In the previous entry from the “Practical” series, we shared our suggestions on how to start planning a trip of your dreams. Today we tell you how did we came up with the idea of our dream journey – a trip around the world.
So where did we get this idea?
We always say that traveling was one of our shared passions from the start. Every journey – either not-too-far or distant one, either short or longer – we always enjoyed it a lot. At some point, however, we felt that all these trips are starting to be not enough. We both would like to go somewhere far away, and even further, and for much longer than two weeks off from work.
And as more and more we talked about it, this thought started to sprout in our minds – should we leave everything and go on a very long trip? But where…? For how long…? When…? These first thoughts began to clarify eventually to a general idea – set off on a journey around the world! We suddenly felt as if the whole world teamed up with us in this idea. The cover of a travel magazine said – “You can afford to travel around the world.” The travel programs in the TV invited people who have returned from such a trip. The internet every now and then did bring articles and interviews, and later also the blogs of people traveling around the world. What at first seemed to be a crazy idea, was not so crazy anymore.
Finally, there came the decision – Let’s go a do it! It was in September 2014.
We “just” have to prepare 😉
From a rough idea to its implementation usually takes some time. One of our first assumptions/conditions was that we want to set off next year at latest. It soon turned out that we cannot start as soon as we’d like to.
Why? First of all, because once we agreed that it will be the time only for us. Time focused solely on the journey and the realization of shared dreams, getting to know the countries that we visit, people of different cultures, and cuisine. Therefore we ruled out working during the trip, if we started running out of money. So we needed to estimate more or less the costs… and save all the remaining money that we needed.
Already at that point we strongly limited our expenses, and started to “sell out” some of our things, lingering in a rented apartment. Our enthusiasm was still growing, but when we told friends and family about our dream, all of them seemed to think that we’re crazy. Nobody did truly believe that we’re serious. “Why do you need to do that?”, “Isn’t this a waste of money?”, “Wouldn’t it be better to buy an appartment instead?”. The more we listened, the more we said to ourselves – We’re going!
Let’s start with the list of countries
The whole organization of our trip around the world came in waves. First, we chose the countries that would like to visit. We knew that we would circle the Earth around – so we chose to go to the west and come back from the east. We also wanted to follow the summer to minimize the amount of clothes needed for all the seasons. Each of us also had own dreams about the places to visit. So we have created two lists of countries and merged them.
We had to give up some of the places – Patrycja crossed out Cuba and Nepal, and Dawid – Japan. At that time Cuba wasn’t holding diplomatic relations with the US, which was a major difficulty for the route plan. There was a devastating earthquake in Nepal not that long time ago, and Japan it would be another “expensive” country on our list. We didn’t initially plan Singapore, and we made the decision spontaniously in Cambodia, when we found that we could use a few days city-break. Fiji wasn’t also a must – rather a lucky draw. We wanted to see “some islands in the Pacific” and tickets to Fiji were cheaper than to Easter Island or Hawaii.
With this more or less prepared list of the countries, even without a specific timeframe for each of them, in December 2014 we started looking for plane tickets. After some analyzing, we finally decided to buy round-the-world tickets in one of the agencies, but we bought them as late as in April 2015. We we’ll write more about the tickets in the next post.
More and more detailed
In the meantime, we arranged a visa to the US, and we figured out which countries need a visa prior to arrival, and where we can get a visa at the border (we’ll write more on visas soon, too). A couple of visits to the doctor’s office to check the state of our health and get vaccinated for various diseases. Some of the shots got pretty complicated – we had the second dose of rabies vaccine in Spain (where I lived for the moment), and the last dose of hepatitis – in Bangkok, together with vaccination for Japanese encephalitis. Despite such combinations we didn’t miss any doses. Much easier to organized proved to be the insurance – personal and for equipment. Also different currency accounts, debit and credit cards proved to be fast as well. But we’ll elaborate more on this in the future “Practical” series posts.
We finally had the above things sorted out, and our family and friends, despite earlier concerns, agreed to the fact that they cannot change our minds… But the list of things to do and prepare prior to departure still lengthened.
Flight dates for each of the stops were already settled – with the first one scheduled for 15 August 2015. The real heat began two weeks before that date. The rest of our stuff that we didn’t sell, we transferred in boxes to our parents’ houses. But the most important thing was to organize the remaining things of our list and pack up so we don’t forget anything. Can you believe that some of the last things, including Dawid’s trekking shoes, we bought the night before flying to London? 😉
And finally comes the day
Despite the high pace and confusion, we managed to tie all the loose ends and pack – not forgetting anything that we wanted to take! After several tries to organize things in our backpacks, the last night in Poland was too short for us. The excitement almost did not let us sleep, and morning came faster than we thought.
Finally, after 11 months of preparation, tired but very positively hooked up, we set out on a journey of our dreams.
For a year, through the unknown to us parts of the world, which until now were only in our heads. Today we can talk about our adventures and experiences, and even advise some things. And we’ll not lie when we say – it gives us great pleasure! Therefore, everything that seems a valuable information, we are trying to save on this blog.