World Tour Route Maps

Sunday, July 9th, 2000 was the official start of the world tour we'd been dreaming about since early 1998. In 1998, we'd been working in London for over two years and were looking to leave. We booked a round-the-world, 6 month itinerary and then quit work. This first attempt at quitting our jobs resulted in a 2-year expat contract to Japan. The extra cash earned while working in Japan enabled us to enjoy over a year and a half of "luxury backpacking".
Living the Corporate Life 
Sayonara Tokyo, hello Chicago. Thirty days in a  corporate apartment courtesy of Tara's company. 

Friends on the West Coast 
We flew West first to relax with Bob & Eileen before attending Mike & Dasha's wedding in San Francisco. 

Europe with Friends 
We planned our first month to see Mike & Dasha in Paris and Jeff & Grace in Scotland. We also visited our old neighborhood in London and studied at Oxford. 

Scandinavia - go North & then South 
We spent five weeks here relishing  the freedom our train pass allowed. We went as far North as possible &  then visited Tara's great-grandparents hometown.

Studying German Unexpectedly 
We met Gary in London, Mickey & Minnie in Paris and Seth's work colleagues in Zurich. We ditched our plans for Greece when Tara found out that she could attend a four week German course in Murnau for free!

Europe's Smallest Countries 
A closed train station meant we went to Leichtenstein instead of Prague. After friends told us that San Marino, Monaco & Andorra were also very small, we were off on a tiny country tour plus Pisa, Nice & Barcelona.

A Few Final MUST do's 
Suddenly we had only a week left in Europe. We chose to relax in Geneva at Sophie's instead of madly rushing to see more of Spain. Then it was back to London to see friends again and finally to Amsterdam for a quick weekend before our on-way flight to America. 

Home for the Holidays 
Thanksgiving w/ Tara's Dad, Dec w/ Mickey & Minnie, Christmas w/ Tara's Mom,  New Years w/ Seth's parents.

Pacific Islands 
A series of free tickets purchased with frequent flier miles took us to seven of the nine Pacivid Islands we visited. If we had to do it again, we would not have included so many Pacific Island "paradises" in our itinerary and we definitely would not have locked ourselves into flight times. Having said that, we traveled to Hawaii, Australia, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Japan, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island. Japan was a nice escape from paradise and Easter Island was an extremely unique and intriguing destination. However, after all this island hopping, it took us five weeks in New Zeland to recover. 

The Long Way Home 
If it hadn't been for our friend Mike, we might have flown from New Zealand to America. But, no, instead we flew to Singapre, via Kuala Lumpur, to meet Mike who was in Singapore on business. And then, since you can't fly from Singapore direct to America, we just had to stop in Japan again and once there, it made sense to invite our friends Tod & Kristen to China.

Home Hunting in North America  
Fourteen months after leaving our last permanet residence in Tokyo, we came back to North America and started searching for "home". Our search took us to ten U.S. states throughout mainly the Pacific Northwest and New England plus to Vancouver in Canada. As it stands now, we're leaning towards Vancouver. 

World Tour 2000 - 2002
Country Arrival Date
United States 11 June 2000
Canada 9 July
United Kingdom 20 July
France 30 July
Scotland 3 August
Denmark 10 August
Sweden 16 August
Norway 24 August
United Kingdom 13 September
France 25 September
Switzerland 26 September
Germany 30 September
Italy 14 October
San Marino 27 October
Monaco 29 October
France 30 October
Spain 1 November
Andorra 3 November
Switzerland 13 November
United Kingdom 16 November
Netherlands 19 November
United States 21 November
Canada 26 January 2001
United States 19 February
Australia 28 February
Fjij 13 March
Tonga 17 March
New Zealand 27 March
Japan 29 March
Cook Islands 18 April
Tahiti 25 April
Easter Island 27 April
Bora Bora 4 May
New Zealand 11 May
Malaysia 17 June
Singapore 20 June
Indonesia 9 July
Japan 11 July
China 27 July
United States 8 August
Canada 16 August
United States 24 September
Canada 7 January 2002
 In June of 2000, we left Tokyo, where we'd lived for two years, and travelled:
Japan North America Europe North America The Pacific Asia North America
Chicago | Salt Spring Island | San Francisco | Sonoma | Carmel | San Jose | London | Oxford | Gloucester | Paris | Ballater | Fort Agustus | Glasgow | Copenhagen | Stockholm | Lulea | Narvik | Tromso | Nordkapp | Hurtigruten Stops | Trondheim | Ottestad | Stockholm | Copenhagen | London | Paris Disneyland | Zurich | Murnau | Munich | Florence & Milan | Innsbruck | Leichtenstein | Garmish Partikirchen | Neuschwanstein | San Marino | Pisa | Monaco | Nice | Bacelona | Andorra | Sort | Zaragoza | Madrid | Seville | Geneva | London | Amsterdam | Atlanta | Orlando | Melbourne | Clearwater | Chicago | Columubs | Columbia | Columbus | Chicago | Vancouver | Waikiki | Maui | Los Angeles | Albuquerque | Sydney | Melbourne | Fiji | Tonga | Tokyo | Matsushima | Doraemon Town | Hirosaki | Fukuyama | Hiroshima | Miyajima | Himeji | Tokyo | Cook Islands | Tahiti | Easter Island | Bora Bora | Auckland | Waipu Cove | Kerikeri | Cape Reinga | Russell | Baylys Beach | Waipu Cove | Auckland | Christchurch | Greymouth | Punakaiki | Franz Joseph | Queenstown | Cheviot | Auckland | Kuala Lumpur | Singapore | Bintan | Tokyo | Akita | Kisakata | Atsumi Onsen | Tokyo | Beijing | Xi'an | Yangzte River from Chongqing to Wuhan | Shanghai | Tokyo | Seattle | Eugene, OR | Arcata, CA | Seattle | Vancouver | Salt Spring Island | Vancouver | Phoenix | Providence, RI | Methuen, MA | White River, NH | Weirs Beach, NH | VT | VT | Stamford, CT | New York City | Danbury, CT | Swampscott, MA | Orlando, FL | Largo, FL | Mableton, GA | Columbus, OH |

I (Tara) spent hours and hours during January 2001 while we were at Seth's parents' house creating route maps for our trip. The idea of an animated GIF showing where we've been came from two fellow travelers who we met in Narvik, Norway. We were having breakfast in Narvik in late August 2000 and got to talking to a man who was also traveling with his wife around the world. Their trip sounded very, very exciting! We exchanged e-mails and I was surprised to get a mail from them in late December saying they'd gotten a web site up. As soon as I saw how kool was, I was inspired to improve our pages. At the same time that I saw, I also saw - getting more ideas for our web and also reading about an American couple who, like us, took a year off to travel.