Having been stricken by a severe sense of wanderlust, I am planning to take a year off and travel RTW. This would be taking place in Oct. or Nov of 2015, and I hope to have approx. 8-10k saved.
My Idea is that I would be flying into Europe (Most likely Spain) and from there be journeying eastward was far as I would be able to go. I have a European passport, so that first stretch shouldn't be any trouble, however I do not currently have a set country list of where I would like to go. (atm i am imagining a 'go where my feet take me' scenario) My primary modes of transportation would be Plane (to start and end my journey) hitchhiking, bus, train and just plain old walking.
I have family in Spain, as well as friends in Northern Europe, but in between I plan to crash in hostels, couch surfing or camping. Like I said, this would a year long expedition going as far east as i can, the quintessential backpackers plan, if you will. I am really interested meeting new people, cultures, and exploring those places that arent quite one the tourist maps. (I appreciate history, so museums and other historical sites will be visited as well.
Any help/advice/tips/questions to to help me refine my plans would be much appreciated, as I am sure there are a multitude of things or situations that I have not thought of that are important. I am also open to traveling with others for either a portion or the complete trip.
My only suggestion would be not starting in Europe (especially the north) in the winter and with only 8 - 10K saved start your travels instead in a warm, inexpensive destination. The Indian Subcontinent, SE Asia, Central/South America all offer better weather at that time of year, plus they're inexpensive.
Lastly, try something different that's slightly out of your comfort zone instead of the same old stuff where you have family/friends.
My husband and I are also planning a round the world trip, but we won't be leaving until 2017. I've already done quite a bit of research, however, so perhaps what I've found may be of use to you. It appears that there are as many methods of travel as there are travelers. Some like to plan every detail out ahead of time, others just hop on a plane and decide where to go when the mood strikes them. Every person has to find the best way for themselves One suggestion I've seen quite often, no matter what type of traveler you are, is to make a rough budget for each country that you might like to visit. Some countries are much more expensive to visit than others. Also check out visa and vaccination requirements ahead of time. I'd suggest that you make a list of countries that you might like to visit. You can add some of the sights that you find interesting for each of those countries. You don't have to visit each one, but doing the planning ahead of your trip leaves time during your trip for all of the fun things you're hoping to do. If you don't want to do any planning, I would suggest that you at least leave enough money for a flight home - and just see where your wanderlust takes you.
I'm actually planning a very similar trip for around the same time (well, depending on when my brother decides to get married, I may have to delay by a few months but really hope not!).
Like you I'm in the very early planning stages (as in I decided to do this yesterday) and I've actually been thinking of buying a beat up old camper van and using that to get around. I figure as I'm heading east I'm basically going overland the whole way and it is possible to drive it (over a period of several months, not in a couple of days!). I have a few friends that have travelled quite a bit and they have each said it's actually a decent enough idea, I won't have to worry about finding somewhere to stay, etc. I'll still couchsurf and stay in hostels just to be able to shower (!) but for the most part I plan on being on the road.
I'm hoping to have 15-20k saved for the trip, plus I'll be renting out my place whilst I'm gone so that'll give me a bit of extra income too.
Where abouts are you departing from?