January 30, 2007

Two Backpacks and a Savings Account

[best read while listening to Where It's At by Beck]

Drifting Around the World in 10 Almost Impossible Steps...

Step 1 -- Decide, against all odds, that traveling the world is what you want to do for an extended period of time. (Then reflect on how crazy it is that you have the luxury of even thinking about traveling the world.)
Step 2 -- Open a savings account and start saving as much money as you can. No matter what your budget is, you'll need lots of cash. And how much cash is determined by how long you plan to travel, the countries you want to visit and the kind of trip you want to take. Beware though...you may have to not buy stuff. We budgeted $25,000 for a year of traveling through majority world (read: 3rd world) countries.
Step 3 -- Buy your plane tickets. The key is to not buy insurance on them, so you have no choice of backing out.
Step 4 -- Avoid planning your trip. Instead, let the people you meet and the countries you visit determine where you go and how long you stay. And read as much as you can about countries you hope to visit.
Step 5 -- Sell most of what you own (okay, this is what we did and it's totally an optional step). It will make the whole trip more real and it throws some extra much needed cash in your pocket. After all, your couch could be worth a month in Laos. Plus, it's fun to get new stuff when you get back.
Step 6 -- Forward your mail, file your taxes and buy travel insurance.
Step 7 -- Get your passport
Step 8 -- Buy your gear. A couple of packs and a few necessities is all you need. We spent $450 on pre-trip gear, including iPods.
Step 9 -- Throw a party with your best friends. Make sure to talk plenty about the fact that you won't be working for the next _ months.
Step 10 -- Get a lift to the airport and try not to forget anything (especially your passports).


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