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Lack of a Travel Plan

Travel Planning
After we tell people that we are going to travel around the world the first question they usually ask is, “Where are you going?”  I struggled with this question in the beginning.  After stumbling for not having a definitive answer I would say, “Latin America and Southeast Asia.”  Well, that leads to additional questions for specifics from those that are truly interested.  We don’t have those specific answers, and initially I used the excuse that we were just beginning to travel plan.  But, with only 4 weeks until we left for our first long-term backpacking trip, I still had very little to add to my travel plan.

Make a List of Countries to Travel

It’s suggested that you first list all the countries you may consider visiting.  You will need that list to research the following:

  • Country specific entrance and length of stay requirements

  • Costs associated with each country (lodging and food, entrance and departure fees)

  • Recommended immunizations/vaccinations and prescriptions

  • Transportation options (flight, train or bus)

  • Weather and environment (what to pack)

Depending on the type of person you are, you may choose to do a more detailed search relating to each country.

Round the World Flight?

Aracely and I did not purchase a round-the-world flight ticket, we did not have any reservations or tours booked, and we did not decide on the exact countries we had planned to visit.  This is how we choose to travel.  Honestly, it’s a challenge for me, but not so much for Aracely.  Part of this journey is learning to let go; live in a way that is completely different from the way we currently live our lives.

Before, we spent a significant time travel planning and organizing because we only had a weeks’ worth of vacation from our jobs.  And often those vacations are meant for rest and recuperation from your job.  When traveling long-term, you aren’t escaping the stress any longer.  Now, there is no need to crunch everything possible into a week, plan extensively or recuperate.  You can do what you want, when you want, on your own terms for as long as you want.  It’s exhilarating just to say those words.

Travel Budget

Central and South America and Southeast Asia were chosen because they are cheap and offer adventure.  If we visited Western Europe we would blow our budget and the length of our journey would have been shortened.  Instead we decided to travel on a budget for an extended period of time while passing on Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

Travel Planning

Letting Go; Travel Freely

We wrote down places we wanted to visit and things we wanted to see, but not much more.  We created a spreadsheet with each country we may or may not planned to visit and what in that country we would want to see.  The lack of commitment allowed us to be flexible enough to spontaneously join other travelers for a trek or road trip.  The experience is more than just seeing new environments; it’s about meeting people from varying cultures and countries, it’s about full immersion, but most importantly, its about being free.

Chris says:

I’m pretty sure I have that same map on the wall of my old apartment, it’s just a lot bigger!

Will says:

Hey guys, good luck!

The last trip I planned for, I obsessed over. I looked at all the options and agonized over every detail….I spent months figuring out every step of the trip…and then BAM out of nowhere came an even more exciting opportunity and I completely bailed on my plans in a matter of moments…I am right now thinking about (but not planning) my next trip…I hope I’ve learned my lesson to not overplan so much!

Good luck on your trip! We are leaving in a year on ours, and we start in Ecuador. We are also “planning” a spontaneous trip with only a launching point and a list of places we’d like to go. Since you are leaving first, it will be cool to see how it works out for you.

Jason says:

I am very curious to know if it will work out for us too! We will be in Ecuador for a while, since Aracely is from there. You have lots of time to plan and save! Keep us updated.

Jason says:

This post created by Two Go Round-The-World every Friday is a great source for travelers and travel bloggers alike. We have just been lucky enough to be mentioned two consecutive weeks. Thanks guys!

Jason says:

It will be challenging, especially for me, as I am the organizer, over planner etc. But, its important for me to let go and become more free while learning to enjoy what surprises life provides me, rather than trying to plan for it.

Drew Jones says:

Hello –
I saw Gary mention you guys in his blog so I checked your site out. I am excited to follow your blog from the beginning of your adventure.
I am currently in the ‘save money’ phase of my RTW travel plans. One day I too will complete a long pre-trip check-list and say adieu to the sleep, work, eat -repeat routine…and I can’t wait. Until then, I will live vicariously through your blog.

Safe Travels!

Drew
Asheville, NC.

Jason says:

Drew, thanks for following us from beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. We had dinner and a chat with Gary and others the other night. It was a good time. The community of Travel Bloggers has so much to share with each other, and everyone is kind to do so. Keep saving!

Brendan Kane says:

Yo! It’s Brendan from REI. Almost time to depart. I’ve been wanting to check out your website but my computer crashed. Got a new one so here I am. Don’t know if you remember, but I mentioned a fellow who is out there right now.

Jason says:

Hey Brendan! Thanks for taking a look at our site. For all others, Brendan helped us out tremendously at REI in Marlton, New Jersey. He was our personal guide for about two hours as we tried on backpacks and reviewed our list of items needed. I will definitely check out the site in more detail. In the short time I just spent visiting the site, its seems he is an excellent writer. If you are working tomorrow morning we will see you at the REI Member Garage Sale.

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