Since we went to the travel blogging conference TBU in Porto last year, we have been interested in attending similar events to meet other likeminded people. And it was at one of these events that we made the decision that was to change the course of our lives.
So this is the story of why we quit our jobs to travel and where we plan to go.
It was when we went to World Travel Market, possibly the biggest travel trade show in the world, in November. We told all the tourist boards we met that we’d be travelling around the world ‘sometime in the near future’ but that ‘we’d get back to you on the exact dates’.
For the past four and a half years since we’ve been living in London, we’ve planned to travel the world for an extended period of time. But we kept putting it off. We had great jobs and we’d spent a long time trying to get them. The day we arrived in London, back at the end of 2008, the BBC laid-off 400 people. And yet through sheer determination, Dave still managed to become a TV producer for BBC World News. I also saw my career develop, moving from a cadet journalist in Australia, through to a Deputy Editor for four magazines, before working for a creative content agency.
So turning our back on our careers hasn’t been an easy decision to make.
But we’re big believers in doing what you love and what you’re passionate about. And we’re passionate about travelling, making videos and writing. That’s what excites us. On a Sunday morning, we’ll get out of bed and write all day long before hitting the pillow once more, content. We’ll tell each other ‘that was a great day’.
Anyway, back to the World Travel Market. We met Nim from Canada’s Tourist Board and we gave her the same spiel about our blog and how we planned to travel indefinitely at some point. And she said, “Why not start your trip at TBEX in Toronto in June?”
And we thought, “Why not?” Hell, we were bringing our trip forward but why not? We had itchy feet and we were ready to make some more footsteps around the world.
So we handed in our notices this week and we’ll be off by the end of May. We’re excited! We can’t wait to see what our travels will bring. We can’t wait to meet all the people we’ll be sure to get to know along the way. We can’t wait to experience all the new cultures. We can’t wait to brush up on our Spanish in South America. And we can’t wait to eat all the glorious food! (But we’re packing our trainers so we can go running and hopefully put off growing our bellies too much.)
This is our itinerary so far:
On the 22nd of May we will be flying to Croatia to meet with Dave’s parents and travel around for five days. We went there last year and loved the place, so we can’t wait to show the in-laws what it’s like.
On the 26th of May we fly back to London for a few days to grab the last of our things and show Dave’s parents our favourite parts of the city. We say goodbye to them before flying on to Toronto.
On the 31st May – 2nd June we will be attending TBEX in Toronto. This is one of the biggest travel blogging conferences in the world and we’re very excited about meeting more travel bloggers and learning from the experts.
On the 3rd – 5th June we have been lucky enough to have been selected for a press trip (all expenses paid) as part of the TBEX conference and we will be travelling around Kingston on a guided tour for three days.
For the 6th – 13th June we plan to stay in Toronto with our friend, visiting Niagara Falls during this time. Then we’ll be going to Montreal for a week to stay with another friend before hopping up to Quebec City.
I’ve never been to any of these places before (and Dave’s only been to Montreal) so do any of you have any suggestions about what not to miss?
Then we’ll head on into the USA. We’ve just been approved for our six month visas for the USA, and we plan to buy a car or a van to travel around with for this time.
Next, we’ll be heading down into New Hampshire and visiting Boston. Dave is a big fan of the area, as he went on the Walt Whitman Summer Camp around here and he’s looking forward to re-visiting. It’ll be sad to visit so soon after the bombings but we’ve been super inspired by the resilience of the Boston people and we look forward to meeting some of the locals.
We’ll hop down to New York and Washington DC for two weeks or so, exploring this area. Have any of you been to New York? What’s a must see? What can’t we miss off our itinerary?
After this, we’ll be heading over to Neshkoro in Wisconsin for a house sitting assignment for three weeks. We are staying in a beautiful area of the USA, close to many National Parks and we look forward to writing and relaxing here during this time.
Then we plan to drive down into Utah and then go to Yellowstone. After this we have a rough idea of making our way all through the USA, before heading down into South America by the end of December / early January. If we have any money left, we’ll fly over to Asia before heading back to Australia.
But we think our movements will depend on what house sitting arrangements we make and whether we’re able to receive any complimentary accommodation. We’re currently in talks with a company about forming a partnership to review the hostels and hotels they advertise on their website.
So that’s the rough plan. Needless to say, we’re very excited!
So how much money are we taking? We’re going to be very honest with you. Our savings should equate to about US$40,000 by the time we leave. We want to show you that it’s possible to travel the world on a small budget, so we plan to keep you updated on how much we spend and on what, so show you how you can do it to.
But back to our itinerary – where do you think we should go? Do you have any recommendations? What shouldn’t we miss?
All advice would be greatly appreciated.