I’m going to travel a bit: #RTW2012

Later next week I’m leaving Boston on a round-the-world (RTW) trip.  This blog post contains some initial details, primarily for the benefit of interested family and friends.

NASA image

I’ve wanted to do such a trip for a long time, and I have a great opportunity right now.  I left HubSpot last month, as described here earlier.  I have been talking to a variety of people about the next job, and I’m lucky to have many options.  The timing now is perfect, before I start something new that I’m passionate about, meaning I’ll spend a lot of hours on it.

The details below are subject to change.  I’m extending an open invitation to friends and readers of this blog to meet me during the trip and tag along for any portions they want, however they want.  Just let me know in advance, please, since the plans described here might change without my updating this post.

One of the hardest things about this kind of trip is deciding what to do.  There are so many options, so many places to visit, so many fun ideas, that “analysis paralysis” is a real threat.

Eventually, I figured out that I really want to stick with big famous cities, see their culture, enjoy authentic local food (street food and otherwise), and have fun with local nightlife.  I will visit museums and famous attractions, but only the ones that interest me, and on my pace, not as part of a tour group.  I think of this trip as a “degustation” or “tasting menu.”  If I find places I really like, I can hopefully come back to them in the future.

From Design Roxx‘s review of Comerc, 24

I am not planning to do much hiking, trekking, scuba diving, kiteboarding, or some of the other sports which I do enjoy, but which require gear.  I do plan to play local pickup basketball and soccer every place I can, in order to meet locals and get a workout in.  I also hope to volunteer in various ways at various stops, again to meet locals, and help out.

There will be separate upcoming blog posts about lodging choices, packing choices, planning, and more.  All my posts, tweets, foursquare updates, etc on this topic will have the #RTW2012 keyword / hashtag.

I’m not the only one using the above #RTW2012 hashtag.  That’s intentional: a few other folks are doing their own RTW trips and sharing that hashtag, which I like.  You can filter just for me easily enough if you want.

For my tech-curious friends: yes, this is why I recently resumed using foursquare after more than two years away.

I considered a ton of places, as the world offers many things.  I’ll explain some of the omissions, and the reasoning for them, below.  So here we go, with the actual current plan, approximate dates.

San Francisco ~ 5/25 – 5/30, possible side trips to Santa Cruz and wine country.

Tokyo ~ 5/31 – 6/6, side trip to Kyoto.

Hong Kong ~ 6/6 – 6/11, side trips to Kowloon and Macau.

Bangkok ~ 6/11 – 6/16, side trip to Angkor Wat (Cambodia), maybe Phuket.

Delhi ~ 6/16 – 6/21, side trips to the Taj Majal (Agra), and “maximum city” Mumbai.

Istanbul ~ 6/21 – 6/25, probably no side trips.

Tel-Aviv ~ 6/25 – 7/14, family time but also some business.

Russia ~ 7/14 – 7/23, splitting time between Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Scandinavia ~7/23 – 7/30, splitting time between Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Oslo.

Reykjavik, Iceland ~ 7/30 – 8/3.

Berlin and Prague ~ 8/3 – 8/10, maybe also a side trip to Vienna or Barcelona.

Paris  ~8/10 – 8/13.

Barcelona ~ 8/13 – 8/16, unless I go there before Paris.

London ~8/16 – 8/20,.

Then it’s back to Boston, at least for now, unless I miss the Barcelona stop earlier in August.

There are also some places that I thought about for a while, that I would really like to visit, but that don’t fit the trip for one reason or another:

South Africa and safaris: would be awesome, but not in line with the theme, and require a lot of time.

Austalia and New Zealand: same as South Africa above.  Would love to visit these on a dedicated trip in the future.  Also, Sydney for New Year’s Eve is on my “bucket list.”

The Maldives: going to go on a diving trip there with my dive center instead, before the islands sink.

Seoul, Singapore: just not interesting enough to spend a “segment” or flight leg(s) of my RTW ticket on them.

Hanoi, Saigon: beautiful and fascinating places, just couldn’t make it work this trip.  If I extend my trip, it would be to spend time here.

Latin and Central America: been to a bunch of places here already, and going to my major gap (Brazil) in 2014 anyways.  Also, it’s a fairly easy flight from the US, so I can (relatively) easily get there in the future.

Alright, this post is long enough for now.  I’m really excited about this trip and looking forward to it.  Upcoming blog posts will cover more of the packing, planning, hacking, logistics, and related things.

One last note: I’m not sure yet how “online” I’ll be during the trip.  I will not be checking email, but I will be posting the occasional photo + caption to my foursquare account.  That gets cross-posted to Twitter and Facebook for the curious.  This is my “I’m still alive” notification for friends and family.

Long-form blog posts will be difficult, and thus rare, while I travel.  I’m not taking a laptop, on purpose, and will generally try to unplug as much as possible.