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Am I Crazy?


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: February 24th, 2012

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  • Added on: December 31st, 2012
Most likely but.....

Hello everyone,
I would like to take the steps to leave my somewhat secure life to take an extended trip around the world. I am not new to travel or adventure but have not traveled for extended periods of time before. I went through a pretty ugly divorce about two years ago and at that time I was very focused on taking this plunge. It seemed easier at the time. I've now recovered some and life has been good to me since. I first was laid off from a job that I hated (this was great news) and thought I would take some time off then. Well, I got a job opportunity I just couldn't turn down and over a year later I'm still here. I have a great job that I really like. Is it selfish and foolish to leave a great job and what many would consider a great life to travel for a year? I guess only I can answer that but I do feel like I should be out on the road.

I have questions but really just wanted to start with how much money people in there 40's budget for a rtw trip? I am pretty adventurous and can stay in hostels but will need the occasion hotel stay. Also, I will be doing a lot of diving and other activities that will bring the cost up a good amount I'm sure. I really would like to get a estimate on how much I'd need to have in the bank so I can work on the budget. I would like to spend most of my time outside of Europe which will keep costs down.

Anyway, I appreciate anyones input.


Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 544
Joined: December 19th, 2007

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  • Added on: January 5th, 2013
I guess you know there is only you can make the decision to pack in work and go off traveling.
It's not something we could have done in our working lives because of commitments but if you think you can get a job when you get back and have sufficient funds to take you traveling then you don't have a problem.

My husband and I did a round the world trip 2007/2008 covering 12 months and spent £28,000 approx but again it all depends on what you do.
Accommodation can be expensive we did quite a few weeks camping in the USA Rockies, Canada and Australia, motels, hostels, budget accommodation, In SEA we stayed in cheap hotels, traveled on local transport and trains very few taxis.
If you are thinking of traveling into China use one of the chain hotels, language is a problem there outside tourist areas but the people are lovely and will try and help you.
Anything like diving will cost a arm and leg as will any type of tourist activity.
Hostels are a good place to stay to meet like minded people and some of them are pretty good now compared to when we started traveling in the late 1960s.
Don't forget also to factor in
Visa cost
Medical and travel Insurance ( we used World Nomads)
Inoculations and tablets (malaria)
These things add up and you need to be aware of the cost and where you can get them when away.

Check out this site for information

I'm just in the throws of planning another rtw trip but only 6 month this time.

Best of luck and keep safe.



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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 22
Joined: December 25th, 2012

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  • Added on: January 5th, 2013
The decision is yours but I would say you need to think carefully about how it will impact your future. If you are confident you can find a job when you return then it can be done if you have the money.

As to how much it will cost, that is a 'how long is a piece of string' question. You can ballpark a figure using 50 Euros a day which is a typical basic backpacker budget in Europe, not including travel costs. It covers hostels, supermarket food and the odd beer or museum entrance fee. Obviously some places are cheaper than that in the world but it gives you a number to work with that has leeway.

I would suggest however that you change your thinking from 'how much money do I need' to 'how much do I have'. Budget is only an issue when you self-impose a time frame. While it wouldn't make much sense to think about an extended trip if you only have say $5k available, assuming you have a more reasonable amount (how much do you think you will have if you leave?) then what you should see as variable is the length of time you will be gone for.

What most people do is look at time available and divide the funds available by that time to come up with an average daily budget and then worry about, 'is it enough' and start asking questions like you have. But neither time nor itinerary are fixed. You have a maximum amount of time available and a maximum amount of money available but no MINIMUM. Nor is an itinerary fixed unless you self-impose one.

My advice is to buy a ticket to A. Once you get there spend as much time as you want there and when you are ready to move on and not before, decide on B. While there, spend as much money as you need to spend without throwing money away to see/do the things you want to see/do there. Repeat this process until either the time available or money available runs out. Go home. Travel can be as simple as that.

The reality is that no one ever gets to go to everywhere they might like to visit and see/do everything they would like to see/do. It is trying to do that that causes all the confusion and difficulty in someone trying to plan their travels.

The oft heard phrase is, 'to see as much as possible.' But people confuse the word 'much' with the word 'many'. They are not synonymous. A little thought will tell you that the way to see as 'much' as possible is to spend time IN a place, not IN BETWEEN places. So in travel, less is more.

Whether you visit 18 countries in 12 months or 4 countries in 6 months, the question is how much 'value' did you get out of your time. Value in travel is not defined in $ but in experiences. I would rather enjoy every day of 6 months than survive for 12 months on a bare budget that means I pass on opportunities because they are too expensive. That's false value for money thinking. What's the point of going to Paris if you balk at the price of a ticket to the Louvre because it isn't in your budget?

We live our everyday lives according to schedules and it is only natural that when we look at travelling, the first thing we tend to do is come up with a 'plan'. Otherwise known as an itinerary and a resulting budget per day based on anticipated costs and time dictated by the itinerary. However, the biggest plus that travel has for us is the freedom from everyday life and responsibilities. The freedom to get up in the morning and say, 'so what will I do today'. Why then should we immediately throw that freedom away by self-imposing budgets and itineraries? It's just human nature based on habit but we don't have to let it be that way.

An itinerary is in fact a tour. What's the difference whether you have a travel agent put together a tour for you or you plan a tour yourself? What's the difference between a tourist and a traveller? Without getting into a big debate over semantics and using the two names only as a means to differentiate how you travel, a tourist goes on a tour while a traveller does not have a fixed plan.

When you travel for an extended period of time (months not weeks) it is not like a 2 week vacation to a beach. Things happen that you cannot foresee. Opportunities arise that if you don't have on the blinders that an itinerary imposes on you, you can take advantage of.

For example, suppose you are in a place and in conversation with someone they say, 'I am looking for someone to help me sail my boat to X, are you interested?' Are you going to respond with, 'Oh, I'd love to do that but I have a flight to Y booked for next Wednesday and I CAN'T go with you.' Or are you going to say, 'Oh, I'd love to do that and I have no committments stopping me from going. When do we leave?'

In my own extended travels I have been offered many different opportunities. Some I took advantage of and some I passed on but the choice was always mine to make.

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