Meet Arlie. She’s a spunky 14 year old girl who is just embarked on a RTW trip with her family. She is also the creator of the blog Redhead Wanderer. Before she left, she let us interview her to ask questions about what it’s like preparing for such a big trip:
Hi Arlie. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m 14 and from Boise, Idaho. I like reading, art, diy, sewing, cooking, baking, school.
Tell us a bit about your family you are traveling with:
My dad, Steve, owns a construction company, so he is able to work remotely and go on this trip. He loves fishing! My mom, Dottie, has red hair just like me, and she loves cooking, baking and running. My little sister, Millie, is 10 years old, in 5th grade, and she likes school, art. My other little sister, Norah, is 8 years old, and she loves playing basketball, roller-skating, ice-skating, and being spunky.
How did the idea to take this trip come about?
My parents have always wanted to do something like this. Last January, my mom was watching “House Hunters”, and both of my parents realized that if they were ever going to go on a trip around the world, it would have to be now, because the ages of me and my sisters were perfect. I would be just starting high-school, so the schoolwork would not be too hard, and my youngest sister was old enough to go on a trip like this, and be able to handle it (3rd grade).
Where are some places you are planning on going and for how long will you be traveling?
We have our tickets booked to Bali! We are leaving on November 30th, and we will arrive in Denpasar. We will be staying in Seminyak for the first month, and Ubud for the next month.
We’ll be in Seminyak for Christmas! We are going to Australia after Bali, for probably about a month. After that we are thinking about heading to Spain, but we aren’t sure yet.
How did you pick each destination? Was it a group decision or did your parents make it based on other factors?
At first we were thinking about the US Virgin Islands, then my parents decided it would be better to be somewhere out of the US. Next, we thought about going to South America, but we decided that being around Europe would be better for us. We did talk about it as a family, but my parents made the ultimate decision. We chose Bali because we had friends that have spent a lot of time in Bali and loved it. My mom and dad have been to India, and they love the culture there. We found out that Bali’s culture is similar to India’s. Also, the culture in Bali is drastically different than the US, and we want that. We chose Australia because we can only get a 60 day tourist visa into Bali before we have to leave and return to the country if we want to get a new visa. Australia is relatively close to Bali, and we just think it would be so cool to go there! After that we have to decide if we want to go back to Bali or not. At some point, we are tentatively planning on going to Spain, because we had already been learning Spanish, when we were planning on going to South America. Also, we wanted to go somewhere in Europe.
How long did it take to decide on your route? How did your route evolve as you planned your trip?
We started planning the trip in January 2015, and we bought the tickets to Bali about a month ago. It isn’t even fully solidified yet, though. That will happen during the trip! I described how our route evolved in the last question.
Where have you traveled before (near or far)? So far, which place have you liked the most?
Ok, here’s a list! (This is just what I can remember, I’m sure I’ve been other places too!
- California, US – We go to Sacramento a couple times a year, and we’ve been to other cities like San Francisco, Roseville, Anaheim (Disneyland), etc.
- Oregon, US – Ontario (My mom was born there),
- Washington, US – Seattle, Sunnyside
- Utah, US – Salt Lake (I just went here to go to a Taylor Swift concert! It was her 1989 tour that she is still currently doing.), Park City
- Other places in Idaho – Coeur D’alene, Mcall, Sun Valley, etc.
- New York, US – I was a baby, so I can’t remember, but I’m sure it was awesome!
- Maine – I was little when my mom and dad used to go here, so I can’t remember this either, but they loved going to the coast!
- Florida – Orlando (My mom and dad surprised my sisters and I and took us to Disneyworld. It was so much fun!), Naples
- Hawaii – Kauai – So fun! This is probably the “biggest trip” I’ve ever gone on!
So, as you can see, I’ve never been outside the US, and this will be so crazy and awesome! I loved the big destinations like Kauai and Disneyworld, but I love going to Sacramento, California, because we have good friends there who always let us stay at their house, and we’ve been going there since I was little. The memories I have there are amazing!
How long have you and your family been preparing for this RTW adventure?
We’ve been “preparing” since January by getting all the details of the trip lined up, but we really started probably around a month ago.
Can you tell us any specific things you’ve done to get prepared?
Here are some things we’ve done to get prepared:
- Started packing around a week ago – We are only taking carryons ( a backpack and a suitcase), so we can’t bring much! Me and my sisters also have to fit our school stuff in our luggage.
- Found somebody to housesit for us – A lady my mom knows, named Lindsey, is staying at our house while we are gone.
- Researched the countries we are going
- Try to eat most of the food in our pantry and fridge!
- Get our house in order
- Organize and manage all the little logistics
- Shop for things we will need there
- Plan our departure
- Enroll my sisters in k12 (Idaho Virtual Academy), so they can keep up with school while we are traveling. I’ve already enrolled there. They have been going to private school up until Thanksgiving break.
- I’ve worked ahead one week in school (online school), so I will have some time off when I get there.
How did you and your family save for this trip?
My dad owns his own construction company, so he will be able to work traveling. He will receive the same income that he usually does, and we have planned to live inside that income, including airfare. We haven’t been saving, but we will live on the same income as we do at home. We cut back on buying things we don’t need, because it’s useless when you are about to go on a RTW trip with only carry ons.
What’s been the hardest part about preparing for this trip? What’s been the most fun part?
I would say the hardest part about preparing for this trip for me has been adjusting to online school, because I’ve gone to a private school with social interaction my entire life. Also, working ahead has been hard, because IDVA already gives us a lot of work, and I had to work ahead while adjusting to online school. Let’s just say I had a lot of late nights! The most fun part, I think has been the anticipation for the trip, and packing, which ties into anticipation. Starting up my blog has been fun too!
What are some things you are hoping to learn on this RTW trip?
I hope to learn about different cultures, how to cook their food, what they wear, how they act, etc. I also want to start doing some yoga, but I’m a Christian, so I would want to keep it strictly for exercise. I know yoga is a controversial topic in the Christian community. I am just excited to learn everything! I’d like to learn a little Balinese, hike the volcano in Bali, snorkeling (hopefully at the Great Barrier Reef!), and ride on a motorcycle, with somebody else driving, of course, in Bali. I also want to practice and learn more Spanish while I’m in Spain.
How about the rest of your family – What are some things they’d like to learn or do?
My dad wants to learn Spanish, and learn how to surf-fish (fish from the bank). My mom wants to do some cooking classes, learn Spanish, and settle down. My sister Millie wants to learn how to snorkel. My sister Norah wants to see a Balinese dance, learn some Balinese, wear Balinese clothes, go to a monkey forest in Bali, and learn Spanish.
You are about to go on a journey around the world. Is there anything you are nervous about?
I’m a little nervous for the long plane ride over the ocean, but I know it will be ok.
What are you most excited for?
I am excited for everything! I just can’t wait to see the different cultures everywhere!