For the vast majority of my RTW planning, spending a month in Istanbul has been one of my biggest safety worries. That concern was slightly mitigated by the fact that ISIS activity was primarily in other regions of Turkey. Keeping an eye on the news and state department warnings would be enough to assess the capital’s safety, and if I felt uncomfortable as October approached, I would simply re-route to avoid the risk of a terrorist attack.
In the wake of a springtime terrorist attack on Brussels, however, I couldn’t help feeling naive. Reading the news and making a judgment call on a single city in my year-long itinerary isn’t enough. Because nothing is enough. Terrorism is a worldwide threat. Did anyone in Brussels expect to be caught in that nightmare? Of course not. No one ever could. Days like this will always catch us by surprise, on some level.
So what do we do? What do I do, when nowhere in the world is safe and I still can’t wait to be out in that world?
I’ve spent months refining my RTW packing list. Back in September, I used the prize money from a photography contest to stock up on the essentials, but thanks to the generosity of friends and relatives and a few fortunate turns in my budget, a lot of items on my backpacking B-list (stuff I’d love to have with me but don’t necessarily need) have been fulfilled. And I’ve also now had time to do packing test runs and think more about what I really want to take on the road.
So how has my RTW packing list changed?
While I’ve alluded to various aspects of my RTW budget during my trip planning, like what I’ll spend on flights and how I’ll save, it occurred to me that I’ve never broken down my full plan. And it’s best to stay accountable, no? So read on for how I’ll travel all year with less than $25,000.
This week is an important milestone in my RTW trip planning: I bought a one-way plane ticket. (And it was under budget, to boot!)
With my departure now secured, those milestones will only become more numerous and more frequent. It will be easy for me to stay motivated. But when I first learned about long-term travel, it was a few years that stood between me and that dream, not a few months. Motivation was a little harder to come by. The typical travel blog platitudes designed to sell e-books and blogging courses never really resonated with me. Vagabonding did.