We each answered 20 questions about our trip so that you could see what we are thinking about and how our answers differ. We wrote them separately and didn’t read each others until after we had completed them. These are all the typical questions that we get when we tell someone about the trip, so this is now a resource we can point everyone to that answers all the questions in one place.
- Are you really going to go through with this RTW trip?
Yes. We wouldn’t have gotten this far in our planning if we didn’t want to go through with it. Our minds are made up, we are doing this.
- What about your job?
I will attempt to get a leave of absence at my job, but if that doesn’t work, I will have to quit. It’s pretty scary to voluntarily leave a really great job. I should be thankful that I have a job, let alone a great one, and just leave it at that. But when I write the story of my life, what would be remembered most? That I had a good job, and continued working at it? Or that I dropped everything and traveled around the world with the woman I love. When I think about it that way, I don’t worry so much about my job.
- How long will you be gone?
Our goal is to be back by Christmas 2012, but like everything else with this trip it depends on what is available when we buy our tickets in December. I expect to spend somewhere around 9 months traveling the world. We won’t know for sure until we leave.
- How can you afford to do this?
The first reason is points. I have traveled for business every week for the past year, and saved my points, taken advantage of every promotion, and learned all I could about travel hacking. Our plan is that our main flights will be completely covered by airline miles. We have also saved up our money, not necessarily for this purpose, but we have saved a lot over the past few years. When we started thinking whether this was a possibility, our savings is what made it possible. Without that, this trip would not be possible. Since our decision, we have gone into super frugal mode, cutting out all non-essential spending and selling many of our possessions. In addition to our savings, we are choosing countries with a lower cost of living to spend most of our time in. We are skipping Europe and Australia, and spending most of our time in Southeast Asia and South America. One thing RTW bloggers love to share is their budget, and we have studied them to determine what we think we will spend. I think we will actually spend less money traveling around the world for 9 months, than we would just living at home for a year. In addition to savings and budgeting, we plan to earn some income while traveling. I will do some freelance web development, while Care is planning to blog and work on her personal training business. These are things that we are both passionate about, and for me especially this trip is providing the motivation to do something on my own.
- Where all are you going to visit?
You can see our round the world itinerary. We will continually update this page as it changes. Basically, our current plan is to head westward around the world starting on the west coast of the US. We will spend roughly four months in Southeast Asia, a month in South Africa and Spain, and then another four months in South America before returning home.
- What about your apartment in Chicago?
After our jobs, this was my second biggest concern. We just signed a two year lease in a great neighborhood just three months ago! (way to think ahead guys) We plan on subleasing our place, or finding a way out of our lease. I would prefer the first, however issues with our apartment could make the latter a viable option.
- Where are you putting all of your stuff?
What stuff? (If only that were the truth) We have a ton of stuff. Our current strategy goes like this: (1) Sell it (2) Store it with family (3) Pay for storage. If all goes well I am hoping that (1) takes care of pretty much everything, (2) for the little things and maybe something that we just can’t part with right now, and that (3) doesn’t happen at all. I wish that I could say we were getting rid of everything but I am sure it won’t happen. I don’t think I’m ready for it either. I am expecting to come back after the trip and not believe how much stuff we still have. Hopefully we can get rid of most of it so that we don’t burden our families or ourselves.
- How will we be able to keep in touch?
Right here on the blog! We will post here constantly to update everyone on our adventure, and we would appreciate your comments and discussion on our posts. We are both carrying laptops and plan to have at least one working phone. So we should be accessible via email, Google Voice, Skype, chat, and phone. Just not while we are out adventuring!
- What was your inspiration for the trip?
It was a combination of things, I still can’t pinpoint the exact moment when we decided. I’m sure it was Care. This is something that I have read and dreamed about for a long time, but never seriously considered as a possibility. After earning a bunch of points by flying each week for business, and learning a bit about travel hacking, I was ready to travel. We decided to pick a faraway place to travel to for a little over a week and use our points. We decided on Thailand because I had 7 free nights at an SPG resort and enough miles to fly us both there. This was great. I then read a post from Steve Kamb about how to travel the world for $418. This got me thinking. One RTW ticket was the same amount of miles as two tickets to Thailand. But I still wasn’t serious about doing it, how would I leave for that length of time? Then I found out that another person at my job had left and done the same thing, traveling around the world for a year. Care was very excited to read about this, and her email back to me said, “I want to do this! Let’s start planning and do this in a few years!” But it still took another 2-3 weeks, where one Saturday when we were driving home she turned to me and said, “Let’s travel around the world”. Even with all the setup I just gave you, it was quite out of the blue. She was so excited and all I could think about was “how? really? can we? but how?” It probably took the entire weekend for me to even consider it, which confused even me, as this is something I have always wanted to do. My practical side was screaming that it was too risky, too spontaneous, and we should wait awhile to decide. I don’t remember exactly when my mind flipped to decide on the trip, but when it did, I knew it wouldn’t be possible for me to regret the decision.
- What will you miss most?
I will miss my family and friends. Our king bed. Hot showers.
- What won’t you miss from home?
Television. Furniture (except the bed). Working in an office. Meetings.
- What are you most nervous about?
I am nervous about being too practical or thinking too much. I want to make sure I slow down and don’t worry, but live in the present and take full advantage of the trip.
- What are you most excited about?
I am most excited about doing something that many people will not understand. To fulfill a lifelong dream, that I never even considered as a real possibility. To expand my worldview and to write the story of my life as something worth reading.
- The world is a dangerous place, will you be safe?
- Do you think you will get sick of traveling with her?
Never. She is so excited while traveling that she is very fun to be around. I just keep her fed and with just enough sleep. 🙂 We also have traveled together many times, for long terms, just not as long as this.
- Why didn’t you tell me sooner than now?
I don’t want to tell everyone and then have something come up that causes us to not do the trip. I doubt that will happen, but I would rather have the tickets booked, and then be able to share the news. Care tells one person a day, so at that rate, I won’t have to tell anyone before we leave.
- Will I get to say goodbye to you before you leave?
Sure. There is plenty of time until we leave. Come see us! If you are too far away, then we will call you!
- What about babies?!
What about babies? Babies are super cute. Why are you asking me this?
- What are your plans when you get back?
See what I said earlier about living in the present. Maybe we will figure this out while we are gone, but we won’t be worrying about it. Maybe we will develop something on the road to be our new purpose. Also, see #18.
- How can I support you while you are gone?
Read our blog and comment! Don’t forget about us, and please share our blog with everyone you know.