Round the World

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Late last year I posted what I called my overly ambitious ten year plan. That plan, of course, involved spending the entire year in South Korea and using the decent pay + cheap cost of living to pay off my credit card debt and put aside a fancy little nest egg to help me get settled into Turkey in 2012.

As previous entries on the subject have documented, Korea just didn’t work out for me. A combination of an unhappy work environment, a break-up, and not really being in the right place to enjoy my time in Korea meant that I took the decision to come home.

Byron, David, and I out and about in Gwangju. September 2009.

Two months on and I’m still sure I did the right thing. My life here in Sydney has fallen nicely into place. I’ve landed a great new job at a company I have a lot of respect for, I’ve moved into a beautiful Lane Cove apartment with a cool chick, I’m finding the time to see more of the city I love, I’m putting away money to pay off old debts, and I’m about to act as tour guide for Heather from The Kimchi Chronicles while she’s downunder for twenty four days. Life is the best it’s been since last year.

But the set-back also meant re-evaluating the bold plan I’d laid out last year. If Korea taught me nothing else, it’s that teaching just really isn’t the job for me. While I love kids and I’ll always enjoy working with them, I found the strict schedule and constant interference by my director to sap the fun out of it and completely hamper my ability to teach a language I not only speak fluently – but speak well. Maybe that’s just a Korean thing, but the very thought of teaching again, regardless of where it is, doesn’t fill me with joy at this point. Maybe that will change in time. I don’t know.

But while wandering drunkenly through the streets of Sydney late last week, my good friend Dave and I got to talking about my love for travel and my determination to turn Aussie on the Road from part-time hobby into something I can consider a legitimate source of income. More on that later.

But Dave hit me with a bold suggestion, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself. The idea?

  1. Pack a bag
  2. Go to the airport
  3. Buy a ticket going anywhere

It’s so simple. Take a bag with all I need (not want) in it, grab my passport, have a healthy chunk of change in the bank, and just go. Obviously I won’t grab the first plane to South Korea (been there and done that) or to a country where I need a visa pre-ordered, but how much more thrilling can life be than just jumping on a plane and going where it takes you? And what kind of story would that make? Not just for the people who read my adventures here – but for my children and my children’s children? I’m getting butterflies now just thinking about it.

Posing on my first night in New Zealand. December 2010.

Last week a highlighted some of the fantastic blogs I like to read about travel such as A Dangerous Business, Brooke vs the World, and yTravel Blog. My Googling today also brought me to Go Backpacking and the wealth of knowledge that is to be found there. Not only does the site contain plenty of adventures and information for would be RTW backpackers – but it also has some great content on how to successfully monetize your site. I daresay I’ll be spending a lot of my free time over the next few weeks and months familiarizing myself with all the site has to offer.

In the short term though, my planning remains simple. I’ve got a $5000 credit card debt to pay off before I can start putting money aside for the big trip. My tentative departure date is after Christmas in 2012 – and I want to have a good $15,000 in savings for the big trip. How long I’m on the road and what I do depends on how much I save and how I can learn to better budget. It’s something I’ve never been particularly good at.

So, that’s my plan. It’s not much of a plan just yet, I admit. It’s more of a ‘goal’. Like an Underpants Gnomes style scheme in need of a middle step.

Watch this space.


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