“’If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet” – Rachel Wolchin
I decided years ago that I wanted to travel. I didn’t know where exactly (although Africa and Italy were always big dreams of mine), when exactly or for how long, but I knew I was going to travel. I told my cousin Claire that I wanted to travel the world and she recommended an amazing blog of her friends Skott and Shawana (http://www.getupandglobe.com/).
I spent the next couple of days devouring post after post, following along on their 15 month journey around the world. It took my breath away and gave me butterflies thinking about going on a crazy adventure like this myself someday.
I became obsessed.
I read travel blog after travel blog for months on end. Slowly but surely my travel plans began to take root in my mind like a stubborn weed that NO one would be able to pull out. A route was mapped out. An approximate departure date was chosen. Money was being saved. My nights consisted of hours on end on the Internet, my search engine was overwhelmed with hostels, flights, and countries- things to do, things to see, things to eat! I was bitten savagely by the travel bug and I was savouring every minute of its venom coursing through my veins. I dreamt and planned and dreamt some more.
I decided I would travel the world.
I would start in Guatemala in February 2015. I would take four weeks of one on one Spanish lessons at the start of my journey ensuring two things- one, that I could communicate with many of the locals in their own language, and two, that I could cross ‘learn a new language’ off my bucket list. After studying and staying at the Cooperative School in San Pedro (where Skott and Shawna studied) for 4 weeks, I would move on and travel through Central and South America for the next 4 or 5 months. I would stay longer if I felt the pull to stay, but if not, I would move on to Europe.
This part in my planning is rather hazy- Europe is expensive and I’m traveling on a budget, so I don’t want to spend too much time here and thereby spend too much money. However there are a handful of countries that have been constantly suggested to me, sometimes outright, sometimes subliminally by the universe (Scotland, Iceland, Norway) that I absolutely have to visit. I would love to see some of Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Trukey, Spain and Portugal. But the truth is, I could end up traveling to every country in Europe, or to none of the countries mentioned above- I am really leaving Europe wide open to how I feel when I get there (and how quickly my pockets lighten). I would then like to move on to Africa in late fall to see Morrocco, Egypt, Tanzania, South Africa and Namibia (don’t worry friends and family, I’m steering clear of any Ebola infected countries). From here I’d like to move over to India and slowly travel around this vast country. I plan to get my yoga teacher training while in India which is a month long course, and I’d like to travel around for at least another month or two, hopefully meeting up with my dear friend Maddie before moving on through Nepal, Bangadesh and Myanmar. Next up I will be moving along into South East Asia: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand will be thoroughly explored. After however long my heart desires or my wallet allows, I’ll move on to island hop down through Malaysia and Indonesia. Lastly, I’ll jump over to the Philippines and then end in Australia and New Zealand.
This is my tentative travel itinerary. There are no time limits but I am trying to chase summer around the globe so I will travel accordingly- who wants to be in Europe in January anyway?
I stress tentative, because while I would love to visit all of these countries, and while I think I’ve mapped out a well rounded and eco-friendly route (no backtracking, lots of land travel), I am completely open to changing my route for any number of reasons. My route will depend entirely on the people I meet and the state of the countries I plan on visiting. Some of the countries I want to visit may be closed off to travellers for health or safety reasons, like civil unrest, outbreaks, war, natural disasters, etc. I want to ensure I’m traveling smart and safe, so I have to be open to changing my route to accommodate unforeseen problems. And who knows? I may meet someone in Europe who wants to travel the Trans Siberian Railway through Russia, a country I never intended to visit, and find myself buying a rail ticket the next day.
I think the trick to traveling the world is to leave yourself open to possibility- If you rigidly schedule in your route and don’t leave room for change, you may end up bitterly disappointed when things don’t work out the way you planned. So while I have this vast and exciting route lined up, it’s merely a guideline, a suggestion of all the lands I’d like my feet to explore, my eyes to drink in their views, my mouth to feast on their food and my soul to connect to their people.