Ok I’ll admit it, I told a teeny tiny fib. I signed off my last entry promising a swift return, and it’s been a whole month before you hear any squeak of news from me again. To both of my adoring fans, I’m sorry.
The good news is, I have more than just a squeak of news, I have a humongous, fantastical, plane-shaped piece of news. That’s right people, I’ve booked my plane tickets.
The actual booking process followed an all-too-familiar pattern of things I do with my life – I spent an unhealthy amount of time thinking and planning and coming up with the best way of doing things, and then changed my mind at the last minute and hoped for the best. In this case I’m referring to what is apparently a hot topic within travelling circles, the debate that has far too many hyphens for its own good, round-the-world ticket vs buy-as-you-go.
You see, having been told I can fly around the world basically creating my own stops for little more than a bag of sand (that’s a grand for all my non-London friends), I blindly accepted that as the best possible option and never even considered to look into individual prices. However, having recently been told by the same company that such a ticket doesn’t exist (which was weird), and subsequently been given a quote for £1700 to do the four major stops I’m planning to do (London-Perth, Sydney-Auckland, Auckland-LA, New York-London), I dusted off my sensible hat and sought a cheaper alternative.
As it turns out, booking these flights individually will probably turn out to be a similar price to doing it all in one go, and this raises an important point – money is not the biggest factor that determines how far in advance I commit to plans.
I’m in an extremely fortuitous position to be able to afford this trip, and probably next year’s as well, and so I’d rather spend just a tiny bit more to give myself as much flexibility as possible with regards to my timings. Yes, I can spend £1700 and commit to a flight from New York to London in July, but what happens if I want to spend longer exploring Mordor? Or I fall in love with the freezing temperatures in Canada? Or I get abducted by a moose in Montana? It’s important to me to keep my options as open as possible, and based on my current calculations (which aren’t necessarily accurate given that I’ve had less than 12 hours sleep), buying tickets as I go isn’t necessarily going to be any more expensive anyway.
So I’ve booked my flight to Australia on March 12th (which is actually the 13th down there because they live in the future), more precisely I’ve booked a direct flight to Perth. I’ve also booked a flight out of Oz to Auckland, New Zealand, on April 23rd – six weeks later – so that I can show the nice customs person that I do indeed intend on leaving the country again at some point. Luckily, flights between these two countries are as cheap as a second-hand lego set, so having to cancel/move it won’t be too much of a pain in the unmentionables.
In other news, I also have my Australian visa, meaning I can pop in and out of its enormous borders as much as I like over the next twelve months, and as I don’t need a visa to visit New Zealand, I’m pretty much all set to go.
All that’s left to do is to spend the next three weeks saying my tearful goodbyes to everyone who loves me (not sure that will be enough time), and try to squeeze several months worth of stuff into something I can carry on my back, and then it’s Heathrow here I come! At 7am in the morning. On a Monday.