Gearing up for our around the world trip, we’ve been bombarded with an innumerable amount of questions. People wanting to know where we’re headed, why we’re going and how we’re pulling this off. We’d like to share a list of the most common questions that have come our way to give you a little more background on our preparations and what the journey entails.
Where are you most excited to visit?
We are really looking forward to traveling through Africa and Southeast Asia, and although we hear it’s the marathon of travel destinations, India tops our list.
How many countries will you be visiting?
Our itinerary includes visiting around 25 countries.
When did you decide to make this trip?
He says: 2003. While backpacking through Ireland, I met loads of Aussies traveling the world, seemingly living an itinerant lifestyle through their 20’s before settling down. I envied that and wanted to do the same. She says: While traveling in Italy, I met a woman who talked of just having spent three months in Africa and was making her rounds in Europe before heading to South America. I decided we would pull this trip off someday. We had the feeling that it’s now or never so we set a date and made it happen.
How did you decide on your itinerary?
When planning our route, we vetted each destination against the following criteria:
1) Places that will be hard to get to later in our life (that threw out most of Western Europe)
2) Destinations that won’t bust the budget (that got rid of places like Tokyo and Scandinavian countries)
3) Good weather. When else do you have the opportunity to follow summer for a year?!
How will you get around?
Planes, trains and automobiles! We opt for overland travel whenever possible. It’s cheaper, and, we feel, a better way to get to know the people and places. To cover large distances, we’d originally planned to purchase an around the world ticket. These tickets are sold at a static price based on the amount of mileage you fly or on the amount of continents you visit. When we began mapping out our trip in greater detail, however, we compared the prices of buying one-way flights with the around the world ticket and found one-way flights were just a few hundred dollars more. Because it was nominal and would offer us greater flexibility, we’ve opted to buy one-way tickets as we go. This is the best decision we made as our itinerary has changed considerably on the road and, with proper planning, we’ve scored some great deals on flights.
What does your family think?
Would you believe this is one of the most common questions we’ve gotten? We are extremely lucky to have a very supportive family. Although not all of them share our adventurous spirit, everyone has been excited for us and seemingly not too surprised we’re embarking on another adventure.
What did you do about your jobs?
We had to make sacrifices to make this trip happen, which meant putting our careers on hold. We expected mixed reviews from colleagues on our upcoming travel plans; however, we were both pleasantly surprised at the overwhelming amount of support we received.
How do you pack for a trip like this?
In one word: sparingly. Basically, you bring what you might expect to wear over the course of a week or so and be ready to wear and re-wear those items for the duration of the journey (of course with a bit of laundry in between!). Deciding exactly what to pack has taken a great deal of research. Lucky for us, we strategically planned our route to follow summer so all the bulky winter coats, hats and gloves are out. We’re sticking to light-weight, moisture-wicking materials to get the most wear for our buck and plan to give things away if we don’t need them and purchase those things along the way we might be lacking. We plan to include a specific packing list once it’s all been finalized.
What did you do with all your belongings?
Everything is stored away in a storage unit awaiting our homecoming.
Have you traveled like this before?
We’ve traveled extensively through Europe and South America, however, often had a home base for extensive periods of time. This will be the first time we will be on the road for more than a few months.
How much planning and preparing does a trip like this entail?
Quite a bit. Initially, we imagined all we’d have to do was pack up our belongings, throw a few things in a pack, buy a few plane tickets and voila – we’d be off. No such luck. We spent countless hours pondering over maps and guidebooks, researching visas and vaccines, managing finances and insurance, setting up our taxes, narrowing down the best camera and computer options and working diligently to tighten up our to do list. We dreamed about this trip for years and spent nearly an entire year planning to make this happen.
What is your advice for people planning a round the world trip?
Make it happen. There are a million and one reasons why the timing isn’t right, why next year or the year after will be better and why you should put it off. Stop making excuses. Set reasonable goals. Make it a daily priority. You are going to have to make sacrifices, but I can assure you it will be one of the best decisions of your life.