Looking up at a Belgian windmill

So why 109 days?

So, why around the world in 109 days? Why couldn’t it be for 80 days? Well, first of all, 80 is ever-so-slightly overused as a travel duration. Second, 80 days just isn’t long enough. In the book, Around the World in Eighty Days (great read, of course) it was a mad dash to the finish line. Traveling is most enjoyed when there is no such mad dash. Lastly, (here’s the real reason its 109 days) the tickets were cheapest leaving June 12 and returning to the states on September 29. What I didn’t realize was that as Americans we only have 90 days in Europe within 180 days. According to mathematics, (this came as a total shock to me) 109 days exceeds the 90 day limit. Leaving a difference of 19 days.

What’s so bad about overstaying your visa you might ask? Nothing really. Well, except for the part where they stamp your passport with “Illegal Immigrant”, deport you, fine you, and ban you from the continent for up to 5 years. “What’s 5 years?”, you may say. Here’s the thing, even after the 5 years are up, you have to go through a special process to regain your visa (whereas at the moment you have one automatically). So yeah, totally worth it.

This leads to the question: What do I do for 19 days? I was planning on spending a few days in Croatia, The UK, and possibly Morocco (Not apart of the 90/180 Visa). But those would be quick overnight trips. Then, out of the blue, some Australian friends of mine that I met at an international convention, send me an email. It turns out, they’ve moved to Botswana and they offered their place if I wanted to come visit them. Still, the way the dates worked out, that would only buy me another week and a half. Bottom line: I still needed 4 days outside of the European Union. Then I realized that flying into Botswana from Europe requires a layover in Jo’Burg, South Africa, where I have other contacts that I really wanted to visit. They, of course, could only accommodate me for…4 days! So there you have it. Hopefully I did the math right…

Now you’re probably thinking: “Around the world?, that’s not around the world…”, and you’re right. I do have a layover in Dubai (which is technically in Asia) so I figured 3 continents in a little over three months constituted a little aroundtheworldyness. Look it up. It’s a word.