While traveling on this trip, we will need a lot of visas (possibly 30 or more). Because of that, we are required to provide passport/visa photos for each visa we apply for. Obviously this is an added expensive as passport photos are not exactly cheap. So, we did some research and thought we could take and print them ourselves.
How hard can it be? Well it turned out to be a lot more difficult than we expected. There are a lot of rules about shadows and lighting and after several atempts, we gave up for the time being.
Jason needed a new photo quickly to get his passport renewed, so we took a trip to Costco to get him a few pictures to hold us over. While we were there, I had the brillant idea to ask the photo clerk if she would give us the picture file on a CD so we could print them ourselves. After a call to her mananger and then a call to her manager’s manager, she said yes!! So, I decided to get my picture taken as well and we purchased 2 passport photos each and the CD with the file so we could print them at home. When I went to pay for them, the lady informed me that her manager called back and said they can’t do that ever again…we got very lucky and we now have the file to print a bunch of pictures to take with us on the trip…it was a good day!
We have officially booked the first leg of our trip. Tonight Jason called AA and confirmed our one-way flight that we had on hold. Luckily we were both able to use our airline miles which saved us a bunch of money. All of our other flights/transportation will be booked once we start the trip.
We fly Denver – Chicago – London – Nairobi, Kenya. We leave June 28th, 2010 and get into Kenya on the 29th. From there we will spend the first few months in eastern and southern Africa before moving on.
Our tentative route as of today (which could definitely change as we get closer) is Kenya , Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho (2 – 3 months in Africa). Fly out of South Africa to India where we will go to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines? (6 – 7 months in Asia). The final leg of the trip will hopefully be the Trans Siberian Railway ? out of Beijing to Moscow, Russia and then down through Eastern Europe. We are not sure if Eastern Europe will happen because of the money situation toward the end of the trip, but we are definitely going to try to make it work. If anyone would like to donate to our travel fund, feel free to contact us anytime 🙂
It is very exciting to have our first ticket booked and out of the way, I can’t believe we really did it! It is a big weight off our soulders and I guess it means there is no turning back!
As the months start flying by, the worry about “will we have enough money” is always a question in the back of our mind. While we have both always been good savers, the more money we can have for this adventure, the better off we will be. Last night we had our first official “meeting” to go over a general route and plan. We have obviously been discusing these things for months, but we had never formalized a plan. The time has come to get down to business!
With that, we decided to come up with our 10 Commandments. These are things or “rules” we should follow to help save money before we leave. While right now there are only 6 on the list, I am sure as the time gets closer , there will eventually be 10…
#1 Buy For the Backpack – We read this on someone else’s blog and think it is a great idea. We do not buy anything unless it will go in our backpack and with us on the trip. This will obviously be harder for Becky to follow than Jason…
#2 Only eat out 2-3 times/month. We like to cook at home anyway, but limiting the dinners out will hopefully save us some $$. If we do go out, we have to limit ourselves to 1 drink at dinner, those cocktails can really add up!
#3 NO shots at the bar. This will be good for our wallets and our liver. While shots always sound like a good idea after a few beers, it is time to eliminate them (unless someone else is buying of course)
#4 Cut back on going out. We had a hard time saying “we will only go out with friends 2 times a month” so we went with a more general commandment…
#5 Clip Coupons. This is something that we always say we are going to do, but never do it. Becky’s mom send coupons all the time and they hardly get used but it is a great way to save a few dollars
#6 No more trips except what is already pre-planned. We both like to stay busy and travel on weekends when we can, but the cost of these little vacations can add up. These trips can wait until we return!
Well I (Becky) told my work yesterday about my plans to leave next year. I guess this means it is “official” and there is no turning back! Surprisingly, both people I told were wonderful supportive and very excited for our expedition. I am not sure what reaction I expected, but I was a bit nervous to bring it up. Luckily, as an independent contractor, I don’t have the normal obligations a regular employee might have. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders as I can now talk about it with my co-workers. Jason told his work months ago so we are now in the clear and on our way to begin the huge task of planning. Let the fun begin!
As all of our friends start to settle down, get married and have babies, we have decided to take a different path. Not that we don’t want to get married and have babies, we just feel now is the time to travel and explore while we have the opportunity. For Jason, traveling is his passion, he talks about it all the time, he explores hundreds of travel blogs in his spare time and most conversations are about where we are going next. For Becky, traveling became as passion through the places and experiences Jason pushed her to explore.
Last year, the talk of an around the world trip came up (of course by Jason) and the conversation, while discussed, never really got much thought. Becky always thought it was a unrealistic “dream” and that the thoughts would pass over time. Months later when Jason was still bringing it up, Becky realized that maybe she should be more open minded to the idea. For Jason, leaving his life, friends and family for an extended period of time was easy. It was more difficult for Becky to wrap her head around this. After doing some basic research and having many discussions over dinner, Becky quickly realized that this trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Her apprehension quickly turned into excitement for this wonderful experience.
No work and traveling for a whole year? Sounds like a nice vacation, right? Well we quickly learned that traveling for this long is not quite a vacation. It is more a less a job consisting of planning and excuting one of the biggest trips of our life. So, here we are, 1 year before our estimated time of departure. We are planning to takeoff in July of 2010. We have just started our extensive reasearch on travel restrictions, flights, Visas, storage while we are gone, what to bring, etc.
This blog is not only for our friends and family to stay updated on our travels, but also as a reference for all the people out there looking to do RTW travel. So many blogs have, and will, help us plan our trip and we appreciate all the info people have been willing to share. We would love comments and questions, please contact us anytime! We will be updating this site on a regular basis as our travel planning continues over the next year. Thank you for reading!