RTW stands for Round The World, many friends and family asked me the meaning. But if like me, you are planning or have done your RTW trip, you certainly already know that.
So planning a RTW trip! WHERE TO START?
All I knew when I started my journey into formalising into paper my dream of doing a RTW was just that: A dream.
I had no idea how to go about it or even where to start.
I had sleepless nights reading hundreds of blog posts on the subject; It became an obsession. Although I learned a lot; it also confused me as there were so many contradictory stories as everyone is different and has different means of going about it. But, one common thing that I could read on all these blogs is planning a trip of this magnitude is not an easy task. It takes time and commitment, some would have planned it their whole life, some less.
We were “fashion” victims consumerism family, new gadgets, new clothes, new everything every year whether we could afford it or not. Our house is filled with so much stuff; we could never use it all if we were to live until 100.
Planning this trip, helped me to look into my finances and spending habits very closely, I discovered that I had next to 90 pair of shoes and many that I never even wore…. Ridiculous; but that another blog post for later.
So in order to fund this trip, I first started planning where I wanted to go in the world; we already visited many countries on vacation such as India, Australia, South Africa, Many countries in Europe, USA (DC, Miami, Key west, Florida….), Africa (Gabon, Cameroon, Morocco, Ethiopia…), Middle East (Bahrain lived there for 3 years, Dubai, Oman…). Because we had already visited these countries, I did not include them in our itinerary.
As I am traveling with my daughters, I want my girls to finish this adventure with a skill for life: among everything else long time traveling can teach us, the Spanish language is the one skill I want us all to master.
South America for one whole year, we will slow travel and spend months in one single place to learn the language and the culture. I am planning to stay 3 months in Bolivia, 3 months in Chile, 3 months in Mexico and 3 months in Peru. We will be visiting other neighbouring countries along the way.
Then 9 months in South East Asia in particular Thailand but also South Korea, China and Japan.
To finish we will return to Europe with Italy, Germany and East Europe (Poland, Slovakia…).
I am planning to travel for 2 years.
Funds to travel:
“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage” Paulo Coelho, Aleph
You don’t have to be a millionaire to travel the world.
There is no magical way for organising a trip of that scale, unless you win the lottery, most people had to make serious sacrifices in order to realise their dream; we are not different.
I don’t have a big pay job, I am actually self-employed, and I live on a budget. Like everyone else, the only way for me to be able to accomplish this dream is to SAVE SAVE and SAVE some more.
So how on earth I am going to fund this trip (I hear you ask). I started selling everything I own which is also part of our minimalism journey. I opened a “travel account” where I deposit every month some money. I cancelled every luxury items like cable TV, expensive mobile/Internet contracts etc.; we eat out less and everything we don’t spend goes on that account. I will be selling all my furniture and my car three months before we leave.
I also work freelance as French/English Analyst/Translator. I will continue this job while on the road as it is all done online.
To Finish I have under my belt years of experience in teaching French as a second language abroad to adults and children. It is a job that does not require a work visa in many countries and I also give online French conversational session via Skype.
Above anything else, as Paulo Coelho states: “Travel is never a matter of money but of courage”
I agree with this saying, it takes courage to do something out of the ordinary, when I told friends and family of my plans; I faced consternation and disbelieve. Most people are afraid to travel not because they can’t afford it but mainly because they are afraid of the unknown and also for safety reasons. But who can blame them, you just have to ON the television to see how wrong our world is going but is it enough to no travel? Not for me; although I am very anxious and at the same time very existed to the prospect before us; having already traveled in different countries, I know what this world has to offer and there is so much more I want to experience; and, to share these experiences with my girls make this trip extra special.
“Whenever we take a chance and enter unfamiliar territory or put ourselves into the world in a new way, we experience fear. Very often this fear keeps us from moving ahead with our lives. The trick is to FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY.”
Like everywhere in the world, we have to use common sense regarding safety.