I get the same questions over and over regarding what in the world motivated me to embark on this crazy solo adventure, so here are the quick and dirty answers to all your RTW travel questions.
Why are you leaving it all behind for a RTW trip? Are you having a quarterlife crisis?
I like to call it a Return of Saturn intervention. Saturn comes around every 29 years or so, thus reflection and introspection are to be expected. There’s no better time to take stock of family, life, love and career.
Instead of speeding toward my 30th birthday on “Wrinkle Watch 2011,” I’m going to ride elephants, snorkel with whale sharks and cage dive with great white sharks. If you don’t already see how that’s better than sitting at a desk developing back problems, I don’t think this FAQ about RTW travel is going to convince you!
Aren’t you scared to RTW travel on your own? You’re a girl, you know!
I’ve been robbed, drugged unconscious and tear-gassed (and I broke a toe!) during previous adventures, so show some love for my survival skills so far. I have a healthy respect for the enormity of what I’m doing, but fear is not an emotion I entertain (except in the case of cockroaches). I’m not the first RTW traveler to embark on an epic journey, and frankly some of my predecessors thought they might sail off the end of the Earth. In comparison, my adventure should be a cakewalk.
Why would you give up a successful public relations job you love so much? Don’t you know people would kill for a career like yours?
Embarking on a RTW adventure wasn’t an easy decision, nor was it impulsive. When I first began to consider a career break, one of my biggest areas of concern was leaving my phenomenal NYC PR job. My colleagues were more like sorority sisters, my clients were amazing and my projects interesting, and I had more once-in-a-lifetime opportunities than I could dream up – like launching the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or taking a private jet trip around The Bahamas.
However, all those plusses were leading me to care more about career than the rest of my life, and that’s not a person I ever intended to be. After reading Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller and praying about it a whole lot, I realized I was allowing my job to take the priority position in my life, all the while missing opportunities in other arenas, forgetting birthdays because I was too busy and using work as an excuse to get out of all sorts of things that used to be important to me, like short term mission trips and volunteering.
You know the old adage “Youth is wasted on the young?” I don’t want to waste my youth saving for retirement. There will always be work… and I’ll get around to it when the time comes.
How are you choosing RTW destinations?
One of the toughest parts of this whole process is choosing where to go, because I want to go everywhere! I’m also trying to ensure I have lots of quality and not just quantity – who wants to see 100 countries in a year if you can’t really get to know the culture and the people?
For now, I’m choosing RTW destinations based on a few factors. For example, I know lots of people in Australia so I want to go make the rounds there. And I’ve dreamed of Egypt since I was a little kid, so that’s a must see. I want to spend my 30th birthday doing something amazing, like volunteering with my Bolivian family in Santa Cruz or diving with Great White Sharks.
I have promised my parents that I will not hike near the borders of North Korea, Iran, Iraq, the Congo or Afghanistan.
Are you rich? Did you win the lottery? Are you a prostitute? Or in the CIA?
For the record, I am not a prostitute nor am I in the CIA. (Though I wouldn’t tell you if I was.) My friends can attest that I’m a saver, not a spender, so instead of stockpiling expensive shoes or having a big wedding and 2.5 kids, I’ve been socking money away for the proverbial rainy day. My rainy day has arrived!
I also strongly believe in tithing – if you are faithful with the money God blesses you with, he will provide.
When are you coming back?
When it’s time.
What are you going to do and where are you going to live after your RTW trip is over?
I have no idea – and I LOVE IT.
Don’t you think it’s irresponsible to quit a job when the economy is shaky?
Depends. It might be irresponsible for some people in some industries in some situations, but I am confident that my communication skills will still be excellent when I return… and I’d be willing to wager that the PR industry will still be around then as well.
Ok, you’ve answered all my questions. How can I support your RTW travels?
First, thank you for reading my blog! That’s so nice of you!
Second, I’m always looking for friends-of-friends to meet up with in all my chosen destinations. If you know anyone in Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Thailand, India, Greece, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Africa, Peru, Bolivia… or anywhere in between, do let me know! Restaurant recommendations are also much appreciated.
Lastly, if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can donate funds via PayPal or send iTunes giftcards so I can download songs & movies for the journey.