I’ve been thinking lately of what I wish I knew before I left on an indefinite trip around the world. An indefinite trip is infinitely different than taking an extended trip. The one, you have something to fall back on while the other is nothing but free fall and hope you’re not a chicken but an eagle to catch some lift and glide your way around the globe…
How much cash do you have!?
This is really important for basically everything because if your trip were a vehicle, cash is what’s definitely being burnt in its combustion chamber. Sums of money no matter how massive or minute have insanely different values around the world. Just think for a second what you could get for $35 in say Norway, China, Nicaragua, Switzerland, Australia or Indonesia!?
The more cash you have and the cheaper place you live, the less you have to worry about anything.
Set a reserve level of cash where it’s your “ok, I need to get a job” as once you run out, you’re done.
$10,000 is NOT a lot of money in today’s world but it’s a chunk of change if you’re broke or lunch is $2.
Thinking of starting an online business? You should probably start that BEFORE you leave, life only gets more exciting.
What are you looking for NOW!?
Really ask yourself what you really want… No, I’m not talking about just wanting to travel and getting a laugh at some hilarious travel memes… Think of this trip as a choose your own adventure book but there is more than just a, b & c. There are 1-999999999999999999 choices available, especially at the start. Once the trip gets going, it will most likely start to take on a life of its own and resistance is futile. Imagine you’re at the top of a mountain on a snowboard and you need to choose a path, there is no backtracking when it comes to time and experience.
Are you looking to chill out, save some cash and do web work? Are you looking to go nuts for a few months to a year then settle down? Are you on a wild hunt to see as many world heritage sites as possible or completely fanatical about summer music festivals? Know this before you go and try and get that plan set in motion. See the forest and where you want to go because once you’re in the forest, it’s tree to tree.
Whatever you’re looking for when you leave, I suggest you go after as “the road” is a calming and crazy place all in one.
What do you want out of life!?
Let’s think longer than what you want “now”, what do you want in life? You’ve decided that you aren’t waiting in traffic, paying ridonkulous monthly bills or working 9-5 which works out to about 9.18 years of your life when you factor in the commute. Avoiding what I just said sounds like an obvious choice but once you leave, your safety net is gone. That “health insurance” that everyone you know has is no longer there because unlike everyone you know, you’re not pulling tow.
Once you’ve gotten what you feel you need to do “NOW” out of the way, really think what type of lifestyle you want to live. I’m not saying be rigid in your path but do have one. That ship without a rudder usually doesn’t win the regatta but the one that went straight to it’s destination probably had a boring time where the trip felt more work than a wonder. What I’m saying is know what you want aka have a destination in mind but be open for all or any side trips that catch your fancy, it’s not a race as you’ve shed your rat suit.
Know that there is no going back…
This one is hard to understand and even harder to explain. Once you leave a position and place at a certain time, you’ll never be able to return to how it was. The chemistry of the place and those around you changes slightly or significantly because the structure has changed, something is missing from the mix and that is you. That’s the whole personal life equation but what about work?
If you leave and do what you wish, some firms may think that’s cool, courageous and will be curious about employing you. Others will be like ok, this guy is no longer a young gun or talent, he’s gotten soft spending the last 2-7 years doing who knows what and who knows where…
Regardless of your situation, you’ve come this far so just do it…
If you’re someone who found this because you’ve been contemplating this for sometime, you gotta do it. Just realize that it’s like you’re on this cliff and you’re jumping or you want to… This cliff is so high that the clouds block the view of everything and anything below but countless people have done it, countless people are falling as we speak, it has to be done and the clouds will always be there.
Let’s get serious, most people never get to that edge let alone climb the mental anguish mountain required to even get to the place where you are. If you turn back, you’ll only come back. If you think you can come back slightly better prepared, maybe come back but if you’re ready but you just can’t pull the trigger, do it.
Where are you going to go!?
If you want to experience different cultures and a full on different pace of life, go to SE Asia or C/S America. I haven’t spent much time in the Americas but I know countless people start there and speak fondly of it. Personally, I followed the “Go straight to Bangkok” advice and am very glad I did. You may wish to go to Mexico or even visit Mel’s Hole in Washington State, there is no correct answer.
Why Thailand you ask? It’s totally different than anything you’ve ever experienced in North America, Europe or Australia and it’s very much setup for tourism aka it’s a really soft landing. The place itself will be so different for you that having lots of the “details of travel” easily taken care of will allow you to make a smooth transition. Thailand is pretty easy going and that is why so many start their trips there or end their lives aka retire in it…
From there, it’s all you.
P.S: If you’re wimping out, just channel your inner “that guy at the top” he doesn’t mess about, he’s the boss.
P.P.S: Never met a soul who said they regretted “the jump”, just do it before you get too much “baggage”.