December 4th, 2008

Aiming for the World

When I’m presented with the question, “What would you like to do before you get too weak/retire/die?” I’ve always answered “travel around the world.”

Earlier this week I was spending some time setting goals for 2009. One of the things I did was to list out a few countries I’d like to visit next year.  After I’ve done that I decided to expand this exercise by listing out all the countries I’d love to visit and realised that I don’t really want to go to every country of the world like what Chris is doing. I only really want to go to 30 (plus 20 more that would be “nice but are not must go’s at the moment”).  What a revelation! I’ve always thought the number would be closer to 100 but 30 sounds very achievable. So I went on to list done the feasibility of visiting these 30 countries.

List of countries to visit

If I were to visit a country each year, I’d achieve my dream in 30 years. That’s alright, but that’s not very efficient. I could tackle the countries by regions, dividing them into the following: Western Europe, Scandinavia, Northern Africa, North America, Latin America and Eastern & Southern Asia. After working out a very rough estimate, I reckon I’d need about $6000 per one month trip to a region (it is possible to go on a much lower budget but I’m not planning to rough it out. Yet.). Quite a bit of money, but if I were to aim to cover a region say every three years, that would work out to less than $170 a month or under $6 a day.

Can I actually save $42 a week? Let’s see… My once a week cafe time costs $5. Our weekly movie date, $40. Magazines? $5. And I also have a habit of buying huge amounts of snacks each week – up to $25- worth. That’s a total of $75. If I were to save a little over half of that, I’d still have more than enough change to rent a film and get some popcorn. Of course the other question is, can I afford to take leave off work for a whole month? At this moment, the answer is no, but I think I’ll worry about that later. I realised that when you set a goal and work towards it, things have a way of working out in your favour unexpectedly and faster than you’d imagine so we’ll see. :)

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Comments: 6 Comments | Add your comment
All your posts appeared in my feed at once, I thought you had disappeared! whoops. You should see if there any bloggers that you can stay with, I saved a ton of money doing that when I went to the USA :) They were all good blog buddies of mine and made the trip a million times more fun :) Also don't rule out hostels, as some are really really nice. I havent decided were I am going next, will have to see what I can afford next year.
Claire  at 9:49 am on December 4, 2008
I so need to sit down and write out goals. You seem so organized and relaxed...I must try it. Good luck on your travels they sound wonderful!
Jen  at 9:27 pm on December 4, 2008
And nice to hear from you again, Claire. :) Thanks for the advice, it's an option I'm gonna consider. I'm also looking at the possibility of couchsurfing.
Jen, I'm not that organised in my day to day living.:D I tend to go with (and against) the flow which is why I think it's good to have a "big plan" in mind.
Ginger M  at 12:14 am on December 5, 2008
Unfortunately I can't read your list of countries. It's an amazingly reasonable goal, though. I've often thought I'd travel to some of the places I'd like to go only if I win the lottery--but that's really putting it out of reach, isn't it?
Christopher Waldrop  at 11:11 am on December 5, 2008
Indeed, when you really pay attention to what you want, things do not seem that much overwhelming as in 'I want everything'. We can easily customize that 'everything'! :)
anya  at 1:48 pm on December 7, 2008
you're very right, you do not want to see all the countries out there as a lot of them are not worth seeing - especially those that put your life at risk. may i suggest you specify the cities you want to vist - small countries take only 1 day to do and there are other countries who only have 1 or 2 cities worth seeing. on average, you only take 3 days (2 nights) to scout an entire city. cities like london may take more days, and cities like geneva or zurich will take less.
drowad  at 10:00 am on December 15, 2008

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