Where On Earth Are We Going?
This is a hard question to answer. It’s also the first (and usually only) question people ask when we tell them that we are quitting our jobs to travel. I think it’s a knee-jerk response question akin to asking how old a newborn is or when a pregnant woman is due.
When asked this question, I used to always start off by saying San Diego, then Hawaii, then Singapore, then up the coast of Thailand, etc in step by step detail until I could tell the person lost interest. Now I keep it simple and just say Asia, then Europe, then South America then back to Europe for a couple months each. It’s too much to list otherwise. Is it planned out in more detail? Ohh baby is it planned out! I have been planning for years!! In fact, there is a workbook of spreadsheets on my computer that is reviewed and adjusted on a daily basis.
I am definitely a planner. While I like the idea of flying by the seat of the pants – figuring out the next place to go while on the road – I have always planned a trip down to the daily destination and at least a place of stay with basic transportation, etc. I usually stop short of daily activities though, since these tend to change based on the weather, mood, logistics etc. Instead, I like to make a short list for each place of some interesting things and just go with whatever works. Anything I don’t get to I’ll hit on the next visit. There is always a possibility of a next visit 🙂
I personally think it is fun to try and optimize routes and destinations with optimal weather and cost. It’s like a game with real stakes. All that being said, Elisa and I have made a pact with each other that if we get too tired, or our relationship is too stressed, then we will stop, throw out the schedule in exchange for some downtime, and then do whatever it takes to get back on track. Of course, life can always through a curveball too! We can never know what the future will bring so we might end up doing something entirely different.
In terms of planning goals for our travels, we tried to find a good mix of cities, outdoors, minimal time in transit, and a chance to relax back at home with friends and family every couple months. In fact, we hope that at the end of a year (or year+) we will have seen our families more than in an average year back in Nashville working and whatnot.
On to the schedule, here is a breakdown by month (with some maps if you just want to skim):
Last week December / January 2016 – A couple days in San Diego, then a week each in Hawaii big island and Maui. Then Singapore and up the western coast of Thailand island-hopping.
February 2016 – New Zealand – North and south islands by rental car.
March 2016 – Hong Kong, two islands in Okinawa, then a couple weeks on Kyushu island Japan
April 2016 – Three weeks of South Korea then back to the states April 20.
May 2016 – Fly to Nice, France May 10. Most of May spent going north in France. Last week in Ghent, Belguim.
June 2016 – Netherlands one week, one week in Berlin, south into Bavaria, last week in Munich.
July 2016 – 1.5 weeks Czech Republic, through Austria to the Berner Oberland in Switzerland for a week, then we hike the Tour Du Mont Blanc for 10 days.
August 2016 – Budaphest and Hungary for first week, then three weeks from there through Romania and Bulgaria. Fly back to states from Bucharest on August 30.
September 2016 – Home three weeks and then fly to South America for last week – first stop Salvador, Brazil.
October 2016 – A week or so down the coast of Brazil, a stop at Iguazu Falls, one week in Buenos Aires and then on to Patagonia for the Torres del Paine national park.
November 2016 – Up the coast of Chile for 1.5 weeks, then a week or so in northern Argentina. Last week in Peru.
December 2016 – Two more weeks in Peru then fly back home around mid December.
Spring 2017 – We’re playing this by ear right now. I’ll probably break down and start planning and our thoughts as of right now are to Southern Europe, South Africa for a safari, or maybe Morocco.
Summer 2017 – We will see. If we are getting tired of foreign stuff and miss home but still want to travel, then we may look into a great roadtrip through the western US. I have been wanting to test out the RV lifestyle as well…
Whew! Reading this back to myself it sounds like just a quick trip through the world! Maybe it’s crazy to have this much planned. Who knows ? I’ve never done this before. This is gonna be interesting..