My RTW Itinerary

Yesterday, I gave you all the details of the who, what ,when, and where of the “Bird Meets World” tour. Okay…maybe not ALL the details. I revealed pretty much nothing about my trip Itinerary. Well, no worries – today I’m spilling all the beans. (Well the beans that I know about).

A word about planning

In the world of travel there are many philosophies on trip planning. Some argue that all you need is a one way plane ticket and a passport. Others claim that each day should be meticulously scheduled. However, for the most part, people seem to lean towards the first category more often than not.

Me? I’m a bit of an overplanner. There are so many reasons for this: I get excited and want to start researching and looking forward to things, I get worried that hotels will book up, I worry I’ll miss out on something, etc.

But this trip was supposed to be different. It was our grand adventure. Two girls wandering the globe. There was just one major issue.


Ugh Visas. Don’t even get me started on visas. Okay, nevermind. DO get me started.

The problem with visas (at least the ones we are getting) is that they require immense planning. Dates need to be finalized. Tickets must be purchased. Hotels booked. Paperwork produced.

One does not simply WALK into Russia. It might as well be Mordor.

So…we planned. And we planned some more. We set dates. We booked tickets.

And this is what we came up with:

Aug 20th – We depart DC and fly into St. Petersburg, Russia. From there we will spend a week visiting there and Moscow.

Aug 27th – Shannon, Tejal and I board the Trans Mongolian Railroad to journey across Siberia towards China. But first, a few stops:

  • Irkutsk, in the middle of Siberia. We will spend a few days staying Lake Baikal and exploring the area.
  • Mongolia. We have a week to explore as much of Mongolia as possible. More details still need to be worked out regarding exactly what we will be doing. But it will most likely involve gers.

A Ger in Mongolia

Sept 14 – Arrive in Beijing, China. Explore China for three weeks. Visit the Great Wall. Pet Pandas. See the terracotta warriors. Embrace life outside of a train.

Oct 5- Board another train heading to Tibet.* Explore Tibet for a week.

*note: more information regarding Tibet in an upcoming post

Oct 13-Nepal. Where we will face our biggest adventure of the trip. A hike to Everest Base Camp. We are probably going to Die. Shannon has already told me she plans on punching me in the face during the trek (I may have booked this trip without fully explaining the scope of the expedition to her).

Luckily we are going with a highly recommended tour group “Simrik Real Nepal Treks.” They will be arranging all our food and accommodations as well as guiding us up the 17,600 feet we must ascend to reach base camp.

Nov 1- Assuming we survive Everest Base camp our next stop is India! In a stroke of good luck we have timed our visit to coincide with the celebration of Diwali in Mid- November. We will be spending a month in India exploring as much as possible.

This is where things get a little fuzzy:

Dec 1- We head to “South East Asia.” Yes, that’s a big area. No, we don’t have ANYTHING planned. But, I think it will be okay. Hopefully we will hang out. Go the beaches. Eat amazing food. Rock Climb. Learn to surf. Generally be awesome.

So there you have it. The “Bird Meets World” itinerary.

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12 Responses to My RTW Itinerary

  1. Dude, I hear you on Russia. Trying to get a visa for there was such a pain, we ultimately decided to leave it for its own trip one day, since it seemed like we’d have to offer up our first born child in order to get a visa to visit there at any point other than the very start of our trip.

    Also, I am a chronic planner as well. I am trying to embrace the whole “let the cards lay as they will” type of trip-having experience that so many long-term travelers seem to embrace, but I am finding it really hard not to research all possible destinations to the point of exhaustion. Plus, the fear of hotels being booked and having to wander the streets all night OR pay out the wazoo for a sketchy place to sleep makes it really hard to not book places in advance. Right now I have only booked the first 10 nights of our stay in Japan, and even that feels crazy to me!

    • ElizabethJ_Bird says:

      If I didn’t have my heart set on the Trans Mongolian Railroad I might have said the same thing… however, its done now so I can just move onto other things!

      Have fun in Japan – its such a fun country!

  2. Memographer says:

    St. Petersburg is the most beautiful in Russia. Many travelers go to Moscow only. I would plan 4 days for Piter, 3 for Moscow. Baikal is gorgeous! I want to go to Mongolia and China myself. So I’m very interested in your detailed updates from there :)
    Good luck, Liz!

  3. Si Kenyon says:

    I traveled on the Trans Mongolian in 2010 and had an incredible time. St Petersburg is a beautiful city. The scenery changes drastically the more east you go, and I found the people became more and more friendly. Mongolia was like nowhere i’ve ever been, just for the sheer emptiness of the place. The camaraderie on the train is great and drinking vodka (lots of vodka) on the station platforms with other random travelers was such good fun.

    Have a great time!

    • ElizabethJ_Bird says:

      Thanks! I love hearing about other people’s travel experiences…makes me that much more excited to go!

  4. Vicky says:

    So exciting that you’re leaving so soon! Looks like we might overlap in South East Asia depending on what countries you’re going to visit – so if we do would be cool to meet up there!

  5. Vicky and I have spent extensive time in Russia and are also fellow DCers. Drop us a line if you have any questions. Looks like an awesome trip and thanks for visiting our blog!

  6. Mary says:

    Looking forward to reading about the trans mongolian train part of the trip. I am hoping to convince my husband we need to do this.

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