The sidebar countdown tracker is showing less than two months, but for us, the planning process started many moons ago. The intent was to publish a few post as we moved along. That never happened. Our one-year-to-go anniversary date has come and gone, and here we are a few weeks away from departing, struggling to give you an update.
So if you landed here looking for a step by step guide on how to prepare for a round-the-world trip, you’ll be disappointed. The internet is full of pages detailing how to plan, many with long checklists. That’s where we started, by making lists;
we have Ginette has numerous on-the-go, and spreadsheets, and sticky-notes, and bookmarks for every stage of the way — surely these will be helpful at some point.
Two years ago we focussed on:
Acquiring blogging skills: We think we’ve mastered the basics, the WordPress platform is simple to learn, and the straightforward tutorials help you get there. However, we still have oodles of room for progress.
Taking quality images is not as straightforward as it seems. Snapping and taking them, that’s the easy and fun part. Blogworthy photography (in our opinion) is more involved and goes beyond the basic, yet time-consuming skills of editing the good from bad, cropping when necessary, or levelling horizons. Understanding how to shoot in the different light, figuring camera settings and functions, using tripods or timers, and keeping up with changing technology keeps us continually learning.
Writing a blog post in real-time is darn difficult. Ginette says, “A born writer I’m not! Putting together a story doesn’t come easy, I agonise over the correct words, punctuation, grammar, the right tone, etc., and by the time I’ve completed a draft, added images, received Gordon’s opinion and input, we’ve moved on exploring somewhere else.”
Which brings us to our Postcard of the Week, a much simpler task to put together.
Learning Spanish; “No hablamos Español”–time to get studying again!
This past year our focus shifted to:
Brushing up on our geography: Researching those Pinterest perfect destinations of our dreams.
The Logistics: Spreadsheets have been indispensable for organising this information.
- Entry Visa’s: Which country require them, which don’t, can you get them on arrival or do we need to complete paperwork before hand and if so from where, how far in advance, and cost?
- Transportation: Inter-country flights, buses, taxis, horse or donkey; what are the easiest local way to get around?
- Festivals and holidays: Do we want to participate or avoid these dates?
- Weather: Tropical weather doesn’t agree with Ginette’s fair skin unless it’s seaside in the shade. Gordon, having spent too many days coaching football in wet weather, is happier when dry. The climate will not always be ideal, but our goal is to avoid the extremes from monsoon downpours, brutal colds, or burning hot temperatures.
Beyond the logistics, and as we delved into the different countries or regions, a greater global awareness has taken place. We’ve become more concerned with world issues.
- Global warming, environmental issues, climate change, and biodiversity
- Crime, racism, injustice, and abuse
- War, conflicts, migrants, and displacement
- Poverty, world hunger, children’s labour, and disease
- Over consumption, food sustainability, and pollution
These many topics are overwhelming and intimidating, but our awareness is taking on new meaning and relevance, and influencing our travel decisions.
In the next few weeks we’ll finalise:
- Insurance: Travel and health coverage for the duration of the trip still needs to be arranged.
- Health and Dental: Months ago, after a consultation with the local travel clinic, we received our first needle in a series for Typhoid and Hepatitis A & B — it hurt! Following a planned schedule, we have five more shots and needles, and we’ll be good to go.
- Our first flight: Deciding not to purchase RTW Tickets was an easy decision for us. We want to keep our dates and route flexible. Our trigger finger has come close to the ‘BUY’ button, then hesitated. Soon we’ll purchase that first one-way ticket!
- Packing: From experience on the hiking trails, we know that keeping our packs light is best, so selecting clothes and shoes, allowing for the different climates and activities we’ll encounter are details Ginette is agonising over. Gordon will throw a few things in his pack the night before.
- The small details: Another list! Last minute stuff to be sorted and arranged at home before leaving.
Next, the details of our itinerary or lack thereof!
Ginette & Gordon