FAQ 1: First Stop?
Not sure if these are true FAQ’s or more like RAQ’s, Recently Asked Questions but just go with it. Since we’ve let the cat out of the bag, we’ve been getting asked a lot of the same questions over and over again so I thought I’d dedicate a post or two and answer some of them. Inquiring minds want to know!
This is hands down, by far and away, the first question we get asked right out the gates almost every time anyone talks to us about our trip.
Q. Where are you going first?
A. The honest answer, as of the day of this post, is that we don’t really know. That’s not because we’re procrastinating, it’s just that it’s such a loaded question. What we’re learning from our research is that there are SO many ways to go about planning this trip and trying to nail down the approach that suits our family best is proving to be the hardest part.
I liken it to planning a wedding. Granted, Tim and I said screw it and eloped but I still feel like I can speak as an expert on the topic, right? Just like how people without kids looooove to tell you how to raise your own. It goes over really well. Anywho, all the wedding planner advice I ever read or heard from friends is to figure out your guest list first and foremost. Everyone said it’s the hardest and most contentious part of the wedding planning process but once you know your head count, the other stuff like venue, food, etc. will fall into place.
I think this is what will happen once we get over this big hump of figuring out “how” to do this trip. Do we follow the sun (i.e. avoid harsh winters)? Do we land in Europe first—>Asia/SE Asia—>Australia/NZ, or do we do that route in reverse as highly suggested by the Practical Nomad? Do we let budget be our guide? Do we use must see destinations as our anchor points? How do we plan a route that takes into consideration low/high seasons, tourist seasons, or monsoon seasons?
From: Baltimore Print Studios
There are 196 countries in the world and sadly we know we can’t see them all. Sure a year seems like a *long* time but considering we want to stay fewer places a longer amount of time (we’re not trying to win a passport stamp contest) and we have 2 young kids, a year will go by pretty fast. We’re just proud of ourselves that we’ve narrowed it down to about 75 countries at this point. Yay us! In reality, we need to get this list down to well under 50. We took the first step and we each ranked those 75 countries as “must go”, “want to go” and “we’ll see if the wind blows us there.” Tim broke it down here.
Now that we’ve narrowed it down to 75 countries, we’re now looking at our trip in terms of regions of the world vs. individual countries. For example, we plan to spend a lot of time in SE Asia and want to give ourselves around 3 months (give or take) to explore this area. We might only make it to Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam in that time frame and that is fine with us as long as we feel satisfied with our time in that area. Again, it goes back to wanting to satisfy that feeling of going “deep vs. wide” as we travel.