Through a combination of one-time tip-offs and dogged research, the universe (and the economy) conspired in my favor to send me traipsing round the Urf this fall with the following ticket prices:
Jacksonville → Baltimore – $88
New York → Dublin – $234
Dublin → London – $48
London → Stockholm – $90
Stockholm → Berlin – $13
Berlin → Istanbul – $68
Istanbul → Cairo – $248
Cairo → Abu Dhabi → Mumbai – $370
Delhi → Kuala Lumpur – $197
Kuala Lumpur ↔ Macau – $85
Kuala Lumpur → Los Angeles – $630 (business class)
Los Angeles ↔ Sydney – $651
Los Angeles → São Paulo → Orlando – $740
Plus several other bus and train trips and short flights = US$3500
Actually, you can get a cheaper round-the-world ticket from specialized agencies like Airtreks or Air Brokers, which allow changes in routing and scheduling for a year, or you could pay a bit more and have a slew of stops on multiple continents with an airline alliance such as oneworld, but a) I ain’t have all the money at one time, b) I needed to add a wide-open Brazil flight to the end of the trip (I arrive in Sampa on November 20 and head back to Florida for my brother’s wedding next April), and c) what got me on my way was that business class trans-Pacific flight.
Even if you don’t have a month off from work or three grand to spend on some grandiose neo-Grand Tour, the ridiculous cost of airplane tickets these days prove that international travel is not a millionaire’s game; there’s no reason not to pop over for a weekend somewhere that requires a passport.
Check the websites I mentioned here and get packing.