World Travel Is 10 Months Away!

by Kim on February 27, 2011 · 19 comments

I know I complained just a few days ago that time seems to be dragging on but I can’t believe it is already time to write another end-of-the-month report.  It really does seem like just yesterday that I was writing January’s recap.    

Sometimes I imagine myself twenty years from now telling the story of this time.  If things work out as I hope, I imagine I’ll say something like “… and one day I finally decided to follow my dreams so I quit my job and took off to travel the world.”  As if it is that easy!!!!  Isn’t it funny how most of the stories of our past don’t include all of the hard work it took to get to the place where the story begins? 

Here is a recap of all of the hard work Brian and I put in during the month of February. 

First,

The bad stuff

We have to be landlords

We met with two Realtors that both pretty much said, in their realtor-speak, that if we put our house on the market we will have to list it for less than we paid for it.  Nevermind that we have put a lot of work (and money) into fixing it up.  We knew this was coming.  But to actually have the bad news confirmed, well, let me tell you it sucks. 

And because of that…

We might have to push back our departure date

We’ve been aiming for a January 2012 departure date and are right on track to have the funds to do it, but now that we know we won’t be selling the house, I fear we might have to push our leave date back a few months.  There are a few reasons for this.  First, we will have to cover some of the mortgage even after we rent out our house, so we’ll need to save more money.  Second, we’ll need a bigger cushion in the bank in case our renters bail, the water heater breaks, or the roof starts leaking. 

The idea of pushing our start date back crushes me, but I know that in the long run putting off our trip for a few months so that we can travel without worrying about money will be worth it.  I would be devastated if we had to cut our trip short because we didn’t have the money to cover the cost of unexpected house issues.  So, we will have to push our start date back unless we can figure out a way to…

Save an additional $1,000 a month

I am honestly attacking this from all angles, but I still can’t figure out a way to pull it off.  We are currently saving an average of about $2, 300 per month.  I really don’t think we can squeeze any more savings from our current income, we’re already on a budget so tight that it makes us grumpy and rather boring.  I could stop contributing to my retirement account at work, but that feels irresponsible.  I could get a second job or play the lottery.  I could work really hard and hope that my writing starts bringing in real money (I’m actually already doing the work-really-hard part it’s just that bringing-in-real-money part that still eludes me).   

Okay, now that I’ve depressed myself and probably you with all of that not-so-good news, here’s the good stuff!!! 

The good stuff

Our saving continues to grow

We’re still saving like maniacs and have now reached 64.32% of our savings goal (well, you know, the old goal).  Our car is still running, our dogs are still healthy and no unexpected expenses have popped up to derail our savings.  Yay! 

So Many Places Travel Blog is getting around

I started a Facebook fan page for the blog and slowly but surely people are ‘liking’ it (if you’re on Facebook it would mean a lot to me if you would also like the fan page by clicking here). 

I’ve now got over 1,000 followers on Twitter!  Yay again!  Twitter is a crazy, A.D.D. inducing world of its own but I have found it to be a very powerful tool.  You can find me there at @rtwsomanyplaces.  And, by the way, if you are interested in learning more about Twitter Gillian at One Giant Step has written a great series of blog posts on the subject. 

Since my first post on December 5, 2010, thousands of people from 70 countries around the world have stopped by to visit.  It is thrilling to think that something that I write here on my couch in Portland, Oregon can reach someone else sitting on their own couch on the other side of the world.  Communicating through my blog has made me feel more connected to the world, and that’s a very good thing. 

People are saying good things about us

Ending the Grind mentioned my blog as one of 8 inspirational blogs that can ignite your passion.  Fellow travel bloggers From the 901 to the 912, Take Your Big Trip and A Dangerous Business all mentioned my blog in their weekly roundups.  A post I wrote last week called Dreams Are Free received a lot of comments and has been retweeted over twenty times.  For big travel bloggers, that’s nothing, but for me it was a true thrill to watch something that I wrote move others enough to share it. 

Finally, and perhaps the biggest deal of all, is that the popular, internationally read Grist Magazine linked to us in a recent story on Portland!  Grist reaches 800,000 people per month so to see my very own name appear in an article was freaking awesome! 

Wonderful readers

I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for your kindness and support.  Every single comment, kind word, retweet and email that I receive lifts my spirit.  To know that what I write, dream about, and pour myself in to matters to someone else makes all of the time and energy I put into this blog completely worth it.  Thanks to every single one of you that have cheered me on and supported me thus far.  Starting this blog was one of the best things I have ever done.  It has connected me to brave, amazing people all over the world and in turn has enabled me to see a little bravery and amazingness in myself.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin M February 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Thanks so much for the mention! It sucks to hear y’all might have to push back your departure date, but I have no doubts that everything will fall into place and work out wonderfully in the end! You’ve given me so much hope in my own endeavor, and I thank you for that. You really are an inspiration. I wish y’all the best of luck and will be sending good vibes your way in the next ten months! Keep at it and 2012 will here in no time!

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Kim February 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Thanks Kristin. We’ll get there sometime in 2012… hopefully sooner than later but I believe you are right and things will fall into place.

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Seattle Dredge February 27, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Hey,

It’s so nice to read about other people that are essentially just starting out in the travel blogging world.. You’re obviously further along that I am, but it’s something to look forward to!

And I stumbled this page just for that reason :]

Anyway, hopefully your travel date wont be rescheduled, but if it does, I’m sure that you’ll make the best of it!

Take care :]

Seattle

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Kim February 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Hey! Thanks for the comment and Stumble. I’m following you on twitter so I’m sure you’ll announce when your blog is up so I can follow along as well.

I’m still hoping the travel date won’t get rescheduled (there IS still hope), but yeah, if it does it does. Such is life I suppose.

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jill- Jack and JIll Travel February 28, 2011 at 8:24 am

It sucks to hear about your house but maybe… maybe if you don’t depend on the selling money for your travel so much you can cut the losses? Then again, a few months push back isn’t all that bad, either.

I don’t know what I’d do in your situation :( I’m sorry I don’t have any good advice.

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Kim February 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Hey guys. Yeah, we were never depending on selling the house to make money for traveling, we were just hoping to break even. I’m still hoping we will figure out a way to keep our start date the same. Time will tell but we are keeping on like we’re still 10 months from departure.

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Lauren @ The Mad To Live February 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Hey Kim!
Damn I’m sorry to hear about that! Everything happens for a reason though, and pushing it back just a few months could be a blessing in disguise.
If only life were always a straight line haha. But it would be much less interesting then!

Yea, I’ve been hoping some celebrity would do the same for me too by the way haha. :-P

Keep up the hard work and move making! Your first plane take off for your RTW trip will be here before you even know it be it the date you had planned for a couple months after!
– Laur :)

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Kim March 1, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Hey Laur, thanks for the encouragement. You’re right, it could be a blessing in disguise.

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Jennie March 13, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Look at you, you little social media maven! I’m so proud of your successful endeavors!

xo,

j

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Kim March 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Hey Jennie, I learn from the best! You’re the whole reason I’m on twitter. :)

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Jason March 21, 2011 at 11:51 am

We also are in a pickle with our house. We are planning on putting it up for sale in one year (Spring 2012) and as soon as it sells, we leave. If it doesn’t sell or we can’t get what we need to get for it, we’re screwed! And one of the big problems with Portland is that renting will not even cover the mortgage payments. Hopefully the housing market picks up. Are you looking to sell it yourself, or have a Realtor sell it? We are going to sell ours ourself. That extra money saved is more time traveling :)

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Kim March 21, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Hi Jason, I totally know how you feel! We were never relying on the sale of our house to fund the trip but we sure weren’t counting on having to spend money to cover the mortgage (since, as you say, we can’t get rent to cover the full mortgage). If/when we do sell the house I would like to sell it ourself but I’m just unsure that buyers will go for that in this market? Part of what makes it unreasonable to sell our house right now is the cost of the 6% we’d have to pay to the realtor. Argh, I need a beer just thinking about it!

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Lily (Explore for a Year) March 22, 2011 at 6:53 am

Hi Kim,

I love your monthly/financial updates – it’s so wonderful to watch the process of getting closer and closer to your goals and take-off date.

Congrats on getting mentioned on those blogs and on the Gist magazine, you’re an inspiration to many who need a small nudge to follow their dreams :)

– Lily

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Kim March 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Thanks Lily! It’s fun to do the updates. I like that I’ll be able to look back and see everything we went through to reach our goal!

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