Announcing our RTW plans

by Kim on September 28, 2011 · 40 comments

Announcing our latest and greatest RTW plans

A photo from back when I had hair (Hello, hair.  I miss you).  Me hunched over a map is a common sight in our household.  

I haven’t said much about our RTW departure date in awhile.

When I started this blog almost a year ago (whoa), Brian and I were dead-set on leaving in January 2012.  Little did we know that there would be many twists and turns and bumps in the road.  January 2012 is only three months away and, well, we’re not leaving in three months.

At this point we feel like we’ve jumped 7 out of the 10 hurdles that we need to jump to get out the door.  What’s keeping us here now is the lease on our apartment, saving money to meet our goal, and nailing down the final details about where our dogs will live while we travel.

The good news is that we are certain about our new departure date and have begun to formulate the plans around the first two legs of our trip.

So, without further ado, I present to you our latest and greatest RTW plans.

(Hold on while I jump up!!!!!!!! and down!!!!!!!! and freak out a little bit!!!!!!!!!!)


We are leaving in May, 2012.

We will spend the summer of 2012 (June, July, and August) driving throughout the U.S.  We’ll visit our families and our friends, we’ll go to at least two weddings, and we’ll fulfill a dream that we have talked about since we first moved to Oregon: Road tripping and backpacking the National Parks of the West.

Despite my phobia of grizzly bears, we are both beyond excited to spend the summer exploring the beautiful country that we currently live in.  Tetons, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Sequoia/Kings Canyon and Yosemite: Here we come.

In late August/early September we will fly to Peru.  We’ll kick off our international travels with a trek on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. (Update: We aren’t starting in Peru.  We’ll actually be starting our international travels in Ecuador).

Afterwards, we’ll spend a few weeks in a Spanish Immersion Program.  Once we’ve brushed up on our Spanish we’ll take the next four months to travel through South America.  We don’t know exactly what that will entail but we know for sure that we want to do some trekking in Patagonia (November is the perfect time) and that we will probably end up renting a timeshare or an  apartment in Buenos Aires and spend Christmas there.

Around the beginning of the new year (2013) we will fly to SE Asia.

We don’t know what the timeline will be but after a few months in SE Asia we do plan to eventually travel through India, Nepal, and China and then ride the Trans-Mongolian railway from China, through Mongolia, and into Russia.

At least, that’s the vague plan now, but who knows what will happen?

One thing we know for sure is that we want to move slowly, stay open, and let the universe guide us.  We have a general idea of what our route might look like but we reserve the right to change that at any time.  Life, as we all know, sometimes has other plans.  We want to be open enough to tag along.


{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Ajay September 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Wow, that’s a great route, what immersion program are you joining ? Me and my wife want to do that sometime in December (maybe in Costa Rica) for a couple of weeks, but wasn’t sure which ones are good (looked at Maximo Nivel, which seems ok).



Kim September 28, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Hi Ajay,

I’m not quite sure which program we are going to do yet. We’ve done some research but haven’t picked one. I will make sure to write about it as soon as we’ve made the decision!


Matt September 28, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Awesome!! Make sure and look us up when you come to Indonesia.


Kim September 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Matt, you better believe we will!


Gillian @OneGiantStep September 28, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I. Am. Beyond. Excited. For. You!!!!!! Gives me shivers…what a fabulous plan. I am envious of the road trip although…hmmmm…I wonder if we could road trip in June 2012 too…?


Kim September 28, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Gillian!!!!!!!! OMG!!!! YES!!! We could sync up our trips and do some camping and backpacking together. That would be amazingly wonderful. FOR REAL. Let’s do it!


Tracy September 28, 2011 at 8:42 pm

YesYesYes!!! I feel the enthusiasm and I want to jump up and down with you! Things are happening!


Kim September 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Tracy, next time I see you lets jump up and down! I KNOW you are excited for us, we can feel the love.


Torre – Fearful Adventurer September 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I hope we cross paths somewhere!


Kim September 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Torre, I do too. How great would that be?


Martine Dudes on the road September 29, 2011 at 6:38 am

We will certainly cross path somewhere in the US, we are leaving in July 2012. I’m wondering: since you’ll be roadtriping, why not bring your dogs with you for the first months of your trip? As you already know, we will be bringing our dog on our journey; it is possible to live our dream with our beloved friends, think about it…
If you need info on where your dogs can or cannot go (countries, shots, etc…) please feel free to ask, I’ll be happy to help you! (we even had a sponsorship for our Lulu for her food on the road! Anything is possible!)

And I am jumping up and down with you!!! WOW!!!
(still working on the english version of our blog, sorry for taking soooo long…)


Kim September 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Hi Martine,
Unfortunately the doggies aren’t allowed on the trails in National Parks and since we’ll be spending most of our time there it won’t work. BUT, they will get to go on a fun, long road-trip across the country so that will be awesome. I do have questions for you, though. Are you guys driving everywhere or will you actually be flying your pup to different countries? I’m not sure our old girls could handle that.


Martine Dudes on the road October 3, 2011 at 7:08 am

Sorry for the late response! Too busy!
We are actually going to drive everywhere with a camping car, a Rialta. When the time will come to cross the ocean, we will put the camper on a cargo and we will be flying with our dog to Europe.
The dogs obviously need a sleeping shot or pill before boarding on a plane to ensure their safety and well-being. But, you’re sure that your girls won’t be able to handle that and follow you?
Traveling in a camper helps with the dog; it’s gonna be our home so Lulu will stay in the camper when we’ll want to hike or visit some places she’s not allowed.
Remember that our project is not just about traveling around the world, it’s also about becoming nomads, living on the roads and changing our life. Lulu has to be part of it; she’s part of our family. So we will be organizing our daily routine according to her and our life on the roads.
Think about it!


Carmel September 29, 2011 at 7:10 am

This is so exciting! I can’t wait to hear about your adventures. That sounds like an excellent plan. It looks like we’re moving our plans back a couple months now ourselves. The plan was to leave in June 2013, but after some of our discussions, I was perusing weather trends and decided I didn’t want to be stuck in every country’s rainy season. So, we’re taking a tip from the Kim & Brian plan and giving ourselves a bit more time and some family time before we leave. Already inspiring us and you haven’t even left yet! I’m so excited for you! Have I mentioned that about a million times yet??


Kim September 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Hi Carmel! I know things will work out great for you guys. There are going to be things that push your start date back but I KNOW that you will get to that start date. Then, I’ll probably be back home and so jealous that you guys are getting to begin the adventure. Thanks for all of your love and support 🙂


Kristin September 29, 2011 at 8:40 am

Congratulations! This is wonderful news and I love how you’re taking the time to meander through the US and see the great natural sights. Excellent news Kim!


Kim September 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Thank you Kristin. We are SO excited to see the natural beauty of this country. I think I could spend a year alone just exploring the Pacific Northwest.


Jason @ Travel Junkies September 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Nice! Always good to keep a schedule flexible. Over planning can ruin a trip.

We are also planning on road tripping before starting our RTW trip next year. But mainly to say goodbye to family and leave them with boxes of our crap to store for us.


Kim September 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Haha, I can’t say we won’t be doing a bit of that ourselves Jason!


Ali September 29, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Sounds like an awesome plan! When/if you make it to Germany, be sure to let me and Andy know!


Kim September 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Ali, I absolutely will. We will definitely be coming to Germany, it is very high on Brian’s list (mine too!).


@TheBigBreak September 30, 2011 at 6:58 am

Kim, We are so super excited for you! We hope to be pulling out of the country around Sept. 2012 too to head to destinations south. Love to follow your story as it helps keep me on track too! Best wishes that the next few months goes quickly! (But not too quickly.. )


Kim September 30, 2011 at 8:35 am

Maybe we will see you out there! I hope time goes quickly for you too…. but again, I know we shouldn’t wish away time. Here’s to the joy of planning.


Kristin M October 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Sounds like an awesome plan! I love the last paragraph, and this is my favorite line:

“One thing we know for sure is that we want to move slowly, stay open, and let the universe guide us.”

So excited for y’all! It’ll be here sooner than you know!


Sunee October 4, 2011 at 2:19 am

Ooh, sounds like a great route. For some reason, the road trip of the National Parks gets me all excited (I definitely want to do that too some day!). No quick jaunt into Africa though?


Kim October 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

Hi Sunee,

I don’t know if we’ll make it to Africa. I hope so though it isn’t in the “plans” right now. Of course, we’re trying not to have too many plans.


Katie October 4, 2011 at 4:22 am

Sorry, I’m so behind! Yay, so excited for you that you are putting everything together and have a plan and a departure date now! So exciting!! And I notice the timing seems about right for our Great Wall Marathon adventure. 😉

Of course let me know if you want any tips/info on Russia and/or the Trans Siberian – I should be an expert by that time!



Kim October 5, 2011 at 11:45 am

Awesome, thanks Katie. I’m sure I will have lots of questions about the Trans Siberian like, first and foremost, cost. It has been hard trying to nail down an estimated cost for that leg of the trip.

See you at the great wall. 😉


Lauren October 10, 2011 at 5:52 am

Okay, I am a little behind on your blogs, but I AM SO HAPPY for you guys! I can’t imagine how excited you both are! Much love your way.


Kim October 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Thanks Lauren!!! We are so so so so sooooo excited!


Mike December 20, 2011 at 2:53 am

Hey Kim, I’ve only come across your blog in the last couple of weeks and have been reading it from start to finish to get me through my working days!

Anyway, myself and my GF are due to depart on our second ‘big trip’ around the same time as you guys and will also going to be driving through your beloved country throughout the summer, then heading down through central and South America too! I also had the plan to spend Christmas in Buenos Aires so we may cross paths along the way!

We’ve taken inspiration and are in the process of setting up our own site, so will keep you posted! :o)


Kim December 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Hi Mike,

It would be fantastic if our paths crossed! Are you driving through central and South America as well or are you renting a car in the US? (Where are you from?). Let me know what your new blog site is, I’d love to follow along and get together if we’re in the same place at the same time. Safe travels!


Mike December 22, 2011 at 4:13 am

Hey Kim,

We’re just going to be driving through the States (Probably a rental), then throughout Central and South America we’ll head wherever the winds take us by whatever means of transport may be available!

We’re from the UK! I’m English and my girlfriend is Welsh, so she’s hoping to find the Welsh speaking contingent of Patagonia! Haha!

As soon as our blog is up and running I’ll send you the details, don’t want anyone to go looking at an empty site yet! (That would just be embarrassing)…

Just out of interest, how come you decided to cut New Zealand? Given that you’re the outdoorsy type I thought it would have been a must? Is it just finances?

We’re going back to NZ after our Latin American adventure, but flights are just so expensive from South America! If you know of any cheap ways to make that journey then let me know! :o)


Kim December 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Hi Mike,

We’ll be spending a lot of time in the National Parks in the USA and hopefully doing some backpacking. If you guys are into that and plan to do the same and timing works out, it would be fun to plan something- more people, less bears!

The reason we cut NZ is mostly due to budget. But, we really don’t know our route so we could very well end up visiting NZ at some point, but we cut it out as our first stop because of budget. Also, I keep hearing that NZ is just like Oregon (the state that we live in) but more compact. For some reason I just have an urge to see other parts of the world that aren’t as “familiar.” That could be totally off base, I don’t know. So, we will see about NZ and take a look at where we are financially after South America. Our plan is to go to SE Asia after South America but tickets are SUPER expensive too, so it might be that we end up in South Africa or even Europe for a little bit. Who knows?!?

Definitely let me know what your site is up!


Gemma January 8, 2012 at 8:28 am

Sounds like an amazing route you’ve got there!


Kim January 8, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Yes! It’s changed some since we announced our plans (we are starting in Ecuador, not New Zealand as we originally though) but the itinerary is still pretty amazing (any itinerary would be!).


Jen Ryder January 31, 2013 at 8:35 am

Kim, Just found your blog tonight, and I’ve been on here for almost an hour reading post after post, so figured I should comment already! You and your husband are extremely inspiring, especially regarding your diligent savings. There are definitely some tips we can implement into our savings plans for RTW travel. My fiance and I are currently living in Yangzhou, China, about 1.5 hours from Shanghai. If you guys end up in this region anytime before June and need a place to stay or advice, definitely let me know!


Kim February 3, 2013 at 5:50 am

Hello Jen, so glad you found the blog! We are itching to go to China but I don’t think we’ll make it before June, but thanks for the offer! Where are you headed to next? Are you on a big trip now or working in China??? Cheers!


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