My American Road Trip 2016 – TrekAmerica

I’m doing a road trip across America! Have a read of where and what I will be doing!

Yes. America 2016! It’s happening and the weeks are flying by already. Back in December of last year I “revealed” that I am going on a road trip to America. Read more here: Road Trip 2016: Where Am I Going?.

Well I’m now going to announce where exactly this road trip will take me! Of course I have several other trips this year but this is the one that requires the most saving and time. The biggest trip I’ve done since 2010 so my excitement for this American adventure is next level.

The Tour
america road trip map

As you can see by the map above this is a coast to coast trip! Known as the “Southern Sun” tour it will cover many cities all across America! Each state offering something different to experience!
The tour itself is 21 days but I will have a couple days in New York before the tour starts then a couple days in Los Angeles after the tour.

3 Days Pre Tour: New York City
Day 1-2: New York Area, Philadelphia & Washington DC
Day 3: Appalachian Mountains
Day 4: Ocoee, Tennessee
Day 5: Nashville
Day 6: Memphis
Day 7-8: New Orleans
Day 9: Louisiana, Texas
Day 10-11: Austin, Texas
Day 12: North Texas
Day 13: Santa Fe
Day 14: Monument Valley
Day 15-16: Grand Canyon National Park
Day 17-18: Lake Powell & Zion National Park
Day 19-20: Las Vegas
Day 21: Las Vegas & Los Angeles
2 Days Post Tour: Los Angeles

As you can see I’ve got a packed trip and will spend a lot of time on the road travelling a vast distance!
Totally random but did you know that Texas covers 696,241 km² of America! To put this is to perspective the United Kingdom covers 243,610 km². How insane is that.

Transportation
You may be wondering how exactly I will be travelling across America. Well to put it simply a mini van. I have attached a TrekAmerica mini van of a UK Trip I did with them back in 2014 but I’m fairly certain the actual van will be bigger and be newer with Wifi on board. I know fancy stuff right? (although I believe the Wifi not to last so long but I don’t mind as I quite enjoy a internet detox on road trips) Don’t worry, you can see out the windows of the van.

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The Trek America Tour Van for the mini uk adventure.

Accommodation
A big portion of accommodation is camping along the way. Yes, camping. I decided I wanted to see the night sky and scenery as much as possible. As well as spending time around a fire pit in America to get to know the people I will be travelling with quicker making the trip far better, in my opinion, than if we were restricted to hotel/motel rooms every night.

Activities
I have booked some extra special bits for the trip whilst Im in New York City but there’s so much that I can do on this trip that I don’t even know where to start! So to give you a brief glimpse of what I will potentially be up to:

Jazz Clubs in New Orleans, Gun ranges in Las Vegas, GAMBLING in Las Vegas, Helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon, Tour of Graceland, White water rafting, trekking in the Zion National Park and so much more!

trek-america

So that’s an outline of what I’ll be up to on my travels this summer. Less than 200 days to go! If you’ve been before on a trekamerica trip or are going on one/ or a road trip of your own then let me know and mention your blog so I can give it a read!

Thanks for reading,
TheMichaelJoseph.

 

“THIS GUY IS GOING EVERYWHERE”

My travel plans for 2016! Aa list few confirmed trips for 2016.

Its a new year and a new post for 2016. I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year celebrating it with friends and family. Enough of the formalities lets dive right into the plans for 2016.

“THIS GUY IS GOING EVERYWHERE”

You may be wondering why I have started this post with a quote. Well on a recent shopping trip I found myself needing to also pop into STA Travel and get some answers to a few questions on insurance and also investigate into further travel plans. I was asked what they could help me with to which I replied a long list of things I wanted to do and the manager came over, friendly as they always are, and asked what sort of plans I had in mind so again I reeled off the list of plans to which the lady helping me, Claudia I think her name was, said – yep you guessed it –  “This guy is going everywhere.”

In all honesty I’m just intrigued in what is out there so of course I will look into more than I can probably handle but none the less there is no harm in me trying to work it out.
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                                      Travel Plans 2016

There are several parts of the world I wish to go to this year and then there are some already concrete plans. The following places will be the ones that I have set in stone and a future post will follow with where I’d like to go in 2016 IF I can make it work.

   

                                                                         Berlin, Germany – February 2016

In brief this decision came around New Years Eve 2015. Myself and three friends, who when I do a write up of the trip you’ll likely get to meet, are escaping the United Kingdom in February. Some people may ask why and my simple answer to that is because why not.

I’ve asked a few friends on what they suggest to see and do in Berlin and many have said Checkpoint Charlie as a place to visit and also to walk the wall early morning when people aren’t around. So these will be things I will aim to achieve during the trip specially Checkpoint Charlie as I heard you can get a stamp for your passport which is pretty neat.

Currently in the process of booking flights and accommodation at the time of this post being written. We are looking to use Airbnb for accommodation for the trip and will hopefully be able to save a nice chunk of money overall.

                                     Reykjavik, Iceland – April 2016

Iceland! Well this is not somewhere I saw myself going any time soon but after another friend and I got talking we spoke about travel plans for the year and I asked whether she’d like a companion on the trip and luckily her response was “sure id love a companion for iceland!” RESULT. I was in and that was the second adventure of 2016 sorted.

There is so much that I want to see and do in Iceland and luckily will have 5 days to do it. With time now ticking down to this trip as both accommodation and flights have been booked naturally the only thing left for me to do is look into what and when. Already we have discussed the first days plan and its looking likely to be a dip in the thermal pools at the Blue Lagoon. What a way to start the trip I mean just take a look at this place.image5a.jpg

                                 Photo from the site www.sushi-suzuki.com

There will be more on Iceland closer to the date and follow up posts from the trip itself so keep an eye out for those.

                               Road Trip Across America – August 2016

As some of you will know I am going on a road trip across america with a company called Trek America who quite simply have been great from the first point of contact. After joining them on an adventure in Yorkshire, United Kingdom in 2014 I just knew that a trip had to be done and America had been in my sights for some time.

Without a doubt this is the most expensive out of all my travel plans for 2016 but it is also the one that will – as it stands – be the longest trip. With a total of 26 days on the road. 21 days on the tour with Trek America and 5 days off the tour to explore New York and Los Angeles by myself or potentially with the people I meet over the trip.

With so much going into this trip I will be doing a few posts on them before and after the trip but I want to get those posts perfect so I can do the trip justice as I feel I won’t be able to portray just how amazing this will be. Even sitting here writing about it now I just want to tell all about the places I will visit, the length of time some of the stretches of road will be and more! But it can wait a little longer.

trek-america

With my plans out there now and you guys filled in to what my year ahead will look like I want to know what your own travel plans are whether its abroad or local let me know.

The MichaelJoseph.

My Christmas Abroad – Christmas Day

Part 2 to “My Christmas Abroad”. You’ve read part one, Christmas Eve, so now dive right into an insight to my Christmas Day.

Welcome back! So you find yourselves back, again, reading my wonderful tales and I thank you for that but if you have found your way here for the first time then this is the 2nd part to my 2 part series of “My Christmas Abroad”. If you go here and read part one then return to this part you will get the full details into the time I spent Christmas abroad: My Christmas Abroad – Christmas Eve (Part 1 of 2).

All caught up? Good, lets dive right in.

Christmas Day

Where the excitement had happened Christmas Eve this day didn’t have as much excitement as I’d like to write about. One thing  that happened this day  was where I got hurt, not physically but still hurt. This situation really disrupted the whole trip and changed how I looked on people and changed my outlook on life. I came back from the trip still learning and making mistakes but its a trip that I’d never change. Learn from your experiences.

So disruption aside there is something quite nice about waking up stepping outside and going for a swim. Having a drink by the pool and meat on the braai (barbecue). Just take a moment to imagine huge piece of boerewors sausage with a range of other meats on the braai with the sun beating down playing a bit of water sports in the pool… IN DECEMBER. Pure bliss.

We had no presents that day but we were on a Road Trip around South Africa! You could say that we missed Christmas that year but the road trip was awesome enough.

The evening came to an end with a game of poker with the hostel owners and friends. I’d love to say I won lots of money but in all honesty I can’t remember. I probably did though ;).

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The end.

You’ve heard about my Christmas abroad so I’d to hear from you, the readers. Have you experienced Christmas in another country?  Or away from family? Have you ever “missed” a christmas? Let me know in the comments.

TheMichaelJoseph

 

My Christmas Abroad – Christmas Eve

The start of my TWO part series of “My Christmas Abroad” in South Africa. This is the Christmas Eve edition.

This will be a TWO part series.
Many of you, my few readers dotted around the world – HELLO, FROM THE OTHERSIDE, – will have spent Christmas at home with your family every year since you were born. Some may have had circumstances that disrupted your traditional Christmas celebrations but even fewer would have been in another country over the festive period. Did I mention that I have?

A brief back story: In 2010 myself and a girlfriend of the time embarked on a 3 week Road Trip around South Africa. Starting in Johannesburg and driving to Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, up to Kimberley and returning back to Johannesburg. As you may have guessed this was over the Christmas period.

Sitting and writing this brings some memories back both good and bad and I can tell you this time was one of the hardest times I’ve ever had to experience BUT an experience I would never change.

So Christmas 2010 was in Durban, South Africa. To be quite honest I had no idea we would be in Durban over Christmas so there was no real run up to Christmas feeling.

Christmas Eve 2010

So if any of you know me will have likely heard one of my favourite stories of the whole trip. Something that could have quite easily been an absolute disaster.
Durban has a beautiful beach and this was our 2nd day here so as you would expect a beach visit was over due. We parked the car, walked along the beach front and chose a spot to sit. It was swimming time but the issue was there was only two of us which had to mean our stuff would be left alone. I was sceptical of leaving the bag and towels which had almost all of our important belongings in it: the car keys, phone, her passport, money and so on. As my ex walked down to the water and I hesitatingly followed a short time after only a mere minute or two after I had walked away a small child had run along and grab the bag…

It was all a blur really I saw a child running and towels in the air. Shouting down to the beach front “He’s grabbed our bag!” (or something along those lines) and just losing sight of him in the crowds.
As you could imagine a rush of shock, anger and emotions raged through the pair of us a hunt pursued. She, my ex, walked one way and I stood there helplessly lost in a country where I knew 1 person properly. So I passed looking around to see if I could see the child. 

No LUCK… for about 30 minutes (give or take).

But this is a somewhat happy ending. As I walked off up to the main road in a state of confusion with “WHAT THE HELL DO I DO NOW?” running through my mind over and over. Whilst my ex still no where to be seen in the other direction. A large burly man police man native to South Africa shouted at me. *Its important to stress that up until this point that I have only heard of corruption in South Africa*

I have to say at this point you miss out on my beautiful version of his accent.
He goes:

Police officer: “HEY YOU, IS THIS YOUR BAG”
Me: *absolutely stunned and sheepishly responded* “yes! yes it is!”

However it is to say I was confused as he did not only have the bag but he had someone in hand cuffed next to him but it was NOT the child I saw. The exchange continues:

Police officer: “What is in your bag?”
Me: *Lists off all the items I can think of…*
Police officer: “Is this the man who stole it?”
Me: “No, it was a boy”

THE BAG HAD ALL OUR BELONGING’S

To cut this short as I’m sure you have read enough by this point. I found my ex and the exchange continues.  The police officer was insisting that we pressed charges against the man as he was connected to a gang that use children to steal and then hand off items to them. This was not an option as it could have taken TWO weeks to sort out and we had places to be.

To round out this long winded post. This is a story that I can only say was a crazy highlight of mine as you could not have made it up. Had I not walked up to the road then that police officer may never have found me and this could have quite easily ruined the trip. ALAS it did not.
I do hope you enjoyed this part 1 to “My Christmas Abroad – Christmas Eve” Edition and hope you return for the actual Christmas Day events in part 2.

Thanks for reading,
TheMichaelJoseph.

Road Trip 2016: Where Am I Going?

So you’ve found yourself here on this post maybe because you read my previous post about Where in the world should I go? If you haven’t read the previous post then do but if you already have then thank you for coming back to find out more!

I mentioned a trip that was confirmed for Summer 2016 well, as the title suggests, its a Road Trip! I’m no stranger to road trips and have done my fair share of United Kingdom based trips but I have also done 3 weeks in South Africa back in 2010. (Ill save that for another post.)

Have I kept you hanging long enough yet? Well as you are reading this fine little blog of mine – if I do say so myself – then ill let you into a little secret. I’m going to AMERICA. 

I sat and pondered where I should go for months now whether it was America, Australia, Thailand, Japan and even to spend a month interrailing across Europe but some fantastic individuals from different travel agencies (STA Travel, Trek America and so on) helped me reach the out come.

That’s it I’m off to America in Summer 2016. Keep an eye out for a future post giving more detail on the trip itself including length and destinations.

If you have been on a trip with Trek America OR have done a road trip around/across or anywhere in America then feel free to comment about it or link me to your blog – if you have one. I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks,
TheMichaelJoseph

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Where in the world should I go? 

So it’s gets quite real when you talk to someone about going travelling but I have really kept it quiet. Not sure why in all honesty but was just nice to keep to myself.

After what feels like forever trying to find a travel companion and having no luck – due to people having other life commitments – I have taken the time to realise that what I want won’t happen if I wait around for it to happen. So I’m changing that. I’m making it happen and I’m going big.

I’m travelling the world one bit at a time. I have trips in mind – as every budding traveller does – and one confirmed trip for Summer 2016.

Where do YOU want to go in 2016? What trips have you got planned?

TheMichaelJoseph.

Throwback is coming…

It’s been a long time since my last post partly because I haven’t been able to complete the posts I start and also I’ve just lost the way with blogging.

This year has been a long and winding road with every corner bringing something new. I’ve made choices that – to some – may seem silly or wrong but I’ve also made them on my own accord at what felt right at the time.

Over the next month or so as we come up to 2016 I’ll be – or I should say TRY to be – taking time to write about these choices and what 2015 has thrown at me. So if you do choose to take the time to stick with me and read the tales and adventures then you’re more than welcome to if not then no worries be on your way and enjoy life.

Thanks,
TheMichaelJoseph.