Deciding to Travel the World
If you graduated high school or college, you were probably asked my least favorite question:
“What are you going to do after you graduate?”
And I admit I also ask this question. I dislike the question not because I think it’s bad to ask, but because I never felt that I had a good answer. And I grew tired of regurgitating my script of evasive answers.
Years later, having finally saved up enough to quit my job and take time off to travel, I find myself in the same position of repeating a script. But I like this question much more:
“What made you want to travel the world?”
Which, if you think about it (and if you’re a smart-ass like me), is kind of a silly question. Who wouldn’t want to travel the world? And most people who ask me this question usually agree. For those who haven’t yet heard my elevator pitch, here goes.
Not Me: What made you want to travel the world?
Me: I studied abroad in Australia during university and loved that taking a gap year is so commonplace for Australians. I knew then that I wanted to do the same thing, but didn’t have enough saved up when I graduated. I also wanted to put my degree to work so my parents didn’t worry that it was all for nothing.
NM: Why now?
Me: I’ve saved up enough. And I don’t have any weddings/graduations/significant life events scheduled for this year. I also don’t have any debt or payments or dependents, so it makes it easier to pick up and leave.
NM: How long are you going to travel?
Me: About 11 months. I leave late January and return stateside in November/December, depending on how long my savings last.
NM: Where are you going to go?
Me: I have a rough outline, but I know I may have to scale back as I go. My plan for now is to start in Costa Rica and then Colombia, Peru, (maybe Bolivia), Argentina, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, (maybe Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam), Slovenia, The Netherlands, Norway, Iceland and then some U.S. National Parks on my way back to California.
And inevitably we return to…
NM: What are you going to to when you come back?
Me: Not a clue.
WHAT TO SAY WHEN SOMEONE ASKS “WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD?”
How much time do you have? I could write endlessly about all the things I’m excited to do, places I can’t wait to see, and experiences I hope to have. (And I probably will!) But first I want to thank everyone who is coming along this journey with me - from the coworkers who have been waiting for me to share the URL, to my family who supported my decision to become a nomad, to my best friends who have promised not to get married while I’m away. I will miss you all, but I will definitely be in touch.
To anyone I don’t know personally, I want to start off my travel blog with this caveat: I’m just figuring this out as I go, and I’ll probably only try everything once, so I can’t tell you the “best” way to do something. If you can give me advice or learn from my experiences, fantastic. If you can be kind in comments, bless you. If you can forgive my mistakes, thank you.
If you’re reading this hoping for sage advice on whether to travel the world, I will tell you as a complete amateur who has never done this before: just do it.