Note: For a complete list of all posts related to our RTW planning (and traveling — coming soon!), check out Our Travel page.
Year 2010 was a busy year for us: I got a job after being unemployed for a year, we picked up rock climbing as a hobby, and we spent all summer exploring our favorite place on earth: Yosemite National Park.
But it definitely got busier around October when we realised that, ‘OMG, 2011, the year we’d been talking about for the last 4 years is just around the corner!’
So we ramped up our planning and researching effort.
Money, Budgeting, And All That Good Stuff
Fortunately, we’d been living a relatively frugal lifestyle ever since we got married. We’re still pretty much living like we did in college (complete with the futon and the white board), albeit with a better wine collection.
But after researching how much RTW trips have cost others and on top of the completely sucky economy in 2010, we’ve realized that we need to increase our safety margin just a little bit more in order to feel comfortable with the idea of spending a chunk of money traveling (and not having a job to come back to).
Planning An Itinerary
After spending a considerable amount of time with a dozen guidebooks or so, we basically said, ‘This is way too much work!’ Besides, my library fines were getting out of control because I kept forgetting to return the books on time. There are just way too many countries, and even after coming up with ways to decide which countries to include, it was still too much.
Not having a plan. Not knowing where we’re going to be 2 months or even 2 weeks in the future — this is something new for both of us since we like to plan. ‘I’ like to plan. But after struggling with the idea of not planning and making peace with the decision… it was a great relief.
So, what’s ‘THE’ plan then?
We were 99% sure we were heading to China first, but over a New Year’s Eve dinner, we decided to reverse the route and head to South America instead (let’s just say the decision was food related).
That means we’ll have to put away my ‘Rosetta Stone: Chinese’ CD until much, much later. But that’s a good thing since we both completely suck at getting this whole intonation thingy right. Jack keeps screaming the words and I’m like, ‘Why are you yelling?’ — ‘I can’t help it. It just feels like a language that needs to be spoken LOUD.’
And I wasn’t really doing much better. Considering that my grandparents came from China, shouldn’t I have the genes for this?
Anyway, I digress…
(And just so you know, before deciding to head to China, we had been 99% sure that we were going to head down to South America first.)
We have also decided that instead of getting a RTW ticket as we were planning all along, we’re going to buy a one-way ticket to Colombia for April and plan the rest as we go along. So, that’s THE plan.
We’ve found RTW friendly bank accounts, sent out for a new passport, and researched entry requirements for Colombia (apparently not much since both US and Indonesian citizens do not require visa to enter Colombia – yay!)
1. It doesn’t require visa for both of us. Jack is a US citizen, and I have an Indonesian passport and it’s pretty rare that a visa is not required for BOTH of us. So major score for Colombia.
2. Err, it’s at the top of the continent?
3. Tell us in the comment section, why visit Colombia?
We’re feeling mighty proud of ourselves for deciding on the first country, even though it took us months to decide. At this rate, we’ll be making our way through South America within a decade or so.
But there are still many things on our to-do list that need to be done.
– Getting the necessary vaccinations (and finding out what they are)
– Getting rid of our stuff (at a much quicker rate than what we’ve been doing)
– Quitting our jobs
– Figure out what our gadgets we’re going to bring (fun!)
We’ll definitely have plenty on our plates until our departure in April. This is soo exciting!
Anyway, that’s the recap and thanks for reading all the way to the bottom! For those new here, hope this post will catch you up on what we’ve been up to. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already so you can keep following us on our adventure.