Still wishing for that RTW trip…

Luckily for me that I get to travel, at least one week here, and one week there. If not, I would feel like a lion in a cage inside the US. Not that the US is bad, but the US is pretty much the same everywhere — I guess I haven’t ventured into the Midwest, but who really wants to go there anyway?

I have been dreaming of a RTW trip since the beginning of 2003. It is 2007 already and I have not taken the trip. I have already managed to get enough miles on One World so that I can get a free RTW trip on business class but I don’t find the time. Combining Sara’s schedule and my own, we probably won’t be able to go on the trip until our kids turn 18. 🙁 I hope this is not true!

Mind you we have traveled quite a bit since I started this blog. As an exercise for myself, here is the list:

2002:
France (one week)
Germany (1.5 weeks)
Switzerland (1 week)
Italy (3 weeks)
Holland (3 days)
Belgium (3 days)
Spain (3 weeks)

2003:
Mexico (1.5 months)

2005:
Bahamas (4 days)
Colombia (2 weeks)
Peru (3 weeks)
Argentina (1 week)
Brasil (3 weeks)
Guatemala (3 weeks)
El Salvador (1 week)

2006:
Guatemala (1 week)
England (1 day)
Poland (4 days)
Hungary (4 days)
Czech Republic (4 days)
Austria (1 day)
Switzerland (1 day)

2007:
Guatemala (10 days)
Mexico (1 week)
India (2 weeks)
France (1 week)
Turkey (1 week)

As you can see, most of the trips are short. The longest trip I’ve taken was the 2005 trip to Latin America which was about 3.5 months. For those of you who have never traveled for longer than a week, this is the best way to travel! I wish I could go for a whole year! One day I’ll get my wish!

I have been browsing at other blogs on this server and man, reading their adventures of one year gap RTW trips, it gives me motivation to do my own. I think what I like the best is the sense of freedom and spontaneity that one gets being in an unknown city. For example, me and Angel were in Paris planning on going to Berlin. We head to the train station and realize that we had to wait 2/3 hours for the next train to Berlin, but the train to Munich left in 10 minutes. So we hoped on the Munich train and in 8 hours we were in Munich! Imagine that!!! That was my first trip as a backpacker and it was my 5th day traveling. This instance is when the travel bug bit me.

For now, I’ll continue with my research as a PhD student, dream of a gap year, and enjoy the short 1/2 week trips that I have for the year. 🙂

7 Replies to “Still wishing for that RTW trip…”

  1. Hi,

    I totally understand what you are saying. I’m in the same boat. I’m a guy who is still waiting for ‘MY TURN.’ Everyone seems to be traveling for a long period of time, except for me (and you). What makes it harder is meeting other traveler doing a 1-2 year stint (I’m always so jealous and happy for them). But patience is the key (which I lack of). I know I have to wait for another two years to finish a series of exams (and I continue to dream of that day). Then, it will be MY TURN.

    I’ve been thinking about it since I came back from a 2-mos UK-Scotland-Ireland trip after college 4-years ago. Been to places abroad and the US for a week or 2 weeks, but its just not enough. Until then, i will live vicariously through other traveler… until its MY TURN (and yours!).

    Good luck….

    RJ

  2. Hey RJ,

    Thanks for your comment. Good luck with your trip as well.

    But keep in mind that patience is overrated. We should have the cojones to just get up and go. But we can’t, why do you think that is? What holds us back?

  3. Here here! I have kids and the travel-bug and a job in corporate hell – which adds up to no travel longer than 2 weeks. I am so ready to give up the literally white picket fence and hit the road with my kids before they are teens.

  4. Giovanni,

    Yes, patience is overrated, but it’s almost a necessity – truly while traveling. Although patience while traveling is in a different context than patience that I have used earlier, in essence, it shares the definition – “an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.”

    We illuminate our senses while traveling. We live for spontaneity and for the present. We reconnect with our inner childhood’s curiosity about the world, culture and the unknown guided by our adult mind frame. And indeed, it is worth dropping everything for – to live!

    Even years of non-stop traveling will come to the inevitable – the end. Then what? I’ve met a few, read about many who never stopped. But then again, it depends on the person. For me, 2-years might be just sufficient (and I say that with uncertainty). I know the two years that I will work hard, and mastering the art of patience will help me with the “then what?” Patience just makes the price grander – both during and after.

    Eventually, we will reach the “my turn” moment that we have romanticized in our head from the past 1..2, 3 or 10-years, but as the Alchemist says “if you really want something, the whole world will conspire to help you.” I’m pretty sure you love that novel as I did, don’t’ you think Santiago is patient?

    If we don’t act, and just write, and think about how we want to travel for long period of time will eventually lead us to see a geriatric psychiatrist when we grow old. Of course, none of us want that to happen. To have so much regret fifty years from now due to our lack of courage to drop everything and just travel doesn’t have to hold true. And let’s hope not. My point is – there is a time for “my turn.” It could be tomorrow, by the end of this year, or it could be two years from now – all that matter is it will happen!

    RJ

  5. RJ!

    Great comment.

    Yes, I do love the Alchemist! The funny thing is you quoted my favorite quote in that book! Santiago is patient. I think I’m at the point when Santiago has achieved “success” at the crystal shop and forgot about his treasure. Luckily for me, I stumbled upon my blog after two years without reading it and it created a spark again. Unfortunately I cannot (will not) drop everything right now to go and travel for x number of years, but my goal has revived from the bottom of my priorities and will let me “live” again the way I want to live.

    What do you think of this: I was once in a fisherman’s village in the north of Colombia inside Parque Tayrona when I met an extremely happy human being. I forget his name (let’s name him Carlos – I think it was Carlos) but his smile was the definition of happiness for me. He was a father of 2, owned a small house he built by himself, wore no shoes, and owned a small boat. He would tell us that his daily life would be to enjoy the waters of the Caribbean, look for fish to eat and trade, teach his kids how to do the same, and enjoy time with his wife. The scenery in this village was amazing. I wouldn’t really call it a village, more like a forrest/jungle next to the ocean with only 4 houses. To enter this Playa, one had to drive 5 miles in from the main road through a dirt jungle road. But once you reached the Playa, it was “paradise”. We asked Carlos to take us to a beach called Playa de los Enamorados that a friend of mine had heard about. This playa was only reachable by boat since the jungle was to dense to hike to it. We paid him US$10 and he gave us a ride with his boat. He dropped us off after 20 minutes in an isolated beach with white sand, clear waters and green green trees. He left us some fish to cook and some snorkles. It was an amazing time! We asked him to pick us up the next afternoon, which he did. I left that place with the same smile Carlos had when I met him.

    On the way to the next playa, (a finca with a bunch of hammocks next to the ocean) I couldn’t stop thinking about Carlos’ happiness and how is it that someone with “so little” could be so happy. By no means do I think NOW that he had so little, but when I compared his life to mine and to many others that live in the states or a first world country, we have many “other” things that he doesn’t have. As I have grown older, I realized that he also has many things many of us don’t have. I just haven’t figured out what these other things are.

    With this story I don’t want to let you know I’m not happy, I’m a very happy person. But I want to know why I can’t drop everything and go build my house next to a fisherman’s village. I think I just realized that this story is not my calling. But then what is?

  6. I spent my childhood in the third word – Philippines. I moved to the states in the early nineties. Life in the Philippines is different that the life that I live now. Although Philippines is a third world country (I suppose developing?), I never experienced the life living in the third world until I went to India. Maybe because when I was growing up there was always food on the table, and my parents have provided all my sisters and I could possibly need. Or maybe I was too young to realize my surroundings. nrnrWhen I went to India, I went to Kashmir. Hired a guide, couple horsemen and trekked the Himalayas. Up in the mountains we spent hours with the Indian gypsies as my guide calls them. They welcome me into their homes, served me kashmiri teas and made me fresh bread. Although I cannot understand the language, I sense they are at peace with the world. They are most happy surrounded by these magnificent mountains and with only the bare necessities. It is easy for us to say that it’s almost unfair how life did not give us the same simplicity as the people in north of Colombia and in Kashmir. Us, who live in the western world, can say “I wish I live like this.” Yet, the people in the third world can only dream living the way we live. nrnrSomeone asked me once a while back what is my purpose and calling. Some people find their calling early in life. Some, like me and you continue to ponder the question. In our youth we construct the perfect blue print how we want to model our life. Yet, as we grow older, we make modifications. Maybe, for some of us, we cannot answer the question outright. Maybe it’s a process. Or maybe, someone has to answer it for us. This I will ponder along with you – please “cc” me once you reach enlightenment. nr

  7. I have a different opinion than most i suppose. I feel that the world is the same in the core sense that ppl of all genders and ages and races and religions simply have an urge to socialize with other humans and have tasty food…no matter where you are in the world most but not all but most work during daytime and socialize with friends and family during night time.

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