BootsnAll indie travel guide

Lianne Mellor – Round-the-World Traveler

  1. When did you go on your RTW trip?
    April 2005-August 2005

  2. How old were you when you took this trip?
    25

  3. Including your air ticket and other expenses (from accommodation to souvenir-buying), about how much did your trip cost?
    $5000

  4. Nationality
    Canada

  5. Where do you live now?
    Den Haag, Netherlands

  6. Occupation

    Before your trip: English Teacher
    Now: Production Engineer

  7. How did your travels affect your career when you got back?
    Got back?! Who’s going back?!
    My career is way better here than it ever was at home.

  8. What is the route you took/places you visited?
    If you consider the round-the-world part to be leaving from Canada, then I started in Toronto, flew to Osaka, Japan (where I was living, at the time). I went by ferry to China and then overland through and around Mongolia and Russia on the Trans-Mongolian railroad. I continued overland through Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Belgium on my way to the Netherlands (where I live now). I will fly back to Canada (temporarily) at the end of 2005.

  9. Why did you decide to take this trip? What got you into this type of travel, and/or influenced you to go?
    When I decided to move to Europe from Japan, I loved the idea of going overland this way. The goal was not to fly. It would have been cheaper, sure. But I learned long ago (traveling around Asia) that you see, learn and experience so much more traveling overland than just flying. Flying has its time and place, but if you have time and really want to see a place, don’t fly.

  10. Out of all your experiences traveling around the world, what was the:

    • Best Moment

      Staying up all night talking to a Russian painter who didn’t speak any language that I speak

    • Worst Moment

      Losing my bank card in Beijing just before I had to catch my train to Mongolia, right at the beginning of a week-long national holiday

    • Biggest Hurdle, Obstacle or Difficulty?

      Getting my bank card back

    • Biggest surprise?

      You can call Canada for like 2cents/minute from Irkutsk, on a really good line. Who would’ve guessed?!

  11. Who is the most memorable person you met on your trip and why?
    Maks – the Russian painter. He was really friendly and we had a really good English/Russian all-night conversation over birthday cake and wine. He and his friends really showed me the true Russian hospitality.

  12. How much planning and preparing did you do?
    Just Enough

  13. What was your favorite piece of gear?
    My ipod. It saved my sanity so many times.

  14. What did you bring, that in hindsight you could’ve left at home?
    A tent. Mongolia is not the wreck that Lonely Planet makes it out to be. I never needed it.

  15. How did your round-the-world trip change your life? How did it affect and change you as a person?
    I don’t know yet…

  16. If you had to sum up your round-the-world trip in one sentence, what would it be?
    An incredible journey to Europe.

  17. Are you planning more trips and travels for the future? Are you planning another round-the-world trip?
    Ha! Of COURSE!!! I think it’ll take few years to save up enough for the massive adventure I want next time, but I DEFINITELY want to do another RTW. See more, obviously take a different route, probably the other direction… I have ideas.

  18. Why do you think people should go on round-the-world trips? Why not just take a regular old one- or two-week vacation instead?
    Traveling is an incredible eye-opening experience. It is an educational journey of growth and change. Two weeks lets you relax enough to START traveling. But it take the lengthier journey to allow those deeper understandings to come to be.

  19. What is the most valuable thing you learned?
    Cyrillic writing. It was SO helpful! And that I need more activity than just sightseeing. I get seriously church/museum/palace/templed out after 6 weeks to the point that I just don’t care any more. I need to head more towards the adventure/cultural travel realms and resist the pull of the tourist trail.

  20. What is the biggest myth that people have about round-the-world traveling?
    That it’s difficult. Or that you can’t do it alone.

  21. Why do you like to travel?
    I want to see the whole world. I love adventure and new experiences. Traveling’s FUN!

  22. What is your advice for people planning their own RTW trip?
    Research the places that you might want to go before you go. Think of some possible routes that might be interesting. Get a ticket to the first place on your route and leave the rest to be planned as-you-go. Only ever have a maximum of 2 books with you; a phrasebook for the place you are now/going to next, and a reading book. Don’t bring the guidebook. Read it before you go, and maybe copy a couple emergency info pages, but they’re too damned heavy and you’ll rely on them too much. Leave them at home. If you find you REALLY need a guidebook sometime, they’ll probably sell them there, or ask another traveler.


RTW Guide - Table of Contents