(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:

  • Navigating the Mekong (Laos) [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they review their time on the Mekong River, as well as the city of Luang Prabang, Laos.
  • The Quest for Internet on the Road One of our biggest challenges on this trip is finding Internet. Through experimentation, we have been using local country SIM cards to help us stay connected. Read more to learn about how successful we have been to date.
  • Trekking the Planet: Day 100 Update [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they review their time in Southeast Asia.
  • Food in Asia: The Good, the Bad and the Not So Appealing One of the great pleasures of traveling is the food. During our time in Asia we have eaten a variety of food in the countries we have visited.
  • Nepal at Last! Nepal is the 10th country on our expedition and one that is significant to us. Over ten years after we first planned to visit here, we finally made it to Nepal and our next trek.
  • Trekking the Planet honored by i2P as Inspirational Ambassadors The Trekking the Planet team is deeply honored to be selected as impossible2Possible (i2P) Inspirational Ambassadors!
  • Sights and Sounds of Gheling, Nepal [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they review the first half of their time in the Mustang region of Nepal.
  • The Challenge and Reward of Trekking in Nepal’s Mustang Region We have just returned from our longest, hardest and most rewarding trek of our journey in the Mustang region of Nepal. While we anticipated the difficult physical effort associated with the trek we were not prepared for the other challenges that came our way during this time.
  • Discover the Living History in Lo Manthang, Nepal [Video] Catch up with the Van Soyes as they review the second half of their time in the Mustang region of Nepal.
  • Life on the Road: Trekking the Planet Style During the 4 1/2 months of our journey we have received questions such as, “What is it like to be traveling all of the time?”, “How do you keep up with everything at home?” and “Do you get enough rest?” In this story we share our answers to these questions.
  • The Blessings of Tibet Our ten-day visit Tibet was fascinating from both a cultural and natural perspective. However, it is what happened leading up to our arrival and what took place during our time there, that makes us, four months into our expedition, feel truly blessed.
  • Connecting the Dots: Traveling from Lhasa to Bishkek When we initially built our Trekking the Planet itinerary, we had a little problem connecting the dots. The journey between Lhasa, Tibet and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan ended up being the most complex of the trip to date.
  • Hidden Tibet [Video] Catch up with the Trekking the Planet team as they visit Tibet. You will witness the Saga Dawa festival, watch the “Monk Debates” and see a late afternoon procession of a Tongka.
  • Behind the Scenes: How We Bring Geography to Life One of the challenges for Trekking the Planet is how to make the sometimes dry subject of geography come to life. Because people respond to different forms of media, we chronicle our trip both in written form (with photos) and video form.