BootsnAll indie travel guide

Tina Pruett – Round-the-World Traveler

  1. When did you go on your RTW trip?
    March 2004-August 2004

  2. How old were you when you took this trip?
    23

  3. Including your air ticket and other expenses (from accommodation to souvenir-buying), about how much did your trip cost?
    $14000

  4. Nationality
    USA

  5. Where do you live now?
    San Francisco, USA

  6. Occupation

    Before your trip: Office Manager
    Now: Office Manager

  7. How did your travels affect your career when you got back?
    I was laid off from my position about 2 months before I had planned to quit to leave. Upon returning it took me a few months before finding a new job, but was able to get a better position in the same field. However, this is not a career for me, rather a job to save money for future travels and graduate school.

  8. What is the route you took/places you visited?
    I flew from San Francisco to London, visiting London and Bristol before flying to Dublin, Ireland. From there I went to Madrid, Segovia, and Barcellona. After leaving Spain I headed to Carcasonne, France en route to Paris. From Paris I went to Florence, Sorrento, Amalfi, Napples, Rome, and Venice. I left Italy for Vienna, Austria before heading to Budapest, Hungry, and Prauge in the Czech Republic. From there it was on to Berlin, before Amsterdam, and back to London for a few days before heading north to Edinburgh, flying to Paris again for a couple of days, and finally the Cinque Terre in Italy. At which point it was back to London via Milan to catch a flight to Bangkok, before heading south in Thailand to Koh Tao, Koh Phangnan, Krabi, and Koh Phi Phi. After regroupuing in Bangkok, I headed north again to Kanchanaburi and Chaing Mai. From Thailand i flew to Bali, traveled most of the island as well as the Gili islands in Lombok, before heading to Sydney Australia. From Sydney I flew up north to Cairns and worked my way down the east coast stopping in Airlie Beach, the Whitsundays, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island, Bryon Bay, and back to Syndey. From Sydney I flew to Christchurch, New Zealand and then onto Queenstown. Finally returning to San Francisco from Queenstown 5 1/2 months after my departure.

  9. Why did you decide to take this trip? What got you into this type of travel, and/or influenced you to go?
    I have worked in the box office at a festival called Burningman that takes place in the Nevada Desert for the last 2 years. The first year that I was working there, my supervisor was from the UK, and I was chatting with her about how I wanted to travel, and how I had no idea how to fit all the places I wanted to see in time or money wise. Despite extensive domestic travels and mutliple trips to Mexico in the past, I had never really traveled abroad. She was the one who told me about the airline alliances and RTW tickets, and upon returning home circumstances fell into place and my research had led me to a ticket that let me see many of the countries I had always wanted to visit. Almost on impulse, I put a deposit down on a ticket about 4 months before my planned departure.

  10. Out of all your experiences traveling around the world, what was the:

    • Best Moment

      It’s hard to choose just one.
    • Worst Moment

      There were times where things were difficult and challenging, but I think those experiences contributed to the overall experience.
    • Biggest Hurdle, Obstacle or Difficulty?

      I think the biggest challenge was overcomming my natural shy tendencies and learning to reach out and be more confident
    • Biggest surprise?

      When I realised that I didn’t care to come home.

  11. Who is the most memorable person you met on your trip and why?
    I met many people who I have kept in contact with. I suposse the most memorable would have been a romanic interest that I met. We have kept in contact as friends however, as he lives in Europe. But I met many others that I still maintain contact with.

  12. How much planning and preparing did you do?
    Winged it a lot

  13. What was your favorite piece of gear?
    my digital camera

  14. What did you bring, that in hindsight you could’ve left at home?
    a water filtering system, flashlight that was too bulky and rarely used, too many clothes.

  15. How did your round-the-world trip change your life? How did it affect and change you as a person?
    It affected my life and who I am in so many ways it is impossible to give a simple answer. It made me reevaluate what i want and am looking for in life, and it changed my personal values. It gave me a greater understanding of other cultures, and of myself. It taught me to be more confident and outgoing, and more self-reliant.

  16. If you had to sum up your round-the-world trip in one sentence, what would it be?
    The best thing i have ever done.

  17. Are you planning more trips and travels for the future? Are you planning another round-the-world trip?
    Yes. I am going on a short trip to Guatemala and Honduras, and in the very early stages of planning a more organized and long-term RTW trip in the next few years.

  18. Why do you think people should go on round-the-world trips? Why not just take a regular old one- or two-week vacation instead?
    I think it’s really hard to get out the tourist route and into a traveling mode in a one or two week period. Its also very difficult to see even one country in 1-2 weeks, let alone multiple places. You get a much better feel for the culture and lifestyle of a place by staying there longer, and you don’t feel as obligated to cram as much tourist stuff into your trip.

  19. What is the most valuable thing you learned?
    Life has its ups and downs where ever you are, and you cannot expect everything to go according to some plan anymore on the road than you can at home.

  20. What is the biggest myth that people have about round-the-world traveling?
    That they cannot afford to do it. Many people think it is something that only the very privillaged can do, and that they will never save enough money or have enough time to do it. But the reality is, it is about priorities, and there are many ways that people can save more money by making that goal their priority. And unfortunately many people feel like they cannot leave their jobs or careers.. but what most people don’t realize it that they will likely find something similar or better when they return, and in the long run, will have gained so much more by leaving that they would be giving up in job opportunity by staying.

  21. Why do you like to travel?
    I like the variety and excitement of new places, people, cultures, things to do, etc. I also love that it is a continual learning experience.

  22. What is your advice for people planning their own RTW trip?
    Planning ahead is great, but the best part of traveling is to have the flexibility to change your itinerary. Be open to suggestions from other travelers or locals you meet along the way. Some of my favorite places were places that I had not originally intended to go, but had learned about from the people I crossed paths with. And while guide books can be helpful, they are not the end all and be all. And more likely than not, will end up being dead weight in your pack.. Use them for your pre-trip reasearch, but don’t rely on them too much on the road.


RTW Guide - Table of Contents