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The “Oh-My-God-I’m-Excited” Trip of 2012


Everyone knows that Pat and I met while on long-term travels, but ever since that time, we’ve only gone on a number of shorter trips together. In the same time, I’ve expressed my slight stress that I am the traveler that has settled with a non-traveler, and I know I mentioned that traveling without him has been not as fun as I would have liked.

Well, in 2012, that is changing. Pat and I are traveling together, and this trip is a doozy!

map travels 2012

The Short Summary:

We’ll be flying business class to Turkey, hopping over to Italy for the TBU conference, heading back to Turkey where we’ll catch a business class flight to Bishkek. After hanging out in Bishkek for a few weeks, we’ll hop over to Beijing for a week before starting the Trans-Mongolian train through Mongolia and up across Russia. Finally, we’ll head back for another few weeks to Kyrgyzstan before flying home on business class (with an overnight in Bangkok).

How exciting! And we leave on April 7th!

Flying Business Class:

On my last trip to Kyrgyzstan, I managed to figure out a great deal that let me fly on business class for cheap. I loved it so much, and the entire time I couldn’t help but think about how much I wish Pat was with me to enjoy it. So, we’re doing it again! I’ll be divulging the details of booking this last round of flights in a future post, but what you need to know is that this flight will take us to Istanbul to Bishkek and back. All other flights will come off of this main routing.

mosque from window aya sofia


I only spent 4 days in Istanbul, so returning is not an issue for me. Once we arrive, we’ll have a day or two to recover before heading over to Cappadocia for our 4 day Intrepid Travel tour. Further on, we’ll explore areas on the west coast — perhaps Troy and Gallipoli.

>> 23 Images of the Aya Sofia


Sitting in Australia and hearing talk of all these travel blogger conferences happening in the far reaches of the world has been very frustrating for me. So, when I learned the Travel Bloggers Unite conference was happening in April, I got to thinking it might be the best opportunity for me to attend.

I searched for budget flights and ran it past Pat before booking the tickets! We’re going to TBU and it is going to be awesome connecting with other travel blog lovers and people I’ve known virtually for years. And, even better is the fact this conference is in Umbria, Italy — a place I haven’t been since I studied abroad in 2004, and a country that Pat has never been to at all.



Pat has always thought that Kyrgyzstan sounded like the wild west. I tell him all the time that there are real cities and markets and fashion stores, but he just needs to see it to believe it. I’m excited to go back in nicer weather and get to explore more of the regions around the country I haven’t had the chance to yet.


Towards mid-to-late May, we’ll be jumping over to Beijing, exploring the Great Wall and meeting up with the other members of the Trans-Mongolian train trip before setting off on May 30th.



We’ll have less than a week in Mongolia, but we plan to go on a tour from Ulan Bator that puts us in touch with the more nomadic people of the country. I imagine this being a lot like Kyrgyzstan.


After all of this talk of learning Russian and traveling in former Soviet countries, I’ve actually never been to Russia! It’s exciting to think I’ll finally get there this year, and I’ll be traversing it by train – one of my favorite ways to travel. We’re still in the process of booking things, but the brunt of the trip will involve Irkutsk and Lake Baikal.


From Saint Petersburg, we’ll be popping back down to Kyrgyzstan, possibly meeting up with other friends in Bishkek, and covering more parts of the country. I also like the idea of getting over to Uzbekistan, but then again, we’re already dealing with so many visa processes on this trip, I don’t know if I’ll want to do another!

>> 11 Things (Re)Learned About Bishkek Travel

mbk shopping Bangkok

Shopping in Bangkok


Much like the trip I took in November, Pat and I will get an evening in Bangkok on the way back to Sydney. Shopping might be in order.


By this time it is the middle of July, and we will have had an awesome 3 months of travel together. We might need a bit of time to recover, but honestly, I don’t know what will be after this for us. Obviously, I want to make it back to the USA later in the year, and many parts of Australia still call, but I’ll have to focus on that later because this trip is coming fast!

Do you have any fast-approaching travels? Would you be excited about travel plans like the ones above?


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29 Responses to The “Oh-My-God-I’m-Excited” Trip of 2012

  1. Amy January 25, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    If you weren’t excited about a trip like this, there’d be something wrong! 🙂 It sounds like a fantastic three months, and I’m excited that Pat is going with you! Can’t wait for it to get here to read about it – and hear more about your ticket booking process!

  2. Dayna January 26, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    This. Looks. Epic. I am especially excited to read about Kyrgyzstan, as it’s up high on my list! We’re also headed to Turkey soon for the first time! That is quite the itinerary, enjoy it!

    • Brooke January 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

      Hi Dayna, if you have questions about Kyrgyzstan – don’t hesitate to ask. This will be my 3rd visit.

  3. Erik January 26, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Sounds very exciting! I’m happy for you and it will be extra special since Pat will be going along, too. It all sounds exciting, but I often think of the photos of the sky in Mongolia… beautiful.

    I only wish I was so lucky- I still haven’t made any concrete plans for 2012 yet. I’ll travel, that’s for sure, but my own indecisiveness is driving me nuts!

    • Brooke January 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      I’m so happy to have Pat along for this = dream come true. Good luck on your travel planning — get out there already 😉

  4. Lauren January 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Epic! This will be an exciting fall for you. Fast-approaching for us is Brisbane, Tassie and Fiji! Hawaii comes in July. I agree that there is also heaps more to see in Oz as well!

    • Brooke January 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

      Sooo much to do in Oz, but I’m hoping that will be the focus of the year following this trip. Looks like your schedule is packed to the brim!

  5. Traveling Ted January 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    I am excited about this trip. Your enthusiasm is contagious 🙂

    • Brooke January 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Hehe, thanks Ted! It’s going to be a blast.

  6. Katie January 26, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Yay! Havent figured out my Central Asia route yet but we may cross paths in Bishkek! And of course let me know if I can help at all with your Trans Sib planning! : ) Had a great tour of Olkhon Isand in Lake Baikal and if you stop in Yekaterinburg, I stayed with the coolest woman there who was so fun and helpful.

    • Brooke January 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Cheers, Katie — hoping for a Bishkek meetup!

  7. Gone Traveling. January 27, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    I want to go to Kyrgyzstan. I got to get my act together!

  8. Daniel W January 27, 2012 at 4:33 am #

    Looking at that sketch I must admit I’m damn envious! esp. the China-Mongolia-Russia section. I bet you have that feeling of anticipation, like you did when you first set off on your travels?

    Make it a legendary trip, go nail it!

    • Brooke January 31, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

      Thank you! It’s going to be E-P-I-C 😀

  9. Katina January 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    That definitely made me excited!!! You lucky thing…

    I’m still recovering from a daytrip to Bathurst on Wednesday (work since has been EXHAUSTING), and I’ll be in NZ this time next month for 2 weeks, meeting up with friends at the start that I met last year at Gallipoli for ANZAC Day [you have to go regardless of when, it’s a beautiful site… and I didn’t get to Troy 🙁 ]. So I AM excited about travelling! Just have to figure out at least a loose itinerary, these things creep up so fast don’t they?

    Can’t wait to read all about your adventures, I’m hoping I’ll make more time to detail my journey 😀

    • Brooke January 31, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      Hehe, yes, lucky, but I’m putting the work in to make it happen 😉 We plan on getting to Gallipoli but we’ll just miss it for Anzac Day unfortunately!

  10. Heather January 28, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    Congrats!! This is very exciting 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more.

    • Brooke January 31, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      Busy busy planning! 😉 Should be the trip of a lifetime!

  11. Antoinette B. February 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Wow that is an awesome round-up. I could hear and feel the excitement through your post Brooke! And you know what’s so cute? You sound so head over heels inlove with Pat! How exciting that you guys get to travel extensively together! I also date a non-traveler and hope one day for m bf and I to travel more together! Can’t wait to read all about it!

  12. Ryan February 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Wow, awesome line-up for a trip! I hear Russia is mind-blowing, but all of them seem great! I’ll be hitting Australia after my time in New Zealand, can’t wait to read about this trip! Btw, I am learning how it is to date someone, and travel…next week someone I am seeing is coming to visit me for a month, but it has been a hard 3 months without!

  13. Tony March 18, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    What an amazing trip! And so detailed! It must have taken awhile to get everything nailed down.

    We thought the same thing about TBU and since we’re going to be in Europe in April we figured we had to go too. Hopefully we can see you there!

    • Brooke March 27, 2012 at 8:52 am #

      Looking forward to meeting at TBU!

  14. Jin May 11, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    I’ve been reading your blog about Kyrgyzstan and I must say it’s looking more and more inviting! I’ve only been aware of this great little country recently (1 year) and I already am getting so excited to go. Thing is I’m from Australia, so the flight will be a hefty one which is why I’m scared I’ll go there and be disappointed. But after reading about people’s travels to this place I’m thinking about taking the dive. All in all, I hope you’re having heaps of fun and we only live life once! Make the most of it hehe


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