How did we get the idea of traveling the world? That’s actually a good question without a straightforward answer. Because next to the idea, there were also doubts and reasons why to go. This eventually lead to our decision. We will talk you through these four points.
The idea to go on a world tour
We don’t exactly remember when we first thought of traveling the world. However, we know that it was a looooong process and probably started more than two years ago, back in 2018. We already loved to travel, but the time was always too short to discover everything we wanted to see and experience.
We were in Bovec (Slovenia), 10 years after Janice was in New Zeeland and Australia. We came back from whitewater rafting on the Soča River; the scenery and the just-finished experience ignited great travel memories from former times in Janice. In this moment, Janice thought: “it would be so great for Ralph to experience this as well”. Janice brought up the subject:
“How awesome would it be if we would travel around the world together?“
Ralph liked the idea to go on a world tour, but he wasn’t convinced yet. All kinds of questions started to pop up in his mind:
- Wouldn’t it look bad on my CV if I have a gap in between jobs?
- What about the money; how much will it cost?
- When I come back, I will have nothing, except insecurity…
Obviously, there are many doubts if you think about doing a trip around the world. It will even get more intense before making the decision. The reaction of friends, family and colleagues differ greatly when you tell them about the idea, which push you either toward a “yes” or a “no”.
For example, some people (which mostly haven’t been travelling to different countries yet) try to tell you that “those countries” are super dangerous and that “those people” will rob you or that you die in a car accident. Besides, you get sick because of scary diseases or weird food… Luckily, we know better and can calmly ignore these comments.
Reasons why to go on a tour around the world
While many points addressed above are important, their “true” importance is obviously dependent on your own values and life goals. We are not materialistic. For instance, instead of buying new stuff, we really appreciate new experiences. Similarly to our thoughts, many people that were very enthusiastic expressed one of the following reasons why to travel the world:
- It’s a once in a lifetime experience;
- It doesn’t even cost as much money as most people think;
- If we don’t do it now, we’ll never do it again (perfect timing);
- You gain so many new experiences, but don’t lose any competences. By contrast, you’ll gain some (e.g. learn a new language or improve it, learn something new like making your own website / blog, et cetera);
- You’ll meet new people, cultures and make new friends;
- You have the time to make a multiple day hike without spending all your holidays for this;
- Get away from the busy 24/7 society and slow down.
For people that want to go on a world trip and have doubts, we created the “mmmm, is this such a good idea” table. We have written down several questions that people asked us, and gave answers.
|Question/doubts||Our point of view|
|How can you even afford this?||Many people think that they could never afford a long trip, but it is relatively cheap if you don’t stay in 4-star hotels with all-inclusive programs. We plan to spend ca. 1000 Euros p.p. a month.|
|What will you do with your house, job and career?||We cancelled our apartment, because we already had the idea of moving. This was the perfect moment to do so. We stored our belongings in a self-storage. Ralphs PhD-contract ended and Janice quit her job. After the trip, we can make a fresh start. Not a problem, if you are willing to let go.|
|When I come back, I will have nothing, except insecurity…||No problem in developed countries such as the Netherlands and Germany. Much is possible, if you truly want it. Get a new job, rent a new (small, old, not so nicely situated) home… We’ll probably be much faster stuck in a new everyday routine than we want.|
|Why would you go this long?|
Is 1 month not enough?
|1 month is a nice time to travel a single country, but we want to see many countries and “slow down”. Furthermore, such a 1-month trip requires many holiday-hours. Also, after traveling for 1 month you typically are more tired than before, because there was not much time to relax.|
|Wouldn’t it look bad on my CV if I have a gap in between jobs?||If people/organizations see such an experience as a gap, people like us should probably not work there. As mentioned above, we’ll gain a lot of new experiences and skills. In addition, life is not solely about furthering your career, but about “living the life you want”.|
The decision to go on a long-term trip was made in Slovenia, but it still felt unreal because we did not express a “yes” and did not have a “let’s do this” feeling. However, we already started to discuss travel destinations and created a bucket list. We watched many vlogs and Janice read many blogs of people doing similar things. It was quite clear that we both were very interested in discovering Latin America, especially about Chile (Patagonia).
In September 2019, we were on a holiday in Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura. We were enjoying an awesome Airbnb with our own swimming pool and stunning mountain views. Here, Janice checked the price of a one-way ticket to Chile. The price for a ticket to Santiago de Chile was actually very low for March 2020. Janice got very enthusiastic and told Ralph about it. He also got enthusiastic, in particular about the good price and perfect timing (1 month after Ralph’s PhD contract would end). After some consideration and planning, we took the leap: we booked the flight.