Video: 8-Month Backpacking Trip Montage

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Checking out Franz Josef Glacier on the South Island of New Zealand, nearing the end of our trip.

Everyone loves a good montage video, myself included. But when it came time to put my own together, I was confronted with the amount of footage I had to work with. Over the course of an 8-month backpacking trip that saw Tristan and I travel through China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, we had shot a total of 1862 video clips, amounting to 201.18GB of data.

Just last week, Tristan and I celebrated our 1-year return-aversary. As the months, weeks, and days grew closer to that milestone, I found myself feeling more and more anxious. I couldn’t believe how fast the time was flying and I so desperately wanted to hold on to the incredible memories from our time on the road. There hasn’t been a day since we returned that I haven’t thought about that trip. I knew I owed it to ourselves to put something together that could encapsulate those months. The pressure was on.

For the longest time I had “the song” picked out that would be the soundtrack to our trip. But after sifting through every single video clip and managing to whittle it down to just 179 clips (with only 101 of those making the final cut), the song just didn’t seem fitting anymore. As it so serendipitously happened, on the day of our return-aversary, a song came on the radio and I immediately new it was the one. “What I Wouldn’t Do” is the newest single by Canadian singer/songwriter Serena Ryder and it perfectly captures the spirit and feeling of our trip.  While it can be read as a song for a particular person, I interpreted it from the viewpoint of the traveler within me, that inner voice that came to fruition during those months.

Oh the things I never noticed, opened my ears to the chorus, you have made me listen careful, and you gave me the line.”

Just before we get to the actual video, allow me to get a little sentimental for a moment. During the editing process, I realized this video couldn’t have been possible without a number of factors, and for that I dedicate this video to:

  1. The people, places and cultures that welcomed us with open arms, allowing us to explore and learn from them. Despite what the media may tell us, this world is full of good-hearted people and at the end of the day we’re more similar than we are different.
  2. The other travelers we met along the way, whether it was for a day trip, a meal, or even a few weeks (ahem, “the family”, you know who you are), you contributed to the unforgettable memories and experiences we had.
  3. The dreamers out there who hope to have a trip like this one day. As I was once a dreamer myself, I hope that even just a small part of this video will inspire you to finally make that dream a reality.
  4. And lastly, this video is for Tristan and I, to serve as a visual reminder of living life to the fullest, of pushing our comfort zones on a daily basis. It’s the exclamation point of an extraordinary journey!

Now, turn up your speakers and make sure you’re watching in HD!

8 months, 240 days, 10 countries and 60 destinations…



40 thoughts on “Video: 8-Month Backpacking Trip Montage

  1. This is amazing! I loved the video and the moments you captured over the 8 months. Great under water shots too 🙂

  2. I’ve been there and there and there – too
    and there and there and there – even with you *yay* 😉
    Great video, great memories 🙂

    1. Thank you Katrin! Haha, yes, you would have been to a lot of “there’s” and some special ones with me too! Thank you for contributing to an incredible experience! Hope to see you in Germany sometime soon 🙂

  3. Loved it! Captures everything that makes long term travel so incredibly life changing, thanks for sharing!

  4. So beautiful… exactly what I needed after a long and stressful working day! Keep creating such beautiful videos… will share on Off The Path FB page!

  5. Awesome video, looks like y’all had a blast! I’m headed back to Asia myself on a one-way ticket in a few weeks and am going to be hitting up pretty much the same circuit except head off towards India and Bangladesh and not out into Oceania. Can’t wait!! 🙂

    1. Thanks Derek! You’ll have to put a video together about your trip as well! I’m so excited for you. You’re going to have a blast! I’ll be following along 🙂

      1. I plan to put together several along the way. Recently purchased Premiere but have barely even begun to use to, although that will be changing on this newest adventure. Is that what you used to compile this video or something simpler? Would love an easier way for less complex videos that don’t need all the fancy Premiere bells and whistles… Anyway just subscribed to your YouTube channel too 🙂

        1. I actually use Final Cut Pro. Unfortunately I’m not very familiar with Premiere, though I hear good things about it. Do you use a Mac? iMovie is great for simple videos with minimal cuts and transitions and comes already installed. Thanks for subscribing! I’ll do the same so I can stay up to date with all your adventures!

  6. i saw tristan’s picture the other day on some photography shop’s window in haso-dong ~ it reminded me of ya’lls blog. cool video

    1. Haha, I was thinking Jed? I don’t know anyone from Jecheon named Jed. But then I realized no it’s Chad! Great to hear from you. Hope Korea is still treating you well. Funny they’re still using Tristan’s photo, they were using mine for a while too.

  7. what an awesome video! I want to travel the world for one year and Asia is def on the list. Perhaps spend three months there or longer! Really glad to have found this blog, Arienne! Hope you find your mojo back soon!

    1. Thank you Laura. Asia is a great place to spend part or all of your travel time. You’re money will go very far in many of those countries.

  8. Pingback: Great Video Montage of someone else's 8 month RTW trip | Lisa and Nilesh Travel the world
  9. What a cool video and a great way to remember all the fantastic moments of your trip! I have 8-9 months of traveling coming up, so hopefully I manage something just as good!

    1. Thank you! I still watch it from time to time and it brings back incredible memories. I have no doubt you’ll have something just as great if not better! Have a fabulous adventure!

  10. What a great video! We recently returned from spending 5 weeks in Indonesia and Vietnam and it was fun to see some familiar sites. I also love your song choice! Just out of curiosity, what was your original song choice before you switched to Serena’s song?

    1. Thanks so much Claire! The original song I had in mind was actually One Republic’s “Good Life”. It may make an appearance in a future video 🙂

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