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Author: Danielle Bricker (page 1 of 7)

Must-Have RTW Resources

When you’re traveling long-term you naturally meet other travelers on a regular basis, but I’ve encountered few people traveling for as long as a year. Most of the people I meet on my RTW trip are impressed and very supportive. So I was shocked when the Norwegian guy in my Italian hostel who had just finished detailing his own cross-European itinerary sneered at my explanation of RTW travel and asked “Well how do you afford that?” I would expect such things from someone who doesn’t travel themselves! A better question might have been “Wow! How do you do that?” So, for anyone willing to suspend their judgments, I present my favored RTW resources.

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Eyes Open, Map Shut

I couldn’t have been in Reykjavik for more than two hours before I was mistaken for a local. A tourist in his late 20s to early 30s wandered past the duck pond I happened to be sitting by, and started waving his smartphone around and peppering me with fragmented questions.

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RTW Budget: Iceland

Iceland’s certainly never going to be known as a budget travel destination, but I think I did alright for my first week of long-term travel.

See the full breakdown of what I spent below:
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Travel Saved Me from an Abusive Relationship

I’m pretty careful to avoid treating my RTW travel as an escape. Its seeds had been planted long before I even started the position I’ve just left behind. When I decided to bite the bullet and really make my travel plans happen, my situation even started to look up. Taking this adventure has always been more, and would always have happened, no matter my life circumstances.

But damn if it isn’t extra satisfying now.

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How I Fit Over 250 Outfits in a Carry-On

Yes, that’s over 250 outfit options from fewer than 20 pieces. On my flight out to Iceland, my seatmate couldn’t believe the carry-on backpack I slid into our overhead bin was my only piece of luggage. And I have to admit, breezing straight past the baggage claim crowd at Keflavik as all those red-eye flights poured in felt really good.

I’ve spent months upon months finely tuning my packing list to balance traveling carry-on only, covering multiple seasons, and staying at least semi-fashionable part of the time. You can decide for yourself whether that’s an art or a science – I’m just happy to lead by example.

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What Should I Do in a Terrorist Attack?

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?

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Building a Better Backpack: My Updated RTW Packing List

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?

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Finalizing My RTW Budget

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.

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10 Favorite Vagabonding Quotes

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.

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Eating Healthy on a Long Trip

Many moons ago, a former boss returned from a family vacation with tales of kids who craved salads for dinner and inhaled celery sticks and sugar snap peas by the gallon at snacktime. They had spent an entire week indulging themselves with meals out to the point that they wanted something fresh, healthy, and homemade. Consider that example of eating healthy one of those “Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten” moments.

If a six-year-old can crave green things after just a week, I probably will too.

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