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Where to Next? Europe, USA, or…?


Well we’re back in Sydney, and back at Pat’s parent’s place, and let’s just say that I’ve got a little case of the post-travel blues. I didn’t even turn my phone on until yesterday, and even then, I waited until today to actually put my Australian SIM card back in. Oh woe is me.

brooke on a hill in middle mongolia

Brooke in the middle of nowhere Mongolia.

It’s a struggle after nearly 4 months abroad to try and cope with realities of your normal life. However, I will say that having a proper desk and quiet workspace again is quite nice. One of the main ways I tend to get over the post-travel blues is to quickly set some future plans into action, but this time…

Flight prices are kicking my butt!

I’m torn. Australia is a remote country — so remote that getting anywhere takes time and money. And, if you want to get to the USA to visit your family, to Europe to crash a blog conference, or to your next random country in your plans to check off all former Soviet countries in the world, then it is going to come down to making some hard choices, and pretty much choosing one over the other… which I hate having to do.

It’s even worse when you repeatedly receive the news:

  • We’ve sponsored several bloggers before, but never from Australia.


  • We’d love to support your trip through our country, but we don’t cover flights. (And flights are costing in the area of $2,300 right now from Sydney.)

Let’s just say that Australia and I are not on good terms right now!

pat on camel

Pat riding a camel in Mongolia — much different than being in Sydney.

So I think I have to make a decision. Here’s what I’m tossing up:

Europe in September. I can hit up one or two travel blog conferences, and hopefully make a better impression than last time when I felt both overwhelmed and underprepared (and sick, surprise surprise).

  • Looking at, flights to Europe (Italy) from Sydney can be bought for around $1342.

This does not include the transport fees that would be involved in getting to the conference from Italy.

USA in the fall. I can visit family (overdue), get my fill of American food, and maybe even throw in a road trip of the south.

  • Looking at, flights to the USA (California) from Sydney can be bought for around $1150 to $1250 depending on when you fly.

This does not include transport to Illinois from California.

And I know that the best option of the two is to probably visit the USA, but it gets difficult because Pat would want to come, too. Only, he probably couldn’t go in September, or October. We talked about going over the holidays, but those flights are always more expensive, and it wouldn’t really leave the door open for a road trip in nice weather. If I went by myself in September, I’d have to road trip alone, and I’d miss out on Europe.

But if I went to Europe, I’d probably spend too much money and then not be able to afford travel to the USA until early next year… which seems like a long time away, right?!


Consideration also needs to be given to the ways of maximizing flights with layovers/stopovers in fun places. For this, Europe would probably be the winner as I could most definitely get a stop-off along the way in Asia.

What do you think guys? Where should I go next?!

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21 Responses to Where to Next? Europe, USA, or…?

  1. Matt July 26, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    I feel you, I’d venture to guess that Queeenstown is significantly more remote than Sydney! So, why don’t you scratch the two options you mentioned above and you and Pat come visit me in Queenstown!

    Good luck with the choices, the joys of living abroad at the bottom of the world…

    • Brooke July 27, 2012 at 1:22 am #

      Yeah it’s so frustrating – boo. We just saw a really good sale to Christchurch the other day, but then I said, “Oh man but it’ll be super cold there!” Haha

  2. Will Peach July 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Tough choices, maybe Europe in the fall, and then the states in the winter when the prices are much lower?

    • Brooke July 30, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Really tough! And the problem here is that US winter is Australia summer and the prices are generally always high. bleh

  3. Rebecca July 26, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    This post summed up a a top 5 reason why turned down additional work permits in New Zealand (and didn’t pursue them in Australia). There are only so many times you can fly back and forth across the Tas before you itch for somewhere new that doesn’t cost more then $1K!

    Good luck! Give a shout if you come through LA:-).

    • Brooke July 27, 2012 at 1:25 am #

      Maybe I just need to make more money so I don’t have to worry about that extra $1k 😉

  4. Jeremy Branham July 27, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    I am torn. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Europe in the Fall. Been there many many times during that time of year. However, love the US as well. I’ll be traveling for weeks all over the US during the Fall this year as part of my HUGE project coming up. Fall is my favorite time of year so you can’t go wrong with either.

    It’s been a while since I’ve been to Europe so personally speaking I would go there. But that’s just me 🙂

  5. Shereen July 27, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Come to the US between Christmas and New Years, because airfare is always much cheaper then. I can’t help you with the weather, but if you fly on Christmas Day, you can save a ton…and get here still on Christmas. (Is that which way the time shifts?) I think your family would love to see you, but I can see how Illinois in the winter is not all that appealing. California is still nice at that time, though.

    • Brooke July 30, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      Thanks for the tips, Shereen. The prices after just checking still seemed to be quite high on Xmas Day – really high actually, but I’ll keep checking. Would be so nice to have a proper Christmas – this hot Aussie stuff doesn’t cut it!

  6. Shereen July 27, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Oh, and I’m also reading that you’ll be seeing price drops around the 3rd week in August, if Australia fares to US change when it’s not summer here 🙂

  7. crazy sexy fun traveler July 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    I agree with Will 😀 Europe conferences in September (will be at both), then USA 🙂

    • Brooke July 30, 2012 at 9:59 am #

      Both? – Oh lucky you! 🙂 Still weighing my options at the moment — we’ll see!

  8. Kristin Repsher July 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    I totally feel your pain on the flights front. I got bitten badly with the cost of flights to Europe for TBEX and TBU ($2300, arghhhhh!). My problem was that I had very fixed dates that I could arrive and leave (since I’m already having to take 3 weeks off to get to both conferences), so I didn’t want to try hopping over from another part of Europe. It will be worth it since I’ve never been to a travel blogging conference before and I really want to do a lot more with my blog, but the main thing for me was that I’m getting to see my grandparents in between the conferences. Both of them are 91 and my grandmother has been quite sick, so I’m really desperate to get over there and see them. Still, my bank account hates me at the moment.

    Why does Australia have to be so far away from everything? I love that it’s close to NZ, but I don’t get to go over there often enough anyway because I use all my vacation going on longer-haul trips to see family.

    • Brooke July 30, 2012 at 10:00 am #

      $2300 is a ton of money for a flight ;( But there are times when it is necessary and worthwhile — sounds like this is the case for you here.

  9. Jane July 29, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    I say forget USA and Europe all together and go to Africa or South America lol. Just to be different. 😉

    • Brooke July 30, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Haha would be nice either of those! I’m actually holding out on both until I can have enough time to spend several months in S.America or Africa

  10. Laurie July 29, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    I’d say go to the U.S. I’m sure your family and friends would love to see you and if Pat can’t come – well grab a girlfriend and go on a road trip with her. Or go on your own. Take your mom!!! Sometimes it’s just time for family…

  11. Tracey July 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Go see your family! And then while you are there do a little trip for yourself. Not only will it make you happy, but it will also make your family happy! I concur about flights from Australia. So far and so expensive. And we are a family of four! This trip we have so many flights. Some we paid for with money, some with airline miles and some with credit card points.


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