And here we go!
After planning and dreaming about this trip for so long, the day came quite suddenly. The departure always seemed to be so far away… and now here we are at the airport in Frankfurt (after very little sleep last night)! We are both excited and honestly quite scared about what is going to await us in the next six months or so.
What happened until now
So how did it all start?
Well, since we met and fell in love in the mountains and jungles of Bolivia, one could say that wanderlust was the defining feature of our relationship!
Nicole has spent the last two years working for the German development corporation in Amman while Kevin has built a startup (Zizzle App) in the U.S. and Germany and pursued his PhD. In between, we traveled all over Europe (to Spain, Portugal, Austria, Poland, Czech and Hungary), the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine) and China. So this journey may not be all that great of a surprise.
Besides, this may be the last chance before serious life begins 😉
The backpacking journey to the sea
Why this route? Hm, when we started thinking about this trip more than a year ago, we had different options based on the climate and seasons – though now we start the trip later than originally planned. As a result, it will be super hot in Iran and probably way toooo cold in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and China. But well… 😉.
Originally, the options were either
- South America or
- Trans-Siberian train (like in the movie) ride through Russia/Mongolia/China/Southeast Asia or
- Iran/Central Asia/China/Southeast Asia.
In the end we decided for option (3) as we’ve both already been to many countries in Latin America (we love it there, but it has been quite overcrowded by backpackers lately and we wanted to do something “off the beaten track”).
It was a difficult decision between Russia/Mongolia and Iran/Central Asia/Stan Countries. Ultimately, we decided to go through the Stan countries because we hope there might be more hiking/trekking opportunities, because Russia is quite expensive and because Nicole isn’t all that fond of train travels. Also, who even knows where Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are on a map!
So option (3) it is!
If at any time you find yourself near one of the places we are travelling to, come pay us a visit!
Nicole already wrote our packing list in November while spending lots of hours being bored at the airport in Kiev (“at least the wifi connection is the best I have had at any airport”). (If anyone is interested we are happy to share that one with you).
Still, the last weeks were actually a bit chaotic. Apart from taking care of all the insurance, finance and organisation stuff (and of course setting up this blog) packing all the stuff turned out to be harder than we thought.. With all our trekking and camping equipment we ended up carrying a lot more than we planned to and can’t travel as light as we’d like to. Also, we had to bring with us both warm and cold weather clothes. But it somehow worked out in the end 😊.
See you soon!
In a few hours we will arrive in the middle of the night in Tehran – hopefully! We’re not sure yet if we’ll receive the visa on arrival... Plus Nicole is actually quite stressed out about the flight. She hates flying (not the best with this traveler lifestyle) and we booked the flight with the cheaper Pegasus airline she doesn’t trust…
But if we don’t crash and survive this plus get the visa, we soon will let you know about our first impressions of Iran!
Finally, If you have any advice for any of the places listed, shoot us an email or drop us a comment!