We were not aware until we decided to start the trip but there were a lot to do.
The first issue was health. It will be a long journey that's why a general health check before heading is useful. Aycan helped us on this issue, we went through a detailed testing and control. By the way, let us forward our thanks to our doctor Aycan. A part of this control includes dental control too. We don't want to deal with dental pain during the trip. Just in case we've done the basic dental hygiene as well.
We will travel between the points where there are likely several outbreaks. For this reason, we had the following vaccinations.
- Yellow fever - We had an appoinment in the General Directorate of Border and Coast in Karakoy, Istanbul and we've exceeded any cost. The vaccine has a protection during following 10 years.
- Hepatitis A and B - We had a blood test first and had the first vaccinations afterwards. The vaccinations will be completed in three phases; 0, 1 and 6 months.
Other necessary information can be accessed from the website of the Directorate General of Border and Health.
In addition to this we had a health insurance valid for a year both in Turkey and abroad. (We got information through calling sigortam.net Only Anadolu Sigorta had 1 year long travel insurance. For 1 year for 1 person including Turkey and abroad inpatient treatment is around 350 US$)
After trip comment: Our yellow fever vaccination certifiacate was gone with the stolen bag in India. We were told that we can be asked for this certificate in South America border passings. Thus we had this vaccination and the certificate while we were in Ecuador (what if we become sick due to this vaccination, lol). This certificate was never requested in any border passing. Besides we never needed the health insurance fortunately.
In mid-May 2010, we both gave our resignation. We will quit our jobs in late June.
In fact, almost everyone have the same questions in mind: "What will you do after you return?" Answer: "We will think about it when we return."
After trip comment: Please have a look at FAQ page in order to see our after trip comments.
Photography is one of the most important issues, because what we will have after this long journey will be our memories and photos. Our experience so far is mostly with compact cameras. After some researches we both owned a Nikon D90 DSLR Camera. The main reasons for choosing this model was the capabilities of the camera and its portability. We will live with that camera for a long while. Thanks to Halit for help with the camera.
Besides, we had a basic photography training. We tried to get used to the cameras as much as we can in Istanbul. We still can not say that we are very professional, but we think we came to a good level.
After trip comment: After number of 28150 shots our photography taking skills improved for sure. Unfortunately 2 of these cameras were stolen on the road. The third same camera was gifted by our dearest friends when we were in Thailand. So meaningful present. Thanks again fellows.
Computer & Internet
We bought a netbook before the trip.
After trip comment: Nowadays tablets and smart phones are so common worldwide. Those days we didn't have none of these. But netbook was one of our most useful equipment. We used for transferring and backing up our photos (we also used an external hard disk as well). It helped us to talk with our friends and family once we had the internet. In most of the hostels we could find the wireless internet. Besides we updated our website through this netbook. Look still doing it. Surprisingly it was not stolen or damaged, still working, like a stone. The brand is Asus Eee.
Preparation stage includes a physical stage as well. We will be on the roads for a long time, we will have carry heavy bags with us all the time and the physical conditions may not be good everywhere. This is why we practised a lot for the last six months as regular as possible.
After trip comment: We didn't have a problem with the fitness but we lost avaragely 8 kg on the road.
Passport & Visa
One of the important pre-trip preparations are passport and visas, many countries on our way do not require visas from Turkish citizens. Most precise information about the country visa applications can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
After trip comment: Our passports were stolen several times and each time we managed to get a new passport. We got most of the visas on the road. Please have a look at our FAQ page in order to see our comments about visas, they worth a lot to look.
Backpack is one of the most important equipments of the trip. Because this bag becomes your home even sometimes your seat or bed. Thus it should be useful and portable. We started the trip with our old backpacks but as we reached to China they were torn. Since we were in China we bought new ones which is much more useful. Of course not Chinese brand. We get a Quechua brand 70 litres backpack from Decathlon shop in Beijing. This bag is quite useful because it has zip on its body which allows you to hoard your stuff and reach them anytime. Our bags avaragely weighed 20 kg each.
What we had inside the bag ?
Assume the numbers are avarage values;
-1 swimming short
-1 sweat shirt
-1 winter coat
-1 spring coat
-1 polar coat
-1 winter cap
-1 pair of gloves
-neck protecter (life saver)
-1 pair of extra shoes
-1 pair of slippers
-shampoo and shower gel
-hand towel and shower towel
-tooth brush and paste
-pain killers and antibiotics
-external hard disk
After trip comment: After some time we realized that we took more than we needed because we got used to be minimalist. If we were doing the same trip now we would defintely get half. We threw away many stuff on the road.