I’m traveling the world and so can you!
If there’s one thing I hope you will get out of exploring this site it’s that anyone really can do a trip around the world. In fact, I think everyone should! It’s the single most efficient way to see the world and it’s not as expensive as you’d think. Round the world travel isn’t just the sole domain of backpackers and billionaires anymore, today’s online travel booking sites make coordinating the myriad details of a RTW trip easier than ever. You don’t need a travel agent, you just need a dream and a plan.
Honestly, the thought of taking a trip around the world never even occurred to me until one New Year’s Day when I read the story of a Miami Herald writer who had just returned from a year-long trip around the world. By the time I got to the end of that article I’d had what Oprah might call an “Aha!” moment. I can’t explain it exactly, but the idea just struck me like a lightning bolt and I knew it was my destiny to take a trip around the world. But a year overseas was never a realistic option for me (without completely abandoning my career) so decided on the idea of one month and set out to make it count.
Exactly one year later…
I boarded a flight to Buenos Aires to begin my own bucket-list-shredding, trip-of-a-lifetime around the world. The pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall; I criss-crossed the globe like an Amazing Race contestant visiting 13 countries in 30 days. That first RTW trip was love at first flight and quickly turned into an annual event once I realized that a) it wasn’t that hard to plan, b) it wasn’t as expensive as I thought it might be and c) it was unbelievably, life-alteringly, amazing!
As a long-time business traveler, I was fully accustomed to traveling solo so that was a complete non-issue. In fact, I preferred the idea of conquering the world on my own terms and my own way. And all those business travel miles and hotel points have gone a long way toward offsetting the costs of my trips and upping the luxury level to business class flights and 4-star hotels (though strategic use of credit card offers can achieve roughly the same rewards).
I’m a firm believer that anything worth doing is worth doing in style and I leverage a couple of programs to finance my RTW travel habit. As an Atlanta-based traveler, I’m a Diamond Medallion and Million Miler with Delta Airlines. As for hotels, I’m a Platinum Preferred Guest with Starwood Hotels (my favorite) and an elite member with a number of others.
Since that first trip eight years ago, I have visited and written about more than 130 countries and planned seven subsequent RTW trips and four additional month-long trips through Europe, Oceania, the Balkans and Central America. I am known for my ability to squeeze a year’s worth of travel into only a month (all I can usually spare – after all, a girl does have to make a living) and when I’m not on the road for business or pleasure I reside in Atlanta, Georgia.
Some of my favorite places in the world are Greece, Thailand, South Africa, Easter Island, Moorea, New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Antarctica. I try my best to get back to each as often as possible but for some, like Antarctica, once will probably have to suffice.
I am fortunate that much of my work as a self-employed event planner can be done from anywhere – as long as I have my laptop and decent internet access. The only time of year I can’t travel for fun is during college football season when my work as an Operations Producer for ESPN keeps me on the road Stateside.
The Bottom Line?
Traveling around the world doesn’t have to mean quitting your job and setting off for a year. It is possible to combine wanderlust with your work life; more and more people are doing it every day. My new book, The Grown-Up’s Guide to Globetrotting, can help you plan your journey from start to finish. I’m always happy to answer questions from readers who are planning their own RTW trips, so if you have a question…shoot me an e-mail, post a message on my Facebook page or send me a tweet on Twitter!
I am told that someday I will tire of all this traveling. Maybe so…but not today.