The question I get all the time from everyone I talk to about my trip is “where are you going?” My reply is always “everywhere”.
I really have no set schedule I’m going to follow because I’d rather be flexible and I think if you plan more than a few months ahead, you’re going to eventually have to change it due to factors beyond your control, so why bother?
I do however have a good idea where I’ll be going first for the first few months of the trip. I’ll be starting in the South Pacific. Here is my current itinerary for first few months I’ll be on the road:
- Hawaii – This is an obvious starting point for anything in the Pacific. Its the cheapest place to fly to in the Pacific from the US, and there are connecting flights to most major Pacific islands. I’m planning on spending a few weeks bumming around Hawaii testing my equipment, doing some test video, and getting used to living out of a backpack. I’ll try to hop from the big island to Oahu where I’ll get a flight to the next stop, which is….
- French Polynesia – Papeete on the island of Tahiti is the capital and hub for French Polynesia. I’ll probably also visit Moorea and Bora Bora as they are not too far away. Bora Bora is a must see. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. Most of Frech Polynesia is high end resorts, but I’ve found several cheap hotels/hostels which I can stay at on the cheap. If I want, I could always splurge on a nice hotel for an evening just to shower and abuse their free internet. From here, my next stop is…
- Easter Island (Rapa Nui) – If you made a short list of places on Earth you have to see, I’m sure Easter Island is somewhere on the list. The problem is, its in the middle of nowhere. Literally. Under the administration of Chile, flights there only come from Santiago and Papeete. From everything I’ve read, flights are shorter, cheaper, and less crowded when you fly from Tahiti. I’m planning on a full week in Easter Island before I fly back to Tahiti. From there, I’ll catch a flight to….
- The Cook Islands – If you’re not geographically inclined, the Cook Islands are where this season’s Survivor is taking place. Raratonga, is a popular tourist destination, so this shouldn’t be too much of an exotic adventure. There are a bunch of other islands in the Cook Islands, but I don’t know much about them. I’ll decide when I’m there if I’ll be visiting any others. After this, things start becoming difficult as far as connecting flights go. If possible, and I don’t know if it is, my next stop will be….
- The Kingdom of Tonga –The fact that I don’t know if any flights go from Raratonga to Tonga is indication of the relative popularity of Tonga as a tourist destination. Up until Tonga, all my previous destinations will have been territories of other, larger countries (France, Chile, and New Zealand). Tonga is the only country in the Pacific to have never been colonized. Tonga has been in the news the last few days because riots have destroyed much of the capitol, NukuÊ»alofa. The king of Tonga died a few months ago, and the people have been rioting for more democracy. When you’re a small country, burning a good chunk of your infrastructure doesn’t seem to be a great way to get your point across. From Tonga I’ll head to (assuming I can get a direct flight)….
- Niue – A single island in Free Association with New Zealand, Niue has about 2,500 people and had its ass handed to it in 2004 from Cyclone Heta. Prior to the cyclone, they had a working wifi network that covered the whole island. I’m not sure what the current state of the island is. I know many of the residents left to work in New Zealand after the cyclone. When I’m done here, my next stop is…
- Samoa – Proud homeland to many a professional wrestler. Apia, capital of Samoa, is a mini hub for the region. Its a very short flight to….
- American Samoa – We totally own this. We (meaning the US) even have a National Park in American Samoa. We took it from the Germans after WWI because it was a good coaling station. Back in Apia, I’ll have the opportunity for one of the real gems in this trip. A chance to visit….
- Tokelau – Also technically a part of New Zealand, Tokelau consists of a whopping 3 atolls and has a grand total of 1,500 people. Unlike other atolls, there are no landing strips anywhere in Tokelau. The ONLY way to get there is via a 38 hour boat trip, where you have to sit on the deck of the boat. Once you’re there, you pretty much have nothing to do other than hang out with other Tokelauans and help fish and do whatever it is Tokelauians do.
To be continued…..