I’m writing this post while I’m drinking wine at the Maple Leaf Lounge at YVR. It’s been 4.5 years since I went on my first backpacking trip, and 1.5 years since I came home from my 8 weeks in India. This time, I’m realizing my dream of doing a round the world (RTW) trip for 6 months, and I really cannot be more excited.
I quit my job as an occupational therapist, having saved up for the better part of a year to fund this trip. In the past few years I’ve seen many bloggers talk about how they’ve quit their jobs that they hated in favour of world travel and the hippie/vagabond lifestyle. I feel that by choosing to do a 6 month RTW trip that few others would even consider doing, and quitting my job to do so, I’ve joined the ranks of this elite backpacking group, if you will. Members of this group will tout that “anyone can do it!” with “these 5 traveler’s insider tricks”.
But if I’m going to be completely honest, long term travel is not accessible to everyone, nor does everyone gave the skills to do so efficiently. I have stumbled my way onto an amazing career that is in demand in my home town. For this reason, I have been able to save up for this trip in a relatively short amount of time. Whats even more amazing is that I’ve already got a job lined up for me when I return home. I have had the financial and logistical support of parents, and a strong couple years of experience and travel know how to get me through this. Most people can’t afford to travel long term, even with these “tips and tricks, because of their jobs, financial status, and other commitments. For this reason, I count myself extremely fortunate and blessed to be afforded this amazing opportunity.
A big shout out to my family, girlfriend, and amazing supportive friends and coworkers that have made this trip possible. I will endeavor to blog once a week for the next 6 months exploring each place through the camera, and through some of the sociopolitical issues I see. And as always, a few logistical tips to help you get here. I hope you’ll join me on this adventure of a lifetime 🙂
- a travel credit card is essential. Big signup bonuses through your bank and a waiving of the annual fee for the first year make it a worthwhile investment. I’m currently using the Aeroplan Visa from TD Bank, which is their premium Visa geared to wards flight redemption (vs hotel and car rentals). I’m flying to Toronto for $75 on points, and in the year that I’ve had it, I’ve already earned 45000 Aeroplan points. With this card you get once per calendar year access to the Maple Leaf Lounge for free!
- I’ve done an extensive series on packing your bags, part II, and part III. This time around, its all the same except for the fact that I need heavier, warming clothing. Make sure to roll all your items in stuff sacks for compactness and organization. Bonus items: Boulder Denim, a ultra stretchy, ultra comfy jean geared towards bouldering is an excellent choice for travel. Good shape retention, and stain resistant, all in a sharp looking dark jean you can wear from morning into evening.
- Booking a “round the world” ticket can be done through the major Airline Alliances. They offer flexibility, and easy organization. I went about this the tough way in favour of saving money. This means hawking travel deal sites and booking local airlines whenever possible. I highly recommend this method if you have the time and travel know-how.