(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:

  • Wing’s Wildlife Park in Tasmania, Australia [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they visit Wing’s Wildlife Park in Tasmania, Australia.
  • Sydney and Melbourne – A Tale of Two Cities Our time in Australia began with visits in two of its largest cities: Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Transportation in Sydney [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they review the different forms of public transportation in Sydney, Australia. While visiting Australia’s largest city, they rode trains, trams, ferries and even a monorail!
  • Staying Healthy While on the Road This story documents some of the steps that we have taken to remain healthy while on the road.
  • Tasmania – First Impressions The island of Tasmania is the location of our first trek of our journey. It is home to national parks, world heritage sites and many animals. We were able to visit several locations on the island.
  • Experience the Overland Track [Video] Watch an overview of the Overland Track, our first trek in our Trekking the Planet expedition. Learn more about the animals and plants from a track ranger.
  • The Challenge and Beauty of Tasmania’s Overland Track It has been two days since we have completed the Overland Track, our first trek of our journey. We chose this hike because it is located in one of the most pristine natural areas on earth.
  • Our Two Month Scorecard: Gear Check We can’t believe that it has already been two months since we left on our Trekking the Planet journey. We take a look at what gear has made the grade and what has failed, and in some cases, already needed to be replaced.
  • Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Cairns, Australia [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they cover their day on Moore Reef off the coast of Cairns Australia. In this video you will see the colorful fish and corals that attract visitors from around the world.
  • Farewell, Australia Our time in Australia is coming to an end. After traveling through four states on planes, trains, buses and ferries, we are now in the northern section of this vast country, just smaller than the continental United States. The highlight of our time here was a visit to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • White Water River Rafting in Bali, Indonesia [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they visit the mysterious island of Bali, Indonesia. In this video you will see the countryside, Balinese dancers and an exciting, high-speed trip down the Ayung river.
  • Oceania by the Numbers Sandy provides some trip statistics, as well as country information, for the three nations that we visited during our seven weeks in Oceania.
  • The Mysterious Island of Bali, Indonesia Yesterday we spent a day in Indonesia visiting the island of Bali. During our short time there we were exposed to a combination of its culture and nature.
  • Bonus Video: The Hidden Oil Tunnels of Darwin [Video] In this video, the Van Soyes cover the hidden oil tunnels that were built during WWII to protect Darwin’s oil supply. You will learn more about the the oil tunnels as well as other historic challenges for this fascinating city.