Once you have decided you are going to travel the world, there’s an almost on-going flow of thoughts in your mind. When, where, what and how? Our preparations start with imagination. The sky is the limit! And we dream. Big time. Trans Siberia express, all of Asia, working in New Zealand, and a return to the Netherlands? Or maybe travelling to South-America as well? Here is our first travel journal about making our dreams reality!
The first thought is: ‘how?!’ How can we finance this BIG dream? The talk ‘How to travel the world with almost no money’ and reading lots of blogs help us a lot. We decide to save up as much as possible, we think of ways to earn money abroad, and last but not least; we drastically decide to sell EVERYTHING we have. Because who knows when we come back and what we want to do then?
We’re going on a trip and bring… NOT much of our stuff!
One of the many ways to save up for our trip is to sell all of our stuff. Over the past year we have been selling at flea markets six times in total. First there was King’s day’s flea market, then we sold at the IJhallen (allegedly Europe’s biggest flea market) three times in total, and lastly we went to a flea market in Hilversum twice, in a gym! In addition, we sold bigger stuff on the Dutch eBay. All in all, we make some nice extra cash!
Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan
After dreaming, you need to start planning. So besides saving money by selling our stuff, we think of another way to make money while traveling: teaching English! A good and fun way to finance your travel, while being abroad. We enroll in a course Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and get our certificate in just three months. We might not use it for starters, but it can be a good way to earn money if we want to extend our travel.
Setting a departure date is the next step of planning our travel: March 3rd, 2017 it is! We decide to fly to Moscow, travel by Trans Siberian Express and go by boat to Japan and South Korea. Or something like that. Just 1.5 month before we leave (when we are buying our train tickets), we decide to travel by Trans Mongolian Express instead. Since we have friends to visit in South Korea, and the semester will only be over late June, we have some time to fill up! Instead of running out of money while traveling Japan for three months, we decide to travel through Mongolia and China. Of course due to our last minute change of plans we have to apply for visa for both countries in Russia. Exciting!
Getting it done
As we start planning, we also start getting things done. We look into the Russian visa application and the best time to buy our transportation tickets. We book our flight to Moscow pretty soon, as it’s the sooner, the cheaper. Then we look up how to buy the tickets for the Trans Siberian express. We can go through a travel agency and book them early, though expensive, or we can buy them 45 days prior to the trip through the official Russian train ticket website. So we choose the latter, as it will be cheaper! We think that we have to include the train tickets in the application for the Russian visa, but later on we find out that isn’t necessary at all, you only need to know what cities you visit. So eventually we start our visa application a little late.
The visa application ends up being not so difficult though it takes some time collecting all the paperwork and travelling back and forth to the embassy. Besides applying for the visa we have to think of getting vaccinated and what stuff to bring on our trip. Luckily we both already have had a lot of vaccines, and a packing list is easily found online. Walking boots and two extra warm woollen sweaters are quickly bought, and we ask our friends and family who want to give us a present some travel gear that we still need. As time passes by, it is time to say goodbye…
Saying goodbye & take off
Saying goodbye is always the hardest part of travelling. Roxanne and I both say goodbye to our part time jobs, we throw a party at our (empty!) apartment for friends and family and then say bye to our lovely apartment (after already camping out in it for a week). The last couple days we stay with close family. We even go to the theme park the Efteling in the last week, as it was the one thing I want to do before starting our world travel. And suddenly, the day had come! After a very teary morning, we arrive at Schiphol airport, where the entire waving-goodbye-committee is waiting for us. After a quick cup of tea we walk towards our adventure… It has started, and it feels… unreal.
It is always funny how you vividly imagine what it is going to be like, when something big like this happens. And then, at the moment itself, it is no longer your dream, you are actually present, and you are just your normal self! So there we are, waiting in a long queue to pass security. And after, we just normally walk towards the gate and enter the plane, and we take off! After a transfer in Greece, we land in Moscow at 04.10 o’clock local time (02.10 o’clock Amsterdam-time), and that is where the real adventures begin!
Read further in our Travel Journal #2.
Are you planning on travelling the world as well? Do you have any questions about our world trip?
Share your experiences with us and feel free to ask anything!