Last June, after my brother’s wedding, we took a week off to drive from Salt Lake City to Spokane, so that we could visit the National Parks along the way. The wedding was emotional, and we were a little burnt out from work at the time, so setting aside those days in advance was a stroke of genius. It became our recovery week.
I don’t know where it was, maybe driving into Grand Teton National Park, or somewhere on US-287 between Yellowstone and Glacier, but we started wondering aloud, what if we could do this for longer? Where “this” was some combination of moving through the landscape, travel, being away, having time, and stimulating the senses with new sights.
It wasn’t the first time we’d talked about the possibility of some longer-term travel, but it was the start of it becoming serious. After many conversations (and some back of the envelope calculations), we agreed to give ourselves a year. Time to save, time to plan, and time to roll the idea around in our heads.
Now here we are. One year later. And we’re ready.
On or around September 7th, Stephanie and I are going to board a container ship, the Cap Cleveland, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, bound for Auckland, New Zealand. There will be port stops in Savannah, Georgia and Cartagena, Colombia, before we transit the Panama Canal. All told we’ll be on the boat for 28 days—the longest stretch at sea being 18 days between Panama and New Zealand.
The voyage is certainly an adventure in and of itself, but it’s only the beginning of a larger trip around the world. We have no plans after we disembark in Auckland, besides backpacking and maybe visiting some cheesemakers. After New Zealand, there are several other countries that pique our curiosity, including Australia, Cambodia, Nepal, Kenya, and Turkey, but we don’t have anything even remotely resembling an itinerary. Just a strong desire to see where the global road takes us.
Who knows, we could end up somewhere, fall in love with the place, and never leave. Or we could grow tired of life on the road and fly back to the US after two months. That’s really the best part. We’re completely open to all possibilities. And we’re ready.