As we have slowly come out of the career break closet, and begin preparing to travel the world, it’s been highly amusing for us to hear questions from family and friends about:
- What we’re planning on doing with our things
- How we’re going to cope with the change of a Round-the-World (RTW) trip
- What we’re going to miss about our former lives
Essentially, through their questions, we’re hearing the reasons why the idea of long-term travel seems so out of reach.
I’d Love to Travel the World but What About…
It’s funny, unlike real concerns such as healthcare, safety, transportation, people come up with the most off the wall inquiries. Some of them appear nonsensical and should illustrate why for so many, the idea of an RTW trip is so far-fetched. However cockamamie they may seem, these thoughts are like roadblocks that prevent people from exploring the world and conquering their dream. Here’s a small sample of the questions being asked to us as we come out of the career break closet:
But what are you going to do with your silverware?
We’re now sitting on lawn chairs in our living room because we sold our couches and dining room table. When you start taking big steps towards making an RTW trip a reality you’re going to have to make sacrifices. Little things like kitchen utensils will work themselves out.
To answer the question though, any kitchen “stuff” we’d like to keep will be stored at Audrey’s parents’ house. Audrey’s parents are slowly becoming empty nesters. Additionally, Audrey’s mother is a bit of a hoarder and doesn’t mind us filling up her attic with the small amount of stuff we’d like to keep.
Will you be mainly staying in huts?
We may stay in the occasional hut, but we’re planning on renting apartments and staying in hostels for the majority of our trip. Deciding on whether to book an apartment or hostel will most likely be determined by how long we think we’d like to stay in that area/city. Renting an apartment for a month (or longer) is an extremely cost-effective way to travel.
Aren’t you going to miss American music?
We’ve been to several places off the grid and we’re amazed how popular American music is all over the world. Also, with access to the internet, you can easily listen to American music whenever you’d like.
How are you doing this?
When we hear this question we know it’s eventually leading to how we’re doing this financially. When I hear this I always think about how many Americans spend their money so frivolously and then complain about having to go the job that they hate. I think Dave Ramsey answered this question pretty well when he said,
“You must remember there is a difference between needs and wants in life. The first items in your budget should be your needs: shelter, food, transportation, clothing, and utilities. If you currently go to the movie theater every weekend or have a Hawaiian vacation at the top of your list, but you struggle to pay the electric bill, your priorities are out of whack. Don’t sacrifice your needs to finance your wants. If you do, it will catch up with you and you’ll regret it.”
We haven’t changed our lifestyle very much since our first job out of college and I think this is the main reason why we’re able to financially afford to go on an RTW trip. In other words, while other people were buying bigger houses, premium cable packages, jewelry, designer clothing, the latest smartphone, etc.; we saved our money.
What if someone tells me I only have 48 hours to live and you’re in a remote destination?
I think we said to the person to, “Please provide an example in which this scenario could occur.” That quickly brought that synopsis to a close.
What are you going to do all day?
Life is going by way too fast and we want to slow it down. We simply want to do, what we want to do, when we want to do it. Right now it feels like we don’t have the time to do anything. We think it’s going to be quite easy and fun spending our time exploring new cities and places that we’ve never been to.
Are you just going to work in a coffee shop?
As of now, we’re not planning on working during our RTW trip. If we get the urge or deem it necessary that option is always available. But why is a coffee shop the first place people think you’re going to go to find work?
What if you can’t sell your condo and your pipes burst?
The same thing anyone would do if this occurred. Call the insurance company and break out the checkbook. The “what if” questions will make you mad if you let them. It’s important to stay positive and realistic to plan accordingly. The “what if” I prefer is; “what if I never get another opportunity to travel the world?” Ahhh, what if, what if, what if…
Looking back, when we first heard of an RTW trip, we had many silly questions too. You learn through fellow RTW-ers that all these questions are just small details and for the most part, these things tend to work themselves out. In planning an RTW trip it’s important to stay focused on the big items. For example, not living outside your budget, decluttering, and determining the places you’d like to visit.
Keeping it in perspective, just yesterday someone asked Audrey, “What are you going to do about toothpaste?”