The hardest thing about having plans is occasionally having to break them. We’d decided during our season together that another round-the-world ticket would be the simplest and most cost-effective way to do the trip we had been envisioning – plenty of time relishing New Zealand before flying to South Africa to travel overland to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, flying from there to the island nation of Mauritius for an island vacation, and then north to Turkey (which we’d hoped to see on our last trip, but cut due to budget concerns).
But flight taxes have only gone up, and the fare for the 4-continent ticket this year was nominally more expensive than the 5-continent ticket we bought last year, and on top of that we ended up delaying our purchase long enough that the slim number of flights to and from Mauritius during our time-frame were fully booked. Reconsidering our itinerary in light of all these factors, individual tickets are now our best option.
It’s a little scary and a little relieving; buying a single ticket which gave us a distinct outline for our trip and a time to be home was comforting, but by the end of our last trip we found ourselves wishing we’d bitten off a little bit less to chew. This time we only have a vague set of dates written down in a planner to determine where we’ll be, with plenty of conditionals and questions. We also have an escape hatch – we can buy a ticket home from nearly anywhere in the world, and we wouldn’t be throwing away thousands of dollars worth of flights.
We’re buying the first leg of our journey now, a long flight from Auckland, NZ to Cape Town, SA with an unpleasant 7-hour layover in Singapore. Our hope is to travel overland up to Victoria Falls through either Botswana or Zimbabwe, and from there cut across Zambia northeast, crossing into Tanzania and ending in Dar Es Salaam. We’ll travel around the coast of Tanzania for a while before flying out of Dar to Istanbul, the city we couldn’t quite catch last year, and we’ll use it as a base to explore Eastern Europe/Turkey/go home early. Same basic plan, just more tenuous; and Mauritius had to be cut.