Around the World in Two Weeks

Around the World in Two Weeks

Around the World in Two Weeks

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Around the World in Two Weeks

You know those taste test kiosks at the grocery store, the ones that give you just a bite so you can see if you like it? Speedpacking is the travel equivalent of that. It’s ideal for people who don’t have a lot of time but nevertheless want to cover a lot of ground. You are constantly on the move – packing, unpacking, and traveling from one place to the next, rarely spending more then a night or two in each place. It can be a very tiring way to travel. But the benefit is you can try a number of places on for size and decide where you’d like to return someday.

Several years ago I speedpacked my way around the world in two weeks. I visited five cities in four countries, and I spent no more than two nights in each stop. Back then I wasn’t sure when my next opportunity to see the world would come, and I wanted to see as much of it as I could. It was an absolute whirlwind of a trip and a great way for me to jump right in. Even more amazing than the opportunity to see the world was I had a friend crazy enough to come with me.

The world is about 24000 miles around at the equator, but you’ll travel farther than that if you zigzag your way around it. Airplanes cruise at about 500 miles per hour, so at a bare minimum it takes 48 hrs of flight time to travel around the world (and quite probably more). Then add in the time it takes to pack, unpack, go through customs, security, and immigration, and get to each city to find accommodation. Its easy to see how five cities in two weeks is a very full schedule.

On our whirlwind trip, we saw the Sydney Opera house, scuba dove the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, had sushi and drank with locals in Tokyo’s tiny back alley bars, ate amazingly spicy Thai food in crazy Bangkok, and explored a picturesque snow covered Zurich:


So is speedpacking for you? A lot depends on your personality. If you want to see it “all” and dont mind running from one spot to the next, maybe you’d like to try it. Your trip doesn’t even have to involve flying. Maybe you’d rather take the train through Europe or bus your way through south America, spending only a day or two in each place.

Inevitibly everything is a compromise when you travel: by spending more time in one place you’re missing the opportunity to see another. These days I much prefer to spend more time in each spot. Maybe I’m getting old, but I enjoy travel now much in the way I enjoy good whiskey over slamming back beers. Quality over quantity – spend the time to fully appreciate it rather than sprinting from one place to the next. Theres a lot to be said for slowly sipping a¬†cappuccino¬†outside a quaint European restaurant, unrushed and careefree as you watch the world go by.

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Comments ( 2 )

  • Patric

    Hey Ed,
    Speedpacking? My Gosh! Never heard of such a foolish thing! Well, I heard about fools who do it, but never of the term speedpacking! In that way, credits for the invention of that term, much fewer credits to the ones who still do this kind of traveling!

    • Ed Graham

      Hmm yeah.. this is one of those posts I didn’t even know I still had on my website! I don’t know what speedpacking is either, it sounds vaguely sexual though (?)

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