Author Topic: Round The World trip? How would you do it?  (Read 11015 times)

spartana

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Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« on: January 14, 2020, 02:25:22 PM »
If you are FIRE, or just plan to take longer sabbatticals, and wanted to do a round the world trip how would you do it? How long would you/could you take? How much do you think you'd spend? What mode of transports would you use? What kind of accommodations? Would you do it as one long trip and break it up into smaller trips over time with returns to a home base in between?  Etc...

More or less a nosey hypothetical question at this point but am looking at ideas and inspiration.BTW full on gloating about your awesome trips is VERY welcome. No humble bragging please, just bragging ;-).
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 02:33:41 PM by spartana »

EndlessJourney

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2020, 03:32:31 PM »
Am I allowed to chime in, or have you already heard enough from me? :)

spartana

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2020, 03:40:06 PM »
Am I allowed to chime in, or have you already heard enough from me? :)
Lol. Yeap I can never hear enough about your adventures. I've done a very tiny bit of what you guys are doing but just in the US but they were a fantastic (and super inexpensive) experiences. Now I'm more likely to stay in one place longer and rent an apt or room by the month and travel by public transit or bike but am freer now to pursue other options. The people around here are very well travelled and often have journals but its nice to hear others ideas and plans.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 03:42:01 PM by spartana »

yyc-phil

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2020, 03:53:36 PM »
Definitely by road, with the obvious shipping of the vehicle by cargo ship. First, finish Mexico (we've been crisscrossing Mexico for the past three years) and Central America, then ship the truck over the Darian Gap from Panama to Colombia, travel the continent, then off to South Africa...then who knows...That's the plan, once we iron out a few practical details and get over a significant setback (truck, truck camper, and all my camping/tools/outdoor gear were stolen in Calgary last December, a day before heading south...truck recovered with damages, camper and everything still missing, currently fighting with the insurance company about coverage for the truck camper itself) so we can resume our adventure and take it to the next phase.

ixtap

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 04:08:02 PM »
We plan to combine boats, planes and automobiles.

We plan to start our post career life by cruising on a sailboat. That will sometimes require other means of transportation to get inland and sometimes entire seasons (aka hurricane season) of doing something else. Either during hurricane season or after getting tired of the sailboat, we will likely get an RV. For example, we might leave the boat in Australia for hurricane season, while we travel inland Asia or get an RV in Europe.

Watchmaker

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2020, 04:11:15 PM »
We've talked about starting FIRE off with a RTW trip. I'm interested in the idea of doing RTW without flying and I'd love part of the trip to be on a sail boat, but SO isn't so keen on either of those ideas. I find air travel to be disconnecting, so I don't feel a sense of continuity from one location to another when I fly. (For that reason walking is my preferred method of travel, and I have plans of doing some longer walks in the future, but no interest in walking around the world.) Our compromise would probably be: trains as much as possible, cars when trains aren't an option, and some connecting flights between land segments.

Here's the thing--the longest vacation I've ever taken as an adult was 10 days, so I have no idea what six months or a year of travel would be like for me. But I like the sound of taking a whole year for the trip.

I haven't looked into the economics carefully, but from reading a few different travel blogs I could easily see spending $50k on the trip (for 2).

Dee18

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2020, 04:30:57 PM »
I did an around the world trip many years ago.  I started in New Zealand, and kept going west...Australia, Singapore, Philippines, China, India, Nepal, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland, Ireland and home to the U.S.  I stayed mostly in hostels.  I had an around the world plane ticket and used public transportation within countries.  It was an amazing year.  I thought I might repeat it when I retired, but now I think I would much rather do several shorter trips—a maximum of 3 months at a time, unless I have work or friends to visit somewhere to anchor me a bit.

spartana

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2020, 04:50:58 PM »
I did an around the world trip many years ago.  I started in New Zealand, and kept going west...Australia, Singapore, Philippines, China, India, Nepal, Kenya, Egypt, Turkey, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland, Ireland and home to the U.S.  I stayed mostly in hostels.  I had an around the world plane ticket and used public transportation within countries.  It was an amazing year.  I thought I might repeat it when I retired, but now I think I would much rather do several shorter trips—a maximum of 3 months at a time, unless I have work or friends to visit somewhere to anchor me a bit.
This is kind of where I'm at too. Did it as a grungy hostel staying backpacker years ago when I first quit work and still have that desire, and now have the ability since I no longer have pets, but looking more at doing it in big chunks rather than one long trip of a couple of years like last time. Don't know what I will do but like hearing different ideas and experiences. Right now I have a plane ticket to Europe and a two month Eurail Pass burning a hole in my pocket so that will be my starting point this spring.

norajean

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2020, 05:00:32 PM »
Definitely no planes and possibly no plans.  Just jump a steamer bound east or west and take it from there.   I would head to either Europe or Japan first and then take it from there.  Ships, trains, cars, bikes, etc should manage the rest.  I would spend most time in eastern and southern Europe and SE asia.  I've had enough of Australia, NZ, Southern Africa, South America and Antarctica.  And would probably skip large parts of Russia, China, India and the mid-east.

Shane

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2020, 05:06:36 PM »
After visiting Europe this spring, maybe you'd enjoy taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing? From China, or maybe Hong Kong if things have settled down there by then, you could get a cheap flight back to SOCAL...

secondcor521

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2020, 05:14:54 PM »
You might like reading the "Vagabonding" book by Rolf Potts:

https://www.amazon.com/Vagabonding-Uncommon-Guide-Long-Term-Travel/dp/0812992180

Cassie

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2020, 05:18:06 PM »
I get homesick after a month of travel with or without dogs:)).  We are going to Europe for a month in August and hope to keep the costs down to 10k. We are going to Warsaw, rybnik, Vienna, Prague, Ireland and Scotland. Very excited!

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2020, 05:25:14 PM »
If you are FIRE, and wanted to do a round the world trip how would you do it?

Though I like staying  in my nest I have thought about taking a trip around the world.

I don't like to fly and I enjoy trains so I'd definitely travel the world by ship and train. And probably a rented or  fold-up/portable bike.

How long would you/could you take?

IDK, maybe a year? I do know I wouldn't be in  a hurry. I could take as much time as I wanted.

How much do you think you'd spend?

I'm not a  traveler  so I don't have a frame of reference as to cost. Maybe $100,000 - $150,000 for a year-long trip?


What kind of accommodations?

I'd stay  in  hotels  in small towns/small cities off the beaten path.

Would you do it as one long trip and break it up into smaller trips over time with returns to a home base in between?  Etc...

I am certain it would be 1 long trip w/ no return to home base until my trip was over.

More or less a nosey hypothetical question at this point but am looking at ideas and inspiration.BTW full on gloating about your awesome trips is VERY welcome. No humble bragging please, just bragging ;-).
« Last Edit: January 14, 2020, 05:50:23 PM by John Galt incarnate! »

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2020, 05:31:31 PM »
After visiting Europe this spring, maybe you'd enjoy taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing? From China, or maybe Hong Kong if things have settled down there by then, you could get a cheap flight back to SOCAL...


I like trains.

If I ever take a trip around the world a ride on the Orient Express is a MUST.

ixtap

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2020, 05:32:44 PM »
After visiting Europe this spring, maybe you'd enjoy taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing? From China, or maybe Hong Kong if things have settled down there by then, you could get a cheap flight back to SOCAL...


I like trains.

If I ever take a trip around the world a ride of the Orient Express is a MUST.

I hear the Rocky Mountaineer through Western Canada is pretty great.

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2020, 05:35:43 PM »
After visiting Europe this spring, maybe you'd enjoy taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing? From China, or maybe Hong Kong if things have settled down there by then, you could get a cheap flight back to SOCAL...


I like trains.

If I ever take a trip around the world a ride of the Orient Express is a MUST.

I hear the Rocky Mountaineer through Western Canada is pretty great.

I've heard about that trip or one that's similar from people who took it.

I'm sure I'd enjoy it.

spartana

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2020, 05:39:50 PM »
After visiting Europe this spring, maybe you'd enjoy taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing? From China, or maybe Hong Kong if things have settled down there by then, you could get a cheap flight back to SOCAL...
My plane ticket is round trip but could blow off the return as it was inexpensive. Also am a dual passport holder with the UK so that opens up longer stays in Europe so that's probably what I'd do first. Also want to visit Russia as I've never been (my Mom is from a former German city on the Baltic that now belongs to Russia so would like to go there ). After that???  Not sure how I will feel about going longer than 4 months at time but that seems so short now. I will be going solo but have a semi-FIREd BF who can meet me for long stretches so that's helpful for longer stays..

SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2020, 05:44:07 PM »
Heading off on our small sailboat this year, not with plans to circumnavigate but "initial" goal is New Zealand and it might take us 10 years to get there. There's a lot to see between here (US East Coast) and there! We love sailing as a way to travel for a lot of reasons, but taking our own home and being self-sufficient ranks right up there.

Part of our budgeting focus is making sure we have enough funds to enjoy land travel in places where that experience is unique. We cruised (lived and traveled on the same small boat) for 3 years in the early 90s and still remember being in Venezuela, where fellow boaters were planning a trip to Angel Falls. $200 a person for the 3 day adventure. We had to pass. Unless things change drastically in Venezuela, that option won't be available again.

I wouldn't trade the time we had aboard back then for anything, but one of our compromises on boat size (keeping the same boat we've owned since 1992) is to allow us to NOT pass on opportunities like this when they come up.

We love markets and learning about local foods as a way to get insight into culture.

SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2020, 05:46:39 PM »
We plan to combine boats, planes and automobiles.

We plan to start our post career life by cruising on a sailboat. That will sometimes require other means of transportation to get inland and sometimes entire seasons (aka hurricane season) of doing something else. Either during hurricane season or after getting tired of the sailboat, we will likely get an RV. For example, we might leave the boat in Australia for hurricane season, while we travel inland Asia or get an RV in Europe.

Yay another cruiser!

Ozlady

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2020, 09:45:29 PM »
Hi
If i were to one day do a Round the world trip, i would like to follow similar footsteps: eg follow the journey of the book Round the world in 80 days or other similar themes like Marco Polo or Paul Thereoux :))

ixtap

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2020, 10:22:08 PM »
We plan to combine boats, planes and automobiles.

We plan to start our post career life by cruising on a sailboat. That will sometimes require other means of transportation to get inland and sometimes entire seasons (aka hurricane season) of doing something else. Either during hurricane season or after getting tired of the sailboat, we will likely get an RV. For example, we might leave the boat in Australia for hurricane season, while we travel inland Asia or get an RV in Europe.

Yay another cruiser!

We have only done the local coast, so far. But we did live on the boat for four years before the commute got too bad. DH did the Baja Haha with a friend this year. Boyz only :(

Current plan is to sign another two year lease on the condo, then leave June 2022.

@Ozlady , plenty of books about sailing the world!


spartana

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2020, 12:25:32 AM »
Heading off on our small sailboat this year, not with plans to circumnavigate but "initial" goal is New Zealand and it might take us 10 years to get there. There's a lot to see between here (US East Coast) and there! We love sailing as a way to travel for a lot of reasons, but taking our own home and being self-sufficient ranks right up there.

Part of our budgeting focus is making sure we have enough funds to enjoy land travel in places where that experience is unique. We cruised (lived and traveled on the same small boat) for 3 years in the early 90s and still remember being in Venezuela, where fellow boaters were planning a trip to Angel Falls. $200 a person for the 3 day adventure. We had to pass. Unless things change drastically in Venezuela, that option won't be available again.

I wouldn't trade the time we had aboard back then for anything, but one of our compromises on boat size (keeping the same boat we've owned since 1992) is to allow us to NOT pass on opportunities like this when they come up.

We love markets and learning about local foods as a way to get insight into culture.
You're living my original FIRE plan life! The (now ex) DH and I had planned to quit our jobs once we were 38 and take our small sailboat (we were live aboard) and go cruising. Ended up separated before that and eventually divorced instead and I FIREd and went travelling solo for a bit.  Not on a boat though. I'm a landlubber now and like it but its hard to beat the cost of sailing on your own boat!

spartana

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2020, 12:32:48 AM »
You might like reading the "Vagabonding" book by Rolf Potts:

https://www.amazon.com/Vagabonding-Uncommon-Guide-Long-Term-Travel/dp/0812992180
I heard of that book before but never read it. I'll see if my library has it. A friend of mine calls me the Wandering Waif as a joke because I like the super low budget kind of travel. Apparently I look more like a homeless vagabond street urchin then a sophisticated world traveller so that book is probably right up my alley.

I know you've travelled a lot recently so am curious as to how you'd do it. I guess kids and family obligation tie you down now so may be harder to envision. After a couple of years messing around in the US west with part time van camping,  I think that kind of travel would be great with kids of any age. I'd like to be unencumbered from a vehicle if I travel again and think it would be great to take trains, buses,  bikes, feet. I do hate flying though but hard to get around that unless its a long overland trip.

FWIW I'm once again a home owner but have a roommate who's rent covers all my expenses.  So even though I'm somewhat tied down I feel a bit freer (no pets any more) then I have in the past. I think my budget would be around $2k/month solo and less if sharing expenses.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 01:20:06 AM by spartana »

Magnolia

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2020, 03:37:54 AM »
Has anyone had any experience with Workaway? I am interested in doing this in the future. My future travel plans are to try and travel in 3 months blocks as after three months of travelling I am usually craving  for normalacy again.
It is definitely a plus to have a round the world airfare even if you do not use it as Customs can give you a bit of grief if they suspect that you intend to work or stay illegally. CUstoms in the U.K., Canada and USA did not really believe my having a six month break to travel story. Having the return airfare ticket did help.

In the U.K. I joined a housesitters website andthere were heaps of opportunities for short term housesitting looking after people's animals whilst they went away. I did not end up doing this but it would be a good way to travel more cheaply as accomodation is the biggest expense.

I have also looked at Earthwatch as they offer short interesting stints helping with scientific research. I would not say it is a cheap travel option but certainly would be a great experience.





Shane

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2020, 05:41:12 AM »
Has anyone had any experience with Workaway? I am interested in doing this in the future. My future travel plans are to try and travel in 3 months blocks as after three months of travelling I am usually craving  for normalacy again.
It is definitely a plus to have a round the world airfare even if you do not use it as Customs can give you a bit of grief if they suspect that you intend to work or stay illegally. CUstoms in the U.K., Canada and USA did not really believe my having a six month break to travel story. Having the return airfare ticket did help.

In the U.K. I joined a housesitters website andthere were heaps of opportunities for short term housesitting looking after people's animals whilst they went away. I did not end up doing this but it would be a good way to travel more cheaply as accomodation is the biggest expense.

I have also looked at Earthwatch as they offer short interesting stints helping with scientific research. I would not say it is a cheap travel option but certainly would be a great experience.
@Magnolia Our family of 3 did Workaway on a small farm in NZ in 2017. It was generally a good experience. Allowed us to get to know a local family and see what their lives were like. I enjoyed the physical labor on the farm more than my wife and, at that time, 8 year old daughter. It was nice to not have to pay for accommodations for 2+ weeks, but the trade off was we weren't really free to do as we liked every day. Since the farm was in the middle of nowhere and we didn't have a car, in two weeks we only, actually, left the farm once. Most days, after we completed our assigned farm chores, we just hung out at the farm, reading books, taking walks on the property, helping to cook dinner, talking, etc. I wouldn't mind doing Workaway again, some day, maybe when our daughter is a little older, so she can contribute to the work exchange, as well.

itchyfeet

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2020, 09:59:31 AM »
We have travelled plenty over our lives and with FIRE approaching I had been planning long RTW victory lap.

But now, with FIRE imminent, I am feeling RTW trips are for people who are time constrained. Sounds a bit silly since there is no time limit on a RTW trip (unless you buy a RTW ticket of course), but I feel the concept of RTW means that you keep moving progressively around the world, which is to me sounding a bit too much of a commitment heading into FIRE.

I think my post FIRE travel will be much more leisurely, spontaneous and random. One way air tickets can be bought cheaply, and I imagine I will enjoy flying home when I feel like it, and not having the self imposed obligation to keep moving around the globe. I can imagine that some times I’ll want to rent a place in some far flung city or village for a few months at a time, and other times I’ll want to tour from town to town by car, boat, bike, plane or by foot. We may buy a RTW ticket at some point, who knows??

secondcor521

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2020, 12:47:38 PM »
You might like reading the "Vagabonding" book by Rolf Potts:

https://www.amazon.com/Vagabonding-Uncommon-Guide-Long-Term-Travel/dp/0812992180
I heard of that book before but never read it. I'll see if my library has it. A friend of mine calls me the Wandering Waif as a joke because I like the super low budget kind of travel. Apparently I look more like a homeless vagabond street urchin then a sophisticated world traveller so that book is probably right up my alley.

I know you've travelled a lot recently so am curious as to how you'd do it. I guess kids and family obligation tie you down now so may be harder to envision. After a couple of years messing around in the US west with part time van camping,  I think that kind of travel would be great with kids of any age. I'd like to be unencumbered from a vehicle if I travel again and think it would be great to take trains, buses,  bikes, feet. I do hate flying though but hard to get around that unless its a long overland trip.

FWIW I'm once again a home owner but have a roommate who's rent covers all my expenses.  So even though I'm somewhat tied down I feel a bit freer (no pets any more) then I have in the past. I think my budget would be around $2k/month solo and less if sharing expenses.

On the book, it's a bit more philosophical up front but then has some more practical sections later.  There is also a section on women traveling alone in there.  The book is supportive of low-cost travel IIRC, so that would align with you.

I still have "wanderlust, but..." syndrome.  There are things that tie me here - providing a home base for my kids and helping them as needed, my house that I own, my cat that owns me, and my 83-year-old Dad who is doing well now but does need some help.  So my "someday around the world" trip is getting put off.  But I don't know if I should put it off until those things resolve, or if this is just an example of there will never be a right time.

If I did go:

1.  I'd do it mostly on my own.  I'm very introverted and self-sufficient.  I might swing by my kid's house or my sister's house or something as a convenient way point, but I really value the ability to go where and when I want to and do what I want to.

2.  I'd probably do it without a vehicle.  Lots of places in the world have transportation for hire - buses, taxis, rickshaws, walking, Uber, etc.

3.  I would not buy a RTW ticket.  I want the flexibility to change my plans even more than the wide flexibility those offer (I think they let you take a year?).

4.  I would do hostels and VRBOs or AirBnB type situations probably.  Maybe even camping depending on weather.

5.  I've always imagined it as a more efficient way to just pick a direction (East or West), and then do a traveling salesman route to all the places I want to go.  The Potts book suggests that I would change my mind partway through anyway.  That'd be OK.  I'd probably want to stay in some places longer and some places shorter.

That's just me.  YMMV.

P.S. - Sorry about your dog (?)

spartana

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2020, 02:22:31 PM »
^ I'm like this as well. Not much of a planner but prefer to "drift" in a more relaxed way and just end up where I end up.  It's nice and I like that flexibility but it can be difficult to decide what to do sometimes. Now that I sold the van, set up a home base, and am able to go... wherever... for as long as I want it seems harder to decide what to do. Sooo many options! Plus I haven't travelled like that in years (just in the US on road trips) that I'm floundering a bit. Will likely just hop on a plane to Europe with a carry on backpack and no plans and do the Eurail Pass thing first. After that can see where I'm at and decide then.

ETA: would like to go north first as far as I can then head south. After that???? Will probably go in larger blocks of time (4-6 months) to one area, home for 4 to 6 months and then to a different area. Rinse and repeat. Like going in late summer and fall best.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 02:30:16 PM by spartana »

spartana

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2020, 10:33:11 AM »
Definitely by road, with the obvious shipping of the vehicle by cargo ship. First, finish Mexico (we've been crisscrossing Mexico for the past three years) and Central America, then ship the truck over the Darian Gap from Panama to Colombia, travel the continent, then off to South Africa...then who knows...That's the plan, once we iron out a few practical details and get over a significant setback (truck, truck camper, and all my camping/tools/outdoor gear were stolen in Calgary last December, a day before heading south...truck recovered with damages, camper and everything still missing, currently fighting with the insurance company about coverage for the truck camper itself) so we can resume our adventure and take it to the next phase.
Ugh sorry to hear that. It sounds like a great way to travel. I'm curious how much it costs to do it like that - especially shipping the truck. I know @EndlessJourney  and his DW ship their 2 motorcycles and it didn't seem to expensive. What would it cost for a small car or van? Doyouthink this is something a (mostly) solo woman who's  vehicle camping would be comfortable with? I've done a ton of solo camping (car, motorcycling, backpacking) but only in the US and Europe. Otherwise I stayed in hostels or BNB type lodgings.

dougules

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2020, 11:48:42 AM »
This is my favorite daydream topic.

I honestly don't think personally I'd want to pursue any grand goals like circumnavigating the globe or visiting every country.  I think for me it would prevent me from being able to get the most out of the places I do visit and would impede some flexibility on being able to change plans based on events, new discoveries, deals, etc.  I probably won't stay out for more than a month or two at a time, since I think DH will probably not want to come on most trips. 

The one exception is that I would like to take the bus from the tip of South America back home.  I'm fascinated and jealous how effective and even sometimes luxurious bus travel can be in Latin America. 

spartana

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2020, 12:06:11 PM »
^Tell me more about buses. I hadn't thought of long distance buses but that could be an option. I guess I just need to get the image of a ratty long distance  Greyhound bus out of head ;-). My sister took the Green Tortise bus once on a multiweek trip to Mexico (travel and sleep on bus) and it was cheap and fun but not luxurious. Although looking at their current website it looks much more expensive and luxurious compared to when she went. And they don't seem to go to Mexico or central or south America any more just the US. And shorter term. Oh well.  https://greentortoise.com/
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 12:13:09 PM by spartana »

dougules

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2020, 02:48:30 PM »
^Tell me more about buses. I hadn't thought of long distance buses but that could be an option. I guess I just need to get the image of a ratty long distance  Greyhound bus out of head ;-). My sister took the Green Tortise bus once on a multiweek trip to Mexico (travel and sleep on bus) and it was cheap and fun but not luxurious. Although looking at their current website it looks much more expensive and luxurious compared to when she went. And they don't seem to go to Mexico or central or south America any more just the US. And shorter term. Oh well.  https://greentortoise.com/

Buses in Latin America really run the gamut depending on where you are and what your budget is.  There are the crowded reused old yellow school buses and old beat up vans, but in more and more areas you can upgrade to really nice non-stop buses like the literal Mercedes bus I rode in in Peru.  It was the "VIP" upgrade for $10 for 200 miles, and it had big plush seats, lots of leg room, big windows, a bathroom, an attendant, and sandwiches for lunch.  Also, if there's a road there probably is some kind of bus or shared van that runs down it. 

I don't think you need a tour bus once you get south of the border.  Mexico specifically is one of the countries where you can get really nice buses on the main routes.  It seemed like the fancy buses there cost a little more than some of the cheaper countries, but $30 for 200 miles still didn't seem too bad coming from the US. 

itchyfeet

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2020, 04:26:12 AM »
I caught a bus in Peru where the chairs reclined very far and had a leg rest to allow a fairly comfortable nights sleep.

ixtap

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2020, 07:48:28 AM »
I remember how ridiculously excited I got about premade sandwiches the first time I got one of these buses.

As a woman traveling alone, the real advantage was that there single seats on one side of the bus. Even on a first class bus, there can be some creeps if you are stuck sitting side by side.

dougules

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2020, 09:11:28 AM »
I remember how ridiculously excited I got about premade sandwiches the first time I got one of these buses.

As a woman traveling alone, the real advantage was that there single seats on one side of the bus. Even on a first class bus, there can be some creeps if you are stuck sitting side by side.

The metro in Mexico City actually has special cars reserved for women and children. 

norajean

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2020, 09:12:49 AM »
I remember how ridiculously excited I got about premade sandwiches the first time I got one of these buses.

As a woman traveling alone, the real advantage was that there single seats on one side of the bus. Even on a first class bus, there can be some creeps if you are stuck sitting side by side.

The metro in Mexico City actually has special cars reserved for women and children.

And for very good reason...

Pennycounter

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2020, 09:27:10 AM »
^Tell me more about buses. I hadn't thought of long distance buses but that could be an option. I guess I just need to get the image of a ratty long distance  Greyhound bus out of head ;-). My sister took the Green Tortise bus once on a multiweek trip to Mexico (travel and sleep on bus) and it was cheap and fun but not luxurious. Although looking at their current website it looks much more expensive and luxurious compared to when she went. And they don't seem to go to Mexico or central or south America any more just the US. And shorter term. Oh well.  https://greentortoise.com/

Just commenting on green tortoise here, I have some friends who've taken trips and it's not luxurious, it's probably just the website branding. I can't speak to the prices. My friends did Yosemite and Alaska and both enjoyed it very much.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2020, 09:29:11 AM »
There was an epic show in the UK called Race Across the World (BBC, might be on YouTube). Couples traveled from London to Singapore (no planes, no phones, no planning, no cards only the cash value of two economy plane tickets and the option to work on the way). It looked really fun. I'd do something like that, but slower.

Hirondelle

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2020, 01:43:34 PM »
Ohhh love to think about this.

I agree with @itchyfeet that calling it a RTW trip sounds like it's time constrained/comes with expectations or obligations.

Once upon a time I decided to take a trip around the world. I felt time constraint as I had a bf waiting for me at home. As soon as bf and me broke up the time constraint disappeared and so did the 'the world' in around the world. I still went around, but stayed in one continent for a full year. Half of it was traveling around, the other half was spent working in my favorite country out of the 9 I visited.

The best decisions I made there?
1. Not booking any tickets up front beyond the initial one-way ticket. I had consulted a travel agency about a RTW ticket and am forever grateful I found the same trip for cheaper when looking at individual tickets and keeping it off. I would've felt obliged to take the flights and would've missed out on 99% of the amazing experiences I ended up having. At some point even tickets booked a month in advance felt like a constraint as I couldn't just tag along with any cool new friends!
2. Dare to change the plan. In the first weeks I met great people, but often said goodbye to them as our plans didn't align and I even if their plans sounded awesome I wanted to stick to my own because of point 1. At most I'd hang around in a city for a day extra, but always having in the back of my mind that I'd have to substract a day in another city for that. Post-breakup I stayed everywhere a day longer on average. Cost per day went down, cool people met went up, unexpected adventures skyrocketed, confidence to be alone increased, waiting for good opportunities to show up increased, willingness to take risks/have insecurities (e.g. couchsurfing arrangements or going places with a reservation resulting in 2h walks around town looking for a hostel) went up and led to better experiences. 

What I'd do different for a next time:
1. Feel less stress about 'the future' or forced to go back at a certain time. I felt very insecure about my career options after a year of slacking. Yet when I started applying I got interview invites for every single thing I applied for. The fact that I had done some actual work experience in a semi-relevant job on the other side of the world turned out a big plus on my resume, which I hadn't seen coming.
2. Don't feel obliged to do 'all the things' or to 'move on'. Traveling gets tiring after months. The 7th waterfall ain't as good as the 1st. Staying in one place for a long time to work got me both the chance to actually built up a life in a whole new place and to be excited again about seeing new places. Waterfalls are more special if you haven't seen one in a month or two.
3. People over places. I learned sometime halfway that for me, a big part of the fun is the people I'm surrounded with. Doing exactly the things I want is awesome, but heading from place to place by myself looking for folks to hang out with is exhausting. Now I stick with the people I like and we make seperate plans where it fits. E.g. I'm a morning person and one of my travel besties is a full blown 'won't get up before noon' person. So I plan my own stuff in the morning and drag her out of bed for lunch once I get back. I meet people on my morning activities, she with her nightly adventures and we unite them all in our lunches or dinners.

I see lots of different strategies working out for people:
A friend of mine will go in her 3rd year of travel soon. She spent her first travel year in Asia. The second was devoted to Mid-America. Now she wants to move on to South America. She literally visits only a handful of countries each time, maybe 5-6 at most, going back and forth between the ones she likes using public transport. She makes sure to go home every year for a few months and works some low-level, many-hours high season job to save up cash again.

Another friend who's FIREd has been traveling for the same 3 years. He travels higher pace and has networks everywhere after years of visiting everywhere. He usually travels 2-3 months at a time, visiting 2-4 countries in that timeframe. Then he heads home for a couple weeks and off again to another part of the world. He was the one who made me realize that traveling/living of your investments is actually possible.

Personally I'd like a pace somewhere in the middle. I'd prefer to travel slow, mostly by public transport and stay in a country as long as my visa allows it (and come back later so see the rest). Yet I'd also like the freedom to fly over to another place on a whim because some friend happens to be there. Accomodation wise staying with friends is no 1, hostels no 2 and hotels somewhere far down the line. I'll be traveling with a boyfriend soon and I'm already resenting the idea of staying in hotels for some of the days :p
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 01:46:02 PM by Hirondelle »

use2betrix

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2020, 12:34:59 PM »
If I got laid off today, we would hook up our 17’ fiberglass Casita camper and take a minimum of 3-6 months traveling North America as I have about 2 years of Sabbatical cash on deck. If I was FIRE’d, we’d stretch that into around 2 years or so. We could easily do 6+ months in the U.S., then up to Alaska, time in Canada, Baja, Mexico, Central America, and South America. For the America’s, I’d like to drive as I like that form of control. I also like our camper as it’s easy and convenient.

We’ve done two months in Asia, and found that 1-2 weeks was enough for us in most locations being’s we wanted to see a lot. If we had no timeline, we’d spend much more time just relaxing in huts by the beach. Right now, I’d be pretty happy going straight back to Phuket and spending a month or two there just bumming around. Lifting weights, running, going to the beach, markets, night clubs, etc.

I agree with other posters that my plans would be very loose. Not booking too much ahead of time as I may find I want to spend more or less time in a single location and don’t want to be overly constrained to a schedule. The best part about slow travel and not working is not needing to have any real schedule. For example, when we flew to Bangkok, we spent two weeks there and would’ve been better with 7-10 days and moving onto the next place.


spartana

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2020, 02:36:18 PM »
Ohhh love to think about this.

I agree with @itchyfeet that calling it a RTW trip sounds like it's time constrained/comes with expectations or obligations.

Once upon a time I decided to take a trip around the world. I felt time constraint as I had a bf waiting for me at home. As soon as bf and me broke up the time constraint disappeared and so did the 'the world' in around the world. I still went around, but stayed in one continent for a full year. Half of it was traveling around, the other half was spent working in my favorite country out of the 9 I visited.

The best decisions I made there?
1. Not booking any tickets up front beyond the initial one-way ticket. I had consulted a travel agency about a RTW ticket and am forever grateful I found the same trip for cheaper when looking at individual tickets and keeping it off. I would've felt obliged to take the flights and would've missed out on 99% of the amazing experiences I ended up having. At some point even tickets booked a month in advance felt like a constraint as I couldn't just tag along with any cool new friends!
2. Dare to change the plan. In the first weeks I met great people, but often said goodbye to them as our plans didn't align and I even if their plans sounded awesome I wanted to stick to my own because of point 1. At most I'd hang around in a city for a day extra, but always having in the back of my mind that I'd have to substract a day in another city for that. Post-breakup I stayed everywhere a day longer on average. Cost per day went down, cool people met went up, unexpected adventures skyrocketed, confidence to be alone increased, waiting for good opportunities to show up increased, willingness to take risks/have insecurities (e.g. couchsurfing arrangements or going places with a reservation resulting in 2h walks around town looking for a hostel) went up and led to better experiences. 

What I'd do different for a next time:
1. Feel less stress about 'the future' or forced to go back at a certain time. I felt very insecure about my career options after a year of slacking. Yet when I started applying I got interview invites for every single thing I applied for. The fact that I had done some actual work experience in a semi-relevant job on the other side of the world turned out a big plus on my resume, which I hadn't seen coming.
2. Don't feel obliged to do 'all the things' or to 'move on'. Traveling gets tiring after months. The 7th waterfall ain't as good as the 1st. Staying in one place for a long time to work got me both the chance to actually built up a life in a whole new place and to be excited again about seeing new places. Waterfalls are more special if you haven't seen one in a month or two.
3. People over places. I learned sometime halfway that for me, a big part of the fun is the people I'm surrounded with. Doing exactly the things I want is awesome, but heading from place to place by myself looking for folks to hang out with is exhausting. Now I stick with the people I like and we make seperate plans where it fits. E.g. I'm a morning person and one of my travel besties is a full blown 'won't get up before noon' person. So I plan my own stuff in the morning and drag her out of bed for lunch once I get back. I meet people on my morning activities, she with her nightly adventures and we unite them all in our lunches or dinners.

I see lots of different strategies working out for people:
A friend of mine will go in her 3rd year of travel soon. She spent her first travel year in Asia. The second was devoted to Mid-America. Now she wants to move on to South America. She literally visits only a handful of countries each time, maybe 5-6 at most, going back and forth between the ones she likes using public transport. She makes sure to go home every year for a few months and works some low-level, many-hours high season job to save up cash again.

Another friend who's FIREd has been traveling for the same 3 years. He travels higher pace and has networks everywhere after years of visiting everywhere. He usually travels 2-3 months at a time, visiting 2-4 countries in that timeframe. Then he heads home for a couple weeks and off again to another part of the world. He was the one who made me realize that traveling/living of your investments is actually possible.

Personally I'd like a pace somewhere in the middle. I'd prefer to travel slow, mostly by public transport and stay in a country as long as my visa allows it (and come back later so see the rest). Yet I'd also like the freedom to fly over to another place on a whim because some friend happens to be there. Accomodation wise staying with friends is no 1, hostels no 2 and hotels somewhere far down the line. I'll be traveling with a boyfriend soon and I'm already resenting the idea of staying in hotels for some of the days :p
I agree that "RTW" isn't really the right term since people may not be actually interested in circumnavigating the globe but are interested in longer one-off trips to different places but couldn't think of anything better.

Like you, I did the totally unencumbered travel thing when I first quit my job and it was pretty blissful. No plans, no time limits, stay as long or as short as you want, no real destination just a general idea of places you want to go and the route you want to take. This thread, and the other post FIRE nomad thread, is getting me to rethink things in more longer terms then previously. Basicly make no plans (I'm very good at that ;-)!) and figure things out as I go and with whatever opportunities that present themselves. The road goes ever on and on. ;-).
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 12:00:50 PM by spartana »

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2020, 03:36:43 PM »
We're taking off on a 4 month sabbatical in October (Japan and SE Asia). Quickly discovered that travel hacking and a loose itinerary are mostly mutually exclusive since one has to reserve award flights well in advance. I'm trying to find free-cancellation lodging options using points where I can. Overall I'm happy with the tradeoff since we'll be spending a heck of a lot less than we would have otherwise.

We're going to bop around quite a bit for the first 2 months, then stay put in Penang for 6 weeks to see what that's like. Our typical trips have been 3-4 weeks and our longest stay in one place was 9 days in Oaxaca city last year, so this will be a new style of travel for us. Testing our "slow-travel in FIRE" hypothesis I guess! So far the plan is to use public transport and not rent cars.

I suspect it's gonna be really hard going back to work when it's over!

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Shane

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2020, 09:48:56 AM »
We're taking off on a 4 month sabbatical in October (Japan and SE Asia). Quickly discovered that travel hacking and a loose itinerary are mostly mutually exclusive since one has to reserve award flights well in advance. I'm trying to find free-cancellation lodging options using points where I can. Overall I'm happy with the tradeoff since we'll be spending a heck of a lot less than we would have otherwise.

Depends on how you do it. In 2016, a few months before we left the US, my wife and I each opened Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve CCs. Using the bonus sign-up points from those 4 CCs, our family of 3 were able to fly, pretty much for free, all the way around the world and back again. The only reservation we made in advance was our first flight to Japan. From there, we just booked flights as we went, mostly using the Chase Travel Portal.

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2020, 10:57:44 AM »
@Shane, that's true, using the portal could make flexibility easier. In our case, the flights we wanted would have been double or triple the points through the portal vs transferred to partners.  I like optimizing my points, at the expense of flexibility in this case.

Excited for FIRE to find out what travel would be like with no end date!
 







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SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2020, 04:33:44 PM »
After visiting Europe this spring, maybe you'd enjoy taking the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing? From China, or maybe Hong Kong if things have settled down there by then, you could get a cheap flight back to SOCAL...
My plane ticket is round trip but could blow off the return as it was inexpensive. Also am a dual passport holder with the UK so that opens up longer stays in Europe so that's probably what I'd do first. Also want to visit Russia as I've never been (my Mom is from a former German city on the Baltic that now belongs to Russia so would like to go there ). After that???  Not sure how I will feel about going longer than 4 months at time but that seems so short now. I will be going solo but have a semi-FIREd BF who can meet me for long stretches so that's helpful for longer stays..

Total side note but the time thing is one of the things I'm psyched about with FIRE. A lot of people think getting a two week vacation is the ultimate in decadence; knowing that 4 months can feel short is a different ball of wax entirely. We're asked how long we like to stay in a place on the boat - our answer: "until we run out of tomatoes or we get bored."

Love your idea of going to Russia "because I've never been" as well as the background. What a perfect combination of reasons to visit a place. I'll be watching.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2020, 05:07:28 PM »
Returned a couple of weeks ago from 3 months. All planes and rental cars in this case as it was mainly Australia and NZ but in general I typically set some dates to begin and end in a place for some level of structure and fill in the gaps as I go.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #46 on: January 20, 2020, 05:17:25 AM »
What a perfect thread to stumble upon.

For a little bit of context, slow/perpetual travel was my biggest driver to FIRE as early as possible. Being born/living in the USA but spending most summers growing up in Eastern Europe were my entire family is from, I got to travel more than most of my friends. I've always wanted to be able to spend extended time in Europe as an adult, and have strong wanderlust to other parts of the world as well. Going as far back as 2011, I would daydream at work about all of the possibilities that some money in the bank and low overhead could provide. Well, fast forward to 2019, and I pulled the plug on work at the age of 32 with only ~$500k nest egg. It's not enough to FIRE forever, but enough to take a year or three off to travel around the world.

My wife and I recently purchased one way tickets from NY to Portugal, and depart the second week of March. As far as accommodations go, we have yet to book anything, and will likely only snag our first 4-5 nights in Porto via AirBnB, and then get places to stay as we work our way down the coast to Lisbon and across the rest of southern Europe. Due to visa length we are traveling as slowly as possible, primarily by private bus (Flixbus), and public train/bus, limiting air travel to necessity. Our route is very loosely etched in pencil, and subject to change for any number of reasons. Rewards flight from USA to Portugal then land travel in this general order -> Southern Spain -> Southern France -> Northern Italy -> Switzerland/Austria -> Southern Germany -> Czechia ->Slovakia -> Hungary -> Romania -> Ukraine -> Poland.  We have 90 days in Schengen from when we land in Portugal till we leave into Ukraine, after which, Poland has a separate 90 day visa agreement with the USA, and we will be taking full advantage of those 90 days to spend time with my family and explore the entire country. From Poland we will either come back to the USA for a few weeks in the fall, before heading off to SE Asia, or go straight there from Europe.

Spartana asked about costs, and I recently shared my estimates in my journal here on MMM forums, so apologies for a few of you who already saw this and commented over there......

"The trip will be broken down into three large segments; Western/Southern Europe (3 months), Poland (3 months), and SE Asia (5-6 months). All costs are total for two adults.

For Europe we estimate the costs to be the highest, mainly due to lodging. Budgeting $100/day which we estimate will break down to;
$50 lodging (AirBnB/Hostel/Guesthouse)
$20 food (groceries, outdoor markets, some eating out/boozing on the local fare)
$10 activities/entertainment
$10 transportation (train, bus, ferry, local metro, etc)
$10 misc (travel/health insurance, mobile data, laundry, gym access, incidentals)
$9000 total for 3 months

For Poland, the costs drop to $75/day because we will have a free place to stay part of the time, and food is slightly cheaper;
$35 lodging (Family, Hostel, Guesthouse)
$15 food
$10 activities/entertainment
$10 misc (travel/health insurance, mobile data, laundry, gym access, incidentals)
$5 transportation (train, bus, ferry, local metro, etc)
$7000 total for 3 months

For SE Asia, we anticipate ~$80/day because we will be moving around more and doing some more expensive things like getting the wife PADI Scuba certified + refresher course for me, some island hopping around southern Thailand, surfing lessons and rentals in Bali, and some time in more expensive areas like Borneo and Singapore;
$30 lodging (AirBnB/Hostel/Guesthouse)
$15 food
$15 activities/entertainment
$10 transportation (short haul flights, trains, bus, ferries)
$10 misc (travel/health insurance, mobile data, laundry, gym access, incidentals)
$14,000 total for 6 months

Which breaks down to ~$30k estimate for one year of living a completely nomadic lifestyle on a day to day cost basis. This does not include any large and sporadic costs over the year (medical care, transcontinental flights, returning to USA in fall for my brothers wedding, unexpected "emergencies") for which we are estimating an additional 20% buffer. Depending on how those pan out, our year abroad could end up costing slightly less than our normal life over the past 12 months in the USA, or slightly more. If our estimates are shit, it could be a whole lot more, in which case we have to decide whether we eat the cost or just cut a portion of the trip shorter."

Hope this is helpful to some, and I'm interested in the continued discussion. Already learned a lot re: travel from the people here, and looking forward to meeting some of you along the way.

 

JoJo

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #47 on: January 23, 2020, 06:26:13 PM »
I've done this a few times...

Traveled 20 months at age 31-33 hit 6 continents.  AFter age 40...Took a 12 week LOA, went part time a couple years ago and took some extended trips since then (8 weeks driving to Alaska, 8 weeks traveling the Balkan countries, 7 weeks in Ethiopia, Somaliland, Djibouti).

I made the mistake of booking a RTW airline ticket with fixed dates, and moving around too fast the first time.  As a result, I never got to take my last 2 flights, and I had to pay for changes (which weren't too expensive 15 years ago, the change fees really jumped after the recession).

The van trip was super good... loved the flexibility to go where the wind and good weather took me.  I want to do more van trips.

jeroly

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2020, 02:02:14 AM »
I did a round the world trip in ‘89. It took four months. I traveled on planes, trains, buses, foot, bike, boat, oxcart, and more.  A week in Japan, a week in Hong Kong, seven weeks in China, three in the USSR (by way of the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Beijing), two in Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia), and three in Western Europe (Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, England).  It was amazing. Some of it was very grueling (e.g. hard-seat train travel in China), other parts posher (getting a lift from the Black Forest in Germany to Geneva in a Mercedes), but it all was cheap - I think it cost $6k for everything including boarding fees for my cats.

These days, I take shorter, one-destination-oriented trips as I miss being away from my sweetie for too long (she’s not FIREd and also doesn’t hike which is high on my list of my preferred travel experiences), so typically six 2-2.5 weekers (although I’m soon off to New Zealand for five weeks) a year. Coincidentally it adds up to about the same four months of travel but spread out over the whole year. Annual travel budget is now $15k.

Omy

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Re: Round The World trip? How would you do it?
« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2020, 06:30:22 AM »
I would like to do a RTW cruise at some point. I'm not adventurous enough any more to do it by sailboat. My concern is that so many sea days might get boring...and I don't want to gain 50 lbs.