Starting in January 2013, James and I set off on an adventure of a lifetime: We circled the globe for ONE YEAR, traveling to 17 countries around the world! After 12+ months of innumerable adventures, crazy encounters, and more incredible sights than we could have imagined, we returned back to the good ole United States on February 26, 2014.
The map below shows our round-the-world trip route, and places we stopped along the way. Scroll down to see itinerary dates, details, and more.
We began & ended in LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. We spent one month visiting family and friends in the US (Sacramento, New Orleans, Nashville, Chicago, and Milwaukee), then left the country for our round-the-world trip, moving westbound… visiting Japan, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Australia, then over to South Africa when James got a job in Cape Town.
In the middle of our trip we returned to the US unexpectedly (December 2013), then continued our worldly adventure in January and February 2014 to South Korea, Kenya, Tanzania (Serengeti), Zanzibar, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Johannesburg & Kruger National Park) and ended in Norway & Iceland!
**The BLUE map markers and lines show our route and cities visited in 2013
**The PURPLE map markers and lines show our route and cities we visited in 2014.
**The ORANGE lines/paths are James’ travel routes on his own.
**The RED map markers and lines/paths are BreAnn’s travel routes on her own.
Click here to see this map in a separate window.
Below is our itinerary of places we visited on our round-the-world trip from 2013-2014
JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 6, 2013: SACRAMENTO, CA. We visited James’ family, driving up to Sacramento from Los Angeles after I sold my car and we packed up the apartment.
FEBRUARY 6-12, 2013: NEW ORLEANS, LA. Traveled with our friends Marty & Ann out to New Orleans to visit our friends Natanya & Jorge for Mardi Gras 2013!!
FEBRUARY 12-17, 2013: NASHVILLE, TN. Visited James’ dad & dad’s wife, and my friends Kevin and Kristen and their kids.
FEBRUARY 17-19, 2013: CHICAGO, IL. Visited my good friends, Julie and Beth (and Beth’s husband and ADORABLE son, Parker!)
FEBRUARY 19-26, 2013: MILWAUKEE, WI. Visited my friends and family in the Milwaukee area before we officially leave the US for our RTW trip!
FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 12, 2013: TAHITI & MOOREA, FRENCH POLYNESIA. We began our trip in one of the most beautiful and tropical (and expensive!) places: Tahiti! We spent the first five nights in a basic hotel on Moorea in a garden bungalow, followed by a few days at a hostel on Tahiti Island, and finished with five nights in an amazing overwater bungalow on Moorea!
MARCH 14, 2013 – April 5, 2013: JAPAN. We spent three weeks in Japan visiting many great cities including Tokyo, Suzaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukuoka. We were pleased how NICE people were in Japan, and had a VERY lovely experience, staying with a Japanese family in Nagoya.
APRIIL 5-11, 15-17, 2013: HONG KONG. We visited Hong Kong for a total of 8 nights. Had a lovely time around the city!
APRIL 17 to MAY 26, 2013: CHINA. We spent six weeks in China . . . Visited Guangzhou, Guilin, Yangshou, Zhangjiajie, Xi’an, and Beijing. Saw amazing sights including the Xi’an Terracotta Warriors, hiked the amazing moutains in Zhangjiajie, and walked along the Great Wall of China.
MAY 26 – JUNE 23, 2013: VIETNAM. We spent one month all around Vietnam, including Hanoi, Cat Ba Island, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), and the Mekong Delta. Cruised around the amazing Halong Bay, learned a lot about the Vietnam War, and had quite an INTERESTING tour experience in the Mekong Delta.
JUNE 23 – JULY 1, 2013: CAMBODIA. Visited Cambodia for a little over one week. Spent time in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap… and visited the amazing Angkor Wat temples!!
JULY 1 – AUGUST 22, 2013: THAILAND. We spent 7 ½ weeks enjoying the beauty of Thailand! First, we stayed in a small town called Trat for two weeks volunteering teaching English to elementary and high school kids. Then we spent one month on the fun island of Koh Phangan, where we rented a cute beach house and recharged our “traveling batteries”!! We also visited Koh Tao for scuba diving, as well as Bangkok.
AUGUST 23 – SEPTEMBER 5, 2013: AUSTRALIA. James and I met up with our U.S. friends, Marty and Ann, in Port Douglas, Australia for an amazing experience of scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef! James and I then continued on to Cairns, where we drove a campervan for three days down the Queensland coast through Airlie Beach, Harvey Bay, and ended in Brisbane. At this point, James got an awesome job opportunity in Cape Town, South Africa, so he ended up flying out of Australia on September 5th. I continued through Australia on my own for a few weeks . . .
SEPTEMBER 5 – OCTOBER 3, 2013: AUSTRALIA (BREANN ONLY). I spent a few extra days in Brisbane, where I saw the sights around the city and spent time with a dear old friend, Esther. Then continued down the coast to Surfer’s Paradise and Byron Bay. Next, I flew to Sydney and spent a week with a friend from college, Megs, and her husband and daughter. Saw a show at the Opera house, took a ferry around town, did a lot of walking and some great hikes, and more! Next, I stayed in Melbourne for 6 days with a wonderful family (friends of a friend of mine in the US), and then finished my Australian tour with one week in Adelaide with my good friend, Janelle (and her sweet mum!)
OCTOBER 5, 2013 – DECEMBER 3-10, 2014: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA. Spent a little over two months in Cape Town while James worked. He worked as an editor on a television series called SAF3. While we were there, I visited my friend, Nicole, in Johannesburg. We ended heading out of Cape Town a bit early (James left December 3rd and BreAnn on December 10th) and headed back to the US for the holidays, due to a sickness and then passing in the family.
MONTH OF DECEMBER 2014: James and I both spent some time in Sacramento, CA with James’ family, and then afterwards I flew to Wisconsin to spend some time with my family for the holidays.
JANUARY 8-10, 2014: SOUTH KOREA. We spent two days in Seoul, South Korea… we had to fly here in order to pick up our RTW flight ticket. We originally only planned to stopover in Seoul briefly, but somehow messed up our dates and had to totally reschedule our RTW flight in the end!
JANUARY 11-18, 2014: MASAI MARA, KENYA. We volunteered for one week in the Maasai Mara area in Kenya. We had a lovely and interesting time teaching 6th and 7th graders English, and we also experienced tribal living in the local Maasai tribes nearby!
JANUARY 20-FEBRUARY 8, 2014: AFRICA TOUR: TANZANIA, MALAWI, ZAMBIA. We joined a twenty-day group tour (camping… yikes!) from Kenya down through Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia (to Victoria Falls), including safari game drives in the Serengeti. In addition, we experienced some fun scuba diving in Zanzibar and Lake Malawi and also BUNGEE JUMPED OFF THE VICTORIA FALLS BRIDGE!!
FEBRUARY 8-10, 2014: ZIMBABWE. We spent two days in Victoria Falls city in Zimbabwe, rode elephants, and checked out the beautiful Victoria Falls waterfalls.
FEBRUARY 11-16, 2014: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA: We rented a car and drove from Johannesburg out to Kruger National Park and did our own little “safari” out in the park with some pretty amazing wildlife! Probably one of the most amazing experiences this whole year!
FEBRUARY 17, 2014: NORWAY. On our way to Iceland, we had a brief 20-hour stopover in Oslo, Norway! During this time, we were excited to visit with my college friend, Gro, and her husband and son for a night and have a lovely time catching up!
February 18-25, 2014: ICELAND. We spent one week driving around amazing and FREEZING Iceland! What a beautiful and different country, though! We’ve really never seen so many different, gorgeous, and new things: Huge glaciers, black sand (lava) beaches, geysers, craters, MANY waterfalls (some that were partially frozen), glacier lagoons, icebergs, lava tube caves, and more. We also visited Reykjavik city, and also spent some time at the famous “Blue Lagoon” natural hot springs.
FEBRUARY 26, 2014: RETURNED TO THE US!! Our RTW flight tickets expired 12 months from when we began our trip, so we had to return to the U.S. by February 26th, 2014. Haha.. so we used our ticket UP UNTIL THE EXACT DAY it expired!—one whole year later!! We flew into Milwaukee, WI, and visited my family for two weeks, and then flew to Sacramento, CA to visit with James’ family. We returned to Los Angeles in mid-March 2014 and spent a few months looking for a new apartment, moving stuff out of our storage unit into the new place, getting settled in, looking for new jobs, and much much more!