Phase IV: Only 2 months until BoB’s Epic Adventure!

Phase IV: Only 2 months until BoB’s Epic Adventure!

January 20th I wrote an article on Work and Wanderlust. At that time, BoB’s Epic Adventure seemed ages away. And now, it’s only 2 months until take-off!

First, my apologies for the silence that surrounded Bunch of Backpackers lately. I’m incredibly busy with my regular job(s). I’m in the final stage of my Ph.D. thesis and this demands most of my time. However, soon I will give you regular adventure updates from far away lands in Southern Africa and Central Asia (more about the route here)! Being busy meant I haven’t been able to prepare much for my travels, but I managed to tick off three important boxes of my to-do list:

  1. Saved up enough travel money!
  2. Found someone who will sublet my apartment
  3. Got travel insurance

More about all this below!

Thumbs up!
Thumbs up!
Practical issues

In one of my previous articles I estimated I would need 13.000 euro’s for BoB’s Epic Adventure! Last month I managed to reach that amount!! Unfortunately, I probably won’t have much (any) savings left after the trip, but I plan to start saving again as soon as I get back ;)

Closely related to my financial situation was subletting my apartment! About two weeks ago, my apartment was listed on a housing website. Last monday, to my surprise, I already received a phone call from the housing company that they had found a Malaysian couple who’ll be renting my apartment for the full period!

Furthermore, I finally arranged my travel insurance. After extensively comparing the different Dutch insurance companies specialized in long-term travel or backpacking (such as Allianz, OOM, Tasman and the international company World Nomads), JOHO Special Isis seemed the best option, mainly because it also covers travel in countries with a ‘negative travel advise’ from the government, which in my case applies to Turkey and Tajikistan. This insurance will cost me 37 euro’s per month. It does not cover health care costs, but my Dutch healthcare insurance also covers medical expenses abroad.

I also redirected my mail to my parents house for the time that I’m away. If needed, my parents can sort out important letters and bills. The Dutch Post offers this service for about 4 euro’s per week.

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My apartment :)

As always, I’m not bringing a tablet or laptop on my travels. However, this means I won’t be able to easily transfer photos from my DSLR to my Iphone. Fortunately, I discovered the Eyefi memory cards! An Eyefi memory card wirelessly transfers selected photos from your camera to your mobile phone (or tablet/computer). For me, not needing a computer to transfer photos is the main advantage. Futhermore, the Eyefi card also offers other cool stuff like an unlimited cloud service. I have a 32 GB Pro card and I’m also giving one away! Hurray! Scroll down for the giveaway!

In terms of other photography preparation:

  • I got my DSLR cleaned at my local photography store.
  • For storage, I plan to bring my Lacie 500 Gb to back-up my photos and I may use my Dropbox account as additional back-up.
  • I also decided to replace my standard kit lens for an upgrade: a Tamron 17-50 mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC.
  • In addition, I bought a zoom lens for my upcoming African wildlife/safari adventures: a Canon 55-250 F4-5.6 IS STM.
  • Finally, I bought a Rodenstock polarization filter, UV filter and a lens cleaning kit.

It was a big investment, but I love photography and I hope these fancy lenses will make it even more fun!

vsco-photo-1 (2)
Some of my new photography equipment!
Overnight contact lenses

Besides new lenses for my DSLR, I’ve been busy with another type of lens. The past year I noticed my eye sight slightly deteriorated. After visiting a local optometrist, it turned out I needed glasses. Unfortunately, my head isn’t exactly a great match with glasses. Therefore, contact lenses seemed a better option. According to the optometrist, night lenses would be perfect for long-term travel in dusty areas. And I have to say – even though I’m a doctor – these lenses are almost a bit magical. While asleep, the night lenses temporarily reshape the cornea, resulting in a normal sight during the day! Unfortunately it also means a lot of hassle putting them in and taking them off every night and there is a substantial risk on eye infections. But hey, I’m glad I’m seeing everything sharp again!

Putting in my night lenses
Fun hostels

I love hostels! A few years ago, I wrote this post on my favorite party hostels in Asia. However, these days I’m especially fond of quirky hostels, those that are just a bit different. These two cool hostels below often return in lists of ‘Quirkiest Hostels Worldwide’.  Of course, I plan to check them out during BoB’s Epic Adventure!

Kadir’s Tree House in Turkey

Kadir's Treehouse, Olympos, Turkey. ©Kadir's Treehouse and Hostelworld.
Kadir’s Treehouse, Olympos, Turkey. ©Kadir’s Treehouse. Source:

Santos Express Train B&B

Santos Express Train B&B, Mossel Bay. ©Santos. Source:
Santos Express Train B&B, Mossel Bay. ©Santos. Source:
Latest additions to BoB’s Epic Adventure collection

– Lonely Planet Turkey
– GoPro backpack strap mount (gift by my friend Bruce)
– Package with a Burton toilet bag, Smaak Amsterdam make-up bag, passport cover and money belt (via Travelbags)
– Insight Guides Namibia (gift parents)
– Fjallraven pack bags (gift parents)
– O My Bag luggage tag (gift parents). (Read more about O My Bag here!)
– Transport / rain backpack cover (gift parents)
– Tamron 17-50 mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC
– Canon 17-250 F4-5.6 IS STM
– EyeFi Pro memory card 32 GB
– Lens cleaning kit
– UV and polarization filter

O my bag luggage tag!
Summary of ‘How to prepare for a RTW-trip 3-4 months before take-off’ tips
  • Continue saving money!
  • Get your photography gear in order (memory cards, back-up storage, right lenses, clean camera etc.)
  • Re-direct your mail
  • List your apartment/house on a housing website!
  • Arrange your travel insurance
  • Check your responsibilities at home (e.g. tax, other expected bills etc.)

Enter the Eyefi Giveaway (worth 70 euro) 


Win an Eyefi Mobi Pro 32 GB memory card! With this memory card you can transfer photos wirelessly from your DSLR/compact camera to your smartphone/tablet/computer. Enter your email address (or log in with Facebook) into the ‘Rafflecopter’ (scroll down). For each action you will earn extra entries! This contest is open for participants worldwide and starts December 15th 12AM and runs until December 29th 12AM! We will only use the email addresses to contact the winner. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
vsco-photo-1 (1)   For this article Bunch of Backpackers teamed up with Eyefi. This article also contains two Hostelworld affiliate links.


Only two months until the take-off of BoB’s Epic Adventure (February 16th 2016)! The next post on the ‘RTW’ preparations will appear at the beginning of february :) What are your (dream) destinations for 2016?

Nog maar twee maanden tot de start van BoB’s Epic Adventure (16 Februari 2016). Het volgende artikel over de ‘wereldreis’ voorbereidingen verschijnt begin februari! Waar zou jij in 2016 graag naar toe willen?

Read Phase V: Saying Goodbye 20’s and Hello BoB’s Epic Adventure

Read Phase III: My debute as ‘Backpack Expert’ and some challenges that lie ahead!

Read Phase II: Shaping the itinerary of my Africa And Silk Roads trip

Read Phase I: Preparing and planning my Silk Roads and Southern Africa adventure 

Read On Work and Wanderlust

Meet 'travel mastermind' Manouk: a 29-year-old sassy girl from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. With BoB she inspires you to explore the world, meet the unexpected and follow your dreams. Happy travels!


  1. Our next destination will be Costa Rica in February 2016 <3 We can't wait for it! After CR, we head up to Berlin in May 2016 for the next DNX (Digital Nomad Conference) and then…we have no plan, yet :)
    P.S. I never heard about these over night contact lenses…sounds interesting.
    Greetings from Luxembourg.
    Tascha & Patrick / Patascha's World

    • He Richelle, yeah I will! Not sure if I’ll go to Beijing this time, because I’ve already been there a few times. If I do, I will def let you know :)

  2. Wow nog maar twee maanden… Spannendddd! Kadir’s Trea House in Olympos is echt fantastisch, beetje hippieachtig maar erg relaxt. En ben je van plan om tijdens je reis af en toe nog iets online te zetten, of betekent geen laptop mee > geen artikelen online? Ik hoop stiekem toch wel een beetje mee te kunnen genieten tijdens je reis… ;-)

    • Oh ben je daar geweest? Wat leuk! Ziet er inderdaad heel relaxed uit :) Ik weet inderdaad nog niet precies of ik echt artikelen ga plaatsen, maar zal zeker af en toe een social media update te geven!

  3. My dream travel for 2016 is Disney with my girlfriend, backpacking through France and maybe some citytrips if I have enough money!

  4. Wat een geweldige, stoere trip ga je maken. Gelukkig kunnen wij dankzij die lenzen en dat SD-kaartje meegenieten. Hoop dat je veel kunt delen met ons, maar geniet er vooral flink van (en laat de soc media lekker los). Veel voorpret plezier!

  5. Getting’ closer! I’m starting to get my 2016 plans in order as well, so give me a shout when you know roughly when you’ll be in Central Asia area. Bon voyage!

    • FINALLY! I reckon I’ll arrive early-half july or something :) But make your travel plans (obviously)! My dates and plans are still super uncertain! Hopefully see you in Bishek!

  6. Nice to read! And already so much prepared! That Lacie 500 Gb sounds interested, I am going to look it up. And of course great giveaway haha:)

  7. Weeee – adventures are so exciting! I only recently started my own and I’ve met SO many people from Holland (why do you all go to Vietnam?) that I’m even thinking about making a trip there next year! I hope you enjoy your adventure – the time before takeoff will fly!

  8. Heb je al een hammam doek ingepakt? Deze kun je heel goedkoop kopen bij de Action! En ze zijn zo ontzettend handig! Als handdoek bij het douchen; ze nemen super veel vocht op, op het strand of als extra dekentje in bijvoorbeeld een koude nachtbus.

    • jaa, heb die toevallig pas gekocht Elizabeth, maar dank voor de tip :)! Nam altijd een gewone handdoek mee, dus benieuwd hoe dit bevalt!

  9. Can’t wait to follow along with your epic adventure! I’ve not visited South Africa thus far and only scratched the surface of central Asia, so I’m excited to read about the places you’ll be visiting :-)

  10. Waaaah de tijd gaat zo snel zeg! Die SD-kaarten zijn wel onwijs handig zeg! Ik wist wel dat bepaalde camera’s een Wi-Fi functie hebben, maar SD-kaarten? Mijn volgende (kleine) trip gaat naar Venetië, maar daarna vertrek ik voor onbepaalde tijd naar het buitenland. First stop: Central-America!

  11. Heerlijk al die voorbereidingen! En toffe spullen heb je gekocht op fotografie gebied :) Mijn droom komt (deels) uit in 2016; een reis door Zuid-Amerika. Heb een ticket naar Peru geboekt en nu al zooooveel zin :)

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