Planning an around the world journey seems a daunting task to many people. Most people would never even consider this commitment because of the supposed difficulty in preparing for the journey. In this article, you will find some tips on how to prepare for and accomplish your goal of making an around the world journey a reality! Here are 10 steps to get you well on your way to fulfilling your own travel dreams:
1.) Decide when you will leave. This may seem odd as the first step to fulfilling your journey, but taking this step first gives you a distinct psychological advantage. Most people who hope to travel “someday” never get around to making this dream a reality. By setting a specific date (down to at least the month, if not the actual day) you have set into motion the psychological state of arousal which you will need to plan and carry out your journey.
2.) Look at your departure date and set small goals to accomplish each month until that date. Some examples may include: saving money (more on that later), buying gear, developing an itinerary, buying tickets for initial or full transportation, or even finding volunteer sites.
3.) Carry out your monthly goals, no matter what. Sacrifices must be made to accomplish your goal of making an around the world journey. Think you need those shiny new tennis shoes? Are they worth not having the funds to buy the new pack that will carry all your worldly possessions for months or maybe even years or for spending the money that would feed you for weeks in India?
4.) Decide which type of traveler you will be:
a. The Free Spirit – This person is more of a wanderer, really. They seem to just float from place to place, relying upon pure instinct to tell them where to go, what to do, and how long to stay in a place.
b. The Obsessive-Compulsive – This traveler makes plans for their planning. They know all of the when’s, where’s, how’s, and what’s, but the why’s may escape them if they are not careful. They may find themselves not “seeing the forest for the trees”, so to speak.
c. The Conscientious Soul – This person may find that their reasons for going around the world always point them towards volunteerism. They may hop from place to place, seeking the truth about a people, a place, or a thing, searching out their strife, and attempting to alleviate that pain just a bit before moving on.
d. The Road-kill Warrior – Just as road-kill implies something stuck in the middle of the road, this traveler finds him/herself stuck in the middle of a battle to find the specific type of traveler that he/she wants to be. This person is at one time spontaneous in their decision making concerning their journey, yet at another time meticulous, even calculating, in the specific ways in which they carry out the various aspects of their journey.
5.) Do some research on the areas of the world that interest you most and develop a rough itinerary. Here are some helpful resources for completing this step: www.bootsnall.com , www.lonelyplanet.com , www.frommers.com
6.) Save. Save. Save. Unless you are independently wealthy, hit the jackpot, or win the lottery, your around the world journey is probably going to require some saving. Make a budget and stick to it. Not enough money left over after your regular job? Work some overtime. Find a part-time job. Rake leaves, clean gutters, pressure-wash stuff, become a Pizza Delivery Technician, just do whatever you have to do (within reason, of course) to make your dream come true! It won’t kill you, promise.
7.) Take the knowledge that you gained from researching the places to which you will travel and USE IT! You may discover vaccines that are needed to travel to certain places, passes or visas that must be bought before arriving at your destination, or even the etiquette that will help you to fit in better (or at least stay out of jail) in a destination.
8.) Mentally and physically prepare yourself for the journey. Going to start your journey with an ascent of Mount Everest? Planning on leaving family and friends behind for the longest period of time ever? Taking intensive French lessons in Paris during your around the world journey? All of these things will call for physical, mental, or a combination of preparation. Take some time to yourself and imagine yourself accomplishing the things that you wish to accomplish on your journey. Imagine how you will feel, what you will think, and what effect it will have on your future. Join a gym or do some exercises at home. At the very least, just walking around new cities on your journey will likely involve a good amount of cardiovascular activity. Prepare yourself before you go so that you can eliminate some of the mental and physical fatigue that plagues many travelers.
9.) Expect the best, but prepare for the worst. A traveler should always go into a trip expecting the best. This will allow you to truly embrace a location, to look for the positive aspects of it, and to push aside minor frustrations more easily. On the other hand, a traveler should also prepare for the worst. What happens if you are robbed, jailed, injured, or even killed during your journey? None of these things are very likely to happen to you, but wouldn’t it be easer to face these possibilities with the knowledge that you have taken steps to make them easier? Here are some possible steps to take:
a. Get some travel insurance
b. Have a will drawn up
c. Alert your local embassies as you travel to various locations
10.) Just go! After you are done with all of the planning and preparing, the final thing to do is go. Get out there! Experience our beautiful amazing world in all of her glory. Embrace her distinct cultures, magnificent landscapes, and many wonders. Go where you dream of, where you hope to be, and where you have always put off visiting until now. Just go!