During my time traveling, I have received a lot of great questions from my family, friends and strangers along the way. I love having dialogue about backpacking and learning what people are curious about. My friend, Chris, from Kotor, texted me today asking how I will keep up with all of the relationships I make along the the way while traveling. This really got me thinking and sparked this blog entry!

A few Q&A...

Why did I decide to quit my job and go backpacking?

  • While doing a short-term study abroad in Thailand during University, I knew that at some point in the next coming years, I wanted to go backpacking for a few months. I had always read/heard about people doing it and it had become a dream in my head. This dream became a lot more real in California when the timing seemed incredibly clear: to take a break between switching jobs after a great few years in CPG.

How did I decide where to go?

  • This was a tough one! There are SO many incredible places out there! I knew I wanted my six months to be a "trip around the world" so splitting up the continents and then going from there based on ease of travel helped to narrow it down. Doing the Interrail unlimited train pass in Europe, for instance, made it easier to hop from country to country without planning in advance. In other places that are further away (ie South Africa and India), I knew I wanted to spend longer lengths of time here. I intentionally didn't plan my trip from the start so I could feel it out and adjust accordingly! I'm glad I did because I learned I prefer spending longer periods of time in places and I've learned about some great new places I added along the way! (ie Kotor and Innsbruck).
  • I started with a list of all of the places I wanted to go. I will likely make it to half of them and have doubled it again! I can't wait to come back and visit all of the great places I've learned about with people I have met along the way!

How did I make this happen logistically?

  • Since I had known I wanted to do this for a few years, I saved up enough to budget 6 months worth of travel. It is crazy how far your money can take you when you're traveling- especially with hostels, groceries and public transportation! I have a budget by day I try to stick to, which ebbs and flows based on cost of each place. Since I'm constantly changing places & I like surprises, I do not do much research before I go. I only plan my transportation and housing a little bit in advance and go from there!

How did I choose whether to work or not work?

  • I looked into both options! There are great programs like Remote Year that enable you to work while you travel and provide you with remote job posting boards. There are also volunteer and work away opportunities for different places. I chose to not work since I wanted to focus my time on social impact and sustainability... hence!! I am grateful that I have the time and flexibility to research and meet with people in this space during my travels!

How do I deal with homesickness/loneliness?

  • Sometimes solo travel can get lonely and with lack of phone connectivity/time differences, you can feel far from your family and friends. I am so grateful for those back home reaching out and giving them a quick call, email or text, helps brighten the day! 
  • Also, staying in hostels is amazing! Meeting new people and making new friends while doing new things makes it much harder to be lonely. Getting out there and exploring always makes me happy and excited to do more!!

What resources do I use to travel?

  • I love Nomadic Matt's travel tips! Super easy and palatable w/great recos. HostelWorld and SkyScanner are my other go to's for hostels and flights. I've found staying at hostels that do group dinners/activities are my favorite! Also, I had no idea before traveling but there are TONS of facebook groups for backpackers and solo travelers alike! The resources are endless! Also, one of the best, is just talking to people and gathering learnings and information along the way. You never know what you'll find!!

And of course, back to Chris' question, how will I keep up with relationships along the way?

  • I feel so grateful to have met so many amazing people from all over the world so far (only 1/3 of my way through!). I've come to learn one of the most beautiful things about traveling is when meeting some people, sometimes, it's a fleeting moment, and others, deeper and more lasting. Sometimes its a short smile with someone on the street or a quick ask for directions or sometimes its spending days at a time with friends you've met along the way that you feel you've known forever. I'm so thankful to have great memories and connections.
  • Plus, thanks to social media, we can follow each other's journeys and keep up along the way! Some of my friends I met, I already know we may cross paths in other continents! You never know what will happen and when or where you will see someone next! 
  • Also, from moving so many times in just a few years, I have found it amazing to connect even if not in the same place. If you're passing through where the other one is, if you're looking for travel advice somewhere or a new milestone to celebrate. I'm so lucky to have met these people and can't wait to see where the future takes us!

If anyone has any other questions they would like to ask, I'd be more than happy to answer! Thank you so much for engaging and following along. It means the world!

Lauren WittigComment