By , February 28, 2011 6:09 pm
Amazing how time can sneak up on you. Thanks to Shane at The Working Traveller I was abruptly reminded that March 1st, 2011 is exactly 1 year after Ashley and I decided to travel the world.  It may also be of interest to some that March 1st, 2011 is also the first day of Breakaway Backpacker's RTW trip! Wow, we've had a whole year to prepare for and plan our trip already. What's more, there's only 4 months left before we will be homeless, unemployed, and embarking on our long anticipated journey! So, how has the preparation been going? Umm, it's been going okay, maybe even good. As luck would have it, just today I came across this guest post by Jack and Jill at Don't Ever Look Back. Just for fun, let's compare how we stack up to their list.

Time until departure: 1 year or more

Initial research – Done
  • We plan on selling our house - we have our house up for sale this very moment.
  • We'll be quitting our jobs to travel - at first we wanted to take a year off from work, but our employers didn't cooperate.
Create a budget – Done
  • We went about this in sort of a screwball fashion, we looked at how much we could save by July, and decided that was a good enough number for our travel funds.
Start paying off or reducing your debt – Done Reduce the number of commitments – Work in Progress (WIP)
  • Ashley has a cellular telephone contract that we will have to buy out, and a gym membership that expires shortly.
  • Otherwise, We reduced our satellite TV bill considerably, and I cancelled my gym membership to save a few extra $$.
Visit the local library and start researching places that interest you. Read travel journals, magazines, and books (can I recommend Bill Bryson?) and other blogs to inspire you. - Done
  • I'm following a bunch of travel blogs, twittering, and reading travel books on a daily basis. If anything, I've gone too far on this one.
Make (a very long) list of countries you want to visit. Do a brain dump and just start writing them down. - Done
  • One of the first things Ashley and I did was to purchase a world map for our wall. As we read more about places we'd like to go, we add pins to the map.

Time until departure: 6 months – 1 year

Narrow down your itinerary list - WIP
  • I don't think we'll ever have a proper itinerary. What we are working on now is a joint "bucket list" for our trip.  Right now we are preparing our personal lists.  Next step will be to meld them together and figure out a way to fit them into our rough travel plans.
Research what vaccinations you’ll need - Done
  • You can check our our research here.  We still have a few more to get, but we are well on our way.
Start connecting with other travelers - Done
  • We have the blog up and running and have been working out the kinks.  Mike is working on his comma splices and spelling mistakes.
  • We were also lucky enough to meet a local couple who are planning their own RTW.
  • And, we  signed up for Couch Surfing.  We would be happy to meet some travelers by hosting them before we go.
Take an honest look at your budget. Have you been meeting your monthly savings goal? - So far, So good
  • As of February 28th, we are on track to reach our savings goals.  We even cut our monthly budget another $120 to compensate for a bill we received in January after our car was in a hit and run accident.

Time until departure: 4 months

Decide on whether you’ll get a round-the-world ticket or point-to-point tickets. - Done
  • Point-to-point tickets for us.
Check the expiration date on your passport. Renew if necessary. - Not Done Take advantage of your work insurance. -Not Done Start researching travel insurance - WIP Sell stuff - WIP
  • We've been hard at work becoming unfettered since December. Slowly but surely, we've been making progress.
  • I'm fairly certain that we'll still need some garage sales this spring.
  • And we still will have a car for sale.
So, there you have it, I think we are doing okay.  As long as our house sells before July, we'll be in great shape for our trip.  12 months down, and 4 more to go, I can safely say I'm excited... maybe even obsessed.

14 Responses to “One Year Since We Decided to Travel the World”

  1. So cool that you decided to use our list! We couldn’t make a to-do list for house owners because we don’t own a house but hopefully the rest of the stuff was helpful 🙂

  2. Amy says:

    So exciting that you only have 4 months to go! You’re WAY ahead of where we were. We were so busy fixing up our house to sell and working at work that we crammed all actual plans into the last month or so. I don’t recommend that, that’s for sure! Have fun with the rest of the plans…

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      thanks, I hope we will. We still have some fun stuff to do, like purchase backpacks, and buy our first tickets! It feels good to have the house cleaned out, feels like a lot of the hard work is behind us.

  3. Skott and Shawna says:

    Nice work on the progress guys!! This is a pretty cool exercise…this last 4 months is going to go fast, isn’t it…I should quit commenting on blogs and start ticking some of those things off of our own checklist! Talk soon!

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      Yep, I could already tell a difference between last month and the one before, time is definitely going by fast.

  4. oooh i wish i’d had this list before we left 10 months ago…

    great stuff guys 🙂

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      The wonder’s of blogging never cease. It sure is nice to get advice and how-to guides from people who have gone before.

      Checked out your blog today, we loved NZ when we were there in 2007. Looks like you’ve got some nice pics from Tongariro too, we had a cold, foggy, rainy, windy day for our trek over the mount. All our photos look white.

  5. Lauren says:

    Wow, 4 months – Same as me!!

    It can be quite overwhelming having to plan everything out and having so much to do, but it’s also so fun and exciting! 😀

  6. Dalene says:

    I love reading blogs about people prepping for their RTW trips…I get almost as excited as they are for the fun to begin!

    And DAMN but I wish I had been more “involved” in the community before we left on ours (or even in the first year!) So many great resources to help with prep and planning…we totally winged it, and had no idea all this great help and LISTS existed!

    Cheers guys – 4 months WILL fly by! Fingers crossed that the house goes fast!

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      There are a lot of resources out there, I’m glad I got into the blogosphere when I did.

      We’ve got an “open house” tomorrow, hopefully we generate some sort of activity on the house front.

  7. Tijmen says:

    I have never really made a list when I took my previous 2 long trips, but maybe I should start one. It does make it easier to track the progress you are making. I wish I had only 4 months before my next trip would start 🙂

    • Mike Lenzen says:

      I do like lists. The next big one will probably be the packing list. I should probably figure out what I want to buy so I can try to grab it on sale.

      Interesting how you wish you only had 4 months until your next trip, and I wish I would have taken 2 long trips before I got this old.

      I guess we are both enviable.

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