Someone once defined an adventure as “something about to happen.”
That phrase gives me goosebumps.
In 2003, a co-worker introduced me to RTW tickets. I was sold, hook, line, and sinker. At the time, I was preparing to move from Oregon to New Zealand for a semester abroad. The idea of circling the globe and visiting a beautiful string of countries revved my desires, and when I mentioned the notion to my boyfriend during a late night phone call, he heard the dreams in my voice and said, “Honey, someday, we’re gonna do it!”
In my naïveté and zeal, I didn’t quite realize that he was probably saying that to make his girlfriend happy and hedging his bets that I wouldn’t actually remember the conversation.
Au contraire, mon ami.
Thankfully, in the years since, we’ve grown to the share the dream together.
We’ve checked so many things off the to-do list since that night on the phone, with this plan of long term world travel hovering ahead us on the distant horizon:
– New Zealand study abroad (2004)
– Graduation (2006)
– Wedding (2006)
– Clearing all consumer debt (2007)
– Cash flowing the remainder of my husband’s university studies (through 2009)
– Acquiring professional licensure and gaining experience in our respective fields (through 2011)
– Building the savings account (currently)
– Visas, Travel Immunizations, Workaway contacts, apartment rentals (this whole past season)
– Preparing to set out on the journey (
January 5, 2012 )
We’ve limited strings: No new debt. No mortgages. No car payments. No contracts (well, other than the cell phones…but they’re up before we leave).
A simple life at home helps prepare us for a simple life on the road.
Now beyond the early goals and milestones, we’re continuing to save cash as quickly and diligently as possible to fund the travel account. We easily reached the half-way savings mark in late 2010, but with the slowing economy challenging my earning potential, the year 2011 at times stretched painfully on…
Nevertheless, we’re sticking with a January departure. It’s time to get this show on the road!
Ultimately, the second half of our trip will be as full as the second half of our savings.
Which is all the more motivation to throw myself wholeheartedly into these final months of earning. With each new income-producing side gig I take on, my gratefulness deepens.
“The reward of a work is to have produced it; the reward of effort is to have
grown by it.” – Antonin Sertillanges
The Plan…for Now:
Depart Portland, Oregon (
11.11.11 oh, it sounded like fun….but 1.5.212 it is!)
Peru, Boliva, and Northern Chile (through January)
Patagonia (arrive on my birthday!)
Argentina (Valentine’s Day through mid March, renting an apartment as home base)
Transatlantic Cruise from Brazil to Spain (sixteen days March/April)
Spain (Easter weekend in Barcelona, a week with friends in Castellón, and Workaway exchanges along the south coast)
Morocco (we’ll hop off briefly in Casablanca on the cruise, but it would be lovely to return)
Lebanon (hoping to visit my college roommate in Beirut)
South Africa, Tanzania (hey, a sixth anniversary in Zanzibar would be fun!)
Sri Lanka (no sense putting too many dates at this point…)
Thailand, Laos, Indonesia (approximations and impressions; plans to come later)
Australia (just a wee stop ~ enough to say hello to a wonderful friend)
New Zealand (for as long as possible…)
Return to Portland, Oregon (
12.12.12 who really knows?*)
Hopes & Purposes (aside from the pure joy of a wanderlust life…):
-Observe and participate in the stories of social services in developing countries
-Investigate geographical and cultural food systems
-Go to the source of commonly imported staples (i.e., coffee, bananas, avocados in S. America; cinnamon and nutmeg in the Spice Islands; tea in Sri Lanka) to see first hand the mix of questionable and sustainable/ethical agricultural operations
-Engage with religious traditions and faith communities outside North America and celebrate diversity in the body of Christ
-And of course, the real cherry on top of this whole grand scheme: a long-awaited Return to New Zealand to visit friends and introduce my better-half to my favorite country in the world.
In the Meantime
As these last few months to departure fall from the calendar, the dreams will continue…
I’ll keep applying myself to the tasks at hand…
I’ll keep appreciating the things in life that will be missed once we’re on the road…
I’ll keep enjoying camaraderie and stories from fellow travelers:
Tavel’s excursion to Dolores, Aregentina
Kirsten’s iPhonography Adventures
It’s a gift to be able to dream so big, to be surrounded by supportive friends and family, and to prepare to set off on this adventure, together…
Watch this space.
Something’s about to happen.