Planning our route and all the questions in between…
When we started telling our friends that we’re quitting our jobs to travel, the natural flow of conversation resulted in us spewing off a list of countries that make up our 7-month route around the world. It’s quite a mouthful and always warrants more explanation than standard small talk allows. Here are the ‘in between’ details of how our trip came to life.
When we started planning this adventure over a year ago, we wrote down a list of all the places we want to visit based on the following criteria…
Adventures that we want to do while we are physically fit and young (Patagonia, Nepal)
Places we want to enjoy before we have kids (Thailand)
Countries where we want to spend a significant amount of time (Italy, New Zealand)
We started stringing together all of our dream destinations, prioritizing places that neither of us have spent much time in. As expected, we had way too many places on our list and had to make some tough cuts. We made a conscious decision to hold off on some places in order to simplify our route and allow us to fully enjoy them in the future with a larger budget (i.e. Japan, Africa). We took all of our remaining bucket list adventures and started creating a cohesive, east to west route that also took into account the best time of year to visit each place. As it’s known in the travel community, we are “chasing summer” – spending winter months in the southern hemisphere and hopping up to SE Asia in the spring before monsoon season hits and spending summer in Europe.
“As expected, we had way too many places on our list and had to make some tough cuts.”
At this point in the process, I had one of many internal “Steph freak outs.” How were we ever going to find the perfect balance between visiting all of these places in 7 months and also spend enough time in each place to achieve a sense of cultural immersion that warrants such a long trip in the first place? So, we simplified and strategized. A big selling point of an extended world trip is the ability to spend enough time in each place to feel like you’re living like a local instead of just visiting as a tourist. As we made our list and started researching each destination, the trip inevitably grew longer. We started planning our trip with 5 months in mind. Every time I read about a country on our list, I immediately felt like we needed more time to fully experience it. Slowly I kept adding a week here and there, finally capping the trip at 7 months. We are spending at least 2 weeks in each country and nearly a month in the places where we really want to immerse ourselves. Over the next 7 months, we’ll visit 4 continents, 15 countries and have plenty of adventures in between.
Below are some of the highlights…
January – Argentina + Patagonia
February – New Zealand
March – Australia
March to May – SE Asia
May – Nepal
June – Croatia
July – Italy
Stay tuned for details on planning v. not planning a trip of a lifetime, budgeting and packing!
Happy #wildbumming and read more of Steph & Lucas’ adventure on their blog here!