Travel Planning

We spent about 2-3 months doing research and discussing our travel preparation list items so we could come get on with the high level travel planning.

Places To Visit

Manish has always wanted to explore the Spanish culture and doing Capoeira means a visit to Brazil is must. While I have always been keen to backpack in Europe and see the wildlife in South Africa. And considering both of us left India at early age, we haven’t seen much of that land too. Our itinerary outline was drafted –

Indian Sub-continent – we considered including Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar as well.

Europe – though we agreed we will not be visiting Eastern Europe.

South Africa – we were considering safari and exploring Johannesburg.

South America – we agreed while we are in Brazil, it makes sense to visit the neighboring countries as well.

Travel Duration

Being Indians we are well aware of the society pressures – marriage, house, car, babies, etc. We are mentally prepared for it but we agreed we need to spend quality time together and do what we have always wanted to do.

Very quickly we decided to spend one year of our life traveling. Once this holiday ends, we will be ready to jump into the married couple lifestyle and I’m sure we won’t have any complains.

Overall Budget

We took a while to finalise the budget for our travel. There are so many unknowns and things to consider. Ultimately we used the following process –

  1. Looked at our existing bank balance
  2. Considering the exchange rate across the places we want to visit, we allocated high level budget for each section of our travel
  3. We kept aside a budget for travel prepping and flights
  4. As Manish part owns the house with his parents, we had to consider mortgage payment for the house as well
  5. We also decided to save an amount for our post travel expenses

Once we had the above outline sorted, we managed to create an excel sheet to track how much we already had saved while how far we were from total amount. This turned the saving mode on. More to come about how we saved.

Jobs

We work so we can do more of what we like and we knew this trip will be expensive. We explored tons of options in this space.

We started by reviewing our current jobs and whether there was any scope working full-time offsite. Very quickly we realised it wasn’t a feasible option at all. We then started looking into other ways we could make money or barter for accommodation / meals. Some ideas that were explored were: waiting tables, working at cafes, bars, restaurants, resorts, picking fruits, volunteering, freelancing for digital space, house sitting, farm support, etc. As our itinerary wasn’t finalised we decided to park these options and review them at a later stage.

Our immediate next step was to plan when we can quit our existing full-time jobs. As I work in the digital advertising space, I know contractors get paid lot more. So I decided to quit by early 2015 so I have about 4 months to work as a contractor and save more. In the meantime, Manish had just started his new job 5 months ago so he decided to stay and gain more experience.

Informing Our Parents

Our plan to quit lined up very well with informing two sets of our parents about our travel plans. We basically told them – “we are quitting our jobs and going traveling for a year”. It was a tough conversation which lasted a week and we got hit by a lot of questions. Luckily we had discussed all the if’s and but’s and we manage to put them to ease :)

In summary, please allow yourself plenty of time for travel planning and ironing out details. This is just the start, there is lots more to do. See our next post about RTW Research.

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