Over the past 3 months, when ever I bring up my upcoming trip, I tend to get the same 6-8 questions. In the hopes of helping people understand what I’m doing and how this all works, I’ll be answering the most commonly asked questions.
When are you leaving?
September 3rd. I am quitting my job on August 9th, then using the remaining 3 weeks to move out of my current apartment, be a tourist in Boston and eventually head down to NJ (where my parents live) for a few days before I leave.
What are you doing with all your stuff?
Giving it away. Donating it. Selling it. I don’t really care how I get rid of it, I just don’t want it anymore (except my car, I won’t be giving that away, but I will be selling it). If you need some drinking glasses, a couch or a car, just let me know.
Where are you heading first? How long will you be there?
My flight in September is a one way ticket to Auckland, New Zealand. I plan on spending 3-4 months there and maybe heading to Australia before coming back to the US in mid-December for Christmas. I am applying for a working holiday visa for New Zealand, which allows me to work and live there for 12 months, rather than be restricted to a 90 day non-working tourist visa.
After Christmas, I am not sure where I’ll go. My current plan is to head to Mexico, Central America and then loop through South America, but I am open to returning to New Zealand/ Australia. After that, the plan is to head to Eastern Europe. I envision this taking a year or so, but I’ll just keep going until I’m done, whenever and wherever that may be, or I run out of money. I hope the former.
Who are you going with? Do you know anyone there?
I’m not going with anyone, I’ll be setting off on this adventure alone. I also do not know anyone in New Zealand or Australia.
Where will you stay?
Hostels. I assumed that most people my age have stayed in hostels and most people older than me have either stayed in them, or know how they work. Not the case.
Hostels are a sort of like a bed and breakfast but a lot more basic. In general they have some private rooms that can accommodate 1-3 people, and they also have dorm rooms that typically have bunk beds and accommodate anywhere from 6-12 people. Some have private bathrooms (the fancy ones), but the majority are shared bathrooms. There are also large common areas/ living rooms and a communal kitchen. They are cheap, at least compared to hotels.
But the biggest draw of hostels is the atmosphere. People in hostels are social. They cook and eat together, hang out in the common areas and often make plans and tag along for the day with each other. People who stay in hostels, in general, want to meet other people.
Are you going to work?
No. At least I don’t plan to. I’ll have a work visa in New Zealand so it’s an option, but I have the savings to not work.
What are you bringing with you?
Whatever I can fit in my 50L backpack… so not much. Of course clothes and toiletries, but electronics (and all the cables and chargers) take up a large amount of space. I’ll be bringing a cell phone (and popping in a local SIM when I change locations), a tablet with a keyboard and a small point and shoot camera. Also my grips so that if I happen upon a gymnastics gym, I’ll be prepared to do uneven bars!
What will you do there?
Whatever I feel like! Everyday is Saturday. In the cities a lot of sight seeing and walking. Probably some gymnastics.
Outside of cities I want to hike, lay by a lake and read for hours, sit at a cafe and people watch, maybe go skydiving, perhaps kayaking, party it up, cook, meet fellow travelers, socialize, get lost in my thoughts, watch the stars… Anything I feel like doing, I’ll do!
What is your budget?
Okay. So people don’t outright ask this one but my guess is they are curious. I budgeted $20,000 for 1 year, but am open to increasing that by up to 50%. The biggest impact on my budget will be how long I stay in New Zealand/ Australia/ first world countries. Once I’m out of those countries, the cost of living plummets and my money will last far longer.
So that was 9 questions, sorry about that. If you have any more, let me know! I’m happy to answer them.