Hello, dearest fellow travelers! Sorry about the unannounced break; there were weddings and BBQs and many delightful things that kept me away, but now I’m back for our regular Tuesday/Thursday schedule. Today I’m introducing a new recurring feature called Running the Numbers. It’s time to get serious about budgeting for this world trip next year (NEXT YEAR JUMP BACK), so I’ll be working out what I can reasonably afford and sharing those insights with you so we can all furrow our brows in a shared nervousness about RTW budgets. Fun times, right? The budget I’m planning to work with is $30,000 over the course of a little under two years.
When I tell people I plan to travel around the world for about two years, the questions usually go: Really? By yourself? Is that safe? How can you afford it? To which I respond, yep, yep, as safe as living in a major American city, and I sure hope so! Since I plan to leave in 15 months, it’s time for me to get serious about that last part, and I’m starting to break down the budget and be judicious in which places I can realistically visit on that budget.
Every single blog written by world travelers contains at least one post on how much money the authors spent on their trip, so there’s a lot of info out there to analyze. I like the breakdowns on this blog and this one, although I do get dispirited when I see that our routes are different enough that they might not make the greatest basis for comparison. In fact, they go to many fewer countries than I had been planning to visit, so I’m starting to seriously considering pruning the itinerary. I don’t want to visit lots of places only to not have enough money to see all I want to see in each.
Currently I say I want to start in Australia and then see a lot of Asia, take the Trans-Siberian, and work my way down to some of Africa, then end in India. Looking at the phenomenal cost of visas ($80 to get into Kenya! $70 to visit India!), carefully plotting a course seems an even better idea.
So now I’m thinking my best course would look something like this:
I’m sad to cut out Scandinavia, but those countries are super expensive and one of the main reasons I’d want to go, the aurora borealis, is never a certain sighting, so it’s smarter to come back another time when I can focus on patiently waiting for the lights to appear. I’m still not totally sure about each of the countries in Africa, because unlike in Asia they are much farther apart from one another and therefore they add quite a bit to transportation costs, but there are specific sights and cultures I want to experience in each of the countries listed, so I’m keeping them on for now.
Don’t forget that the plan is to return to the States after India, spend time with all the loved ones I missed, and save up a bit of money so I can go to Latin America (for those who are about to comment, “how can you not go to Peru/Argentina/Mexico?”).
Right then, dearest fellow travelers, what do you think? You’ll be reading about each of these places for the next several years, so chip in if you think I’m really missing out on a particular spot, or if you’re especially excited to hear about a place listed here.