As an avid travel addict, when I’m not traveling, I’m dreaming about far-flung destinations and epic journeys. Although I’ve packed the last year with thrilling jaunts and junkets, I’m always fantasizing about the next sojourn. With the new year approaching, it’s time to get inspiration from some of the world’s most noble voyages that cross continents and break boundaries. For the dreamers out there, these five epic journeys will surely get you dreaming, and hopefully planning for your next journey around the world.
1. Tour d’Afrique
Tour d’Afrique is a cycling tour that traverses the entire African continent from its top end, Cairo in Egypt to the southernmost tip of Cape Town, South Africa. Covering almost 12,000 km (7,500 miles) in four months, the Tour d’Afrique is a test of mind, body, and bike. Since its birth in 2003, three more transcontinental tours have been added: the Orient Express, crossing Europe from Paris to Istanbul; the Silk Route, crossing Asia from Istanbul to Beijing and the Vuelta Sudamericana, traversing South America from Rio de Janeiro to Quito.
2. World Cruises
A dream-come-true for sea-farers, world cruises journey around the world in 100 days. Queen Mary is perhaps the world’s best known world cruise – its 2011 voyage will be setting sail from New York, journeying through Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Cape Town, Sydney, Hong Kong and ends back in New York. For the well-heeled travelers, this brings cruise holidays to a higher level.
3. Long Way Down: A Journey on Motorbike
18 countries, 2 bikers and 5 shock absorbers: one hell of a journey. Fellow actors and bike fanatics Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman set off on their 15,000-mile journey with two BMW bikes loaded up for the trip of epic proportions. Their route took them from John O’Groats at the northernmost tip of Scotland to Cape Agulhas on the southernmost tip of South Africa. They rode their bikes right up to the pyramids in Egypt, visited Luke Skywalker’s house in Tunisia and met former childhood soldiers in Uganda.
4. The One-week Project
The One Week Job Project was created when Sean Aiken, fresh out of college, had no idea what to do with his life. Between Feb 2007 and Mar 2008, he completed a one-year epic journey around North America, working 52 jobs in 52 weeks. How it worked: Anyone, anywhere, could offer Sean a job for one week. Any money he earned for the work, he asked the employer to donate towards the ONE /Make Poverty History campaign. On his inspirational quest, Sean tried everything: bungee instructor, advertising executive, baker, stock trader, firefighter and more.
5. Orient Express Trains
Dubbed as the world’s most exclusive train company, the Orient Express sets the golden standards for global train travel. The Orient Express has an eclectic collection of luxury trains with special departures across the world from Macchu Picchu in Peru (Hiram Bingham) to the Scottish Highlands (the Royal Scotsman) to the heart of South-east Asia (Eastern and Oriental Express).
6. Overland Safari Along the Silk Road
An overland safari along the Silk Road conjures up images of desert caravans, lush oases, snow-peaked mountains and colorful markets. The Silk Road was once one of the world’s most significant commercial arteries spanning the entire length of Asia: from Beijing in the far east to Istanbul as the gateway to Europe. Hop onto a safari and follow in the footsteps of early explorers who plied these trade routes linking some of the greatest civilizations in history.
Flickr photo by Irene2005
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