I’ve hinted that I’ve been planning a big trip this summer… and I’m finally ready to say that I’ll be traveling for about 80 days around the world! I’m super excited because this will be the biggest trip I’ve ever taken and I leave in less than a month.
Planning for this trip started only 2 months ago so I’m not gonna kid you – it was tough to plan all of it in such a short amount of time, but the impetus for this trip started when I had my revelation in Buenos Aires last summer. I knew I needed to get away for an extended period of time. I wanted to quit my job, pack up everything, and travel for a year, and that yearning was stronger than ever before. I had this fear that if I didn’t get to experience extended travel, I’d live to regret it which contradicts my whole life philosophy of living without regrets. Something had to be done. I just didn’t know when. I was also in a weird place at work because I really enjoyed the project I was on, the team I was working with, and I felt I needed to be there to help everyone cross the finish line… so there was a bit of an internal battle going on as I tried to balance my work responsibilities with a deeper calling. After a lot of mucking around, talking to Mr. T (who, btw, is the most supportive husband anyone could ask for), and talking to the execs at work, I was fortunate to have full support for me to take some time off work. With everything in place, I couldn’t NOT go at this point.
Then I started planning. And it was hard! I almost gave up because with all the travel planning I do, I assumed that planning this next trip wouldn’t be that hard. WRONG! I had no idea how to narrow down the places I wanted to go to, the best way to route myself (RTW ticket or pay for each segment?), how long to even go for, and what was even feasible for me to do. To give you an idea, I originally had plans to do 11 of the 12 items on this list, but now I’m not doing any of them.
Eventually, after some more research the pieces slowly fell into place. I decided to route myself westward around the globe. I made decisions on countries to visit based on the time of year I was traveling and countries Mr. T wanted to visit (he’s coming out to see me twice). Although tempted to go away for a year, I decided to shorten it to just 2-3 months due to the length of time I’m allowed to leave work and honestly, because I’d miss Mr. T too much – someone has to hold the fort down while I’m away and he’s taking this on for us. I opted to purchase separate tickets instead of a round-the-world ticket and scored a way better deal in the process. As more decisions were made, the planning became less daunting. In fact, the majority of it is done now; things have worked out so well, that I’ll even have company for most of the trip.
The way it’s panned out, I’ll be gone for a little more than 80 days and visit 11 countries:
I’ve never been to any of the countries except for Italy where I plan to head to some of Italy’s most scenic villages and towns. I also hope to catch the famous sunflower fields in Tuscany (fingers-crossed!). As for the other countries, I have no idea what to expect.
Although I’m excited, I am also scared. I’ll be solo in Nepal and Bhutan so I am anxious about the first part of the trip. I’ve also heard stories from friends who have traveled extensively who feel that once you start, you won’t be able to stop. In fact, one guy I know started a year long trip and ended up traveling for 18 months! While I don’t think my 80 days can even compare to “real” long-term travel of a year (or even 6 months), it will be interesting to see how I feel about everything when I’m done. Will I be exhausted? Will I be ready to return to work? Will my travel bug be cured? In the meantime, I’m fine not thinking about any of that right now. I want to use this trip to take each day as it comes, live in the moment, be fully present, and of course, to be thankful for this opportunity.