6 continents, 49 countries, 113,000 kilometers. Here’s a full summary of my trip around the world in 777 days.
How do you summarize over two years of your life into a single article? I’m not sure, but I’m going to try.
My 777-day trip around the world started on May 15, 2016 and finished on July 1, 2018. This blog post wraps up everything that happened during my two years on the road.
This post is based on the most common questions I’ve heard after the conclusion of my trip. I’ve included links to old blog posts for those who want more comprehensive answers to certain questions.
Around the World FAQ
How long did you travel? Did you visit home at any point?
My trip around the world lasted 777 days. That’s roughly 2 years plus 1.5 months. And no, I didn’t visit Finland during my trip.
Where did you go?
For full summary, check the RTW Route page
I stayed in 6 continents and 49 countries during my trip around the world.
I started my trip in Finland, traveling overland through Eastern and Central Europe to Turkey. After Turkey I visited the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. After some time in Oceania, I went to North and South America. I then traveled in Africa for a while before finally returning to Europe for the last months of my trip.
I’ve listed all the countries of my trip on my RTW route page (link above). I’ve also written summaries of all my stops on the articles 365 Days on the Road – The Journey So Far and Another 365 Days – The Second Year of My Trip Around the World.
How did you travel? By plane or something else?
I kept my trip half-flightless. That meant crossing over half of the distance overland and overseas via public transport and other means. Whenever I flew, I paid voluntary CO2 offsets for my flights to Atmosfair.
In total, I traveled 113,000 kilometers. 55 percent of the mileage was flightless. The remaining 50,000 flight kilometers would equal two flights from London to Bali and back.
Did you ever get sick? Did somebody rob you? Were you ever in danger?
I had a flu and a diarrhea a few times. I also had an eye infection and a broken toenail, but nothing more serious than that. And no, I didn’t get robbed at any point. I very rarely felt unsafe, either.
What? Nobody stole anything from you during the last two years? Seriously?
No. I paid overprice for some services and I lost tons of stuff due to my own absent-mindedness, but nobody robbed me at any point. I’ve been mugged before and it was a very interesting experience, but still, I decided not to try it again.
All the Money Questions
How much did it cost to travel the world for 2+ years?
My Travel Budget for 12 Months of Solo Travel (2017)
In total, my 777-day trip around the world cost 36,060 euros.
- Transportation: 11,632 € (456 €/month)
- Food: 7219 € (283 €/month)
- Accommodation: 4787 € (188 €/month)
- Entertainment: 4087 € (160 €/month)
- Travel Fees: 4017 € (158 €/month)
- Accessories & Technology: 2457 € (96 €/month)
- Health: 656 € (26 €/month)
- Everything Else: 1203 € (47 €/month)
Total: 36,060 euros (1414 €/month)
My travel expenses varied a lot during the trip. You can read my annual budget summaries (see links above) for more details. When my expenses were the lowest, I spent around 500-600 euros per month.
Did you work during your trip?
I did some volunteering via Workaway for food and accommodation, but otherwise I didn’t work in any of my destinations. I wrote some reviews and travel stories in Finnish as a freelance journalist, although I only earned 50-80 euros per month for my writing.
Where did my money come from, then?
Before I went traveling, I worked as a journalist in Finland for two years. My salary was around 2500 euros per month and I was able to save most of it by living on a very strict budget. At the same time, I was able to use many of the benefits and discounts that Finnish students have to cut down my expenses.
I also sold many of belongings and had a few other sources of income, but my work was the most important one.
Highlights and Favourites
What were the highlights of your trip?
I always say that traveling is about the people, not the places. I made many new friends during my trip, and those people were the absolute highlight of my trip. I especially enjoyed staying with local people via Couchsurfing and other arrangements.
What were your favourite countries and places?
These are some very difficult – and common – questions. There are interesting places all over the world, but if I had to pick three, I’d name Nepal, Indonesia and Slovakia. The Grand Canyon, Uluru and the Himalayas are some of the most impressive natural wonders I’ve ever seen.
What about experiences?
Ah, I don’t know! Seeing Mount Everest rise above the clouds during my flight from Nepal to Bangladesh was very memorable. (No pictures, sorry!)
I also enjoyed experiences that pushed me out of my (usually quite narrow) comfort zone. These included a 10-day silent meditation retreat, a bungee jump and a 16-day cargo ship voyage across the Pacific Ocean, among others.
Life on the Road
What is it like to travel the world for two years?
It is very interesting and insightful. Although I think freedom is a bit too glamorized and overrated, living with minimal responsibilities is much less stressful than staying still and working full-time. For example, I didn’t touch a vacuum cleaner in two years! 😀
Traveling also gives you lots of chances to learn about yourself and to focus on your own projects. Traveling doesn’t mean a constant state of euphoria, but I believe it can be very beneficial for your well-being in the long run.
Did you ever get tired of traveling?
6 Things That I Miss When I Travel (and 6 Things That Are Better Now)
Yes, sometimes. To balance things out, I did tons of other things besides “actual traveling”. For example, I read over 60 books – including such epochs as the Bible, the Lord of the Rings and a biology course book that took me more than a year to finish – during my two years of travel.
Besides reading, I spent a lot time working on this blog. I also wrote a novel manuscript (that didn’t find a publisher) and had a few other projects along the way. I also started meditating daily.
Were you ever homesick?
Yes, although I rarely missed a specific place. Instead, I occasionally got tired of all the farewells. I missed having the same people around me for longer periods. To fight this, I made some longer stops here and there.
The End of the Trip
Did the trip change you in any way?
I think so. I feel like I’ve become more understanding and flexible. Besides that, I got even more worried about the state of our environment. I also got more ideas about what I want to do with my life in the future.
However, it’s impossible to say how permanent thses changes will bel. Even if I stop traveling, I won’t stop changing every day.
Have you made more trips after your 2-year trip around the world?
After returning to Finland, I’ve taken put more effort to capture the feeling of traveling back home. I’ve done volunteering, hitchhiking, trekking and all kinds of adventures in Finland. I did one weekend trip to St. Petersburg on a train, but I haven’t done any longer journeys abroad.
As I like to avoid flying to travel sustainably, I will most likely travel in Europe next. I had planned an overland trip in Europe for summer 2020, but COVID changed those plans.
How do you feel about being back home after two years of travel?
Settling down again was an interesting experience. At the same time, it reminded me that settling down doesn’t mean your daily life will become completely predictable. After returning to Finland, I was diagnosed with a benign tumor (acoustic neuroma) in my head. I’ve lost hearing on my left ear, but luckily I’m otherwise almost as healthy as before.
Life has had its ups and downs, but I’m enjoying my life right now.
Do you have any questions or comments about my trip around the world or traveling in general? Feel free to share them in the comments below! You can also email me at [email protected]
Wow! Thanks for sharing your experiences! I also love to travel but haven’t tried to be away for years. Your list will be definitely added to mine. Thumbs up!
Thank you Sarah and good luck on your future adventures! 🙂
Your posts are great! I’ve been traveling the world for almost year, and have failed so hard at blogging… literally now just trying to write about it haha, but you have done such a good job. Kudos, and good luck on your future plans!
Thank you! 🙂
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Oh wow, I am so happy for you! What an adventure!
Thank you! ^_^
You’re writing in a very readable way. I really like all the answers, especially about homesickness. I guess, we all miss our closest friends and family after long time. One has to risk it, to get something. 🙂 all the best in your future journeys.
Thank you, the same to you! 🙂
If you add the 2 years of working, plus the 2 years of traveling, then you essentially spend 4 years earning a 4-year college degree in Global Cultures, International Travel & World Geography, for about the price of 1-year of grad school!
And your Travel Journalism is fantastic. So much great content for those of us looking on, not to mention for your own reflections in the future, and perhaps eventually to amuse your grandkids. It’s impressive that you were able to document and reflect on so much.
Did you do a post on Photography? I know you found shooting .jpg a better workflow than shooting raw. And, of course, we had that inspired conversation on the LA Metro Red Line where the astronomer relocating from Germany to China told us about using “Deep Space 9” the free RAW File converter… and the woman in front of him gave us a talk about the Obama Admin burying the truth about the dreaded Carrington Event!
Beyond .jpg, do you have other thoughts about photography?
My camera has 2 memory card slots each with a 64 gb card in it. Shooting 24 mpix raw, that gives me 2 copies of about 1,100 frames. The most I ever shoot in a day is up to maybe 400 frames, so it’s easy for me to come home every day and transfer that to 2 hard drives on my computer and reformat the cards every day.
I can’t even imagine the logistics of managing pix for 777 days on the road! It’d be great to know how you did it, if you ever lost any images, and if you’d do anything differently next time.
Beyond the tech details, it’d be interesting to know your perspective on photography and if it changed across your 777 days. Did you think of it in informational or documentary terms? Did you have an “art” perspective? Travel Journalism? Human stories?
Congratulations on your 2/4 year odyssey!
Well done, Arimo!
Good luck with the next chapter!
Thank you Glenn! 🙂
I haven’t written a post about photography. I haven’t put that much effort into it, so I feel like I wouldn’t have many tips about it. 😀
I’m not the best photographer out there, but in a sense, I like it that way. I feel like Instagram is already saturated with overly polished pics that make reality pale in comparison. I enjoy the way my crude snapshots have captured interesting moments and details, whether they are aesthetically pleasing or not.
I think my photography mainly serves a documentary purpose. What’s missing from my photos is that I take very, very few pictures of people. I guess I’d feel like I was an intruder if I pulled out my camera in the middle of social interaction, or maybe I’m just too shy about it.
Then again, I must say that photos of people (like the one’s you take, which I really love) are usually the most interesting ones!
I almost lost most of my travel photos recently as I did not have a proper backup system sorted out during my trip. When I was finally backing up my photos during the last week of my trip, i managed to lose both of my camera memory cards at once.
(Luckily I found them in my wallet a month later! Miraculously they had been there all along.)
Now I use a backup system I heard from somewhere: instead of paying for cloud storage, I created several Google accounts with names like firstnamelastname, firstnamelastname2, firstnamelastname3 and so on. That way I have endless storage space on Google Drive.