Summary of Project Overland

This is officially the final post of Project Overland, hip hip, hooray! Just thought I’d add a quick summary to answer everyone’s unspoken questions about money.

Where did we go?

See the table below for a full breakdown, but we visited 20 different countries on our trip if you include Scotland. We spent an average of two weeks in each country but it varied a lot, a maximum of (I think) 87 days in France and a minimum of 3 days in Switzerland. I was getting keen to draw a box and whisker graph with this data but then realised it probably isn’t interesting enough to justify it.

A screenshot from maps.me, each pin represents a place we stayed overnight in Europe

How long did it take us?

The trip took us a total of 323 days (just under 11 months). We’d been roughly planning for a year but always figured we might cut it a bit short. As it was we were getting pretty sick of travelling and the weather was getting too cold.

How much did we spend?

It was actually kind of funny when we got asked this. A lot of the time people would be amazed that we were travelling so long. Often they would first ask about what we’d done about our jobs (we quit) or how we had planned it all (in fits and spurts) or how we saved up (working for a while). Then after a while, kind of sheepishly, they would say “I don’t want to be rude, you don’t need to answer if you don’t want to, but how much money did you save? What’s your budget?”

There are a tonne of different blogs online with super detailed breakdowns of what they spent on long trips like ours. Our friend Fran travelled for three months and broke down all of her expenses into categories which she displayed in pie graphs (God I wish I could justify a cool graph). We’re not very good at recording stuff like that so the best we could managed was a total spend per country. This was achieved by me hopefully remembering to bully Andy into counting all of his cash close to the time of crossing the border. Then months later I would input all the data from our credit card statements into Google Sheets. So without further ado, here are the results!

Our total spend (including bikes and pre-trip spending) was NZ$47,530.66. (Note that this is misleadingly precise. My guess is that the error is approx +/- NZ$1,000.)

This works out to an average cost of NZ$62.69 per person per day (excluding the cost of our bike stuff ~NZ$2,650 and pre-trip stuff). So not too far away from our estimated budget of NZ$50 per person per day.

Pre-trip spending (or at least the stuff we recorded)

Flights – NZ/AUS $338.00
Flights – AUS/SIN $548.95
Travel insurance $1,100.38
Travel doctor – Brittany (3x vaccinations) $240.00
Travel doctor – Andy (6x vaccinations) $800.00
Chromebook (Asus C202SA-YS02) $350.92
Pacsafe Citysafe CS25 $73.64
LOOP world wide travel adapter $29.12
NB-6LH battery charger $11.78
Ortlieb Dry Bag $52.00
Merrell All Out Peak Goretex (Brittany) $299.99
Formthotics Inner soles (Brittany) $69.99
Salomon shoes (Andy) $299.99
Travel towel x2 $84.00
Compression stuff bag for down jackets $35.91
Laundry bag (Andy) $13.00
Photo editing software $29.66

Pre-trip total: $4,377.33

Costs while travelling:

Country No of days Total cost (NZD) Cost/person/day (NZD) Date arrived Date left
Australia 6 $284.25 $23.69 25 November 30 November
Singapore 5 $914.00 $91.40 1 December 6 December
Malaysia 12 $925.21 $38.55 6 December 18 December
Thailand 12 $1,669.53 $69.56 18 December 30 December
Cambodia 11 $1,539.76 $69.99 30 December 10 January
Vietnam 13 $1,684.78 $64.80 10 January 23 January
China (1) 3 $388.55 $64.76 23 January 26 January
Hong Kong (1) 12 $951.39 $39.64 26 January 7 February
Philippines 14.5 $1,436.43 $49.53 7 February 21 February
Hong Kong (2) 5 $415.43 $41.54 21 February 26 February
China (2) 28.5 $4,094.65 $71.84 26 February 26 March
Mongolia 13.5 $2,553.59 $94.58 26 March 8 April
Russia 19.5 $3,727.49 $95.58 9 April 28 April
Finland 3.5 $764.11 $109.16 28 April 1 May
Germany (1) 4 $787.80 $98.47 1 May 5 May
Belgium 13.5 $839.00 $31.07 5 May 19 May
Netherlands 9 $830.29 $46.13 19 May 28 May
Germany (2) 16 $2,955.04 $92.35 28 May 12 June
Switzerland 3 $279.84 $46.64 12 June 16 June
Italy 11 $1,022.55 $46.48 16 June 27 June
France (incl. TMB) 91 $10,037.89 $55.15 27 June 26 September
England 17 $2,397.10 $70.50 26 September 13 October

Total costs while travelling: $40,498.69

And that’s it. The trip’s over. Andy and I are still a couple, so that’s great. The whole thing feels a bit surreal, thinking back to memories from southeast Asia I can barely believe that it was all part of the same trip. Malaysia seems like years ago. It’s been an awesome trip and we really have done some amazing things. I’m not sure I’d do a year-long trip again but I’m really glad that we had the opportunity to go for it this time. It’s going to be hard to adjust back to a normal life of limited time for holidays – the more we travelled the more ideas we picked up for new places to go.

View over Edinburgh from one of the city’s hills

So what now?

We’ve been in Scotland for about six weeks now, loitering at a variety of Airbnb apartments in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. Aaaand… I’m pleased to announce that Andy has now got a job, yay! We are going to be based in Glasgow for the next couple of years. Andy starts work in a week’s time, meanwhile I am flying back to New Zealand for the next three months to apply for a work visa and work on my tan. We have also successfully found a place to live, complete with a sofa-bed. Come visit!

This sofa-bed has your name on it

And what about this amazing, inspiring, entertaining blog that I have been avidly following?

Well, this is the end of Project Overland, but I’m considering blogging about some of our travel adventures in Scotland. We’ll see how that goes given how long it has taken me to write the last couple of posts. Watch this space…

Thanks so much for reading! I’ve really appreciated it when people have told me they’re following the blog or commented on posts. Stay classy San Diego.

Comments

  1. Great blog Brittany, I’ve really enjoyed reading your writing. And now to go re-read your SE Asia posts, 1 week til I’m there! Hope your time in Glasglow goes well, & yes, do post the occasional update!

  2. very cool guys – well done! I like your comment “Andy and I are still a couple, so that’s great”

    yes it is cool traveling together but can be hard at times – but you did it, whoop whoop!

    all the best becoming Scottish and if we make it up that way we will definitely come say hi 🙂

  3. Jacky challis says:

    Well done Brandy. I shall miss my periodic travel fixes through the blog. So impressed you kept up such wonderful writing and photos over the whole trip. Looking forward to hearing how the Scottish winter and being back in a responsible job goes Andy. And cant wait to see my lovely daughter in 2 days time. p.s. Very worried your flat doesn’t have curtains!

  4. Kirsten mclennan says:

    Bloody good effort team! Glad to see you have somewhere for us to sleep when we come visit! X

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