The 5 Year Plan

The past couple of days have been spent purusing through tons of blogs.  Reading about RTW (Round The World) travel, from those that have been there or are out there doing it. I do this a lot in preparation.  While reading, I realized that I have never shared my 5 Year plan.

A little background for you.  My initial international travel trip was to Vietnam in 2008.  The inspiration for this can be read about in the “About Me” section.  If you haven’t read it, go ahead….I’ll wait……

Finished?  Yes, I know it’s really long but I really wanted to make it a point that I am not rich, did not come from a family with a ‘silver spoon’ in my mouth.  I’m a regular gal with an average American family.

Vietnam was so many things for me.  Inspirational, scary, lonely, dramatic, enlightening…I could go on but you get the idea.  Most importantly, it was during my Vietnam trip that I figured out my 5 year plan.

As I recall, I didn’t spend a lot of time planning it out.  Didn’t make my lists that I am so fond of.  I didn’t mull it over.  I just knew!  One evening while sitting at dinner, I struck up conversation with an Australian couple; Bob and Clare at a table near me.  We ended up spending several days together exploring and getting to know one another.

I don’t remember exactly the setting or the conversation but at some point Clare asked me about my future.  I didn’t give it a second though and spilled out my 5 year plan to her.  I didn’t even know I had decided on a plan, but there it was spilling out of my mouth.

Afterward, I wondered to myself why I told Clare all about this 5 year plan that I didn’t even know I had?  Was I being a braggart?  Was I trying to be more adventuresome?  When did I even decide that I had a 5  year plan?

Ever since that day, the 5 year plan has continued to be a part of my longing.  I knew that this was something that I needed, something that was attainable, and something that I would DO.

So, what is the 5 year plan?

It’s simple.  I told Clare that within 5 years, I wanted to be at a point financially that I could work for 6 months of the year and travel the other 6 months.

After coming home from Vietnam (2008), I continued to think about the 5 year plan.  I budgeted like a crazy woman, spent a stupid amount of money to take my nearly grown kids to Italy to backpack (see my travel blog: Treft Family in Italy),  budgeted more, spent an unfulfilling year in Germany (See: Travel Nurse in Germany), and never gave up on the 5 year plan.

So, where am I today?  How close am I to fulfilling my 5 Year Plan.

I’m THERE….or as nearly there as I could ever hope to be.  I’ve posted previously about my upcoming trip to South America.  This trip is only 2 months long, not 6 as my 5 Year Plan would intend.  However, I am gearing up for 2013.

What’s special about 2013?

2013 is the 5 year mark for me.  I’m ready to take the leap.  Let me fill you in on the plan (I suddenly just got a sick feeling…just putting it out here feels like a huge commitment.  One that I am ready to make but putting it here brings the anxiety of potential failure).

I’m planning to book a one-way flight into Northern Europe April 2013.  The final route isn’t confirmed or set in stone and I’m not sure that it will ever be really set in stone.  I want to leave it open to be changed, adjusted, modified along the way.  There are a few goals that I have and a couple of specific activities/events that I dream of completing.

May 2013: Hitchhiking Competition from Gdansk, Poland to Prague

July 2013: Compete in the Mongol Rally

I think that these are the only two time-specific items on my list.  Other things that I plan during 2013 would include:

(photo Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Take a freighter across a large part of the ocean (possibly China to Australlia)

 – Read more about this HERE.

Move slowly; taking several weeks/month at a time in choosen locations.

  – I am hoping that by traveling slowly, I will be able to extend my trip


  – I don’t have any specific plans for this right now but I know that I want to give something back.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments.

Find Other Unique ways to get from point A to Point B

  – Again, if you have any suggestions; please post them in the comments below.

  – I shared my ideas with a fellow traveler at the 2011 MEET, PLAN, GO! event and he shared with me one of his favorite travel days.  Check it out: The Winding Road to Bulungula

I Feel like I have a ton of people to thank for being my ‘inspiration’.  It’s through other’s stories/blogs that I have gained a lot of my inspiration to do this.  I have found that traveling isn’t something only for the rich…but for anyone that has the desire.