Each Tuesday, though, we are going to highlight one traveler from our traveler profiles and offer up a little more information about them. Learn more about traveler of the week Amber below, a round the world veteran who is currently on her second long-term trip, and this time the plan is for it to be permanent!
What is your #1 tip for those struggling with making the decision to go?
If you are even considering a RTW, just do it! There are about a thousand reasons (or excuses) why not to go. If you don’t do it, though, you will be saddled with regret for years to come! The predictable life you have come to know as “normal” will be waiting when (or if) you return.
What is your #1 tip for those planning their round the world trip right now?
Depends on how far in advance you start planning – we started almost two years out, and started to save money big time. We did not want to set a budget and travel until we were penniless. We wanted a safety net in case of an emergency and a cushion for our return. As part of our saving, we also applied for some credit cards with great mileage promos, using the Frugal Travel Guy and other similar websites as guides, to stock up on mileage before we left. This helped to defray some of our flight costs – one of the largest chunks of a RTW budget.
What is the one thing that worried you most before the trip that turned out to be no big deal?
Safety. Obviously you have to be careful, but there is a fine line between being overly cautious and reckless. Sometimes I feel that my conservatism unnecessarily kept me from what could have been a more authentic experience. We spent 14 months on the road without serious problems, other than being cheated a few times in China, so perhaps it was the right amount of caution. I feel that I might not have made the most of the experiences that came my way.
If you could go back in time and do your (first) trip over again, what’s the one thing you would do differently?
Make fewer plans! I would pick one place that I really want to go and then figure it out from there. We planned way too much ahead of time. We had a few scheduled flights, some volunteer opportunities, and visits from friends that made our trip more set than I would prefer.
What has motivated you to do it all over again?
Why would I not want to do it all again? I taught English in central Vietnam, went bungee jumping in New Zealand, got massaged by an elephant in Thailand, ate Balinese pig, Shanghai soup dumplings, Brazilian feijoada, “Nonna’s” Bolognese in Tuscany, kangaroo in Australia, and tasted Argentine wines. I met fantastic people along the way and have friends all over the world.
There is so much of the world yet to see, so many great places we want to return to, and so many friends to visit. But, most of all, I love waking up each day to something new and different! I was in a rut at home, living a monotonous existence – that certainly is not the case when traveling long term.