FAQs

30 Dec

As people have been finding out about our upcoming around-the-world adventure we have been getting many of the same questions from our friends and family. Here is a running list of the most popular questions I’ve gotten and my attempt at answers (note: some of the questions below apply only to the ladies considering a trip around the world):

How did you decide to do this trip?

Some time before J.J. and I decided to go around the world , conversations between Tal and Jonny were taking place about their dream to embark on a year-long epic journey. They decided that no matter what came up, January 2012 was the time to go.

Once Tal and Jonny had made their decision it was over coffee that Tal excitedly told me her big news. I then told her than J.J. and I had been having conversations about taking a similar trip but had never assigned a date to the dream. Tal’s reaction? “You guys should come with us.” Laughter. “Yeah, we should come with you guys.” Laughter. “Wait – you guys should come with us!” Pause. “Wait – we SHOULD come with you guys!”

Off I went, home to talk to J.J. about the master plan Tal and I had just come up with. To my surprise, without much thought, J.J. was on board.

The decision was made – January 2012. Tal, Jonny, Kait and J.J., around the world.

How did you know how much money to save?

We didn’t. So we started doing research using the Google Machine. We mostly looked to blogs of people who had done a trip similar to the one we were envisioning (backpacking and on the cheap) and for 8 months the same bottom line continued to pop up: $20,000. (For a year the savings goal was most often closer to $30,000.)

Obviously this number will vary depending on the number of flights versus buses you want to take, the amount of time and patience you dedicate to finding the best travel deals, the length of time you opt to spend in more expensive places, etc.

How did you save to meet your savings goal?

Tal is one of my most financially-savvy friends and in the 3+ years I’ve lived with her she let me in on a little secret: automatic deposits into a tax-free savings account. From this account I’ve been able to make RSP contributions and also have a safety net or a pool of “fun money” set aside.

Once we made the decision to go on this trip I upped my bi-weekly contributions to my TFSA and any money I had leftover at the end of the month that didn’t go to rent or to bills was put towards the trip.

What are you doing about your apartment?

J.J. and I really lucked out in finding a subletter than we know and trust: J.J.’s dad. He’s agreed to take over our rent and live in our place (fully furnished!) for the time we’ll be away.

How did you tell work?

It was in a meeting with my Managing Director where I broke the news that I would be travelling for 8 months beginning in January 2012. The first question he asked was if the opportunity to travel had not presented itself, would I be considering leaving my place of work, and my honest answer was that I was very happy in my current role and wouldn’t be considering a move.

What vaccinations did you have to get

How are you going to pack for 8 months in a backpack?

This question is still very much TBD, but I plan to do an entire blog entry about this once it comes time to pack.

How much of the trip are the 4 of you doing together?

The short answer is most of it.

I’m sure there will days where Tal and I want to hit the shops and the boys will prefer to pint the day away or where J.J. and I will want to take advantage of our newly acquired scuba certifications and Tal will prefer to snorkel, but for the most part, we plan to do most of the trip together.

Do you think you and Tal will still be friends at the end of the trip?

Yes.

We have been good friends through high school, we have done long distance (Ottawa to Waterloo, Waterloo to Italy, Ottawa to Toronto) and lived together for 3+ years (2 of which were in a 500 square-foot shoebox of an apartment).

We’ve also have had all of the same disagreements with out boyfriends in preparation for this trip and Tal and I always seem to be of the same mind, so if anything, we’ll be coming home friends without the boys 😉

CAUTION: This question is from the girls for the girls – Are you going to pack 8+ months worth of tampons?

This has come up more times than I can count and Tal and I have researched blogs, spoken to doctors, pharmacists and girls we know that have spent extended periods of time in third-world countries.

Some have advised us to bring the diva cup, some have advised us to continuously take the pilll and some have said they think it’s worth it to pack an 8-month supply of tampons.

Since there doesn’t seem to be any sort of clear, consistent opinion I’m opting to skip the sugar pills, as well as packing some tampons and the diva cup as a pre-caution.

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