rtw rookies: the FAQs
As our plans have slowly leaked out to family, friends, and now, finally, both of our jobs, we’ve been faced with a lot of the same questions… over and over and over again.
I loved reading G & Q’s answers to their most commonly asked questions, and even though many of theirs are post-trip, I saw some definite overlap. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even fully answer now, I just distract people with shiny objects and then disappear into a cloud of smoke. But perhaps now I’ll direct them to this post?
Either way, whether you were wondering these things yourself or are in the midst of debating your own RTW trip, here are the three biggest reactions we’ve gotten:
Did you win the lottery?
or, the passive aggressive alternative: “Man, it must be nice to have so much money.”
Yes, we did and yes, it is! You know the megamillions? Totes won that. That’s why we’re stressing out over $200/day and wondering if we’ll ever really be ok with street meat!
No, we did not win the lottery. And, coincidentally, I know quite a few other RTW-ers who are traveling for an even longer time than us and also did not win the lottery… and aren’t independently wealthy/funded by their parents/traipsing around with a secret beneficiary, either.
I did, however, win at marrying the Rain Man of Microsoft Excel. Over the past year and a half, the hubs has diligently laid out a very clear and determined budget for the next five months. We figured out how much we’re able to spend, and each time something else is booked, the hubs adds it to his giant Excel bible. The whole thing makes my eyes cross and my brain immediately melt out of my skull, so if anyone is planning their own RTW trip and is interested in his Excel model, I’d love to connect you so that he has someone to talk to about it. Please. Someone.
The point is: it’s all possible if you or your travel counterpart understand the importance of planning your budget well in advance.
What are you doing after your trip is over?
or, the passive aggressive alternative: “So you just quit your job and that’s it? Wow, I wish I could do that.”
Feet up, we’re officially retired!
Unlike many RTW planners, we didn’t both reach a breaking point and decide this is it, we need a serious change, start planning, and quit our jobs. Notice I said we didn’t both do that. I 100% did that.
The hubs, on the other hand, is one of the few people I know in his 20s who really enjoys his job and his career path. Because of that, he decided, about a year and a half ago, that he wants to pursue his MBA.
Coincidentally, about a year and a half ago plus a few days, I had a panic attack in Heathrow International Airport when I realized I had to come back to New York to a stockpile of things that were making me very, very unhappy. The hubs talked me down (he’s also the Rain Man of handling my emotions), and when we got back to the city, we brainstormed how to fix this.
Alternative plans that were very seriously considered and you are welcome to use*:
- Develop a secret recipe for the best pizza/bagel/croissant EVER and take it to a place that doesn’t have very good pizza/bagels/croissants (the wino and I liked Dublin for this plan). Become a millionaire and live abroad!
- Teach your dog to talk and take him on a world tour, hopefully meeting lots of royals. Bonus points if he can also sing.
- Train to become the second woman to swim across the Atlantic and then, once you reach Europe, refuse to leave. Who’s going to make the second woman to swim across the Atlantic leave?
*These plans were less “very seriously considered” and more “immediately vetoed.”
Finally, we settled on this:
After five months of traveling, the hubs and I will then pack up once more and move to France. As of August, he will officially be in the class of 2014 at INSEAD, and I will officially be in the market for a goat so that I may learn to make my own chèvre (my exact plans are still TBD, but I get points for creativity, right?).
But what about the pug?!
There’s no passive aggressive alternative here, people are genuinely concerned about what we’re doing with our pug.
I don’t doubt that this will be the hardest part about leaving in 9 days.
Parker Jones–the pug of pugs, my furriest true love–alas, cannot join us on our five month trip around the world. I did find one couple bravely tackling this feat, but unfortunately, it’s not in the cards for this guy.
Luckily, we have excellent pugsitters! The hubs’s parents have graciously agreed (or were forced depending on which parent you ask) to take Parker for the five months we’re traveling, with my parents on standby. Then, upon our return, we’ll prep him for his big move to France. From life as a stray on the streets of Queens to a stint in Paris! Must be nice, pug.
Perhaps, as it gets closer, I’ll write a bigger post on our experience with moving a dog abroad, but until he’s wearing a beret and smoking a cigarette on the cobbled streets of Fontainebleau, I don’t want to jinx anything. I am happy to answer any questions about the process offline, though, so please don’t hesitate to ask!
I’m also more than happy to answer any other questions you may have, and if you’d like to discuss outside of the comments below, feel free to e-mail me at thelazytravelers [at] gmail [dot] com. I’m pretty open, so it’s unlikely you’ll ask me anything I deem inappropriate (ladies, happy to talk about the process of acquiring 6 months of birth control because THAT WAS FUN).
And that’s that, mes amis! We have a very exciting year up ahead, and have been extremely lucky that most people have responded with nothing less than sincere excitement and curiosity.