This is the first post on a RTW planning series…
Round the World (RTW) trips are a growing trend in the travel industry. Every day people are realizing that taking an extended RTW journey can be a reality.
Whether it is because of the inspirational stories on many RTW blogs, the plethora of available planning resources on the web, or the fact that many jobs today can be properly executed location independent; more and more people are taking a step forward in exploring this life-changing experience.
There are two things I think are very important to note: Anyone can do it, and a good source of inspiration or a purpose will keep you going and make the experience more satisfying.
Yes, ANYONE can do a Round The World trip
Whether you’re a teacher, student, consultant, service professional, or any other, the option of doing a RTW is there, and it’s open. You just have to decide to take it, plan it, and follow your dreams on what you really want.
And, of course, having the right travel planning tips also help make the planning stage of the trip as easy and smooth as possible.
Make your inspiration be the life and purpose of your trip
I personally believe that the most successful RTW trips are the ones that either have a theme or have a purpose behind them that goes beyond the act of traveling.
The reality is that not everyone needs a purpose or theme to take a RTW trip, but having it will keep you inspired to do more things and keep traveling in the long run.
That inspiration will keep your spirit up during the hard times that inevitably come with the travel experience and it will help keep you open to new and foreign experiences.
Some people take cooking classes around the world, others do yoga, others go volunteering through third world countries, and others challenge themselves to accomplish certain adventures like climbing mountains, exploring natural wonders, and others.
Many also travel to explore themselves, to change the scenery, and to meet new people. No matter what it is, the important thing is that it has to be something that interests you.
For my upcoming RTW I’m all about experiencing first hand the architectural wonders I studied in college, tasting the cultural contrasts and interactions in the different parts of the world, and how they affect their current social life.
And for my adrenaline junkie side, challenging myself with physical activities like hiking, climbing, spelunking, bungee jumping, and more, in the most unique and distinctive places in the world.
Now, inspiration is not the only thing you need in order to do a RTW, and I know you must have a lot of questions flowing through your mind about how to do this, how can you pay for it, where to start, where to go, etc.
The most common question, as usual, has to do with money. It is expensive? Well, it doesn’t have to be. It all depends on what you do -sightseeing, tours, parties; where you stay – hotels, vacation rentals, hostels, couchsurfing; where you go – Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America; and others.
These are all variables that make our travel style and our experience on the road. But more than that, your passion for travel and for the destinations you want to experience is what will influence the most your journey.
That’s what will keep you on the road when you question yourself, “why am I doing this?”, and when you find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere because the bus broke down.
This series will cover many details of the process of RTW planning as well as the things I’m doing in my own planning for my trip.
There is a lot to cover during RTW planning, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. We’ll just take it one step at a time, but the first step is to have the desire and inspiration to do a RTW trip!
Do you want to go on a RTW? What’s inspiring you to go on a RTW trip?
Update: You can check out my comprehensive guide on becoming location independent, where I lay out everything I’ve done to travel the world long term for over eight years now.
Images 1, 2, and 3 from Flickr’s Creative Commons.
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I plan to do a mini RTW trip because I work full time and it’s difficult to get an extended period of time off and still keep your job. The trip will last one month. I wish that it could be longer, but I am going to challenge myself. I am going to see how many cities I can visit and get somewhat immersed in the culture during my limited time there. My short list is London/Phuket/Croatia with cities in between….I am at the very, very beginning stages….the trip is Spring 2013, so I have plenty of time to plan it right.
That is so cool Renee! I know it’s hard taking time off from work here in the US. But that month will be great for you to visit those places you mentioned. I think you will have a good time to immerse yourself in the culture of those three places and enjoy their drastic differences! Best wishes to your RTW planning!! 🙂
Norbert–love the insight. For your architectural journey–what are the places you’ve always wanted to see?
I would love to do a RTW…but my goal would be to have someone else pay for me to travel, talk to people, and record it!
🙂 see you soon?
Thanks Vitra! For my architectural journey, Egypt, India, Hungary, Japan, Brazil, Italy, France, Greece, and Morocco are some of the top-of-the-list countries. They are all different, yet uniquely rich. While I won’t be able to visit all of them during this RTW, I’m sure I’ll be able to tap a few good countries now, and leave some for future trips.
haha! Don’t we all wish we got paid to travel, or at least to travel for free!! 😉
Definitely, see you soon! BTW, love the design of your site!
Great advice Norbert. Having a purpose is not just a good idea for an RTW, it is a good idea for the journey that is life!
Caanan, you never stop surprising me with your words of wisdom. I couldn’t agree more with you. The journey that life is does need a purpose to help us fulfill many of our goals.
Due to work commitments I’ve missed reading your articles! Now you have a great plan lined up! Exciting! You should add NZ – we need plenty of re-designing of urban spaces down in Christchurch!!!? Look forward to watching your plan develop!
John, I’m so glad to see you around! Missed you here! Yes, I have a RTW planned ahead and moving full force! And, NZ is definitely on the list, so I guess we’ll be seeing each other somewhere during the trip! Actually, now that you mention that about Christchurch, I’m seriously planning on taking a working visa for either Australia or NZ (or both) to spend a few months there. So, I would be more than happy to give a hand in Christchurch. 🙂
As for Christchurch or NZ if you want any introductions (or a bed) let me know. As for France I coiuld help you there too, as I spend time in both places. When your dates start firming up we’ll talk!
Thanks for the offer, John! I definitely will keep you in the loop when plans get more in shape. 🙂
I’m hoping to go on one eventually, just to see all the places and cultures I’ve been missing. I have no set theme yet. I’ll have to think that over.
Hey Scott – seeing all the cultures is part of the things that are driving me to go on my RTW. Hey, culture itself can be the theme of yours! 😉
I appreciate your suggestion about all RTW trips having a theme.
Although I’m hesitant to label my travels as “RTW”, the theme would probably be something along the lines of: try not to be such a dirtball while still maintaining the routine of sleeping in cramped hostels, only showering when necessary, and lowering the standards for “clean” before each laundry day.
That kind of works, right??
hahahaha!! I love it!! I guess we all have a few (or more) of those moments while on the road. 😉
Hi Norbert –
Reading this just gave me the push to really start planning an RTW trip! I just discovered your blog and am enjoying reading all your posts! I’m also a fellow architect/designer so planning one around this is something I would probably do as well; plus some outdoor adventures. Look forward to more of your rtw planning series! – xiomi
Hi Xiomi, so good to see you around! So cool to see a fellow architect!! I think that, like me, you will also like an architectural RTW, among other things of your personal interest. I look forward to see you around more and to see where your RTW takes you! 🙂
Hi Norbert, this a great post. By the end of it I was already determined to take my trip RTW. 🙂 One thing that springs to mind of anyone who is planning a trip is the “money”, how much it will cost. The real art is to cut down on expenses to keep it going. And where you stay and what you eat accounts for the most of it. Here is a great find I would like to share http://volunteerstays.com/, it’s a great site if you want to stretch your travel dollars by doing work exchanges with locals in return for food and accommodation. I hope this resource helps the fellow travelers to overcome at least one concern and take one step further to make their RTW trip possible. 🙂
Hi Ali –
Thanks for sharing… Just like you said, money is a big concern when it comes to traveling long term, so the art of extending your travel lies in knowing how to cut all your daily expenses and how to interact with locals to find the best things/spots for less.
Great post just found your site, can’t wait to read more.
Thanks Matthew! Sure, stick around as I’m currently writing about my RTW experiences. 🙂