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Ofie's Travel!

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1. Posted by Ofie (Budding Member, 22 posts) 11 Jul '10 11:34

Hi everyone,
My name is Otilia, im 23 f from Canada.
I was curious as to how you go about planning a round the world trip. So far i've looked into the Gap Year program. But I'm nervous because I will be going alone, and I'm not sure they get you in contact with others on the same trip. I feel like i'll be the only person going alone. So many people are settling down and getting careers and i feel like this is my last opportunity to see the world, and if it comes down to it ill go alone, but i have such anxiety about not having someone else with me. :(

any tips :)

- O

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4280 posts) 12 Jul '10 03:43

Quoting Ofie

But I'm nervous because I will be going alone, and I'm not sure they get you in contact with others on the same trip. I feel like i'll be the only person going alone. So many people are settling down and getting careers and i feel like this is my last opportunity to see the world, and if it comes down to it ill go alone, but i have such anxiety about not having someone else with me. :(

Independent solo travel is (imo) the way to go. No programs or organized itinerary: just your plane tickets and your backpack. You'll have complete flexibility in deciding where to go and what to do. You'll have the freedom to do only what you want to do - and if you're having a lousy day, that includes the ability to do nothing at all and just laze about in a hammock with a book and a drink. You'll be able to discover what it is you care for when you're completely free of obligations and the constraints of people around you having preconceived notions about who you are. Experience thousands of new things and let your subconsciousness take that as input for drawing conclusions about what it is you want to do with your life.
You'll meet plenty of people in the hostels and guesthouses where you'll be staying, as well as on the busses and trains you'll be taking. It's pretty much impossible not to meet people when travelling. Sit in any hostel's lounge with a book and a cup of tea for an hour, and you'll be guaranteed a conversation or two. Most of these people you'll hang out with for a day or two, going through the routine of questions "where are you from? where have you been? where are you going next?" and then either they or you depart again on the exact day where you're feeling like you're getting to know them, but every so often you'll meet someone with whom you can connect, and you decide to travel together - or just happen to travel in parallel - for a few days, or a few weeks, and maybe you'll bump into them again a couple of months later, and you'll discover they'll feel like long-lost friends.

I was curious as to how you go about planning a round the world trip.

Mostly, a round the world trip is not something you can really plan in any detail. You make a list of countries which appeal, you string them together in some sort of semi-logical geographical order (putting backpacker-friendly countries where everyone goes early on in the list, so you can develop a decent travel routine where it's easy to do so), you do some basic research about what kind of things you want to see in those places and thus how long you should spend everywhere (making certain to include plenty of empty days everywhere to be able to deal with sudden opportunities, new insights, or just a desperate need to veg out in a hammock for two days straight), book your first few nights of accommodation in a new place to allow yourself to get your bearings - and then you go and see what the world holds.
Never plan too much or too strictly - allow yourself the time to gradually settle into the fabric of things, and give yourself time to sit back and assimilate new experiences. Personally I always find it worthwhile to devour most of a Lonely Planet (city specific chapters, but especially the general directory pages) before going to a new country; it doesn't really prepare you, but it allows you to better understand what you're seeing when you're there. There'll be plenty of other travellers around who could give you tips, too.
It helps to have a rough sketch of an itinerary for a country, so that if you're overwhelmed or just don't want to be bothered with doing research, you know what comes next. But never be afraid to depart from that itinerary and just follow your instinct or the way the wind is blowing. :)

If you read the threads by others here on these forums, you'll find that you're definitely not the only one travelling by yourself, and that at 23, you're even on the young end of the spectrum of world travellers. :) (Personally I was 24 when I first started travelling; that trip lasted two and a half years, I did another (short) RTW when I was 28, and I'm almost certainly coming to Canada for a year in a couple of months, when I'm 31.) Settling down and having a career is far from the only path in life; there's plenty of time for it in a year or two, if you choose so (and if so, your experience seeing the world will count for a lot), but it's just as possible that you'll decide never to go that route.

There's an entire world out there: go and enjoy it! :)

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jul-2010, at 03:46 by Sander ]

3. Posted by elsebas (Budding Member, 51 posts) 13 Jul '10 16:54

Quoting Ofie

Hi everyone,
My name is Otilia, im 23 f from Canada.
I was curious as to how you go about planning a round the world trip. So far i've looked into the Gap Year program. But I'm nervous because I will be going alone, and I'm not sure they get you in contact with others on the same trip. I feel like i'll be the only person going alone. So many people are settling down and getting careers and i feel like this is my last opportunity to see the world, and if it comes down to it ill go alone, but i have such anxiety about not having someone else with me. :(

any tips :)

- O

Hi Oltilia,
First of all, this is not the last oportunity you have to see the world, don't feel forced to do it because it's not now or never.
If you do it, you won't be alone you will get to know amazing people, see fantastic places, learn more than ever and enjoy fantastic experiences. You may also feel alone sometimes, homesick and sad, but his will make you stronger.
Don't be afraid, you want it now, go for it, think when and where you want to be and don't think twice!

4. Posted by The Jones (Budding Member, 44 posts) 14 Jul '10 01:40

Quoting Ofie

Hi everyone,
My name is Otilia, im 23 f from Canada.
I was curious as to how you go about planning a round the world trip. So far i've looked into the Gap Year program. But I'm nervous because I will be going alone, and I'm not sure they get you in contact with others on the same trip. I feel like i'll be the only person going alone. So many people are settling down and getting careers and i feel like this is my last opportunity to see the world, and if it comes down to it ill go alone, but i have such anxiety about not having someone else with me. :(

any tips :)

- O

Hi,

You sound in a similar position to me. I am planning my first crack at travelling. Looking for RTW travell for 12 months. I was looking at GAP year companies offering all different things but after asking a few questions on TP I have decided that there expensive so I think i'll drop them & do it of my own back. My advice is don't panic just start at the begining. Look at wehere you want to go, then just go from there, best time of year to visit, cost of living, red tape, etc... take it one thing at a time, you've got plenty of time to plan for it and do as much redearch as you can.

Good luck & have fun!!:)

5. Posted by Ofie (Budding Member, 22 posts) 14 Jul '10 08:49

thanks so much everyone! its nice to have the encouragement when your about to do something you have no idea if you will succeed in or not lol.

I've been looking into the GAP year programs and i thought it was preety cool because the price includes all your flights and hostels. but then again it sounds like so much to keep track of. I was thinking of doing some volunteer work instead, like the elephant conservation program in Africa, or the archeological dig in Peru. I still have a couple months until i really take off...

but researching starts now and i am really happy i found this forum to begin with,
Thank you all for your advice!! :)