I came to this travel gig pretty late in life. My first flight coincided with my first trip abroad, and that was at the age of (almost) 24 in late 2007.
In the intervening years I’ve lived two years in South Korea, spent a week sunning myself on a gorgeous Chinese beach, paid a three day visit to Fukuoka in Japan, spent six weeks touring the West Coast of the United States with my gorgeous girlfriend, and spent the better part of this year getting a little more familiar with the land I was born and bred in.
It was during this year back ‘at home’ working a real job and dealing with real world concerns like budgets and health insurance and the like that I realized how much I’d come to love being out and about and seeing the world.
It’s my, almost certainly unrealistic, goal to travel for as long as I have the energy and the ability to do so. And so, drumroll if you please, here’s my ten year plan.
I’m not quite done with Australia yet. A day long surfing course on Manly Beach followed by some beers at one of the many great pubs in the area awaits me this weekend, and then there’s a day long trip to the Blue Mountains the very next day.
December 17th has Fallon and I embarking on our ‘farewell tour’ with a twelve day tour of New Zealand that will see us hit Queenstown, Christchurch, Auckland, Rotarua, and Nelson before we jet off to celebrate New Year’s and Fiji and say our goodbyes.
From there it’s back home for Fallon and two weeks of partying with my brothers and friends in a variety of Fijian backpackers. I’ve covered all of this before.
Which leads me to…
I’m aiming to be back in my home away from home, Gwangju (South Korea), by February or March of next year. After toying with the idea of taking up a public school job for the extra holiday time – I instead opted to stick with what I know (and the extra free time I get during the week) by going with private academies.
There’ll be a lot of exploring to be done in South Korea – and my goal is to cover as much of the country and its many festivals and historic sights as possible. A weekend junket to Japan is also not out of the question around Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) if time and my budget allows.
I’ll also have two vacations to make use of – so the plan at this point is to spend one scuba diving and snorkeling in Malaysia or the Philippines, and then spend the other in either China (seeing the traditional sights) or Mongolia (going off the beaten track).
Between the Korean peninsula and a few journeys farther afield, I think I’ll have plenty of fodder for the site and my bucket list.
Study for my CELTA in Chiang Mai, Thailand. They have a fantastic course that includes all of your accommodation and food, and then I’ll be perfectly placed to launch into a few weeks of exploring Thailand and potentially Cambodia and Laos.
Then? Then I’m aiming to head to Turkey to finally take my friend Anthony up on his continued badgering/offering to find me work in the country. That will give me a great launching pad for sojourns into Europe and North Africa.
India! My friends Katie and Jess are having the time of their lives exploring the subcontinent, and damned if they haven’t won me over to the idea of going there myself. Everywhere from Goa to Darjeeling to Delhi – I intend to see an experience as much as I can. And lose plenty of weight eating poorly prepared curries.
Then it’ll be time to find another teaching gig – either in Japan, Korea (Seoul this time), or potentially the UAE. I’ve always wanted to try the Middle East.
I’ll travel/volunteer my way around South America and aim to be somewhat settled into a teaching gig in Brazil in time for the 2014 World Cup. I can dream, can’t I?
A teaching job anywhere – ideally somewhere in Europe. I’ve got a friend in Russia who recruits for schools in Moscow, so that might just be my next port of call. With the ridiculously long summer vacation they get there, I’ll try and get back to Australia to hopefully catch some of the 2015 Asian Nations Cup on home soil.
2016 and Beyond
Europe! With my CELTA and plenty of years of experience in Asia and South America, I’ll be aiming to take a job someplace idyllic in Europe. Recommendations are welcome! My dream would be Spain, Greece, Italy, or the Czech Republic.
Europe would keep me occupied for quite a while, and there’s the small matter of the 2018 World Cup in England (most likely) to aim for.
The last ‘travel’ I’d really love to do would be to backpack my way around Australia – starting in Darwin and working my way counter clockwise until I arrived in Cairns. That, though, will need to wait until I’ve made it rich as a writer or mastered the art of traveling on a shoestring.
What are your travel dreams? I’d love to hear about them.