And The Round The World Goes To…

RTW planning

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while and interact with me through Facebook might know already that I’m planning to do a Round the World (RTW) trip starting early next year.  I’m really excited about this since it will be a huge thing in my life…

I’m literally leaving everything behind, except for what fits in my backpack.

The rough plan for the RTW is was to start in New Zealand, then Australia, and then jump to Southeast Asia and keep going westward to wherever I could.  That was until two weeks ago when I was chatting with Aaron of Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures.  You know, travel chat… as usual.  At one point in the conversation, he reminded me to check @airfarewatchdog tweets because they usually tweet great deals.  I’ve followed them for a while, but I don’t always pay attention to their tweets… not anymore.  At that moment, I decided to take a peek at their tweets, and that when everything changed!

What would you have done if you saw a tweet that read like this…

Round the world Planning

That’s right, you wouldn’t have let it go either…

At first I planned on taking a short trip with that airfare but then the light bulb turned on… Why don’t I start my RTW in Nairobi?!!!!! I can go to Nairobi, spend 6 weeks in various African countries, then fly from Nairobi to Istanbul, ditch the Istanbul-NYC leg, and continue my way eastward through the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand!!!

Booked!

Er, this is different from what I had in mind, but I’m extremely excited because this is an entirely new adventure I was not expecting to have during my RTW.  Plus, I will hopefully achieve my dream of hiking Kilimanjaro!

So, when am I leaving?  March 2, 2012.  Far enough to allow me to save all the money I think I need (plus, paying off my credit cards… ugh), but close enough to feel it like it’s almost about to happen.  Just nine months to go!

I hope to be on the road from 9 to 12 months, but I’m open to spending more time if I’m able to sustain myself economically (hence why I’m working hard right now building niche sites and other small projects).

UPDATE: I ended leaving on October 1, 2011, and started my trip in Belize!  You can see some current stats about the RTW here.

What will you see here?

Well, there are many things to consider while planning a RTW, so every few weeks or so I will write a post focused on one of those planning details and tell you my experience with it.

So, you will start seeing more RTW oriented posts in here (as well as the regular content) now that I have my first tangible piece of the trip… my first two airfares!

Oh, and here’s my first RTW tip… DO follow @airfarewatchdog and check their site.  You never know when the next crazy deal will come!

Do you have a RTW tip I (and everyone interested) could use?  Have you done a RTW before?  What’s your experience?

Image 1 from Flickr’s Creative Commons.

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40 thoughts on “And The Round The World Goes To…”

  1. It’s cool when opportunities present themselves and you can make totally new plans just like that! Last week there were amazing flight deals to Iceland that I almost jumped on, but I need to save up a bit more first. When the next random deal comes along, I’ll be ready.

    1. Things like this are so cool! Yes, money is always an issue… same thing here… I had the luck to have this airfare valid for the end of this year to the beginning of the next one, which is perfect to save some more money.

      Once you’re ready, jump on the next deal you see! It’s such an adrenaline rush!! 🙂

  2. Leslie (Downtown Traveler)

    Sounds like a cool itinerary! Your trip is so far off– almost a year– that I think your plans may change again. We only prepped for our RTW a few months in advance, and despite countless hours spent developing our itinerary before departure, we ended up changing several legs of our RTW ticket as we went. You just don’t know whether you’ll take to a place or not until you get there, or you’ll hear good things about a destination you hadn’t considered while on the road.

    1. Thanks Leslie! I know, it’s pretty far still, but now it feels like it’s real! Oh, definitely, I know plans will change before leaving and after… hell, I even change plans on short trips when I get recommendations or like things on the way. 🙂 Normally I don’t buy airfares or things so in advanced, but that airfare for that price was hard for me to let go. 😉

  3. Oh man that is freaking awesome!!! Congrats on the purchase. I know for me it was the hardest thing to do because it made it 99% real the other 1% is getting on the plane. This post mirrors mine because I too change my plans when I came across a one-way ticket to San Jose Costa Rica for $200. I started my trip on March 1st so we will have our anniversaries a day apart. I see you are going to SEA hopefully I we can meet up there cus thats the last stop of my trip and I plan on being on the road about 2 yrs!!!

    CONGRATS AGAIN & CHEERS TO YOUR RTWSOON!!!

    1. Thanks Jaime!! That’s true, I will be leaving a year apart from yours and under similar circumstances!! lol. It’s crazy how plans can change at any moment. Yeah, possibly we will coincide through SEA since I might be going there during the second half of the trip (if things don’t change that drastically). It would be cool to cross paths with you! 😀

    1. Ahh, thanks Renee for George’s link! I just sent a request.
      Yes, I encourage you to do the mini RTW!! So, if you see a deal, and see it fits with you, jump with it! 🙂

  4. So exciting! I love that you just went with your gut and booked it. I know booking a ticket makes a whole trip seem that much more real. Congrats!

    1. It does make it feel so real since now I can actually count the exact days till I leave! I had such an adrenaline rush when I bought the ticket… I’m sure you’ve felt it too! 😉

    1. It’s funny because it was totally random… I wasn’t looking for airfares nor planning to buy anything… but there it was, right at the moment I took a peek at @airfarewatchdog. And I took it!! 🙂

  5. I’m really excited for you! I think my own RTW trip is probably a year off from yours, so I’ll have to travel vicariously through you. 🙂

  6. Jeremy Branham

    That’s awesome Norbert! Best of luck on this trip! I am sure all of us will be following along. Congrats on the deal! You made me a proud budget traveler! 🙂

  7. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    Wow, that is a stellar deal! Just started following their twitter account on your recommendation, so I’m excited to see if there are any deals I can use. 🙂

    And yay for Nairobi! What a cool place to start your rtw trip.

    1. Yayy for Nairobi!! I’m so excited! It was such a random decision to start there but I’m going full force with it since I love the idea and the price can’t be beat! 😉

  8. Whoo-hoooo!!! How absolutely exciting.
    I will be looking for deals from Asia to Europe soon. Thanks for the money-saving tip. I can’t wait to find my deal — just hoping it’s as good as yours!

  9. jamie - cloud people adventures

    that itinerary screams success to me! sounds like the ticket was a bit of luck with a good helping of taking your chances when you get them. well done mate, looking forward to following along on your adventures!

  10. AWESOME! This highlights the importance of remaining flexible and allowing your plans to unfold as the deals present themselves.

    Very exciting news.

    1. So true, remaining flexible is key to get the best of the opportunities that can present along the way. I’m so excited to be planning my RTW!!

  11. Awesome! I am so excited you are going to Africa. Life always throws little unexpected gifts our way. My only concern is that you will not want to leave Africa and you might cancel the rest of your ticket 🙂 But hey! Such is life.

    1. Haha, I’ve been wondering the same… if I will fall in love with Africa and decide not to leave. 🙂 Well, I’m open to all possibilities… so who knows! 😉

  12. I’m so very excited for you Norbert! Almost even envious that you were able to make an impetuous decision which resulted in something tangible for your RTW plans. Its this kind of spontaneity that will become advantageous towards your success on the road.

    This post actually reminded me of something I should never have forgotten: that travel is also about being open to flexibility and going beyond a comfort zone; its not just simply a way to see other parts of the world.

    I’m absolutely thrilled that you got your tickets and I have great faith that you’ll also find that passive income in the next several months.

    I’ll check up on your progress from time to time 😉

    1. Thank you so much Sherry! You’re right, travel is not just a way to see the world, it is a way to learn, experience, get out of our comfort, socialize, test our limits, and what not.

      I’m really excited too about this RTW, and I’m happy that you too are doing a RTW soon! We’ll keep an eye on each other’s progress! 😉

  13. Norbert you are this -> <- close to an epic time on the road. Yay! I long for the day when I go on min. Are you planning to buy the rest of your tickets as you go? Also following airfarewatchdog now.

    1. Yayyy, thanks Grace! It’s so exciting to plan a RTW! Yes, I plan on buying things as I go. I debated for so long if I wanted to buy a RTW ticket or go point by point, but after this experience I made my case that I want to go point by point for the flexibility and possible deals. I look forward to see you plan yours! 🙂

    1. Thanks Truc! Right now I’m almost 6 months on the road, and I’m loving it!! It’s great when you get to follow your dreams and make them a reality! 🙂

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