As a kid, I was fascinated with Jules Vern’s book, Around the World in Eighty Days. As an avid traveler, I never really gave much thought to an around the world trip until the idea of going to the Maldives became a reality.
My husband and I spent 16 amazing days traveling over 20,000 miles and visiting four countries starting and ending in Dallas, Texas. The original intent of the trip was to visit the Como Cocoa Island resort in the South Malé Atoll. As we planned the trip, we discovered our airline points allowed us to fly to London, Qatar, Maldives, Hong Kong and then back to DFW.
A dream trip, that’s for sure. For those looking to travel the world, there are so many options that are easy and affordable (no, I am not kidding!), but here’s how we tackled around the world:
Day One – Two: London, England
We had a 12 layover in London thanks to British Airways. London is my favorite city on the planet, so I jumped at the chance to go back, if only for a brief time. Using a short-term hotel reservation service, we checked into the May Fair Hotel to allow us to clean up and rest a bit. Perfect location near the Green Park Tube Station. Highlight for us that day was full British tea high atop Aqua Shard at The Shard.
Day Three – Five: Doha, Qatar
Doha completely surprised us at how amazing this little country is in the Middle East. We stayed at the St Regis Doha. The shopping, tours and Museum of Islamic Arts were all amazing. One highlight for us was visiting our Alma Mater’s campus – Texas A&M at Qatar located within Education City with other American universities.
Day Six – Fourteen: Como Cocoa Island, Maldives
The whole point of our trip was to visit this stunningly beautiful country. Beach people through and through, this has been a bucket list item for a long time. We stayed at the Como Cocoa Island Resort and spent the entire time at this resort. We opted not to hotel hop given that we already were doing that with the rest of the trip. To use a cliché word – this part of the trip was paradise. From the beautiful beaches, understated elegance of the resort and the plethora of fish you can see from above and below the water, everything is like living in a dream.
Day Fifteen – Sixteen: Hong Kong
We had another overnight flight for about six hours, this time from Malé, Maldives to Hong Kong. We stayed at the Four Seasons on Hong Kong on Hong Kong Island. A friend greeted us as soon as we landed and we explored all over Hong Kong and Kowloon for the next two days including hitting all the markets, seeing Victoria’s Peak and a must do - a food tour that opened us up to things like snake soup (which, yes, tastes like chicken!).
When we landed in Dallas, we were immediately asked if we would go it again.
...and the answer?
Having done this, it makes us much more adventurous in our travels and we can’t wait to get back on the road again soon.
Day hotel rates exist at most nice/upscale hotels. There are booking sites that allow you to easily find these places. They are a life saver for long connections.
You get what you pay for in international flights. The Maldives to Hong Kong leg of the trip, we couldn’t use our miles. So we opted for the least expensive flight. That ended up being the most miserable time of our entire trip.
Connect with people. We were lucky to have friends connect us in Doha which led to us having a delightful dinner party with others and learning so much more than If we did a tour. In Hong Kong, I looked up an old friend, thanks to social media, and we reconnected again for a personal tour of the city.
Keep a journal or document the trip every day. You will experience so many different cultures, food, sights and events that you will quickly forget the first part of the trip by the last part.
All photos belong to: @michaelblachly