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

Phase I: Preparing and planning my Silk Roads and Southern Africa adventure (8-12 months before the trip)

In this new series I will keep you guys updated on how I prepare for my 6-months (quarter ;)) round-the-world solo backpacking trip also affectively called BoB’s Epic Adventure ‘. The preparation phase is a bit long, but you can’t start early enough with the pre-travel fun, right?

Phase 1 (9-12 months before the trip): Travel idea’s bubbling in my head

The first idea bubbling into my head was my all-time-favorite travel wish: Overlanding from Cairo to Capetown only using public transportation. But, as a solo traveler on a tight budget, this trip would be pretty intense and I sort of let go of that idea for now. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for another idea popped into my head. There it was: the Silk Road.

From that moment on, I kept dreaming of bright blue mosques, ancient desert cities and long road trips through majestic mountains. Within days after the Silk Road idea bubbled into my head I started to look at maps, wrote down some possibly rough itineraries and bought two Silk Roads travel guides: ‘The Silk Roads’ by Paul Wilson and ‘Central Asia’ by Lonely Planet.

The original plan involved leaving August 1st 2015. However, due to work circumstances the start of the trip start was postponed to February 2016.

Silk Road Bunch of Backpackers

Leaving in winter, meant another change of plans. To avoid the harsh winter conditions in the -Stan countries I decided to spend my first two months in Southern Africa. After seeing photos of the Sossusvlei in Namibia and the Okavango Delta in Botswana I was sold: Southern Africa would be start of my trip!

For me, it was very important to know whether it was possible to sublet my apartment. So, I checked with my land lord and yay, it was! Major relieve! Also, I decided to buy a GoPro Silver 4, because it would give me plenty of time to practice before leaving. Furthermore, I purchased a PacSafe portable travel safe! I tested both the GoPro and Pacsafe during my Sri Lanka backpacking trip.

Latest additions to Her Greatest Adventure Yet collection:
Summary ‘How to prepare for a RTW-trip’ tips:
  • When you plan your trip, take the different climates into account (the rainy season, winter) and if interested, events/festivals.
  • Start making a rough plan, buy your first guide books!
  • List things you will have to arrange months beforehand (such as finding someone who can sublet your apartment, quitting or pausing your job)
  • If you buy your first DSLR or GoPro prior to a trip, make sure to have some months left for practice
Only 12 8 months until take off!

It will be an adventurous, intense, beautiful journey and I’m absolutely stoked! The coming months I will keep you posted on the ins and outs of the BoB’s Epic Adventure travel preparations.

Up next: creating an itinerary and booking the first international flight!!

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

Read Phase IV: Only 2 months until 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. What a great perspective!!
    I’ll follow you! For me it will be a year later probably.. Want to go to South America for at least 3 months!!

    Have fun preparing your trip!!

  2. Wat vet, zelf zit ik ook al heel lang te denken om de silk route af te leggen alleen dan te beginnen in Istanbul en te eindigen in Beijing. Ik ben benieuwd en ga nu gauw je andere post lezen over je plannen!

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