2023 – Travel Revealed, Dhaka to Dakar Revisited!

Howdy all! Today is the day that I feel it’s close enough to my departure to actually tell you about this year’s travel plans! I have been very reticent to do it because, well, the way the world has been lately I felt that anything could happen and so I didn’t want to jinx myself if everything went pear-shaped and I had to cancel again. Of course, I don’t completely rule out the possibility still but at least there isn’t much time left for borders to close before I get on my first flight which is in under TWO WEEKS!

It was May 2020, and it was starting finally to sink into my head that this pandemic thing wasn’t going to be over in a few months like everyone was hoping it would. We were in a partial lock down, well it was a fair lock down to be honest and so when I wasn’t working, and working in disability we never stopped and in fact the were more work challenges rather than less as clients were home all the time and we needed to make sure they had things to do whilst home.

But in my spare time, which was quite a bit, I started watching RTW Roxy, who was travelling around the world on her motorcycle. I mean the videos were from 2019 I think, but anyways I started to remember when I used to go on grand, long trips and crossing many borders. As time went by and we stayed locked down, I realised I longed to go on such an adventure, and as the gloom of the pandemic really took hold, I decided I would do something like this again when I got the opportunity.

Still, I didn’t think I would be waiting until 2023. But the dream did get me through the pandemic in many ways. I could have travelled last year internationally, and this trip actually kept getting moved back 6 months and another 6 months.

I knew I wanted to do some ‘proper’ vlogging on the road, and I considered a bunch of options. Almost 20 years ago in 2004 I set out to travel from Dhaka in Bangladesh to Dakar in Senegal, Dhaka to Dakar had such a nice ring to it and well, it didn’t pan out that I would get all the way in 2004, but I resolved to do the Africa portion in 2006. Which I partially did, before coming home following malaria and some side effects of the drugs I had to take when I got it. 2007 rolled around and I got to Mali and Senegal, but it wasn’t one long trip. I lost all my super 8 films that I shot in 2004 too. So I thought – why not do it again, in one proper trip?

And so here I am. I played around for a long time. Like two years plus, on the itinerary. I sadly have to fly three legs of the trip because 1/ you still can’t enter India as a tourist via land borders, 2/ getting the permit to travel through Balochistan in Pakistan is problematic at best and I don’t have a super long time to do this and 3/ I’ve decided against Iran due to the political situation there this time, with a heavy heart it must be said, but I just felt it wasn’t the right thing to do right now, and it was all a bit uncertain what would happen and I needed to organise visas and the like, so instead I will make my way to Amman and then fly to Istanbul, as overlanding through Syria is not possible as the Turkish border is firmly closed.

To avoid other flights I am crossing (quite quickly) through Europe and crossing by ferry to Morocco. It’s not the route I (sort of) used previously although it does retrace some of my steps especially across India and into Pakistan to some extent. I also wanted to try and get to a few places I haven’t been before, more in terms of cities and places rather than new countries but there will be a few new countries for me.

I’ve already had fun organising visas with a few issues on three of the visas I will be needing at this stage I have five visas and probably will organise a sixth before I depart (it’s an e-visa), all flights are booked as are a couple of rail journeys. I will be flying a variety of airlines – 7 different ones I think and that will include FOUR flights in Business Class which I confess I am pretty excited about. ALL of those and most flights have been booked through points and it’s been awesome to be able to really get serious value out of the Velocity program for this trip because I would never spend what the airlines ask for in terms of dollars for Business Class, but the points have enabled me to book these flights which is just brilliant! And I’ve still got a swag of Qantas points left over. I drained ALL my Velocity points but even those are building up again.

The focus will principally be on vlogging on this trip, and I really want to see if I can regularly blog as I travel. Look for the first one which will be a pre-trip vlog on Thursday 26th, I’ll need to give myself a week roughly I think to edit on the road and uploading could be an issue depending on the internet quality in the places I stay.

I’ll be staying in a range of accommodations, but unlike previous trips doing this route I will be looking to stay on average at mid-range options. Already put so much into this trip in terms of planning and booking things. In some ways I would have rather just flown to Dhaka and worked it out as I go but I have around 90 days to complete the adventure and that means I need to be able to keep moving, and plus the sheer number of visas I’ve had to already organise – plus I’ll need more on the road, potentially three are visa on arrival but in total I think I’ll need NINE visas all up.

As for the blog I will share each video probably the day after it premieres on YouTube on the blog, and I will try to do weekly updates as well as Wordless Wednesdays and Picture of the Days. What I won’t be able to do, with regularity as I do at home, is check in on the blogs I do which will be a pity but I do promise to try and check in on them when I have the time!

You may have caught the trailer I dropped for the adventure last week, but hey here it is again for fun!

Anyways, adventure finally awaits and I really hope that you’ll join me as I attempt to do ‘Dhaka to Dakar’ again, properly and in one hit! May the Journey Never End!

18 thoughts on “2023 – Travel Revealed, Dhaka to Dakar Revisited!

  1. This is a very exciting project! The comparison with the previous trip will certainly be interesting. Both for the changes in the country and society and for the development in the travel infrastructure. Best wishes for a great trip and I hope it won’t be too difficult to post updates.

  2. Holy moly! That’s going to be an EPIC trip! Especially after almost three years of nothing, you’re going all out! The visa and flight path situations sound nightmarish, but looks like you secured it all, and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in due course. Bon voyage and safe travels!

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