Overland to Oz

So you might have heard about the crazy adventure I’m planning. In which case, here are some of the details. If you haven’t heard/read/listen to me talk about it/or are wondering this second what this weird woman is jabbering on about, here goes….I’m planning a trip from:

St Andrews, Fife, Scotland to Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia.

Yes, Scotland to Australia: overland.

Yes, that’ll be crossing Europe and Asia.

What do I mean by overland? Actually, what I mean for this trip is traveling by means of Train or Ferry, as much as that’s possible. There’s a couple of places where neither will be possible – but it’s only going to the actual non-existence of these means of transport or safety considerations of a pretty extreme kind that will incite a deviation from this plan!

Okay, so first thing’s first -It’s a really long way! Have you ever looked at it on a map?

It’s roughly 16974 kilometres or 10551 miles from point A to point B. Usually I fly, and the map looks something like this:

There are lots of different paths to take. And some decisions need to be made. This is the rough itinerary that I have at the moment. This page will give more details of my plan and maps of each stage.


Because I lived in St Andrews, Scotland and it feels right to start and end at home.

Because I yearn to travel. To see the people of the world. To listen and to learn.

To observe with my eyes, my heart, my ears, and my camera lense.

Not as a tourist, but as a sojourner, a traveller.

Because I am a writer and I want to see what that looks like in other contexts.

Because I’ll be (God-willing) finished with my PhD this summer & I’m a wanderer

Also, because I’m not sure what’s next. So this is what’s next.

And,because this is one way of honouring the adventurous spirit of

my grandmother, Patricia Mary (Daly) Blanch.


European Spring 2014.

With some room for flexibility seeing as I have a PhD thesis to finish and defend and i’ll be working around alot of other people’s schedules. It’s exciting and daunting to not have anything set in stone. What I do know is that I won’t be leaving any later than the end of September – because I’m not sure that the horizon covered with snow as I travel through northern Russia is my bag, baby; and i’m hoping to pack as light as possible (no sleeping bag). I’m a pretty warm-blooded creature with a propensity for cold feet. You should read my update for more on the scheduled beginning date.

How Long?

50-100 days.

40-80 days

40-60 days

But, really how long is a piece of string? – i could string this out over a year or more, but i don’t have any plans to do so.

The other factor will be surviving and thriving financially on the railway tracks!

The other major factor is the time needed to apply for visas.

How can you afford this?

Great question. I may publish a budget at some point. Let’s just say, that this isn’t as expensive as you might think. I’m a pretty experienced traveller and I know what I will and won’t live without and what I can and can’t live without. I won’t have rent to pay or other utilities and my train tickets will also often include overnight accommodation. That and I currently live in one of the most expensive towns in the United Kingdom. Pretty much anywhere will be cheaper than this. Oh, and I’m taking writing jobs and saving like a mad woman! My hope is that between writing commissions and a job I can take on the road with me this is doable!

Overland to Oz? Am I barmy?
Maps and More Maps
Mapping Mad
Overland to Oz: a little experiment
Krakow for the win…
Sailing Asia?: or what to do about the possibility of Pirates
Update: Overland to Oz (now leaving Spring 2013)
Pondering Nepal
Evolution of an Itinerary
Musing on Myanmar
Obstacles are there to be overcome; or finding a way from Singapore to Australia by sea
R-R-R- Romania and the joyful danger of conversations
Overland to Australia: The List
Travelling Light

Itinerary Overview in 21 parts!
Overland to Oz: When planning gets real
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: UK and Western Europe
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: A Geography Lesson on Eastern Europe
A Geography Lesson on Eastern Europe
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Central Europe: Amsterdam to Budapest
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Eastern Europe
Overland to Oz itinerary Overview: Southeastern Europe: Romania and Bulgaria
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Eastern Europe: Iasi – Chisinau – Moscow
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Russia
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: A geography lesson on Eurasia
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Northern China and South Korea
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Japan
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Southern China and Hong Kong
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Eastern Thailand and Bangkok
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Myanmar (Burma)
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview:  Bangkok and Southern Thailand
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Singapore and Malaysia
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Indonesian Archipelago
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: West Papua and Papua New Guinea
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Northern Queensland
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: Southern Queensland and Brisbane
Overland to Oz Itinerary Overview: New South Wales

On a train to nowhere
It’s all relative
ABCs of Travel
Call me a nomad
On being ‘a local’ all over the world
Anatomy of a Trip


Where you come in!

I’d love any ideas, feedback, suggestions or thoughts you might have. This is sort of a ‘choose your own adventure’ so on the Goannatree facebook page I’ll be asking questions about where you think I should go on this trip. Your comments, advice and links to other resources that might be useful will be most welcome on the posts I’ll be putting up each Saturday about the whole Overland to Oz adventure. The planning is just as much part of the adventure as the actual trip!

Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.

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Traveller. Scholar. Photographer. Writer. Dreamer. Teacher. Anna Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, Scotland. Overland to Oz is a crazy adventure marked with photos and word and inspired by the incredible women in Anna’s family, especially her late grandmother, whom she knew as Nan-Nan.