I now have a shiny new travel rewards credit card and am already more than half way to earning the 50,000 point bonus. I’ve also done a bit of research on round-the-world travel and “gap years”. One great resource I found is BootsnAll. This site will help you plan a trip anywhere in the world for a reasonable price. I signed up for their free RTW30 Sabbatical Edition email series. Every day for a month, I get a new email with step-by-step guidance on how to plan and prepare for my “career break”. I expect them to be extremely useful once I’m ready to plan out my adventure.
But before I can start too much of that planning, I need to figure out where the hell I want to go. Do I want to travel around the globe? Or would taking my time exploring the United States (and possibly Canada) be just as cool of an adventure? I’m going to start out with a good ‘ol “Pro vs Con” list and see what discoveries abound.
United States Travel
- Logistically, it would be much easier. Minimal foreign currency, language barriers, sim card swaps, public transportation, etc.
- It has the potential to be cheaper, since I could do it all in my car (no airfare, unless I hit up Hawaii or Alaska)
- Great opportunity to see old friends and family that live across the country (Washington, Idaho, Minnesota, Arizona, Illinois, Alaska)
- Exploration of places I might want to live in the future. I could see myself ditching the So Cal craziness in favor of a more nature-friendly, slower paced lifestyle.
- Could I take my cats with me!? Seems crazy at first thought, but it might actually be do-able if I can’t find them a temporary home.
- Cheaper and faster to get home in case of a family emergency.
- I wouldn’t get exposure to foreign people, cultures, and lands (although I can image many places seeming like a different world than Los Angeles)!
- Some would say it’s less exciting and exotic than seeing the world.
- Driving around in my car seems almost too easy. I could go anywhere at any time. Something about the limitation of not having a car is exciting.
- Easier to bail out of the trip early when it gets difficult or lonely.
- I’d get to see distant places and experience foreign cultures that not many Americans do.
- How cool that I could literally go around the world!?
- It would be hard, but in a good way. Taking me out of my comfort zone and facing me with daily life challenges.
- The experience has the potential to expand my mind and world much more than if I stayed in the US.
- International travel has the potential of being considerably more expensive, mainly due to long distance airfare.
- Added hassles of things I take for granted now, such as medical insurance, money conversion, visas, my cell phone, laptop, wifi, etc.
- Challenges that come with not speaking the language.
- I think I would get more lonely on an international trip.
How interesting to see that my pros for US travel is the longest list. That could be because it was the section I started with…maybe I got all of the good ideas out early and didn’t feel the need to repeat them? Or am I telling myself that’s what I want to do, deep down?
And I am keeping in mind that this is not necessarily the one and only period of extended travel in my life! I could start with the US this time, and then go international in a few years. Or if we’re getting totally wacky, there’s no reason why I can’t do BOTH this first time around! I know that whatever I choose, it will be the right decision. Just gotta make it and commence preparations!
(Image: Hans Splinter)