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A journey of 1000 miles begins ... in LAN Chile cattle class

Packing, preparing and setting off around the world

sunny 30 °C

Hola from Chelle and Ben!

Welcome to our blog of our world trip adventures in 2010! This trip has been a dream for both of us and shall cover South America (Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia), Central America (Mexico), North America and the Caribbean (USA - New York and Miami confirmed, Dominican Republic), Europe (France, Switzerland, Turkey, England - London, Spain) and Asia (China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Bangladesh). I also wanted to fit in some rural Columbia and a week in a Redfern on return but that got cruelly veto'd by the boss.

For anyone interested in joining us in any of these countries, or who knows anyone we should meet up with or might be silly enough to have us stay with them, drop us a line or add a comment to the blog - would love to hear from you.

Our basic movements at this stage look like:


    January: Chile
    February: Chile, Argentina
    March: Argentina, Brazil
    April: Brazil, Bolivia
    May: Bolivia, Peru
    June: Dominican Republic, Mexico
    July: Mexico, USA, Switzerland
    August: France, Spain, England, Turkey
    September: Turkey, China
    October: (Malaysia), Tibet, Nepal
    November: Nepal, Bangladesh
    December: India, Hong Kong

So with that preamble ...
Yes, the sojourn has begun! We are now nearly one week in from landing in Santiago Chile and have already moved onto the coastal towns of Vina Del Mar and Valparaiso - more on that soon.

But first it would be remiss not to capture some of the FUN of preparing for a 12 month trip in the first place.

Preparing for a world trip is much like preparing for your final uni exams. You MEAN to do the preparation a long time in advance, and arm yourself with your textbooks (in this case - lonely planet guides) but somehow you still find yourself at midnight the night before, blurry-eyed wondering how you got there with no time to what you need - even eliminating sleep.

So true to form, Michelle and I - yes Chelle, I'm dragging you into this one! - found ourselves the night before, still with bags to pack, and only one country researched properly - our first, Chile. Chelle being as always the more organised of the two of us was ready to go by midnight. As for yours truly - I finished by 3:30am with a 7am wakeup for the plane. Mind you, in my defense I nearly broke down on the F3 freeway that day and had my credit card defrauded - but those are stories for another time.

Looking at what you will live with, in one backpack, for 12 months is initially a pretty surreal and slight depressing feeling ("This is your life. For 12 months", but what about ... and what about ...), especially when the life of a suburban Sydneyite is what you have come to know of late; but what follows is also quite a sense of liberation, in that you realise how little you truly need to live on and be happy. One pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and a pair of fresh underwear and socks is all you need ...

OK - maybe a little more.

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Thankfully, google helped me discover that rolling clothes and using those green recycle shopping bags to "compartmentalise" is the way to go with packing a backpack - this is advanced stuff and I mention it here only because of the excitement I expect it to generate.

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And finally the time to board the plane came

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For months Chelle and I had dreamed of sitting on that first plane out of Sydney (*cue Barnesy* First plane out of Sydney ...), knowing there was nothing more had to do - or could do. Wednesday morning Jan 13 gave us that moment, but, like most hard earned accomplishments gave a sense one of relief and "gee I could do with some sleep" rather than elation. I wouldn't call LAN chile cattle class the most luxorious airline either - in fact avoid them like the plague if you can! - but 17 hours later, after a stop off to Auckland, a return to airline food that came surely from the bottom of a school lunch box, and hours of fading into and out of sleep-like consciousness to watch a movie before repeating it all again ... WE TOUCHED DOWN! TOUCH DOWN BABY! Santiago here we come! And man did we hit that city from the get go!

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I was going to write about Santiago wasn't I? But I also promised myself to keep blog entries short, lest even my brave family who read them fall asleep. So we shall cover Chile in our next blog, which, shall be provided by the very glamourous Miss Michelle England.

Till then, Chao Chao!
Chelle and Ben

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Posted by CBAdv2010 20:45 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

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