When we first started talking about taking a year to travel we had this indulgent idea that we would fly to Bali, rent a cozy bungalow with a thatched roof (banana panckakes breakfast included) and let inspiration strike on a whim or in a conversation with some other travelers. We’d do some hopping around the neighboring islands and countries, coming back to rest and relax in the shade of a coconut tree, feet dangling in the pleasant plunge pool in front of our new home. A year seemed a pretty long time.
What were we thinking? We should have known better and we should have known ourselves better. We have never been lounge by the pool or lie on the beach kind of people. We are up at dawn for the sunrise at the temple and on to the local market, and then to the village at the top of the mountain and then the waterfall beyond. Besides, we enjoy planing the trip nearly as much as going on the trip. Ah, the fun Sunday mornings spent in bed doing research, each on our own computer or ipad, sharing destinations, pictures, airline tickets, blogs, Best of and Top 10s. So many places to go, so many clicks to take you down the internet road to new exciting destinations. Suddenly the question is not where to go, but where not to go.
While talking to friends about our ever expanding plans we batted around some fun ideas of thematic travel. One friend said she would have liked to spend 12 months around the world, each in a different city. One couple said they would plan their travel itinerary around their passions: his for cooking and taking lessons at cooking schools, hers for ziplining. Another couple said theirs would anchor on chocolate (for him) and wine (for her). There were birders and scuba divers, shoppers and yoga fiends. Some had a long bucket list and some a childhood longing for a faraway place.
While just a short while before the begining of our trip we were adamant we will start with just a one way ticket (to New Zealand), thinking we will ad on destinations as we go, we quickly started threading those destinations like beads on a necklace. We are so close, let´s add another. North Island led to South island led to nearby Tasmania, and up to Great Barrier Reef, and over to Darwin since it is closest to Bali. Which is close to East Timor, which is close to the little island of… Then it became a matter of chasing good weather—Europe is wonderful in late spring and summer, how about we drive through the Balkans, into Albania and Bulgaria and Romania, and since we are all the way there we should push to Moldova. It’s a new country, we gotta check it out, right? And fall would be great in Georgia for the wine harvest, but let’s stop in Istanbul on the way back, and that is really close to Egypt and that to Israel and Lebanon. Except that you can’t cross from one to another. Well, we’ll figure it out!
Suddenly a year is nearly filled up and we are already looking into the next year. There is this folk festival in Nagaland every February I always wanted to see. And that is close to the Darjeeling tea plantations,and that is right next to… No wonder quite a few people who started with a year of travel become permanent global nomads.
If you had a year of travel before you, where would you go? What is one place you always dreamed of going? What is top 3 on your Bucket List? Places or experiences? What passion would you indulge? Learn a new language or skill? Bungee jump or kayak? Trek or baloon? Swim with the dolphins, ride a camel?
We’d love to hear from you and get inspired. Leave a comment bellow.