Here’s one to make you think: Warren and Betsy Talbot will leave on October 1st, 2010 to begin a three-year trip around the world. That sounds crazy even to us! Actually, “crazy” isn’t the word to describe it, because we’re very jealous. However, at close to 40 years of age, both members of this married duo have recently had some life experiences to make them rethink their priorities. Warren explained their motivation to us:
In April of 2008 Betsy’s brother had a serious heart attack at 35. Then in August a dear friend of ours had a brain aneurysm. Today both of them are doing great but their experiences shook us and caused us to reevaluate what is important to us. Within a month of her brain aneurysm we decided life is too short to not explore our dreams. On September 1st, 2008 we decided to take a year off to travel the world. After doing some more research and a LOT of dedicated savings, we determined we could stretch out time on the road to more than 3 years. We simply had to take the first step towards our dreams and now we are following them.
These moments in life force us all to reevaluate ourselves and our place in the world. In our experience, many people who look to take a career break or sabbatical or make a major life change are often motivated by some type of search for more meaning in their lives. We’re all behind you, Warren and Betsy, so stick with it.
While on their trip, Warren informed me that they plan to visit all seven continents. They will begin in South America where they will spend at least 6 months, stopping over in Antarctica while there. Next they will make their way over to Africa, and then up to Europe. They were keen and wise to point out that they have not set itinerary, but merely a list of desired destinations and a general route. They filmed this terrific short video to let us all know their general plans.
When we first started planning our trip we made a very long list of places and things we have always wanted see. In addition, we have been taking input and ideas from anyone and everyone and adding their suggestions to our list and hoping to take advantage of all their ideas as we travel.
We asked Warren and Betsy how they came up with a budget for their trip. After all, three years is a long time!
Creating a budget was a significant challenge as we started planning our trip. Having never taken a vacation longer than a week we were completely in the dark about where to start. We started doing research and found that while there is a lot of experience documented by others, the amount they spent varied dramatically. Instead of focusing on an all up number, which was proving daunting, we decided to allocate an average per day that we would spend. We have budgeted $100/day which seems to fit with our travel style (we are not living in dorms) and plan travel slowly and rent places for weeks at a time to cut down on costs.
In the process of planning, Warren us gave the following advice for other travelers:
Get out of debt before you travel. It is much easier to make your way with complete freedom over your finances. Make sure you are in alignment with your travel partner in terms of the style of travel, the budget, and the general destinations. If one of you wants a luxury trip and the other wants to backpack, there will be problems. Same thing goes if one is all about meeting other people and learning and the other one wants it to be a romantic “just-us” kind of experience. Getting in sync before you leave and making plans for adjusting to each other’s needs will go a long way in making the trip more enjoyable for both of you.
We can definitely attest to the part about being in sync with your travel partner. As you may know, we took a year long trip (which led to the creation of Budget Your Trip) and somehow managed not to kill each other or get divorced along the way. We wish the same for Warren and Betsy.
You can follow their adventures (currently in the pre-trip phase) at MarriedWithLuggage.com or on Twitter (Betsy: @betsytalbot Warren: @wtalbot) or Facebook. They are currently looking for advice from other travelers, so shoot them some recommendations and tips.