8 1/2 Months – 4 Continents . . .
After years of dreaming and months of planning, our around-the-world adventure will soon become a reality! We will visit Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America…
We love to travel and have had the opportunity to visit many wonderful places over the years. Lori’s first international trip was at age 7 when she and her Mom lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for the summer (Mom taught at a school). The following summer, the family (Lori, Mom, and dog Juno) spent 3 months traveling the U.S. in a Winnebago. At 16, Lori saved her babysitting and waitressing money for a two-week class trip to Spain. Then, in college she returned to Spain for a summer study program. Over the years, Lori has visited Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, and Mexico, Scotland, Spain, and Wales. Michael’s first time abroad was a family vacation to Vancouver, Canada. In the army, he went to Thailand and Korea. As a couple, we have visited Antigua, Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman, Costa Rica, England, France, Greece, Jamaica, Mexico, South Africa, Spain, St. Kitts, US Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe. And we want to see more!
We have been dreaming about a- round-the-world-trip for many years. At one point, we decided we could make the dream a reality when the time was right. We had two wonderful aging Labradors, Cain and Piper (brother and sister), who we wouldn’t dream of leaving. Cain passed in 2009 at age 12 and Piper lived to celebrate her 14th birthday last year. When Piper joined her brother, the time still wasn’t quite right, so we continued to save and dream. We also volunteered as fosters with Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue and helped 19 dogs find their forever home. Meet our foster dogs >
This year, we decided the time was right, so we made plans to sell the house, furniture, and cars; and drink most of the wine (we saved a few bottles for our return). There were doubts like, is it irresponsible to leave our jobs and sell most of our belongings? Lori spent tons of time reading travel blogs and found inspiration (and helpful advice) – like Cameron & Nicole, Clark and Kim, Gary Arnd, Dan & Audrey, Ryan and Laura,and Shannon O’Donnell. She saw that others shared the same travel lust and made their dream a reality. If they could do it, we could too!
Around the World Trip Itinerary
So, how do you plan an around-the-world itinerary? We spent many, many months deciding which countries to visit. Although 8 1/2 months sounds like a long time, it was not long enough to visit everywhere we wanted to go. So we reluctantly skipped some places (for now). We selected the main regions: Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America and then cashed in hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles for two business class around the world airline tickets. Booking the tickets was an exercise in patience and creativity. Michael was the patient one who spent over one hour on the phone with the airline to make the reservations. A Star Alliance around the world ticket includes 5 legs and a lot of restrictions. You can only cross an ocean once, have to end in the same country you begin, and can only book 340 days in advance. We had to make some tweaks, but we managed to book all flights to the desired regions. There are a few odd hours, like a 2:30 AM departure, and a few long layovers, but for the most part, the flights are pretty good. Now we are planning travel within each region and places to stay.
All the Other Stuff
There are also a ton of other details to take care of like visas, insurance, chip and pin credit cards, vaccines, and gear. Here are some of the things we have learned so far.
- Travel Health – our experience researching how to protect our health
- Long Term Travel Resources by Jodi on her blog, Legal Nomads
The adventure begins February 1, 2013! We hope you will stay with us to read about our journey. Until then…