One-Way Ticket

Why Long-term Travel

The most scary moment so far in the planning of this trip was when we purchased one-way tickets for an island most people have never heard of in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I had a moment of asking myself “why am I doing this again?” So I thought I would answer that here:

Adventure

Whenever I make the decision to go on a trip to a new place a vision tends to pop into my head: diving deep under water, wandering down an interesting alleyway, biking through rain forests, you get the idea. I love those kinds of adventures. It’s usually the ones I’m not planning on that are the best adventures though. Ending up in the wrong destination (that turns out to better than your intended one), attempting to order lunch from a waiter that speaks no English, or going out for just one quick drink and finding yourself at a 4am beach bonfire. The possibilities for these things on the road seem infinite.

Freedom

Unlike so many people, I loved my job. I didn’t love that my job caused me to be constantly attached to my email. I could leave for a week but my clients were still there while I was gone, and the requests were building up. I carried my job with me. To a lesser extent we all have obligations to our network of friends and family. Our “free time” is filled with baby showers, birthdays, helping friends move. We don’t mind these things individually, but we also enjoy the break. On the road, it’s just Tim and I. The days are ours – all of them.

Learning

Traveling is like the living version of everything you learn in grade school. We learn about history and politics everywhere. Art, fashion, and architecture oozes out of each city. We can study the stars in New Zealand (applied for first UNESCO site for the sky), the beginning of all life can be found in Australia, and over 400 new species have been discovered in Borneo just since 1996. We learn languages on the fly, and the possibilities for extra-curriculars are endless. I’ve had crash courses over the years in everything from ceramics and playing the didgeridoo, to cooking fish curry.

If you’re wondering about math, try converting a price from country “A” to the currency in country “B” and then converting it into US dollars so you can understand just how badly you’re being ripped off.

Food

thankss to bangkokadvisor
Tim believes in studying a menu the way a student studies a text book for a college exam. Everything hangs in the balance while he makes his choice. He sometimes sends the waiter away 3 or 4 times before feeling confident in his decision. I tend to be much more playful with my choice, ordering something I don’t quite fully understand, or a local delicacy (and yes, this does frequently backfire). This scene is just as likely to play out at a food cart as a four star restaurant. There’s nothing better than a flavor that is completely foreign to your tongue and yet, for some reason, amazingly delicious.  Food is our favorite way to get to know a country and one of the heaviest factors in how long we’ll stick around in one.

New friends

There’s something great about the people we meet while traveling. Most of these people are other travelers. Traveling wakes the senses up, and travelers tend to be some of the most open people in the world. This is easy to explain: you travel with none of your comforts – all the stuff we own, the people we love, even the language we speak gets left behind. We depend on each other to fill those gaps. This leads to a phenomenon where friends you’ve known for 2 days on the road sometimes feel as close as friends you’ve had for years.

Time together

Perhaps one of the greatest opportunities this trip affords Tim and I is the ability to spend time together. Time that isn’t sequestered to the 7pm to 11pm period where we have just enough time to eat dinner and sit on the couch for an hour and stare at a television. Okay, yes, Tim and I are slightly afraid we may kill each other. Motive: too much time spent stuck in a flying box next to each other fighting for the armrest. We actually each have our projects as well for the trip. My personal project is keeping up with this blog. Tim’s is undersanding fitness and the activities in each place we go. Of course these things involve both of us. I will end up sucked into some pretty interesting sports and Tim has to deal with me writing about it. At the end of it all, I know we will treasure this opportunity for time together.

I see travel as the one of the most important ways of expanding human beings’ understanding of each other. Through travel we discover humility, love, friendship, passion and ourselves.
– Kirsten Cargill

Advertisements

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ryan
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 14:23:10

    One-way tickets are the best way to go, believe me! I’ve been one-way’in my way around the world for the last 5 months!

    As for meeting new people, I highly recommend that you sign up for CouchSurfing. Even if you don’t actually surf, it’s a giant community of open-minded/like-minded people and travelers who are eager to meet others from around the world. Just joining the CS groups of some of the cities you’ll be heading to is a good start. Check out some of the group threads and get involved!

    As for “Traveling together”. It’s an incredible feeling at first going from spending time together for a few hours/day before or after work to spending every waking minute of the day with each other. All I will say is that it’s incredibly tough, yet achievable if done correctly. What I mean by “done correctly” is to go out of your way to have some YOU time. Whether you head to a cafe to work on the site while Tim spends an hour or two working out, you need to make sure that you get some alone time. I found that it’s easier said than done in some places due to the fact that it may not be entirely safe for Liz to just take off on her own somewhere. Looking back, Liz and I should have really spent more time apart because it really took a toll on our relationship.

    After Liz decided to head home last week, I headed back to Thailand (Chiang Mai) where I’m living for the next month while I relax and catch up on my site. Yes, it’s odd that she’s not here next to me after spending every second together for the last 5 months, but it’s so refreshing at the same time. Take my advice 😉

    Safe travels,

    Ry

    Reply

  2. wheresbatman
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 14:54:55

    Thanks Ryan. So we actually are CSers. We’ve hosted a few times and I was disappointed that we didn’t get any positive responses so far for Perth (that’s the only place I tried). SE Asia is so cheap I wasn’t sure if I should reach out to people there, but do like to check the boards for meet ups. Great at advice on the traveling together part – thanks for visiting!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Disclaimer

Views expressed on this blog are solely the opinions of the blogger. Media found on this blog is for preview use only. If any artist or their representation wish to have the links removed, contact me and I will happily comply!
%d bloggers like this: