They change their climate, not their soul, who rush across the sea.
— Horace, 65 - 8 B.C.


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About me

I'm Male, from Netherlands

Where am I now?

I'm currently in Moscow, Russia


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My route

United Kingdom
New Zealand
Hong Kong (S.A.R.)
China (People's Republic)

Link to this journal

My Journey

May 2011 - Feb 2012

From New Zealand to Moscow

































First entry

Getting ready


I've bought my tickets and I'm checking off my lists, I'm getting ready to set off on an adventure half way across the world. Packing all the things I'll need and stashing all the things I won't. I'll go across New Zealand hitchhiking, from south to north, Australia across the east coast, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and with the train to Moscow. I've got the means of traveling sorted and I've got a lot of places I want to see but I'm keeping my planning open for interesting possibilities, nice people and great adventures. I've got 6-10 months open so I'll be on the road most of the time.

I'm planning to get used to life on the go in Oceania, meeting new people and probably visiting a few friends relatives a long the way, really starting my journey when I enter the Pacific Islands and Asia.

yigal said:
Last updated: 8 May 11, 11:58pm

Wow, this sounds like a really exciting plan, Jochem. Looking forward to follow your adventures!

Ready, set



Only a few days between me and my flight I realise how long I've been waiting for this. Excited to see the world, anxious to venture outside the comfort of security, to know that I'll be travelling into foreign cultures, meeting different people with very different values. I'm looking forward to learning, adapting and experiencing, and I'm also a little scared that I'll be solely dependand on my own, but it's as it should be.

I'm leaving my home for a long time, an empty house, saying goodbye to all my close friends and relatives, and even this traveljournal, to share my thoughts and experiences with loved ones and the world, are all sure signs of me going.

I've got everything I need and I've packed my bag to see the weight. I managed to keep it under 14 kg, to my back's content, leaving me the possibility to take a few little extra's. New Zealand will be cold, so maybe some warm sleeping gear or little speakers for music on the beach in the warmer regions, an extra book or two or maybe an extra pair of shoes smaller than my walking boots. Comfy as they may be, they might get too sweaty. I considered the possibilites and I think I'll take neither, because even though I know where I'm going I can't consider all the mights and foresee every little thing I'll need. My best option is to tred lightly, plus this will allow me to pick things up on the road.

My flight will be departing the 22th, early, leaving me with 12 hours to spend in London, probably ending up with me in a bar eating fish and chips, drinking a pint of lager and maybe visiting the Tower bridge, making sure I'm back in time to check in. Then after two 8 hour flights, making a quick stop in Kuala Lumpur, I'll be in Christchurch, approximatly 23 hours later. I'm really hoping to get some cloudy dreams and only a minor jetlag.

Then Christchurch, Dunedin, Hokitika, further on and everything inbetween, sometimes I look at the map in my atlas, only wishing I had more time.

Now to do some last minute medicine shopping and copy some documents.

Objects of venture

and a packed bag

First Stop



The last few days I've been saying goodbye and collecting last minute tips on where to go and what to see. Like taking a freighter from Jakarta to Singapore, passing the Malakstreet from the Riauw Islands right into Chinatown and visiting the the Chinese city of Guilin, with rocky mountains that stick into the sky like pillars. I'll probably even get some travelcompagions in Thailand. I'll have to check my mail.

I arrived in London after watching Holland dissapear into a train model landscape, cars into toys and cows like grains on a green patch. When storing my bag at the airport the employee and me had a laught about the small print on my drivers licence. "That's the Dutch for you, trying to make you go blind." The daypasses to London were surprisingly expensive, almost 40 pound, but looking back it was defenitly worth it. I also overheard the annual Londen garden and flower show is here soon.

The amount of buildings, big and full of detail, from the 17th century are a giveaway of the prosperity of that era, although there was a lot of modern prosperity as well. Riding the train into town I also saw a remnants of not so prosperous parts of time. Looking out the train made me excited for things I will see out the window on the other side of the world. It was strange, I was looking for one of those large stores famous to London, in this case books. Looking on the metro map, Piccadilli Circus looked very inviting for some reason, so I went there. You could call it luck but not even 100 meters west was the biggest bookstore in town, Waterstone's, 4 floors of literature, pulp, and everything in between. After getting lucky and buying some books(3 for the price of 2, I'll ditch them when I finish them, excuse the puns) I got hungry.

Walking through China Town and brand street (not the real street name, but brands everywhere) I found a English fish and chips pub in an alley near the end. It couldn't have been better, thick guys swearing at a soccer match on the big screen, every single one with a pint in front of them. I ordered my food and joined them, and when I was finished I felt sorry for Birmingham, they lost against Tottingham and got kicked out of the premium league by the Wolves. On my way back I got in rush hour on the "tube", cramped and warm(I also know now why they call them tubes, since the corners are round, so watch your head when the doors close). Also I learned a new catch phrase:"Stay wella-away from the doors!"I really enjoyed my day in London, now to Kuala Lumpur and then Christchurch.

Eating away my jetlag


What a trip, more than 20 hours at 10.000 feet and in -13 degrees according to the pilot. On the longest flight half of the seats were empty, so that meant three seats per person. Would making a fat American joke make me racist? Anyways, I got a fair amount of sleep and reading done and that comfort kit I got came in handy. Landing in Kuala Lumpur I was met by a warm moist air and I had to remind myself where I was because the first thing I thought was, "wow, so many Asians" (I know, it's stupid). I had to book my ticket out of New Zealand to get in, so now my exit date is set 25th of June, from Auckland. Next flight and 8 hours later we landed on Christchurch, and I got really excited peeking out the window watching the clouds form on the mountains to the west. Even here you were met by the (not so) scary security personnel eying you as in every western country, but the airfield was small, the entrée hall was supermarket size and the lounge was a bunch of people watching a local TV show. It all looked so friendly and inviting. Luckily the security didn't hassle me too much, although that might have because of how I smelled. Now I'm treating myself to a good meal in the best little steak house in town, and a shower and tomorrow I'll be heading out to Dunedin. The atmosphere here reminds me of Chicago a little, and it makes me wonder, do Europeans just eat less or what?

P.S. I'll try to upload some pictures soon.

dangreen54 said:
Posted: 6 Jan 14, 05:04pm

its great when there are empty seats!

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