Maybe you’ve seen this phrase in the banner at the top of my site. Maybe you’ve wondered how that’s any different than other round-the-world trips. Maybe you’ve questioned why I have that tagline and haven’t gone into much detail on it after four months of blogging. Maybe this is your first visit.
If so, welcome. You aren’t the only one.
I recently received an e-mail from a reader asking for more details about my travel plans. Now I’ve been keeping this post at arm’s length, fearing the conjunction of timing and exposition might be too early. That it might somehow cut short my current earning potential, if you catch my drift. It’s a sticky trap many in the corporate-to-traveler set have to deal with at some point. The gist of the e-mail (dare I say my first fan mail?) that I took away was this: How was I going to make this whole periodic traveling for one month thing work?
Fair question. No, excellent question. There will be an answer, but first some important demographic details to put this post into perspective.
- Age: rapidly approaching 30 but still younger than my friend Ryan.
- Status: happily married for 2.5 years.
- Kids: None.
- Pets: 3 cats.
- Residence: house in the suburbs with a two-car garage.
- Job: Same one since I graduated college.
- Traveling: Solo.
How similar am I to you?
I’ve met scores of people through the travel blogging community on Facebook and Twitter who are planning or in the midst of their round-the-world journeys. Most clean house, selling every non-essential item they’ve accrued in the preceding years. They stake a for-sale sign in the front yard or turn in the apartment keys. They bid their cars adieu. They disappear into the spinning globe, freed from the tethers of routine payments for things they don’t need or love. Hatchlings pushing through eggshells.
And yet I won’t be doing most, if any, of that. My path is one where each foot will tread different worlds. Three to four months of the year I will be away, spending a month in a location doing my utmost to learn, soak up, understand, and drink in the culture. My dad and Floreta of Solitary Panda independently described it as “anthropological,” and I suppose it is. The other eight to nine months I’ll be back at Traveling Savage HQ: home with my wife, regaling her with stories, and cleaning up the random cat puke.
Since I won’t be holding a firesale on our possessions, there are two primary balls for me to juggle: relationship and money.
Keeping the Home Happy
It’s ironic in a melancholy way that this whole idea is my wife’s and yet she’ll be the one at home working while I’m off somewhere traveling. As much as I enjoy traveling, this won’t be a vacation. It’s work. We’ve come to accept this aspect of the venture. We won’t be glad to be apart, but we’ll have to be strong for each other. Google Chat, Skype, and the myriad other communication tools will hopefully take the edge off. The bottom line is that our relationship is our number one priority. If things start to go off course we’ll need to adjust until it’s back on track.
Without question this is my greatest concern with the plan, but we wouldn’t be this far along the path if our relationship wasn’t strong like bull. While the focus of Traveling Savage will be tips, narratives, and insights through the lens of experiential travel, the reality of being away from a significant other and traveling will be something I cover as well. I hope you’ll find this interesting and useful, and, if all goes according to plan, you’ll see that this style of travel can be done.
Both my wife and I were incredibly lucky to leave college with zero debt, and we’ve carried zero debt (excluding mortgage) ever since. We’re on a rigorous budget and have managed to save enough money to keep me traveling for a couple years while I see if Traveling Savage will sink or grow wings. Traveling every three or four months means I’ll spend more on flights than your average round-the-worlder, but them’s the breaks.
This is the biggest risk of my life, but it feels right. I hope you’ll continue to visit Traveling Savage and share it with your friends, family, and colleagues if you enjoy it. I know it will be a joy for me to write here, but only you will make it a success. How will I make this whole periodic traveling for one month thing work? I said there’d be an answer. I’ll just have to wait and see what it is.