg and a visa for Russia. No plan, no fixed parts, countries or continents. Everything can change. If you want to know my current location and the route I followed you can track my route on this page.
Wish me luck (really, there is a comment section below),
UPDATE CURRENT MISSION – 5th of May 2017
I have to admit something. I haven’t feeling well this last weeks. I didn’t know it was possible, but I am burned out, from travelling. What started as being a little tired, irritated and stressed out, developed in sleepless nights, full blown panick attacks and hardly not being able to do anything but lying in my hostel bed.
So after 8 months of travelling without taking a flight, it is time for me to fly. Making the decision of taking a flight to Sydney was not easy… because not flying until Australia had kind of become a goal in itself, so it felt like failing if I would fly (I am a perfectionist). I am pretty harsh on myself, so failing does not really appeal to me. But actually I forgot the reason why I wanted to travel without flying. The thing is, the main reason why I didn’t want to fly was to travel slowly, to really get to know places and experience them fully. But I am just really tired… tired of all the daily new impressions and being on the move. Which resulted in me not wanting to do much in the places I visited… because it was just going to be another waterfall, another skyline or another temple. I even didn’t feel like taking pictures anymore. I can’t appreciate the places I visit like they deserve, because I’ve given al my energy already to all the other beautiful places I visited. I also noticed I tried to travel faster and longer distances, to get faster towards Australia (which only made me even more tired). This kind of defeats the whole purpose from the ‘not flying rule’, which was actually never a rule but just a guideline for myself. So I am travelling up to Bali, where I will take a lot of rest for two weeks. The 24th of May I will take a flight from Bali to Sydney, where I will stay with some old friends in a familiar environment to recover.
Me writing this means I finally excepted the fact that I am too tired to travel the way I want right now. Because everyone knows how social media can be misleading sometimes. My photos were a little less spectacular maybe, because I hardly take my camera out, but yeah, no drama there right? For now, I am just living day by day to get from one place to another. If I have energy to see some sights, that is a big bonus. BUT, don’t get me wrong, I am totally happy and so SO super greatful I could and can do this trip. I have learned so much already and especially THIS will give me one of the biggest lessons 🙂