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How One Traveler Stumbled Into A Two-Year Plan

You know that moment immediately after you stub your toe, but before eminent pain ensues when you think to yourself:

“crap, this is going to really hurt in just a few seconds”

With less than two months to go before Vicky and I set out on what is arguably our most important decision to date, that’s a little bit how I feel now.

It’s a loose connection I’ll admit, whereby the act of stubbing your toe is deciding to go on this two year journey, and the pain is a series of “fall flat on your face” moments that are destined to happen from traveling to unfamiliar places.

What is consistent in this metaphor, however, is the overwhelming anxiety that comes from reality setting in.

I feel completely an utterly unprepared.

I can’t help but think back on myself a year ago. It amazes me that for the first 6 months after deciding to travel the world for two years I essentially sat around doing the same thing I always did. I won’t go into great detail but a couch and a TV were the major players.

Didn’t I wonder where I was going to get vaccinated? Where we were going to go? What I was going to pack?

dave lounging on the couch

I guess not

Ignorance was bliss.

And besides – Vicky will figure it out. She’s good at that stuff. What I am good at?

Making The Website

I’ll make the website. I did it once in college and it was no sweat. We’ll be at the top of the search results in no time, promise, just give me two weeks.

website after two weeks

Our website after two weeks of "work"

OK OK a month…tops!

website after one  month

website after one month

CHECK (I mean half the battle is coming up with a catchy title right)?

website search results

Yup...top of the search results

Um…let’s move on.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations – I’ll need a few of those huh? Well, there’s probably only like two travel clinics in DC anyways:

 

Touché travel clinics – touché.

Oh well, I’m sure they all do a fantastic job, and if I miss one vaccination it can’t be that bad right?

Rabies symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety, stress, and tension
  • Drooling
  • Convulsions
  • Exaggerated sensation at the bite site
  • Excitability
  • Loss of feeling in an area of the body
  • Loss of muscle function
  • Low-grade fever (102 degrees F or lower)
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Pain at the site of the bite
  • Restlessness
  • Swallowing difficulty

Did they say drooling? Am I sure I don’t already HAVE rabies? Maybe we should just table this for a bit and move on to something more fun.

The Route

Let’s plan the route.

Ya, that’ll be fun. Let’s talk about all the cool places where going to go and sites we’re gonna see. Bungee jumping, Everest Base Camp, white water rafting – Great idea!

Asia should be easy – what are the countries again?

asia countries

Asia countries

I guess a few more popped up after the Soviet Union split (or was it the Berlin Wall coming down?). Realistically though, I mean, Myanmar? If I’ve never even heard of it. It’s probably not that cool…

But maybe not.

Maybe Myanmar is the coolest place in Asia?

search results

I didn't realize this was such a heated topic

Thanks Google – a simple Yes or No would have sufficed. I have to be more scientific about this:

Dave Beer Pong

OK babe, if I sink this cup we're going to Myanmar...and it's balls back

Alright, the route’s planned…and I’m a little tipsy.

Route

Don't ask how I came up with it - game got a little crazy when we went into triple overtime

It’ll make sense when we get there…promise.

Packing

Last part – packing. Should be pretty simple, let’s start with the must haves:

TV

Maybe if I turn it 90 degrees it'll fit ?

No, I’m not thinking about this right. I have to think smaller.

TV

OK, I just shrunk the picture - the TV still doesn't fit

Alright, alright, I’ll just stick to the bare necessities:

Toilet Paper

Can I watch Sports Center on this?

Well I guess that just about does it then.

Conclusion

You might have guessed that this article was somewhat in jest. In reality, a decent amount of work has gone into our planning. At the end of the day though, there really is only so much one can do. No matter how much planning (or how little), you put in, I think there is an element of uncertainty with travel that does make it feel like I just took a shot in a beer pong game. So yes, I do still feel completely unprepared, and yes, I do think it’s going to “hurt” in a few months time. Inevitably though, plans rarely turn out the way they were intended, but at least they get you moving!

About the authors:

Having spent 2 years in the working world, Dave and Vicky are ready to exchange their briefcases for backpacks, dress shoes for sandals, and beds for sleeping bags. Starting in September they will be embarking on a 2 year journey across Asia and Europe. You can follow along at A Couple Travelers where you’ll find travel reflections, blogging resources and restaurant reviews.

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Comments
3 Responses to “How One Traveler Stumbled Into A Two-Year Plan”
  1. Hello – nice write-up and congratulations on deciding to take such an awesome, deliciously crazy journey. I look forward to virtually sharing it with you both. :-)

    I took a global trip, and the best advice I got was from a petite French woman named Servane: If your instincts tell you to be wary of something, take the feeling seriously even if you can’t explain why you feel that way.” :-)

    I wrote a book about my global trip – check out the link. It’s on Kickstarter.com to raise funds to publish it. Project closes Aug. 19. When you travel, always have something to read. There will be pockets of waiting, mental dead zones, before catching flights, trucks, buses, boats – all along the way. ‘stine

  2. Thanks Kristine. I definitely think it’s a good idea to go with your instincts – it’s saved me from a few tricky situations.

    I’ll check your book out on Kickstarter – sounds interesting!

  3. Zzella says:

    Thanks, that made me giggle!
    Good luck on your travels. Don’t sweat it… but whatever you do DON’T FORGET THE TP!! ;-)
    Zzella recently posted..5 things I hate about “5 things…” postsMy Profile

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