When we first started thinking about it, we were incredibly ambitious. I remember being determined to visit all seven continents. Ha. And you know what?
One year is barely enough time to scratch the surface as far as the world is concerned.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re grateful for the time, but we had to edit down our initial plan and really think about our priorities. At some point we put together a rough itinerary and have been editing it ever since. We prioritized the places:
- that are hard to travel (we can do more of Europe when we’re older)
- where we know people (always nice to stay with a local)
- that are far away (so we cut out South America)
- that are cheap (to stretch our budget)
I had a particular interest in India. Root really wanted to see New Zealand. And we both wanted to experience Africa.
As we started to piece it together, seasons and timing played a big part too. We considered:
- temperature (to avoid the hottest, most humid seasons)
- rain (to avoid the rainiest seasons)
- holidays and festivals (to be in places for certain events)
- visa limits (to comply with any restrictions on how long you can stay)
We had Egypt in the plan, but due to the current unrest there, decided to save that for another trip.
Slow Travel vs. Fast
Whether you’re thinking about traveling for a week or a year, speed is a key consideration. Depending on your goals and interests, you may want to slow down enough to really immerse yourself in the local culture and connect with people versus rushing from one country and tourist attraction to the next.
Our own plan incorporates slow travel in some places, but overall is pretty ambitious. There’s flexibility built in, so we figure we can slow down and edit out places where and when we need to.
Spontaneous vs. Planned
Without a plan to tie you down you can be more agile and take advantage of opportunities as they arise, but it may also mean you miss out on things if you didn’t take the time to book or do the research.
Planning can save time and hassle once you arrive in a place, but may also cause you to get stressed out if anything disrupts the plan.
For us, our approach is somewhere in the middle. The plan is there as a guide and will help us get the most out of our trip.
We think it’s better to go in with a plan and having done all the research, but there’s plenty of room to veer off the plan and modify it as we go.
For those of you that know me, you know I’m definitely a planner. It would actually stress me out more to go into this without a plan. So – it just depends on your style and preferences. I don’t think there’s one right or wrong way to go about it.
What We've Booked So Far
The first thing we booked was a guided, overland tour in East Africa. After a ton of research and finding the perfect tour during peak game viewing season, we just decided to go for it and get it reserved. (That was an exciting day!)
A few months later, we booked four of our longest flights using miles, which is something you want to do way ahead as award seats are limited.
At this point, we also have several hostels / hotels and flights booked inside of the first three months. So we’ll get a running start with some things already reserved, and then we’ll just book more along the way.
Tomorrow we’ll post the rough itinerary!