Why we are going
We love adventure and travel, as can you can see from our posts. Every weekend we make an effort to go do something new and exciting. When we were dating we would always dream up wild dreams of traveling around the world together and using our God-given abilities to serve others.
Why do we want to travel for a year instead of settling down, and taking a vacation every so often?
“Before the development of tourism, travel was conceived to be like study, and its fruits were considered the adornment of the mind and the formation of the judgement.” ~Paul Fussel, Abroad
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.
At the beginning of this year we both sat down and put our dream into perspective. Dreaming about it is exciting and fun, but to make it a reality requires concrete action. After the winter holidays passed and the New Year came, we decided to start saving up money towards our goal. We set our approximate travel date and estimated the total amount of money we would need to save in order to travel for a year. From this we calculated the amount of money we would need to save each month. We will use a high-interest savings account in order for our money to be accessible, and keep value with inflation.
How we are saving?
Our first priority was to get rid of all our debt. We paid off the car and started actively saving. Using mint.com we figured out our budget. Next, we opened up a high interest savings account with Synchrony Bank and started to put away our money. We try to be frugal with the way we spend our money, and limit the amount of times we go out trying to cook at home whenever possible. In addition, we try to do activities that don’t require money like hiking, biking, and exploring the outdoors. The ones that do require money we created a budget that we can stay on but still have fun. We both are picking up every opportunity we can to work on the side or overtime.
Closer towards the trip we will be selling most of the things we own like our cars and other home furnishings. If you ever come over to our apartment you will most likely notice that we don’t own a lot of things and whatever we do have is borrowed or used, making it easier for us to leave behind.
We haven’t taken any big trips oversees from the time we came back from our honeymoon in Thailand. This has been hard and tempting, but this has helped us save and stay focused in our goal. At first it was hard to say no to some things I wanted to buy, to trips we wanted to take, but it has gotten easier. Saying no to an extra pair of new shoes brings the thought of “Oh, an extra $30-50 dollars we get to spend in Peru or somewhere else, eating delicious food and adventuring around!” helps me stay motivated and wise about our spending.
Our trip is less than a year away and it blows my mind because a few years back we were only dreaming about it together. The other week I bought a laminated world map. With dry erase markers we started circling the countries we want to go to. We finished with our whole map covered in marks and circles. Unfortunately, we will be able to go everywhere and do everything we want. We will definitely have to scale back.
This month’s focus is about figuring out our priorities, where we want to go, what you want to see, and what organizations we would like to partner to serve the local people. This will help us create a framework for the trip. We will also focus on researching the countries we want to go to. From this we’ll create a specific budget for our trip based what we will do in each one. To help us with the planning process, I bought a Moleskin Journal. It will also come along with us on our trip as our travel journal.
As of this summer we have been working on our blog and exploring ways to create a location independent lifestyle. This will be very important for our trip because we do want to still work while on the road. We hope that we can supplement our spending on travel and volunteer projects with the money we earn while traveling. We will write posts and create vlogs/videos about the places we visit and projects we take part in.
This upcoming year will look very different for the both of us. As many of you know last year I was a full time teacher to a wonderful class of fourth graders. This year I took on the position of a substitute teacher. It will free up time to work on our blog, plan our travels and take classes on the side. In addition, I am also tutoring students on the side and working as a teacher at an online home school. Later I plan on taking a Teaching English as a Second Language course to help me with teaching abroad if an opportunity arises during our trip.
We will be blogging about our Around the World (RTW) planning process and sharing with you all what it is like to be saving like crazy and planning an adventure around the world for a year. Hope you follow along!