Timing is Everything: Deciding When I Should Travel

Sundial, Perranporth, UKOn 1 January 2013 I will be unemployed. My first inclination was that this would be the ideal time to begin my globe-trotting adventure. A small amount of thought has led me to realise this probably isn’t the case.

My most immediate obstacle is that I simply don’t want to be packing and planning my journey, getting rid of all my material possessions and moving out of my apartment during my final days of work. I would much rather have some time off to really figure out my plans and get my affairs in order before I get on a plane. But this isn’t the only consideration.

Weather is certainly something to consider. I have decided to start my travels in Europe and, to put it mildly, the weather in the dead of winter is not the best. Especially when you can’t be sure where you’re going to end up most nights. For this reason alone, I think I may postpone my real travel until mid-March when things start to warm up. I can start in the south-west, maybe Spain, and slowly progress to the north-east as the weather warms.

I’ve become quite accustomed to Vancouver’s temperate weather and I would rather not mess with a good thing.

Decided take-off time: Mid-March 2013.

Have you ever had a trip ruined by bad weather?

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Location, Location, Location! Deciding Where I Should Go (First)

It’s a big, big world. Which begs the question, “Where do I want to go first?”

There are many places I want to go and many, many more I don’t even know about yet. But if I’m honest with myself, I know this first trip is about more than just discovering the world. This trip is about discovering myself and I’m doing it on my own. This means there will probably be a few times when I’m nervous, a few times when I’m worried, and more than a few times when I’m lonely. Also, I’ll be on a limited budget.

With all that in mind, I can come up with a basic list of criteria.

  • Semi-reliable Internet access (Cuba is out)
  • English-speaking locals and signs (Sorry, Tokyo)
  • Minimal risk to my personal safety (Let’s pass on Egypt for the moment)
  • Affordable accommodation (such as hostels)
  • Affordable travel to different destinations (No Australia this time)

I like to call this my “princess list” because, let’s face it, it’s pretty comfortable. But not to worry, this is really just the criteria for the first location(s). As I move on, I intend to shave these requirements as I play my real-life game of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

So, where might satisfy my princess list? I’m thinking Europe. All of it, really. There are some pricier places and some places that aren’t as English-friendly but for the most part I really can’t go wrong. For the record, I’ve been there before (very briefly) so this makes it extra comfy and makes me certain it’s a good starting place for this grand adventure.

I have a vision of being in Venice with nothing but a backpack and nowhere to be. According to some sketchy websites, the weather should probably be good enough by April for me to hang out there.

Sounds like a plan to me.

I think everybody has a princess list to some degree. What’s on yours? Where would you be hesitant to go?

Planning to Travel

Moscow, Russia

I don’t consider myself to be much of a traveller. I’ve been a few places but usually as a way to escape the daily grind of my job, never because I had an “urge” to go explore.

My life is changing. Fast. My calendar for 2013 is completely blank. I have no job, no contracts and no commitments. I need to find something to do.

It’s time to travel.

The world has so much to offer and I’m suddenly realising this at an overwhelming rate. The architecture of Europe, the history of China, the food of Southeast Asia, the culture of Latin America… The list goes on. One could spend their entire life exploring the world and there would still be more to see.

So now that I’ve decided to travel, I’ll have to consider the answers to some basic questions.

  • Where will I go?
  • When will I go?
  • For how long will I be gone?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What do I need to prepare?

It’s time to start planning…

Where would you like to travel?