||Trip Preparation - Research
Shortly after our trip to Africa, June of '97, we began talking about a
year-long trip around the world. A few months later, we began telling people about
our idea - then we KNEW it was real.
First step - where do we want to go? Up went the big wall world map with a pin for
each place - we soon found we would have to save a few spots for future trips. Once
our list of desired destinations was narrowed down, it was time to hop on the phone with
Delta's "Around the World Desk". They were helpful in narrowing the stops
by limiting the number of miles we were allowed on the "Around the World"
Ticket. Next came determining the amount of time we would spend in each spot - thus
we had our itinerary (or at least something to follow).
Next came preplanning some parts of the trip - a Greek Isles cruise on a 40 passenger
yacht with Laura's brother flying over from Chicago to join us, a Russian lakes cruise
from St. Petersburg to Moscow, New Year's Eve celebration with Todd and Kendra Bone
(friends from Atlanta), a guided tour through Turkey, and finally, a guided tour though
Egypt. We also needed to pre-determine when and how we would need Eurail and Britrail
passes so that we could get these 'in hand' before we left. Lastly, we needed to
plan our route through Australia and New Zealand so that we could also have these tickets
sent to us prior to our departure.
The rest of the trip will just just happen as we go - planes, trains, boats, hydrofoils,
hotels, B&B's, Hostels - you name it!!
Another very important part of our preparation was simply
reading/studying about each country to get ideas on what to see, where to stay, what to
eat, and what to do. This has helped tremendously.
Next we had visa's to secure, shots to get, simple things like selling
our cars, renting our home, finding a kind heart to temporarily adopt our cat, making sure
our financial issues were in order, finding an insurance policy to cover us world-wide,
and of course shopping for all the clothes and neat stuff we'll need along the way.
We joined special travel groups and organizations (for discounts), got a complete physical
and dental exam, drafted wills, secured a safe deposit box, and planned our Bonvoyage
Last but not least, we designed the web page you're reading (and all the
things that go with it) to stay in close contact with all we know and love - many, many
hours. Hopefully, this experience can now be shared by all people who know what
travel really means.
The following is a quote from one of Rick Steves' many great books on
travel -Rick Steves' Scandinavia. This passage on his "Back Door Travel
Philosophy" kind of sums up how we feel about our trip. Join us - - -
"Travel is intensified living - maximum thrills per minute and one of the last
great sources of legal adventure. Travel is freedom. It's recess, and we need
Experiencing the real thing requires catching it by surprise, going
casual . . "Through the Back Door."
Extroverts have more fun. If your trip is low on magic
moments, kick yourself and make make things happen. If you don't enjoy a place,
maybe you don't know enough about it. Seek the truth. Recognize tourists
traps. Give a culture the benefit of your open mind. See things as different
but not better or worse. Any culture has much to share.
Of course, travel, like the world, is a series of hills and
valleys. Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something's not
to your liking, change your liking. Travel is addicting. It can make you a
happier American, as well as a citizen of the world. Our earth is home to nearly 6
billion equally important people. It's humbling to travel and find that people don't
envy Americans. They like us but, with all due respect they wouldn't trade
Globetrotting destroys ethnocentricity. It helps you
understand and appreciate different cultures. Travel changes people. It
broadens perspectives and teaches new ways to measure quality of life. Many
travelers toss aside their hometown blinders. Their prized souvenirs are the strands
of different cultures they decide to knit into their own character. The world is a
cultural yarn shop. "Back Door" travelers are weaving the ultimate
tapestry. Come on, join us!!!"