Travel the world. The end.
Okay, a slightly more detailed summary: Take my paltry savings and two years, and travel around much of the globe, on my own and ready to make friends.
Still not enough? All right. The summer after I graduated high school, I took my money from working in a second-run movie theater and the cafe of a local bookshop, and went to Europe for six weeks. This mini-Grand Tour was a solo affair and a revelation in self-sufficiency and finding happiness in independence. The summer after my freshman year of college, my friend P and I borrowed P’s mom’s minivan and drove around the Western part of the U.S. for five weeks, figuring out how to travel together and still be good friends at the end of it. (That worked out just fine, by the way.)
So I’ve long been a fan of taking extended, multi-stop trips, and by the time I graduated college, I’d decided to travel the world. Several people have suggested various ways of accomplishing this goal, including doing it in many mini-trips, working with a volunteer organization, and going on a group tour. Thing is, I want to be moving, not vacationing, so I need a long period of time, and the thought of paying for a package tour running around the big tourist stops with my drunken peers is not appealing. I’d like to volunteer with various organizations, and there are some good ones out there, but most of them require you pay a fee, so that won’t work for the whole trip.
It comes back to me, a backpack, and the very necessary spirit of adventure. I’ll happily meet up with friends along the way, so if you have any place in particular that you’ve always wanted to visit, or if you’re fluent in any of the languages of the countries I’ll be visiting (please!), let me know.
For now, the idea is to go to New Zealand/Australia in January of 2013, then work my way up Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Transiberian Railway to Moscow, Eastern Europe, Western Africa, South Africa, and India. Back to the States to make a bit of money, then down to Central and South America, and possibly Antarctica.
All of it’s changeable, except the date of departure. I turn 30 in 2013, and I’ve said since I was 18 that I’d start this trip before I was 30, before I started to settle down, move up in a career, or feel tied to a particular place. Life isn’t over when you’re 30, but if you’re not careful, the urge to try new things and become a different and better person is. So winter of 2012/2013 it is!