The Big Trip: A Prologue

Trip Start Aug 16, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of China  , Guizhou,
Monday, August 3, 2009

Our Big Trip really started years ago, for me in 2003 when I left my job as a reporter in Florida to take up English teaching in Prague and for Dan in 2002 when he went on a vacation to Switzerland and decided the world was so vast and beautiful that he didn't go home.

The Europe trip turned into the China trip, with lots of little trips thrown in--Egypt, Morocco, Hong Kong, Australia, the US. We started traveling and haven't stopped. We don't want to stop. That's what this trip is about:

The spark that started our interest burning to create this bigger Big Trip might have been in Prague, the snowy, wintery night I booked my round-the-world ticket that would eventually take me to China.

"Hey Dan" I think I remember saying, " Wouldn't it be nice just to take a ticket like this and just go. Not work, just go."

"Um, sure," he probably replied.

Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound like such a grand beginning. But little things grow to big ones and it started us thinking.

The first year or so in China we lived in Guangdong province where the food was wonderful, the shopping extensive and the multitudinous, expensive wonders of Hong Kong only a weekend trip away. We lived large, saved absolutely no money and loved it. 

But our travels around China just gave us a hunger for more. Our first long-distance trip in China, to Xi'an, made us think about following the Silk Road for a month. For two months. Finally, we were up to thinking about traveling for three months without working. But when?  We needed to start saving.

Eventually, the idea of three months of traveling morphed into more and more months on the road and we changed jobs to Guizhou, a much cheaper place to live. We started to squirrel away our nuts for the winter and decided we'd do the Silk Road in pieces, during our vacations from work. Instead, we'd channel our Big Trip into exploring Southeast Asia, India, maybe even South America if we could get that far.

At present, our itinerary starts in Chongqing, China, a short distance north from Zunyi.  On the 18th, my mother and father and Dan's mother and step-father will join us for a trip down the Yangtze River. We'll see the Three Gorges, the grand dam and a few other attractions along the way.  After the boat, Dan's family will fly back to Australia, to meet up with us in Bali in October. My parents will stay on, and we'll go exploring a little more here in China.  We hope to see the Terracotta Warriors, the cave houses, the Great Wall, and the Inner Mongolian grasslands.

On the 13th we fly out of China on an extremely cheap AirAsia flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We have yet to make plans what to do with our week there, but I hope it involves beers and beaches.

After that, we will go to Indonesia for a month, eventually meeting up with Dan's family to celebrate a wedding (not ours; we have made a solemn pact that people who start bugging us about that owe us dinner!!!).

From there, we'll head to Perth to have a nice long visit with Dan's relatives before making our way back up to SouthEast Asia early in 2010.  From there.... we don't know yet!

So, welcome along on our trip

Happy reading!

* * *

P.S. We have also started our own website, We plan
to put more pictures, more stories and our itinerary on that site. Please follow along!

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