[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Michelle, from the United States, and Shaun, from New Zealand, met in 2010 while working for an international adventures travel and volunteerism company. After traveling together and separately, they decided it was time to go on a trip around the world!
We were lucky enough to meet this lovely couple in Montevideo and asked them a few questions about their preparations for the trip![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
Why did you decide to go on a trip around the world?
Before we got married 4 years ago, Shaun was planning to continue traveling on his “OE” (New Zealand “overseas experience” which most Kiwis do before they’re settled down) and Michelle had just finished working internationally for several years. We both knew it would only be a matter of time before we wanted to travel again since we had both traveled independently, but not much as a pair – it would just take time to save enough money and decide where we wanted to go. After becoming AirBnB hosts and getting to know travelers and other people who were doing an “around the world” trip, we started following blogs and doing research on just how much it would cost, and whether it could be possible for us. The more we read and talked to people, the more exciting the possibility became. We started saving two years before our departure date, and bought a picture of Torres Del Paine National Park in Patagonia to hang in our bedroom. We woke up to it every day as inspiration that we could get there. At the end of 2015 we hit our savings goal, and January 8th, 2016 we left San Francisco with a one-way plane ticket to Chile.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”We think this is a great idea to do before your world trip!”][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/152558290″ src=”“https://player.vimeo.com/video/152558290“” width=”“500“” height=”“281“” frameborder=”“0“”][vc_column_text]
How did the people around you react on your travel plans?
Everyone in our life was extremely supportive. Both of our parents knew that this is something we had talked about doing for a long time, and were proud of us for saving up and taking the leap. Many of our friends have traveled and lived internationally, so we’ve been collecting great advice from them. It’s much more common for Kiwis (New Zealanders) to do trips of this length – most of our American friends have traveled some, but never more than a few weeks, so we’re hoping our experience inspires them to get out of their comfort zones and follow in our footsteps. Work was very sad to lose Shaun, since he was settled and had a strong reputation within the company. Michelle managed to arrange a contract with her work to continue teaching for a short contract during their trip, and was very positively surprised by how supportive her company was to let her both travel and continue working for them periodically.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
What kind of preparations did you have to make before you could leave?
When we arrived at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in San Francisco, the first question they asked us was “where are you going?” and all we could do was laugh. We had to tick every single box on the “need for potential vaccinations” form: will you be camping? Will you be spending time around animals? Will you go to Africa? Will you be in areas with mosquitos? Yes, maybe, yes, yes. I think we ended up needing to get about 6 vaccinations per person, and we have Malaria pills for times we’re in Malaria risk areas. We scuba dive, so we bought the DAN Travel insurance which covers everything, including medical and loss of baggage, cancelled flights, etc.
Packing was a fun adventure. We have two backpacks: a North Face brand and a small backpack each. The very first time Michelle packed her bag she had twice as many clothes as would fit… Shaun’s fit perfectly. After trying again, we both narrowed everything down (Shaun by a little more, Michelle by alot), used space bags, and were able to fit it all comfortably. We each have about 10 shirts, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of pants, a few exercise outfits, 3 pairs of shoes, one warm outfit (we’re doing an endless summer to make it easier to pack), and one jacket. It’s amazing that it all zips into the North Face bag![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
What is your travel plan?
Starting at the Torres Del Paine National Park in the south of Chile in January, ending in New Zealand around November, where we’re planning to stay until January 2017. The in-between months we have regionally planned: South America January – May (minus the one-month teaching contract Michelle has in Singapore in March.) May-June Central America, June-July Southeast Asia and India, August Spain, September and October Europe location TBD, Mid-October – November Africa, early November Australia, then mid-November-January New Zealand. Wow, seems pretty crazy when you put it all on paper like that… :)[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
What is your budget?
We did quite a bit of research looking into how much it costs to do a year long world trip, and most backpackers say you can do it anywhere between $12,000 USD and $25,000 USD depending on your style of travel. (How many plane rides, cost of accommodation, expense/exchange rate of countries you spend the most time in, etc.) To be safe, we saved the higher estimate and put ourselves at a $110 USD per day rate in addition to our flight and transportation budget, factoring in the extra money we’ll top up by working periodically throughout the year. Our $110 per day budget includes our average accommodation rate of (in USD) $40 per night, $40 per day for food and $30 for either activities or “incidentals” such as buying toiletries or a new clothing item occasionally when we wear out the ones we brought. We know that this amount will get us much further in areas like South America and Asia (where we’re spending most of our trip) and not very far in Europe and Australia, so we’re hoping to under-spend the budget slightly in inexpensive countries, over-spend it slightly in more expensive countries, overall balancing out. We’ll see how it goes![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][vc_column_text]
Follow Michelle and Shaun by reading their amazing stories on the All Bon Voyage blog!
We will follow Michelle and Shaun the next couple of months, so stay tuned for more world trip stories and tips on the blog![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]