Last month we interviewed 11 of our favorite #rtwsoon travel bloggers. The response to these from the travel community was fantastic and as a result, we’ve decided to make a #rtwsoon interview a monthly feature here on Don’t Ever Look Back.
Our first monthly interview is with Kim of So Many Places. Kim and her husband Brian are planning to take off on an around-the-world adventure in 2012. Read on to find out more about them!
Who are you?
I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio (United States) but have lived with my husband and dogs in my adopted home of Portland, Oregon for the past six and a half years. Right now, I work as a Sustainability Coordinator. Protecting the environment is something that I care a great deal about. However, my lifelong dream is to make a living as a writer, and I freelance outside of my 9 to 5. I love to be outside hiking or biking and I love to run, it totally clears my head. I’ve run four marathons and dozens of half marathons and I plan to run thirty miles to celebrate my thirtieth birthday this year. I’m also an avid reader. If you need a book recommendation, ask me!
I’ve always had major wanderlust but unfortunately never had the proper combination of time and money to pursue it. I’ve traveled to Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, France, Italy and Puerto Rico. I can’t wait to add more countries to that list.
Where are you going on your RTW?
Well, right now we have a gigantic and totally unrealistic itinerary. We know that we are starting in New Zealand. From there we will go to Southeast Asia, then India and then onto Nepal for some trekking before going up into China. In China we will take the Trans-Mongolian railroad into Mongolia and Russia. Then we want to hit up parts of Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. All of that will probably take us the year we’ve allotted for the trip. We plan to travel until the money runs out, so hopefully it will last longer than a year and we’ll make it to some other places.
All of that said, I don’t want to feel like I’m “on vacation,” so to speak. I want to travel slowly and really immerse myself in the place that I am. If that means that we don’t make it to all the countries on our list, I’m okay with that. We’ll save them for our next RTW.
When are you leaving?
We hope to leave in January of 2012 but our departure date hinges on the act of selling our house. Please, please powers-that-be let us sell our house!
Why did you decide to go on this trip?
This is hard to answer because there are a lot of reasons. I sort of had an epiphany one day while sitting at my desk at work. I realized that I could look thirty years into the future and predict with 90% accuracy what each and every day would be like. I saw myself with a stable job, enough money, a nice house, probably 2.5 kids and the whole typical, middle class life. I saw that it would be a nice life, but what would it be for? What had happened to my dreams? I realized I’d taken the path of least resistance and somehow along the way I’d lost the parts of me that make me feel alive.
I’ve always wanted to do two things: 1) Travel and 2) Take a shot at earning a living as a writer. I went home and told Brian about what I wanted to do and he was all for it. Brian works in procurement but has always dreamed of being a Park Ranger or working at a National Park. We made a decision that we would follow our dreams and that we wouldn’t let fear stop us from taking risks in our lives. And so, the trip was born.
What will you be doing to pass the time before your travels?
Nothing! Just kidding. We are cutting back and going out less but are still managing to have some fun. We’ll be traveling back to the mid-west for two weddings this year and to visit a new niece who will be born in March. Other than that, we will be working hard on our house in preparation to sell it. We’ll also be taking advantage of all the beauty that Oregon has to offer by hiking and climbing a few mountains.
If you could give just one piece of advice to a fellow #rtwsoon traveler, what would it be?
My advice to anyone who has a big dream is JUST DO IT. Life is for living. There will never be a perfect time to make a drastic change and it will always be scary. I read somewhere that your dream isn’t big enough if it doesn’t scare you and I think that’s true. If we live in our comfort zones we will never become more than what we are.
On a practical level my advice is to commit yourself to do it and then save, plan and go. When we first started planning we thought it would be impossible to save all the money and go through all the steps of preparing to leave, but once we really committed things started falling into place.
On a very, very practical level, find a debit and credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. That’s what we’re in the process of researching now and it’s amazing how much some cards/banks will charge you.
Relevant posts for #rtwsoon travelers:
If you’re heading around-the-world in the next 12 months and would like to be featured here, please contact us.