It has been 7 months since my last post about planning our trip around the world!
During this time we have been very busy putting this whole adventure together. Taking all the necessary steps to get ready for our departure. We have been asked the same questions many times in these months. So I think it is definitely time to cover more of what is going on in our planning process!
Where are we going?
We have a clear idea of where we are going, when we are going to be in each place and for how long. We are still working on the 2019 stops though. Some of the areas we are going to visit are so big that we are still trying to decide what we really want to see there. Based on our budget, interest for our kids or simply personal preferences, we are trying to figure which parts we should visit.
Anyway this is the list of the countries we are planning on visiting: Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Bhutan, India, Madagascar, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Egypt, Morocco, some parts of Europe (for sure Italy, Portugal, France, England and Ireland), Iceland, New Caledonia and Hawaii.
There might be some changes along the way but this is what we have mapped out for now. We are very flexible though! In fact we have made a few changes since last year after learning more about some areas we didn’t know much about but that seem really worth visiting!
How are we getting there?
In the past months I have read about many families that just buy tickets as they go or find alternative ways to get in a country they want to visit. We are 5 and we are trying to stick to our budget as much as possible to be able to do as many things as we would like. So we have decided to plan in advance how to get to places (traveling from country to country). However we will improvise more while we are exploring a new place. If you buy your airplane tickets as soon as they come out you can get better prices than if you wait last-minute. Up to now we have bought them as soon as they have become available. As of today we have flights booked up to December 2019.
Honestly, it is pretty exciting to look at our calendar and see all our flight schedules. It makes it feel so real and so close!
Another interesting aspect of planning our way from place to place is that sometimes you have to research as much as possible about your destinations to avoid some unexpected surprises. For example, we booked to fly into Perth, drive up the coast and in Learmonth (which is half way up the coast) catch a plane to get to central Australia. What we didn’t realize is that there is no camper van company that we can rent from Perth and drop off in Learmonth! Since we realized this long after buying the plane tickets, we have decided that this is the only part of Australia that we will have to do all by car. The alternative would be driving up the coast for another 1000 miles to drop it off and then rent a car and drive back down. That is defiantly not happening! Lesson learned!!!!
Where are we staying?
We have set for ourselves a realistic budget for what we are willing to spend per day, for whatever accommodation we are going to have, in the different locations. As of now we have been able to find solutions that have been lower than our daily budget. This will be helpful for when we are traveling in the more expensive countries.
We are booking hotels through Booking.com or Hotels.com. We are renting apartments or homes where we will have longer stays with Airbnb. In countries such as Australia and New Zealand, where there is so much to se, we will rent Campervans so we can be easily on the move.
What is going to happen with the kid’s school?
Greatest worry for everyone is how much are our kids going to miss by not being in school???
We believe that by experiencing first hand what you usually read on books, is going to be such a fulfilling learning moment that we are not worried about them being left behind in school. They will be visiting famous and historical sites and have to deal with many foreign currencies, as well as different language. They will learn about the different cultures and traditions. Finally see animals in their true environment……I think they will have a better understanding of how different and fascinating the world is!
We are also going to use workbooks and some online programs so that they can continue their regular education, but experience is truly going to be their learning environment this year! They will have to keep a journal about their days as well as some shots of how they see this world! It will be a great keepsake for when they are older and who know maybe a book one day!
We have seen some great results already from our shorter trips. The kids have retained lots of cool information about places they have seen, people they have met, animals they have interacted with. They are so much more connected to that information they learned about, because they experienced it in first person.
A great example, a few weeks ago I chaperoned Emma’s field trip at the zoo and once we reached the Gibbon section. I loved listening to her explain to her friends how mistreated these animals are. She explained that there is a sanctuary that protects them, heals them and if possible puts them back in their environment (check out our post on the Gibbon Project). That time at the Sanctuary really touched her, more than I had realized.
What are you doing with all your stuff?
Oh my gosh, this is literally the hardest moment of this whole world travel preparation!
We are in the middle of packing, selling and getting rid of all the stuff we have accumulated in these years. Believe me there is sooooooooooooo much stuff!!! Check out our post about letting go of our home that day was so painful for me.
I wrote a post about decluttering, you should definitely check it out if you are trying to clear up your house too. This is useful also if you are not planning a trip around the world but just a little more room in your home!
Our biggest dilemma for months was whether we should sell or rent our home. We had so many memories here, that for some time it was hard to grasp the idea of letting it go. However we have come to realize that we are in a different place now in our lives. Who knows where we will be when we come back, so it is time to sell and start fresh.
Our house has never looked so perfect as is does now, since we have just put it on the market, but if you walk in the garage it is a whole different story! We have a little under 2 months to get everything organized, sold or given away. Now it just feels very overwhelming and a little sad, but I know we can do it!
Wow, I feel like I have just been chatting with one of my friends now about this amazing adventure. Thanks for listening!
Next months I will let you know the answer to the biggest question we got up to now: What is in our suitcase? I think I will need a whole post just for that!
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