Kim Dinan is a Sustainability Coordinator and aspiring writer from Oregon. Kim and her husband Brian are quitting their jobs and taking off on an around-the-world adventure starting May 2012. Since I only planned my round-the-world itinerary two months in advance, it’s been interesting reading about Kim’s travel preparations the last 6 months.
What originally inspired you to make your plans?
When I was a child I loved to write and explore the woods and neighborhoods in our sub-division. In many ways, nothing has changed. I still feel most like myself when I am writing or when I am discovering a place for the first time.
By my late-20’s I found myself a married homeowner on a great career track. I had everything that I’d always thought I wanted, but I wasn’t happy. What had started as a little knocking inside of my chest had manifested into a loud, screaming voice that I couldn’t ignore anymore. The voice said: Kim, this is not what your life is for.
After a lot of soul searching I knew that the only way I could live authentically was to listen to the voice inside. I told Brian, my husband, about what I needed to do. He was surprised (clearly!) but ultimately supportive.
From there, we began the process of putting ourselves in the position to live the dream. We started saving every spare penny, we sold our stuff, we put our house on the market. We’ve been working diligently towards this dream for over two years, but it all started by acknowledging my inner voice.
Read Kim’s article about why she’s quitting her job to travel.
What fears did you get over while deciding to follow your travel dreams?
I’ve had a million fears and they’ve changed over time. My first fear was that my dream was impossible and unrealistic. Then, I feared how my husband would react. After that, I worried about what my parents and other close friends and family would think.
I worried about whether we should sell our house or not and then, once we decided to sell it, I worried that it wouldn’t sell. I feared I was destroying my career by quitting my job. I feared that I’d run out of time to have children if I decided I wanted them some day.
Basically, every step along the way I’ve been afraid of something. The important thing is that I didn’t let the fear stop me. Eventually, the thing that seemed so scary ends up fading away into the background.
Now that I am so close to achieving this dream, I have another great fear, which I’ve written about in my fear can kick my other fears’ ass. I guess I will never stop worrying!
What are most anxious about now as you are preparing for your trip?
Well, in many ways I have less anxiety about the trip now than I have had in the past, mostly because I know it is within reach. I had a lot of anxiety early on that something would happen to derail us- we’d lose our jobs and not be able to save money, we’d have some kind of emergency, that sort of thing.
I’m anxious about leaving our dogs. It really breaks my heart, but we know they will be well taken care of and loved (Brian’s parents are going to watch them).
There was a lot of anxiety around breaking the news at work, but we’ve recently jumped that hurdle: telling our jobs about our plans to travel
How much are you budgeting for your trip?
Our budget is $60,000. We plan to travel with $50,000 and save $10,000 for our “next step,” whatever that may be. We plan to travel for at least a year but hope we can make our budget stretch longer.
We leave for our trip in May, 2012. The first leg of our adventure is a three month road trip of the U.S. National Parks. In August we fly to Ecuador and we will spend 4.5 months traveling overland through South America.
We don’t know exactly where our journey through South America will take us but we do know we need to be in Buenos Aires about a week before Christmas to meet friends. Right after Christmas we will fly to India. After India we’ll head to Nepal. After that we don’t know where the road will take us, but we’re excited to find out!
What are you 5 tips for planning an extended travel break?
- Get started. I’ve been amazed at how many times the Universe has made things possible for me. Put all of your energy into achieving your goal but allow room for magic, too.
- Be patient! Big things take time. Living a dream will seem impossible at first, but break your dream down into smaller, achievable steps. You’ll get there eventually.
- Talk to other travelers. When I first started dreaming of traveling I found travel blogs through google and devoured them. Reach out to the people who are doing what you want to do. I guarantee they will be willing to encourage you and answer your questions, and they’ll help you feel less alone.
- Don’t let people talk you out of your dreams, and don’t talk yourself out of your dreams either. If you really want to do this, do it. There will never be a perfect time to take a big leap, might as well do it now.
- Start saving, but know that it might not cost as much as you think. I had no idea how much it would cost to travel for at least a year, but I knew how expensive my vacations were! When you travel full-time you can move slower and that reduces costs. At least, that’s what everyone tells me. I’ll be able to verify that soon.
>> If you could take a round-the-world trip, what would your itinerary look like and how long would you give yourself to prepare? Leave your thoughts below.
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