Around the World in Many Days
My flight leaves tonight. It’s one-way ticket.
I have one carry-on bag, no plan, and only one expectation:
This should be interesting.
I am, quite literally, going to fly around the world. Not in a Rutan-esque non-stop circumnavigation, but a Jules Verne-style adventure in reverse. Unlike Mr. Fogg, however, I have no end date. No timeline at all, in fact. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure when I’ll be coming back.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to live and work in a foreign country. Britain and Japan were always high on my list, but there was always, and certainly, a list. It occurred to me sometime last year that because of how unlikely it was that I’d ever choose to work for someone again, the likelihood of finding a “real” job anywhere seemed remote.
Then, due to changes in some of the outlets I wrote for, it became apparent that I didn’t need to be tied to my house anymore. At all. I could now do nearly all of my job with just a laptop and occasional bouts of WiFi. Suddenly, the world became much smaller. I’m a freelance writer/editor/photographer, I can live in work in whatever foreign country I want (just about), for as long as their visa will let me.
I explain this because I’ve found, even among my friends, a certain misunderstanding of what I’m talking about. I’m talking about extended and personally-sustainable travel. This isn’t a long “vacation.” This is merely doing my job from somewhere that isn’t my house.
There’s more to it than that, of course. I’m not sure yet how personal I want to get in this blog, but for now I’ll just say I’ve gotten bored. And my mind starts doing bad things when it’s bored.
So I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know where I’m going. I have a rough route in mind (the image at the top), but since the only thing I’ve booked is this one-way ticket to Sydney, I’m going to go where the wind takes me.
My thought is that I’ll blog here as the need arises. I’m spending a few weeks in Australia with a dear friend, and then I’m off to… New Zealand? Singapore? I’ll figure that out a few days before I leave. From wherever that is, I’ll head west. Ever west. Across continents and oceans, the Equator and the Meridian, eventually returning home.
Well, for a little while anyway. I’ve got tickets to Le Mans in June and I’m definitely not going to miss that.
Since I had a bad experience already trying to explain all this to someone, I figured a FAQ was in order.
Q: Are you quitting your job?
A: I don’t really have “a job,” at least not in the traditional sense. I have three main writing/editing clients, and a few minor ones. Those of them that know don’t care, and those that don’t know don’t need to know. Why would they care where I am? Since I’m always just an email away (just as I am now), and I plan on doing all the work I would have done at home, there shouldn’t be any issues. I spent 2.5 weeks in Hawaii in November, and no one noticed. I actually got more work done there than I would have at home.
The idea is to do my job, just not at home.
Q: How can you afford this?
A: I’ve saved up the airfare for a rough route around, plus some extra. You can live quite cheaply in most countries. Since I’m not “taking time off” there’s no loss of income.
Q: What about your house?
A: My dad has graciously offered to house sit. Win-Win, actually, since his home has “weather” and mine does not.
Q: Are you freaking out?
A: Who’s to say?
Q: How can you not have booked anything?
A: Turns out, airfare doesn’t actually go up in price the closer you get to the date, at least as long as you’re flexible with airlines and times. I bought the LAX-SYD ticket in early December, and if I booked that same flight right now (leaving in a few hours) the price is only $26 more.
For everything else, there’s the web: Hotels.com, Hostels.com, Hostelworld.com…
Q: Won’t you get lonely?
A: Compared to staying in my empty house? One of the big reasons I want to do this is to meet new people. The most interesting people I’ve met in recent years I met while travelling. My hope is to further that trend.
Q: Can I meet you somewhere?
Packing to Go Around the World
Australia III: On Koalas and Kangaroos
Singapore: On Which I Eat All the Foods, and Sweat All The Sweats
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