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Travel With Bender

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Reflections

Where Are We Headed In 2014? Plus How I Saved Over $2000 On Flights

When we left Perth, Australia in May 2012 little did we know how long we would be gone for. It ended up being:

574 days or

1 year, 6 months, 25 days or

82 weeks or

13,776 hours or

49,593,600 seconds

We finally arrived back in Perth on 30th November 2013. We had several matters to take care of while back here - Christmas with the family, my brother’s wedding, renew drivers licenses and passports, get rid of furniture and check up on our doggy.

I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t know how long we’d be back in Perth, but now we know.

136 days or

4 months, 16 days or

19 weeks or

3264 hours or

11,750,400 seconds

After what has felt like a real vacation we are finally solidifying our plans for 2014.

We leave Perth on 15th April 2014 returning to the unknown.

How was it being back?

It’s hard to translate into words the familiarity of being back in your home city after traversing the globe. We wrote about our apprehensiveness in an earlier post, and most of it was founded. Life became very easy all over again, almost effortless. I started shopping for clothes, staying in my own environment and slotting in dates with friends. It felt more like a vacation after all the intense travel planning and deeply life-changing experiences.

My biggest fear was that the person I had changed into would fade away, but it turned out to be unfounded. I now recognise how my journey has fundamentally transformed me, and I am even more eager to start the next leg of our journey knowing what I know now.

So where to first?

Sensibly, we have decided to circle back to where we left off last November - Europe. We had some amazing opportunities sent our way last year and have decided our first stop will be…

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Have you even heard of it? Malta is a southern European country perched in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Sicily and has a long, rich Christian legacy.

With its sunny warm climate, numerous recreational areas, and over nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, we think it’s a great place to resume our nomadic journey.

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After Malta we are also excited to head back to Greece, this time checking out a handful of the dreamy islands we haven’t seen yet. Sounds like heaven, right? Bring on the Mediterranean! 

How will we get there and how much will it cost?

Flying form Perth to anywhere is expensive, but when following our own flying travel hacks we figured a way to get back to Europe for much cheaper than originally thought. 

Perth to Malta is normally around $1350 per person, stopping in Singapore and Istanbul. However I managed to find flights for $802, stopping in Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul. The key? Booking several separate legs with different airlines and choosing the lowest priced days. For instance most flights out of KL are much cheaper then flights out of Perth. So first we booked KL to Istanbul. Then we watched the Air Asia sales for best price outta Perth. And lastly we used the Skyscanner price watch as flights skyrocketed from Istanbul to Malta for $400 Sunday night through to Friday and then come crashing down to $120 Friday night to Sunday morning. 

Perth to Kuala Lumpur - $189

Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul - $476

Istanbul to Malta - $137

That’s a saving of over $548 per person.

For 4 people that's just saved us $2,192

It’s still a lot of money, so thank goodness it’s only one-way.

We will be heading out of Perth to spend 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur before our direct flight to Istanbul. After a few hours making the short jump to Malta.

What’s 2014 looking like?

We have a map you can check out all the places we have been to so far, but this year we hope to take it a bit slower. Last year we covered 28 countries. This year our goal is to do half as many, take our time, and really immerse ourselves in each location.

A nomadic traveller never has a set itinerary, but we would hope our year would look something like this:

April – Malta

April/May – Greece

May/June – Croatia

July – Austria, Czech Republic, Poland

August – Slovakia, Hungary

September – Romania, Bulgaria

October – Turkey, Greece

November – Sri Lanka

December – Maldives, Bali

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A big thank you

I just want to express a sincere thank you to all our readers who have been following our journey so far. We are truly excited to bring you some new and exciting destinations and hope you continue to read and enjoy.

Hears to a huge 2014… it’s going to be a fun one!

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Here's what you have to say...

"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Monique on
Very cool Erin!!! Looking forward to keeping track of ur every move!!!!
Posted by Viv on
We'll miss you and definitely follow along!!
Posted by Robyn on
Sounds fabulous Erin! So many exciting adventures ahead.
Posted by [email protected] on
We are heading to Europe end of June, maybe bump into you in Poland in July? Or TBEX Athens?!?! Hope to meet the kiddos too. Hannah @ www.GettingStamped.com
Posted by Lana on
Great choices. The $400ish flight from KL to Istanbul sounds right, but I am amazed by the flight out of Perth to KL!! Wow. Poland is high on my list, and I haven't made it to Bulgaria and Romania yet. Good choices!
Posted by Bethaney - Flashpacker Family on
Great itinerary!!! Maldives are one of my dream destinations. :)
Posted by Katie on
Wow! Look's like an awesome plan guys! Slovenia is a really cool place to visit too while you are traveling around that area. Looking forward to reading all about your travels this year.
Posted by Globe Guide on
That sounds fantastic, you are going to some of my favourite countries! I really enjoyed Malta, am obsessed with Greece...and I can't even begin to explain how infatuated I am with the Maldives- it is absolute paradise. Have a blast!
Posted by Kerry Ascione on
Hi Erin and family,
I wish I wasn't always so busy writing myself. I don't have enough time to read what others are writing, like the Bender Family! What a wonderful year you have in front of you. Many of the places you will be visiting are high on my wish list. I'm dying to visit Eastern Europe with my family, we hope to do it during the summer of 2015. So glad to hear how you found such great airfare!
Posted by Coral Musgrave on
Looks fantastic. Really looking forward to following your travel on you blog. We are off to Greece for a week island hopping next week, not been for a while yet feels like my second home. I was in Malta with my husband for a week last October, we were checking it out as our daughter and partner are thinking of moving there (English winters do not suit them). Mixed feelings towards the island so will be interested what you have to say. Really disappointed that the classic old buses have been replaced but there are a few still around doing private tours so keep a look out for them. We didn't hire a car and used public transport and managed to cover most of the island in a week. We could then get to places before the tours from the cruise ships arrived. We decided that if we were to move out there we would probably choose Marsaxlokk or Mosta. Can recommend a great place for pizza and pasta Damianos. http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g608946-d1100123-Reviews-Damiano_s-St_Paul_s_Bay_Island_of_Malta.html
Posted by Chanel @ La Viajera Morena on
I will also be in Austria and the the Czech Republic in July! I was trying to figure out where to go between my Greece and Italy trips - now I am looking into Malta! :D Thanks!
Posted by Jon and Jenny Stark on
Hi there guys,
We are 2 Aussie travelers who have been 'homeless' for the last couple of years, now into our 3rd. We have a place on the beach in Adelaide which we rent out to help fund our travels. We are currently in Spain heading for Morocco. Since we left Adelaide we travelled through Asia, Europe, Egypt, Middle East, South America Central America, Caribbean and North America. You can check out our adventures at www.teachorbeach.com
Jon and Jenny
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