Prepare to Travel with Divergent Travelers
Our fourteenth installment of our ongoing series, Prepare to Travel, is with Lina and David of Divergent Travelers. Lina and Dave have been traveling for over twelve years, solo and together, while working full time jobs. Between the two of them, they have already visited 31 countries. Join us as we learn how to prepare to travel with Divergent Travelers
AfterGlobe (AG)- We hear again and again, how people can’t believe that others are able to travel the world in abundance or long term. Many can’t even imagine doing this. What travelers did before they left to travel always seems to be a hot topic. Would you agree? Do you get a lot of questions about traveling and how you are able to do something so many consider a luxury?
Divergent Travelers (DT): Yes, people are always wondering what jobs/life we are giving up to realize our dream of World travel. There are some people that ask how we can afford it and others that just make snide comments like, ‘Must be nice!’.
AG- When did you first start thinking about traveling?
DT: Lina- I didn’t get to travel much as a kid. We would take road trips to Oklahoma in the summer once in a while to visit relatives, but I never even flew on a plane until I turned 18. I was always fascinated by the World and geography, so I always had that itch to travel, but it was realized a little later in life. Once I took my first trip, I was hooked and as the years passed I found myself wanting more and more from travel and it eventually turned into a life altering obsession, if you will.
David- My parents were always big on travel, so we traveled the USA a lot when I was a kid. I started traveling internationally with Lina and as we got braver and started exploring more areas of the globe I started thinking about how taking some time to travel would be a cool thing for us.
AG- What changed from dreaming about it to actually making it happen?
DT: We’ve been talking about a RTW for years. The interest was really sparked when we honeymooned in SE Asia. We decided to backpack, stay in hostels and travel around locally, exploring. We got so comfortable with that lifestyle that after we returned home we started really thinking about whether it would be a reality to pack up shop and travel. That was 3 years ago and we are planning a January 2014 departure!!
AG- Once you decided you were going to travel, what did you do to start working towards making it a reality? What kind of plan did you make?
DT: SAVING MONEY and making a plan. We have implemented a full on departure plan from selling our things to planning our route, budgeting and everything in between. I have binders put together with our goals and plans and make sure things are staying on track.
AG- When will you be leaving for your round the world travels?
DT: We are planning to leave in January 2014. We officially made the decision and notified our families in January 2013, so we have given ourselves a year to get organized and ready for our trip. Because we are homeowners- I don’t think we could work with much less time than that.
AG- What will you do with all of your belongings? Will you sell everything? Were there be items that you keep and put it in storage? What was your thinking behind what you kept and what you got rid of?
DT: We are in the process of liquidating almost all of our possessions! We have decided that we don’t want to keep much of anything because we have decided to sell our house. So we have been going through the house and purging items. We started with the valuable, excessive things-like too many shoes, clothes, items we never used/touched and started selling on eBay/craigslist/etc. We just did a second purge of items at a rummage sale. We’ve made a pretty big haul so far by cashing in our UNUSED things around the house! We are kind of in shock by how much stuff we had that we never used. Liberating to turn it into trip money.
We do plan to keep sentimental things and some valuables in storage with our parents while we are gone. However, our goal is to only store 1 pallets worth of stuff. Simply that we don’t need it. We are operating on the mentality of “it can’t fit in the backpack!”. We have no need for and of the excess, so it will all go, even if it means donating what’s left the day before we leave. We figure that is better than burdening our families with storing everything for us.
AG- What did you do to save up enough money before you left? How did you figure out how much you needed to save to travel? Any advice that you think will help others save for traveling?
DT: We are operating on a pretty tight daily budget. We have made debt consolidation and saving a priority. We put every spare penny we have into a savings account. We are lucky to have many assets- we own a horse farm- so many things are valuable and can be sold to pad the travel fund. We are also selling our house and are lucky enough to have loads of equity, so that will help considerably and allow us to put a large chunk of money away for when we return. (IF we return!)
Because we have done quite a bit of travel and always strive to travel on a budget we have a general idea of what we need. Of course it is going to vary widely depending on the country, but we are operating with an initial plan of $100/day for the both of us. Obviously we won’t spend anywhere near that in some places, but others, more than that. So we think it will average out ok. You have to make your RTW a priority. If you don’t, none of your saving efforts will be worth it. You have to get yourself into the mentality of, do I want this cup of coffee every day this week or a bed in India for 2 days.
AG- Many times when reading travel blogs, we find ourselves thinking that we need to buy a bunch of things to be able to travel. Did you experience this? What things do you now realize that you didn’t really need? Any recommendations on what really is needed?
DT: No, not really. It is easy to make up a list of gadgets that you think might make your time on the road easier, and I won’t lie, I have been subject to reading about something cool, ordering it, packing it and then never touching it!
The biggest one is that I tend to bring too many clothes. I also like gadgets, so I sometimes carry too much extra camera stuff. CAMERA and a really good med kit. There has never been a time I have regretting having to repack any of those items while traveling.
AG- What did you find was the most difficult for you while preparing to travel?
DT: I think a lot of people on the outside tend to think we made the decision to travel because we weren’t happy with our current lives. That isn’t the case, at least for us. We are actually quite happy with our current lives, but we struggle to balance everything we love. Jobs, horses, hunting and travel. We have tried to maintain our current lifestyles, juggling PTO time to squash the travel bug, but it has gotten worse and we feel that this is something that we really need to do. This being said, making that giant decision and executing it has been an emotional road. We are super excited for what is to come, but we are sad to leave some things behind while we pursue these other goals. But in the end, we aren’t willing to live with the regret of not living our dreams, so we are moving to the next phase of our lives, World travel.
AG- Do you have any additional advice for those who want to travel the world the world, but haven’t?
DT: If you really feel this is something you need to do, do it. There is always an excuse not to, and there is never a perfect time to make ANY change in life. Whether it be marriage, having kids, changing jobs or traveling. You have to take your life into your own hands and MAKE the things you want from life happen- because if you don’t, they will not.
Thank you very much to Lina and Dave of Divergent Travelers for doing a Prepare to Travel interview with us today. Be sure to head over to Divergent Travelers to read all about Lina and Dave’s adventures on their travels.
What do you do to prepare to travel?
All photos provided by Divergent Travelers.