Wow! What an amazing first day…

…it really is hard to imagine 9.5 months of days like this…

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Being Coloradans, we began plotting when and how we would climb Table Mountain as soon as we set eyes on it.  We set out the first morning.    It was cold and wet (no rain, just waterfalls and puddles left over from lots of rain yesterday and overnight), but an incredible 2 hr hike, lunch at the top, and then a tram ride down. After a taxi ride back to the hostel and a hot shower, we caught one of the local doubledecker, open-top sightseeing tour buses that go around the city and took the route that goes around Table Mountain and the surrounding towns that we could see from the top of the mountain.  We also stopped along the route at the botanical gardens and Camp Bay – both very cool!  We ended the day with an African game meat platter – croc ribs, warthog ribs, gemsbock and ostrich – and some SA wine.

It’s going to be a great trip!


And, we’re off!

After a few wonderful days in Boston and Brooklyn, we have arrived safely in Cape Town… to cold, wind, and hail!! (?)  However, we have an amazing view of Table Mountain from our hostel, and the next several days will bring sun, sun, and no rain!  It is approaching winter here, so Cape Town should be the coldest of our destinations.  In about a week, Namibia will be 70-75 and sunny with no rain.  Then it’s hot hot hot the rest of the Roundabout!

The view from our room in Cape Town!
The view from our room in Cape Town!


Great friends in Brooklyn!  (Missed a photo of Smoot)
Great friends in Brooklyn! (Missed a photo of Smoot)

What’s on Jon’s back?

Like Jen, for our close to a year of travel I have a backpack full of clothes, toiletries, and gear + the electronics.


36 things to wear:   3 shorts, 8 t-shirts, 7 boxer-briefs, 6 pairs of socks, a long sleeve shirt, hoodie, a pair of jeans, hiking pants (that can convert to shorts), all in packing sacs.   A puffy jacket, a rain jacket, trail running shoes, Chaco’s, visor, baseball cap, beanie hat and gloves.   To buy on trip:  button-down going out shirt, flip flops.

14 pieces of gear:  sleeping bag, silk liner, tent, knife, duct tape, zip ties, travel towel, day bag, dirty clothes bag, travel guide books (2), headlamp, journal, and 60 liter backpack.

13 toiletry items:  deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, face soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, razor, sunscreen, bug spray, all in plastic bags.

11 pieces of electronics:  camera, iPod, iPhone (his & hers, WiFi only), Global Droid (for voice using SIM cards), laptop, external hard drive, Nook (his & hers), backup charger, plug adapter, and headphones.





Icebreaker hooded thin jacket and long-sleeve shirt and Patagonia rain jacket and puffy.

Below, light-weight jeans, North Face hiking pants (double as shorts with tear-away legs), Brooks trail running shoes, and Chaco’s (Jen made me get them, but must admit very functional).   I need to get cheap flip flops for showers and beach 🙂




Mesh shorts (will wear them biking along the way), visor, baseball cap, cotton boxer-briefs, swim trunks, various biking and hiking socks, and running shorts.

Gray v-neck t-shirt (my one “going out shirt”, will probably pick-up a button-down along the way), Nike running shirt, and Quicksilver plaid shorts (my favorite pair, only ones I brought, we’ll see how long they last)

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Icebreaker, Ex-Officio and Under Armour boxer briefs, Under Armour running shirt, Icebreaker base-layer (medium weight) t-shirt, and finally four Icebreaker t-shirts to wear nearly everyday of the trip.



Going small and light, so point-and-shoot camera only: a 16 mega pixel Canon Powershot A2500 (goes in green case below), 10″ Asus T100 Notebook/Tablet, 1 TB External hard drive with DropBox cloud backup, 2 nooks, backup USB mobile charger (the blue stick below), international plug adapter, iPod touch, iPod Nano, his and her ear bud headphones, headphone splitter, and iPhone5’s.



Tent, sleeping bag…


…duct tape, zip ties, dirty clothes bag, hat and gloves, toiletries, travel books (took Southern Africa and Southeast Asia, shipped Australia and New Zealand to Jen’s friend in Australia), and Eagle Creek travel bags (all those white bags for packing clothes, a MUST HAVE, incredible how helpful they are to organize and condense packing)…


…another dirty clothes bag, more toiletries, knife, mace (Jen made me bring it), towel, journal (thanks, Loucine!), silk sleeping bag liner, day pack…


…and the backpack to fit it all in!!!


What’s on Jen’s back?

Many people are curious as to what we are bringing with us for a year of travel.  In short, the answer is a backpack full of clothes, toiletries, and gear.



All of my clothes!

At this point, I think I could probably get rid of half of the clothes that I brought, but it’s pretty light and not taking up much room.  I can always ditch what find that I don’t need or don’t want as I go.



Long sleeve:  long sleeve Icebreakers tshirt (doubles as long underwear), Patagonia mid layer

T shirts: 2 Old Navy cotton Tshirts, 2 Icebreakers tshirts, workout shirt, collared safari shirt

Tanks:  3 Patagonia keyhole tank tops, 1 striped tank



3 pairs of pants:  Jeans, cargo/hiking pants, leggings/yoga pants

3 pairs of shorts:  jorts, pink Patagonia, mesh workout shorts

2 skirts:  grey Icebreakers, black Patagonia (which doubles as a going-out top!)



Black Icebreakers dress, long blue dress (doubles as maxi skirt), pink tube dress



Four pairs – trail running shoes, Chacos, Tieks leather flats, and flip flops


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Patagonia rain jacket, Icebreakers hooded thin jacket, Patagonia micropuff






Purse and beach/grocery/plane bag



Bathing suit, hat and gloves, visor, adorable headbands (if I do say so myself…)




Sleeping bag, towel (thanks, Sarah!), headlamp, sleeping liner AND THE PACK!

Of course, I have a few personal items that I won’t show here, but (spoiler!) I have 10 pairs of underwear.

*Note on sleeping bag:  After a lot of thought and research, we decided to bring the tent and sleeping bag with us to Africa and then mail it to Australia, for the New Zealand part of the trip.  We can ditch them after New Zealand or Patagonia.

See Jon’s post for electronics, etc!

Hello, World.

Thanks for visiting our blog for our round-the-world trip!   We look forward to sharing our adventures with friends and family.  We hope to hear from you…  don’t be afraid to post comments, questions, suggestions, recommendations!

Our trip begins in Cape Town on June 9th!

– J&J

Jon & Jen's Excellent Adventures