(Legend: Blue-travel by ship; Red – travel by bus or train; Green – travel by air)

Trekking the Planet began as a 424-day, around-the-world trip (Trekking the Planet RTW) to raise K-12 geo-literacy. We visited 53 countries on six continents. During the expedition we trekked in 12 of some of the most remote and unspoiled places in the world. By visiting places of cultural and natural significance, our hope was to instill a greater awareness and curiosity about the world in as many young people as possible. The journey began on 28 January 2012 and was completed on 26 March 2013. During our expedition, we published free weekly educational materials that corresponded to our current location.

Here is a short video overview about the Trekking the Planet RTW expedition.



Also be sure to check out our Geography Navigator page, which visually shows the location of our education materials, stories and videos on a world map. Looking for information about a given country? Country Capsules has our materials categorized by nation. And if you like information “by the numbers,” check out our Trekking the Planet by the Numbers series of information by continent, including:

  • Population (and world rank)
  • Area (and world rank)
  • Life Expectancy at Birth in Years (and world rank)
  • GDP Per Capita – PPP (and world rank)
  • Median Age in Years
  • Literacy Rate percentage
  • Big Mac Index (to learn more about this measure, click here)

To read more about our travels, click below.

View our journey by continent:


View our journey in chronological order:

  • Staying Connected When We Are Off The Grid During our 14-month, around the world trip we will be in some remote places and basically ‘off the grid’ for communicating. However, we want to send more information, more frequently.
  • Crossing the Pacific: San Diego to Hawaii [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they discuss what it’s like to cross the portion of the Pacific from San Diego, California to Honolulu, Hawaii by ship.
  • Crossing the Pacific Ocean It is Tuesday and we are a little more than halfway between San Diego, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Visiting the Historic Sites on Oahu, Hawaii [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they cover a few highlights around the island of Oahu, Hawaii.
  • Staying Safe While Traveling We are going to some of the most remote and unspoiled places in the world and have documented the steps that we have taken to improve our chances of having a safe trip.
  • Crossing the Equator [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they discuss what it’s like to cross the equator and the International Date Line.
  • Journey to the Four Corners of the Earth We have now ended our second five day stretch of sea days on the Pacific Ocean. During this time we were, in a sense, sailing through the four corners of the earth.
  • American Samoa [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they visit a local school, the sliding rocks and a waterfall in American Samoa.
  • Dravuni Island, Fiji [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they visit a Dravuni Island, Fiji. This tiny island is the home of a small community of 200 people.
  • Princess Cruises Trekking the Planet Video Princess Cruises released a video about our journey and our first day on the ship. Take a look by reading the story.
  • Bay of Islands, New Zealand [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they visit the Bay of Islands in North New Zealand. Darren and Sandy spend their time kayaking through a small estuary where they see birds and end at a horseshoe-shaped waterfall.
  • Fiordland National Park, New Zealand [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they review their trip from the fjords of New Zealand. They cover their time in Auckland, New Zealand as well.
  • Trekking the Planet Journey Updates We have been receiving questions about how and when we are communicating on this journey. Read the story to learn about the three ways we are communicating.
  • Passage around New Zealand We spent three days in three very different areas of New Zealand. In the process our ship made a semi-circumnavigation of the two major islands, North Island and South Island.