A few months ago, recently married couple Skott and Shawna left their home in Saskatchewan to travel the world for a year or more. That sounds like a nice little honeymoon to us! They started in England and then ventured over to the mainland where they’ve taken in some terrific sites on their journey, including a 35-day hike along the Camino de Santiago. We caught up with them in Morocco to find out what else they’ve been up to and how their trip is coming along.
Please tell us about your trip. What is your plan?
Our intention is to spend a total of 12-18 months traveling the globe. Our direction of travel will likely represent more of a zigzag, rather than one single rotation around the world, as it is important for us to be able to meet up with family and friends during this trip. Regardless of how we get there, we suspect the highlights of our trip will include Spain (this component has already been completed as we spent 5 weeks in the country walking the Camino de Santiago), Morocco (where we are currently, Ghana, Southeast Asia, India, and Central America (countries to be determined).
This sounds amazing. What was your motivation for something so huge?
Consider it an extended honeymoon. The short answer is, while we were deciding where to go for our “big holiday” once we got married, we were faced with incredible amounts of indecision. Although, we had friends, family, and Facebook help us to narrow down our choices….in the end, we just wanted to see too much, and so on July 18th, 2011, after quitting our jobs and renting our house we set of to England to begin our RTW journey.
Now the looooong answer to this question (including why we MUST go to Madagascar) can be found here: Honeymoon Gone Crazy
How did you plan your trip?
PLAN??!! Well, I suppose we both spent some time thinking about what was really important to us. For Shawna, India was a must see. Skott was extremely excited about Central America. We tried to consider things like weather, to a point…and went from there. As best we can, we want to make this a sort of “follow the sun” tour. Our plans have already changed slightly, with us spending time in Austria, Italy, and France, when we initially had very little intention on spending much time in Western Europe outside of the Camino [Camino de Santiago]. But that is the fun it….have a vague idea, but try not to over plan…that just spoils it.
Have you learned anything about yourself from this experience?
So far our biggest “learnings” have been related to our relationship. We believed that we had an incredible relationship before we left…and trust us, WE DID! But we have both become much better communicators with each other. Additionally, we are learning to give each other the reins a little more. We both have a tendency to need to control the situation. That seldom results in a happy ending, so we take turns doing things….be it planning our next location, or simply just ordering dinner in a country where you do not speak the language.
What’s the best place you’ve visited?
So far….Italy and Morocco. Italy, because we are both huge foodies (huge meaning we love it lots, not huge as in we are overweight), and they have the best cuisine we have encountered so far. Morocco, because it is the biggest culture shock we have run into….it is madness, but it is a wonderful madness.
How did you determine and manage your budget for your trip? (After all, we’re very budget oriented here at Budget Your Trip.)
Our goal is to be able to travel as a couple on $100 per day (CDN). We did a little research, and other RTW travel couples seemed to think this was a fair budget number, and so that is what we went with. Through Europe, we found this to be a little tight, and we were actually closer to $120/day, but that should be the most expensive part of our journey, and so we are expecting that daily average to start coming down.
We are not spending (in our opinion) our money foolishly, but we also would not consider ourselves cheap travellers. We like a glass of wine or two. We like good, healthy food. We like to stay in nice places. We are not ‘living the high life’, but we are making sure that we enjoy ourselves and the experience, as opposed to merely watching every dirham and peso we spend.
How did you save up the money for your trip? Any tips for others who are trying to save money?
We were fortunate, very fortunate, to both have had great jobs before we left. After making the decision to travel, we lived off of one income and banked the other. As far as tips go, honestly….it really is the little things. Don’t ruin a year of your life, just so that you can have a great year next year, but be smart. Bringing lunches to work easily saved us a couple hundred a month….(and Shawna would like to add it is healthier as well:) )
Any advice for other travelers?
We wish we were more insightful, but there are no truths that you haven’t heard before: Be patient, don’t try to overplan, when travelling do NOT forget to appreciate how lucky you are, and of course we will end this with the very overused, but accurate…Just do it!
Thanks for entertaining our questions, guys. Good luck on the rest of your trip! Skott and Shawna are planning to travel around more of Africa soon, and a little bit of everywhere else in the coming months. You can follow their adventures on their blog at GetUpAndGlobe.com, or on Twitter at @getupandglobe.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.