Making A Plan

  Photo by  Josh Meister Photo .

I get it, a year traveling the world sounds like a dream. Lord knows, we've been dreaming about it for a really long time. But the actual logistics of planning it - not so dreamy.

The first, eh, 12 minutes of planning went great. We approached our giant wall map with innocent wide eyes, taking in how big the world is and how we'd soon be visiting so many of these places. We frantically started calling out countries and cities and venues we'd been Instagram-stalking for ages, wholeheartedly agreeing that yes, we absolutely need to check out such and such tulip farm or go eat at that middle-of-nowhere restaurant from Mind of A Chef.  

Then it all collapsed. We had picked about 173 places we wanted to visit in our year of travel, and that obviously wasn't okay. Stress ensued, then some fighting, then respective time-outs after a slightly ridiculous fight about whether or not we should include Morocco in our plans because the first time we only made it to Tangier, or "Moroccan Disneyland" as we called it, which doesn't really count, we were calm enough to approach planning with a sense of logic.

We've traveled a decent amount together, hitting over 15 countries in the last 8 years, but we were always inclined to pack as much into each trip as possible. Heading to Oktoberfest? Let's throw London, Amsterdam, and Budapest in too! For this trip, we wanted to try to travel much more slowly and really get to know the culture of each place as much as possible. We decided to split the world into three main regions we wanted to visit and spend a third of the year in each. For multiple reasons, we decided to skip India and Africa entirely, even though Giraffe Manor is still very much on the radar! We narrowed it down to Europe, Asia, and South + Central America.

We wanted to be really spontaneous about the whole trip and sort of go wherever seemed like a good idea as we were on the road, but quickly realized we were basically delusional. First of all, we're super lucky to have family and friends that want to meet up with us in various places throughout the year, so we kind of needed to let them know when and where we'd be. Secondly, we're points and miles travelers. Until just a few months before the trip, we hadn't "paid" for a plane ticket in 5 years, aside from a mistake fare to Abu Dhabi that cost $178 each. And, unfortunately, with travel hacking, comes lots of research and planning. (FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TRAVEL HACKING HERE)

So we've made a general game plan, which you can see here, but only about 35% of it is really set in stone, and we hope to be as adventurous as possible as the trip plays out. 

What do you think? Good idea to limit ourselves to certain areas? How do you choose where to travel?