How did we ever think of this
Well we didn’t really think of it, it was something that was always on our minds and even when we were engaged we constantly talked about traveling the world and doing missions. After a few months of being married and real life kicking in we decided that it was time to make a choice. A choice to save, to work hard and to make our dream a reality. On January 1, 2016 we started paying off our car debt and saving towards our world trip. We estimated that it would take us around two years to save in order to travel for a whole year. We set a tentative date for travel and then backtracked to set a savings goal for each month.
Both of us worked average jobs, Katie a teacher, Alex an electrician. We leased an apartment in the Portland metropolitan area and took every opportunity to explore the area around us by hiking, biking, camping and road tripping. Although we lived relatively frugally, we made every effort to also live full, engaged lives.
On September 2nd, 2017 we packed our bags and got on the plane with a one way ticket to Ecuador.
We flew into Quito, Ecuador and are making our way down the coast of South America. The countries that we hope to explore are Ecuador, Peru, & Bolivia, Chile, Argentina. We are giving ourselves around five months to explore South America.
After the New Year, we will be traveling to India and then spending the winter and spring months in South East Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines & Indonesia)
Late spring and summer months we hope to visit China, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine.
During the fall we most likely be in Turkey or in some Eastern European countries.
Our current plan is to travel for about a year, however, we do not have a firm end date. It might be even longer than a year, who knows 🙂 We hope to have our family join us half way through the trip in Thailand.
- Why not? We are both young, active, and open to new experiences. Whatever your dream is, there is no better time than now to pursue it!
- We want to be changed by the knowledge and experience of the world, to see what God is doing around the world and take part in it.
- To get out of our comfort zone, challenge ourselves and grow through it.
- Lastly, we want to be people who never settle. We are aiming not to be tourists who try to see as many things in as short of a time as possible, but learners who experience and are changed by the cultures and the surroundings which we visit.This is what motivates us to save and eventually leave the comfort of our home, jobs, and sell everything to travel the world.
How did we plan the trip?
We didn’t plan much. Our one way ticket we bought a few months ago to make our world trip seem more real. The first hostel we booked the day we were flying out. We do our research the night before and talk to other travelers about the places to see. We have a plan of what countries to go to but we are keeping it open for spontaneity. In addition, we will be volunteering in some places as we go, something which is very exciting for us.
How did we save the $?
There are some people, of course, who absolutely have no room to save any money, which is unfortunate. Such people, however, are pretty rare. Most people have something which their money is going to. It could be the newest clothes, furniture, a hobby, a house, or children. Whatever your ‘project’ is you know it. Our choice was to save for this trip. This meant that we did not buy certain things, like furniture or new clothes, and we always considered the financial cost of activities, choosing those which were more frugal.
By the end of a year and half of saving we saved $30,000 for our trip. That means we have a budget of $82 a day. We hope to stay under that so we can prolong our world trip and maybe even visit more countries.
What about your jobs & family?
We started telling everyone about our trip a year and a half before leaving. This gave them time to get used to it and accept it. Our families are very supportive of our trip and are constantly in contact with us and are hoping to join us somewhere along the way. It was hard leaving family and friends, but we look forward to reuniting with them wherever they would like to join us.
We both quit our jobs. Once we come back we can find new jobs and maybe even better ones than before.
What about your stuff?
When we got married we didn’t buy a lot of things. We knew that we didn’t want to invest into things but into memories. The furniture we bought was used and easy to get rid of or store at the end. We sold Alex’s car two days before we had to leave. God’s perfect timing! We donated most of our clothes. We went through our stuff and threw away things that didn’t add value to our lives. The rest we packed up and stored away in both of our parent’s homes.
How did we pack for a year?
We bought two backpacking backpacks. Katie’s (Kelty Redwing 40L) Alex’s (Osprey Kestrel 48L) We also brought a technology backpack (WANDRD 31L) which we won during a giveaway a few days before flying out! It was God’s gift to us. We really needed it but didn’t have the budget for it.
Packing took about a week and we brought clothing which is neutral in color. We brought two pairs of shoes, our Chaco sandals and a pair of trail running shoes for hiking.
Since we will be doing some camping/trekking during our trip we brought our sleeping bags and tent.
If we need more clothes or anything else we will simply buy it along the way.