Three Month Check In

02.September 2009

Checking In

Not only is today the end of our travel in South America, but the end of our first three months on the road. Time for a little review of what’s happened, what’s going well and what’s not, and answers to a few questions I’ve been asked.

  • Morning Sun, Paraty Traveling is easier than I thought it would be. The actual act of getting around, finding a placed to stay, having a meal, seeing the sights…is much easier than I thought it would be. I don’t know how hard I thought it would be, but it’s been easy even without knowing hardly any of the language. We rely on Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, Hotelz.com, Google, and countless travelogues for information…we don’t always get it right, but it isn’t hard. I hope this part continues.

 

 

 

  • Cresting Dead Womans Pass Traveling is harder than I thought it would be. I knew that it wasn’t going to be all sun drenched beers on the beach, that I wouldn’t always be in a good mood, that not every day at home is great so why would that change on the road, but the reality of it hit me a little harder than I was expecting. Probably magnified by own anxiety I found myself frustrated more often than I expected and I found that I was taking it out on Jason more often than not. I thought about it a lot and determined that it wasn’t because I was homesick but that rather I was just uncomfortable and anxious and I obviously needed to deal with it better. We talked about it and realized that we were at our worst when we didn’t have a plan, however short term that plan might be. Once we realized this we started planning a little bit more and things have definitely gotten easier again. I hope this part continues too.

 

  • Budget Screenshot Traveling is more expensive than we had planned. I won’t go into this too much as I’m planning a post to specifically talk about the budget. Suffice it to say that if you click on the budget link you will be overwhelmed by red font. We have talked about this plenty too and are acting on it in a way that helps us manage the money anxiety and no, it won’t involve putting a ‘Donation’ button on the website!

 

  • After an Afternoon By The Pool, Colca Canyon Do we like it? Yes, absolutely! Have you seen the smiles on our faces? Neither of us is even remotely homesick (sorry guys!). We are continually interested in the new place we are going and learning about the history and culture that we are faced with. We, obviously, feel that we are only scratching the surface of every place but it makes us connected to every single place we have visited and therefore forever interested in what happens there.

  • Official Start of the Trail Are we meeting others? The short answer is no, we are not meeting as many other people as we thought we would. We think we know why and sometimes we try harder but mostly I think we’ve just come to terms with it. Maybe this will change as we change countries, maybe not. Again, I’m planning a post about this specifically.

 

 

 

In The Crowd Are we traveling ‘off the beaten track’? This means different things to different people. I don’t think we’re ‘off the beaten track’ – we’ve been visiting major cities and sights and all the ‘must sees’ within them. To me, ‘off the beaten track’ means getting away from all other tourists and being on our own…no, we haven’t been doing that. We may often be the only ‘white’ tourist around but there are always other tourists around. However, we have stopped in some pretty small towns and have rented apartments in regular neighborhoods to get a feel for a city…to me that’s a little bit off the beaten track, but you won’t find me out in the jungle without a guide trying to communicate with the natives to get some dinner and a bed!

I know that as we continue to travel, our  expectations, frustrations, realizations and style will continue to evolve. This is us at the three month mark…I’ll check in again at six months and see where we’re at.

,
Click
to join the OneGiantStep Facebook conversation!

14 Responses to “Three Month Check In”

  1. Liz Says:

    This is a bang on post. I read it and kept nodding my head about everything,

    Wow, i just checked out your spreadsheet – very cool and detailed. You’re far more disciplined than we are. Don’t be too bummed about the overages. Just make sure you’re enjoying yourself.

    I’ll wait to comment when you’ve got the other ones up. which reminds me, I should really try to update our blob, I mean blog.

    happy travels.

  2. Anil Says:

    It’s never quite what you expected but somehow a lot like you expected it to be :)

  3. Akila Says:

    It looks like you’re not significantly over budget, though – so that’s a good thing.

  4. Daniel Says:

    Cool—sounds like everything is A-OK. I’ve heard that for long-term travel, three months sometimes acts as a make-it-or-break it period. Like anything, I guess. Love travelling vicariously through your posts—thank you!

  5. Jeremy Says:

    Wow 3 months already? That is awesome. Doing the math you are only off like $3/day per person which is not bad. I cant wait to see your post about it since I am planning $45 USD/day for me [$50 CAD] – but that doesn’t include big things, only hostel, food, sight seeing, and daily transport. Hope your travels in Europe go well! Can’t wait to see more posts

  6. Robyn Says:

    Look into couchsurfing if you haven’t done it already. It’ll give you a great feel for the people in each location you visit and the accomodations are always free!

  7. Chris Says:

    I am looking forward to your “budget” post. Would like to see what you have to say about it after being on the road for 3 months. Happy travels!

  8. Mandy Says:

    I love your posts! Everything you are going through sounds perfectly normal to me. Safe & Happy Travels.

  9. Nomadic Matt Says:

    South America is a much harder place to travel than a lot of other places in the world and it is also a lot more expensive b/c of all the tours and such that go into. Moreover, I find that many of the travelers who go there tend to be older and more into doing their own thing than the folks who band together in other parts of the world. I think when you get to asia, you’ll find costs drop a lot, travel gets alot easier, and you’ll end up moving with some more people (most likely couples).

    but thats just my experience.

  10. mina Says:

    What a great post! We still haven’t left – just waiting on the house sale! I think your spreadsheet and information will be extremely useful to us. (So detailed!) I hope you continue to have a wonderful time!

  11. Lisa Says:

    I loved this post Gillian. It was a deeper look into how you are feeling and coping with the travelling. As we are both on the road, I miss just sitting with you and sharing our ups and downs. It is too bad that we will be leaving Turkey when you are due to arrive!

  12. Ayngelina Says:

    What a great post. I’m preparing for a solo trip in April and while it’s good to read about what people have done in each city posts like these are so helpful.

  13. Jodi Says:

    I think this post holds true for all RTW travelers. Chris laughed when I read the bit about taking frustration out on Jason. There were more than a few times Chris bared the brunt of things not going well. Not sure if this is of any help to you now, but here’s what we actually spent per country (http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AiMQ6oDjFDNcdEQxc0M0eDJSVWJZTG1zdmxONXBNeFE&hl=en).

    We also wrote a post summarizing our budget here: http://chrisandjodi.net/2009/10/01/our-around-the-world-budget/

  14. Jeremy and Eva Rees Says:

    This is a great overview of the first portion of your travels — we have so many shared reflections. The costs can be a bit different that you expect, planning from your apartment at home. We’re going over our budget ($100 a day for two) pretty often in Europe, but we came under a lot in South America. I hope Asia sees cheaper days, that way it’ll all even out in the end. We find the priciest things are usually the museums, tourist sites, etc. We spend most of our days just experiencing the city we’re in — we’d get too burnt out on museums and galleries if we visited more than one or two a week. It’s nice just to see what the lifestyle is in each place instead of chasing the tour list.
    Though it’s cheaper to eat food from the grocery store than at a restaurant, we rarely go that route, mostly because it’s the one luxury we promised ourselves. We definately don’t eat anywhere fancy, but by now we have a nose for finding cheap good food. Also, it helps that we often just share items on the menu instead of ordering two main dishes.
    I really appreciate your honesty with getting frustrated and getting along. It’s going to happen and the more you talk about it and understand it, the more progress you’ll make — personally, and as a couple.

    Keep up the happy travels!