6 Epic Journeys to Inspire Every Traveler

Posted on December 22, 2010 by

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.

beautiful_beginingPhoto from tourdafrique.com

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.

cunard-line-queen-rendezvous-at-sydney-harbor Photo from cruiseheadlines.com

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.

2575543604_b269837054_z Flickr photo by Irene2005


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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

17 Responses to “6 Epic Journeys to Inspire Every Traveler”

  1. Leigh December 22, 2010 1:08 pm #

    I joined my daughter who was doing the whole Tour d'Afrique 3 years ago for 2 sections – through Tanzania, Malawi & Zambia. I don't know if I would have been tough enough to put up with the heat & privation through Sudan & Ethiopia.

    The Overland Safari along the Silk Road certainly has some appeal.

  2. kimberlydinan December 22, 2010 1:11 pm #

    Wow, I may have a new adventure to add to my bucket list. Tour d'Afrique looks amazing.

  3. wendy pearson December 22, 2010 2:54 pm #

    Great adventures and ideas! The Silk Road is a route my husband and I are planning to take in 2013 during our overland around the world journey which begins late in 2011. The beauty and history of this region is amazing as you point out!

  4. Dave and Deb December 22, 2010 2:58 pm #

    We did the Tour d'Afrique in 2008 with Leigh and her daughter. It was an awesome adventure. Thanks for including our guest post Nellie. If anyone has any questions feel free to drop us a line.

  5. Connie December 22, 2010 10:08 pm #

    Wow, some really inspiring trips! I saw the documentary "Long Way Down" and it was hilarious and the footage breath-taking!

  6. Ayngelina December 22, 2010 10:22 pm #

    Long Way Down and Long Way Round were definitely inspirations as I was planning for my own trip.

  7. Eurotrip Tips December 23, 2010 1:48 am #

    Wow, I hadn't even heard of half of these! Thank you for sharing.

    The Tour d'Afrique seems quite something.

  8. santafetraveler December 23, 2010 2:42 am #

    The Orient Express is on my wish-list.

  9. Mary January 2, 2011 8:46 pm #

    The Orient Express has always appealed to me. With all of the new scanning and hassles with air travel, overland and train journeys have more and more appeal.

  10. allie March 17, 2011 7:17 am #

    This is amazing ! It is so cool to see other peoples' travels. Thanks

  11. Toni March 18, 2013 10:11 am #

    Wow, the silk road.. I'm definitely inspired.

  12. Gorge Scrambling March 27, 2013 8:43 am #

    7,500 miles of cycling….I wouldn't care if it was 8 months, that still seems like a lot!


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