The countdown is on…April 1, 2015 is when I will begin my year-long journey around the world, taking me to wherever my heart and camera desires (finances permitting!)
When that time comes, it will have been just over 4 years in the making. In late 2010, I took a giant leap of faith and signed up for a “deferred leave plan” that is available through my employer, which is basically a forced savings plan. This allows me to take a year off and have my position secured for when I return.
Let me tell you, it was a nerve-racking decision to sign up for this plan, as I didn’t know if I could afford the salary deductions, while still paying for my house and the overall high cost of living in the Northwest Territories (Canada’s western Arctic). In fact, I kept the email exchange between me and my boss from when I notified him that there was a “certain form in his inbox for him to sign,” which was basically me signing away a chunk of my salary for 4 years. His response was: “are you sure”? I remember clear as day, walking down the sidewalk as I typed the following response in my phone:
—–Original Message —–
From: Tawna Brown
Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2010 04:11 PM
To: (my boss)
Subject: Re: Envelope in your Inbox
It’s a tough, really, really tough decision, as it is a big pay cut and I do not have a dual income household. But something inside keeps telling me to do this, so I will just have to adjust my life accordingly, start looking for change on the ground, use grocery coupons, buy stuff only when it’s on sale, look for bottles and cans along the highway and bring them into the recycle depot. Maybe my photography will help me out! Who knows…
Oh! I just picked up a penny on the sidewalk!! A lucky one I bet!
I kept that email as a reminder of a time in my life where I put my hands firmly on the helm and steered my life into the direction it was meant to go. Deep down inside I knew that it was the right decision and that things would work out.
Just over three years have passed already, and while I think about my upcoming year off every single day, I am so incredibly far from being ready for this adventure. While many people think there is a lot of time for planning and preparation, I don’t think they have any idea of what is involved.
It is one year until I am “free as a bird”, and there are numerous questions that need to be thought about and answered. Some of these questions are:
- where am I going and when?
- what do I want to do?
- what is the purpose of my year off? What do I want to accomplish?
- what will the ideal suitcase be (can’t be a backpack, as I’ll have a camera backpack)
- what will I bring in my suitcase?
- who will I forward my mail to?
- what kind of insurance do I need (for house, for car, for health, for my belongings?)
As a photographer, there is another set of questions (related to photography) that I will need to answer, some of which include:
- what is the ideal photography backpack?
- what should be in my camera gear “kit”? Do I take it all?
- what is the ideal back-up system for my images and how does this all work? (I am particularly challenged in this department!)
- and numerous questions related to photography techniques and post-processing.
As a travel photographer, I want to be prepared to see the world and be able to capture what I see and how I see it. This will require a high level of control and familiarity with my camera gear, as well as a good grasp of different photography and post-processing techniques. I’ve put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to learn all kinds of things prior to my departure, and instead of my list getting shorter, it is getting much longer as I discover new things I want to learn about.
I am a planner; this is in my nature. I can’t just sit back and relax and take things as they come (well maybe once in awhile, but I’m not particularly skilled at this). I am a sponge for travel and photography-related information; particularly from people who have been down this road/journey/path before. I welcome you to share any tips, ideas, or general comments you may have.
For now, let me ask you two questions (really it’s 3 questions):
- If you were to travel around the world for a year, which 5-10 essential items (non-photography) would you bring along in your suitcase?
- If you had a year to travel, where would you go and why?
I look forward to hearing from you.
(To reply to this post, click the “comments” link at the top of this post underneath the title)
Five essential items:
– a good book (or three)
– something to give people (like moocards maybe?)
– comfy shoes
… I can’t think of a fifth. but then I always forget something!
And if I had a year to go places, I’d probably stay in one place for a month or so at a time. I like to dig in. Rural Japan because I’ve always wanted to go, all over the mediterranean (Greece!), somewhere I could do meaningful volunteer work for awhile. And WWOOFing. Always wanted to try it.
So exciting for you! Where are you thinking of going?
Thank you for being the 1st responder Natasha! I too like the idea of staying somewhere for a month at a time, I just can’t imagine coming and going all the time every 2-4 weeks, with a backpack and suitcase! I’ve done some couch surfing before and I’ve signed up for WWOOFing before (I think)- but never had the opportunity to try it out. I would love to stay with someone in the countryside somewhere and work in the garden, work with animals (horses/dogs maybe), somewhere with a relaxing energy all around.
Where am I thinking of going?? Well, the ideas come and go and i haven’t made any plans yet. Italy for sure, and likely Spain and France since they are neighbours and I have friends in Spain; Greece (at some point, maybe even before my year off!); Bali; Africa (likely southern countries); Argentina; Mexico; and other places that are nearby these countries….and I have some connections in other countries that I may go visit just because! Hungary, China, Peru…. it depends on what ultimately I want out of this adventure….and I haven’t decided on that yet. But stay tuned….it will all unfold as it should. I want to keep it flexible and somewhat open-ended!
Well I would travel with books! Also a journal with a pen! I am old fashioned. I would bring a picture album of my family. I would bring some Canadian pins to hand out to people along my travels . Hmmm what else? Money, bank and visa card obviously. Maybe a few of fav recipes incase I meet some people to cook for. 2 pairs of my most comfy shoes. My iPad so I can play candy crush!
If I could go travel I would find a place somewhere in India where I could just be one with myself. Perhaps find a place where talking was forbidden. Of course that would be my ultimate challenge. Thailand to explore all the beautiful beaches. China so I can do the great wall of china! New Zealand because there are no poisonous creatures – I think! Poland and Ukraine to see how heritage. I would love Africa to see all the wild animals and perhaps help out in a local school.
Whichever wonderous places you decide to journey to, know that I will be thinking about you and waiting to hear about who you bumped into! T
That’s funny! Somewhere where talking is forbidden! I was thinking of maybe starting off somewhere like that too, just to put myself in a different “zone”, and do some meditation that I’ve never done before. That might be quite the challenge for me though at the very beginning of my year off; as I will have a million things running through my head, and I will have to shut them all up in order to “become one”…. we’ll see! But I love the idea of getting away from everything and just going “inside” yourself for awhile. Living such a busy life doesn’t really allow for that to happen!
I will definitely bring a little picture book of my family:) I don’t know if I’ll bring books because of the bulkiness. But I do have a journal and I like the feeling/connection I have when I write in a beautiful handmade leather-bound journal i bought in Cortona (i love it!)….i seem to only be able to write when I’m in Europe…I haven’t brought it with me on any other trips! I just don’t know about the weight of the book, if it will be worth bringing it and a refill book, as I really need to watch the weight in my 1 small suitcase that will be going with me everywhere. So I will have to decide what really is most important. I’m not anywhere near making that decision yet. Thank you for replying! I had no idea you were interested in going to most of those places:)
I am overwhelmed at the thought that went into the creation of this website. You have obviously given it quite a bit of thought as to its development. How long has it been in the works for you? So many new places to explore and write about, Do you want me to return to you the Lonely Planet Travel Book you gave me for Christmas for some ideas of where to go. Obviously the seasons will play a part in where you go and when so as to avoid having to travel with seasonal wardrobes. So many things to think about so it is good that you still have a year left to think about everything. We look forward to reading all about your travels and viewing your exceptional photography.
Thank-you Pops! I’ve been working on this for probably about 2 months. And the last month was really intensely busy… up late hours and very early hours, to squeeze in time to work on the site before and after work, even sometimes at lunch breaks! I’m really glad to have had the support from the web designer who helped me (Natasha Duchene), as I know very, very little when it comes to web sites, but i wanted a lot of things added to the basic template that I had to work with… she was great to work with! (very patient too:)
Regarding where i’ll be going, I will very likely be staying away form cold climates. Not sure what I’ll be doing for seasonal clothes for the colder temps, but I will likely be sending stuff to SK every-so-often as I no longer need things (or as I buy things!!)
Lots to think about and plan, and decide… I haven’t even really begun that process yet, as I still have my ongoing travels this year and normal busy life. I hope I will somehow learn the skill of slowing down and enjoying the moment… soon! Because I know that the next (less than) 12 months will fly by! Thanks Pops!
The places I would visit in no particular order would include the following: Greece-its history; Egypt-to see the Pyramids and ride a camel in the desert; Switzerland-to view the Alps in springtime would be beautiful and fascinating; Italy – obviously here; Africa- to see the animals of the Serengetti/visit Danette/Luc; India- to visit Taj Mahal and experience the crowds and visit Pat/Hazel; Australia- visit the outback, Jim/Manuela; Netherlands-the tulips and windmills; Belgium/Normandy- visit World War sites; Israel- so much history from the Bible here; Cook Islands- to reward myself at the end of my journey on a beautiful serene white sandy beach. I would not travel to any more tic places currently in a state of political turmoil.
The things I would take would be first and foremost a good Swiss Army Knife or Leathermens Tool worth its weight in gold; 3 season water repellant jacket; light down vest; my Kindle; water container, collapsible; good hiking boots/shoes and my Crocs;ipad with flash drives;Benadryl spray for bites/itch; sunglasses; hat; nylon backpack for day trips; small LED flashlight; iphone and charger.
So many places to visit in the world! As I responded to someone else’s post earlier, where i go will be somewhat flexible and not all planned out from the beginning. I want to just live my life and see where my travels take me. But I will have some “for sure” spots as well! I think a good swiss army knife is a great idea! I have had a tiny one that my Dad (you) gave me years ago, and just the little tiny knife and scissors have come in handy many, many times. So this is a good idea for sure, to upgrade and get something a bit more advanced. the 3-in-1 jacket…good idea. I will have to look around for something. I have a light rain shell/coat, and was thinking of wearing a light black jacket on the inside. I don’t plan on being anywhere too cold, and I can always buy a coat. Those soft cushiony kind pack super small and I’ve heard great things about them… I already bought my 1 pair of everyday Merrell walking shoes, and i’ve put them on a shelf…but I think I’ll test them out on my upcoming trip to Italia! I will write a post one day that includes a list of things I am contemplating on bringing, and will ask people to comment on my choice and the brands that I list out (based on their own experiences)…stay tuned!
For every place you travel, send a post card to Abby!
My grandfather John A. Tetlichi travelled to Fiji Islands a long time ago when my Auntie Margaret Begg married her Joe. Everyday he a sent a post card to his grandchild Ryan Vittrekwa, my brother. My parents still have those postcards addressed to him when he was a baby. He must have been his fav lil guy!
Now I see then once in a while at Moms house! It’s so amazing he was thinking of his grandson who he adored! Just reading them, brings to mind what he was thinking at the time.
Something to do!
Very good idea Laura! I don’t know if they keep the postcards, but I kind of hope so, that would be a cool collection! And maybe it will inspire her to follow in Auntie’s footsteps! I used to send postcards to a small handful of people when I go to a new place (still do)…Abby has received a few of those so far. But I will make a better effort on my year off:)
1) Good shoes that can do double duty for dress up, as they’re heavy. Teva’s or Fitflops.
2) Army knife that has corkscrew, etc.
3) Good refillable water bottle
4) sheet – when I traveled Europe for 6 months I was amazed how often I used it. Over a bed that wasn’t so clean (only once thank God), on the beach, etc. OR take a huge beach towel as that can be used double duty.
I love Europe, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy. Mexico of course is my new fave; Guanjauto, Morelia, Pasquaro, I haven’t been to Oaxaca yet but have great desire to go there.
Have the best time ever, Chica!!
Cindy, do you have a particular pair of shoes to suggest? I would love to find the “perfect” pair that can work for everyday but also dress up. That is going to be a challenge I think. i already have a regular everyday hiking pair put aside for my year off. And the bed sheet… yes good idea… I was thinking maybe a sarong, it is smaller of course, but still might work for the most part; and work as a cover up on the beach! I’d like to go to Oaxaca as well, I love the artwork from the Indians! I hope to see you when I come to Mexico!
5-10 essential items:
-multi purpose shoes
-durable plastic bags (to seperate dirty from clean, dry from wet, etc)
-as few clothes as possible
-generally travel as light as possible
The “durable clothing” (and multipurpose shoes) is the tough part for me, as there is sooo much out there! And as a woman, I want to find some clothes that have a multipurpose…dressy/casual, etc. I will be doing a lot of research on this. I’ve been keeping a bit of a list going for particular items/brands that I might end up ordering as I get closer to my year off… and i am always looking at end of season sales for travel clothes:)
Alot of the essentials I would have recommended have already been suggested, so here are some new ones:
1) Emergency contact info. No matter where you are, sightseeing, out for dinner, etc. always keep a small card on you somewhere that states your name, where you are staying, dates, local contact # and home emergency contact info.
2) Copy of your glasses & contact prescription, medical prescription and medical history, if applicable.
3) In case of a computer glitch, keep a printed copy of important info OR take a photo and it’ll always be on your camera (you will have your camera with you, won’t you???)
4) We all know how much you LOVE clothes, but use the KISS approach! And buy as you go, it will be fun!
5) Zip lock bags (various sizes).
6) Best for last….your Mother – she loves to travel too, can carry your bags and bring extra cash!
As far as where to go, my advice would be, after you’ve researched it to death, go with your heart! You have good judgement!
KISS approach?? Well, I have a plan for that… I was planning on sending stuff back to my parents’ house (yours) when I needed to make room in my 1 small suitcase:) And it won’t be just clothes. It will be quite the challenge though! Re. #3, I will be regularly wiping out/reformatting my memory cards on my camera, so I won’t be able to keep a picture of important things on my camera, but I will have them on my computer and backed up to a cloud service. And of course I will be leaving copies of things with my wonderful parents:) #6… that’s a great tip for me to keep in mind! That could sure come in handy! And it would be nice to have familiar company along the way.
I actually don’t plan to over-research things as I usually do, as i want to keep things somewhat open-ended and fluid, as this isn’t a 1-year long holiday, it is 1 year of my life, and no one plans out 1 year of their life. I’m just going to live it and do what I want to do and go where I want to go. Simple:)
Wow, less than a year and you will be on the adventure of a lifetime! So excited for you! If anyone is going to absorb, explore, find the best deals and most amazing places in the world and express through amazing photography it is you girl! I wish I had this opportunity when I was younger!
So what to bring…
1- true dat, comfortable walking shoes, something that will work in multiple climates and descent flip flops
2- journal but I’d almost do everything on your iPad so it’s on ” The Cloud” in case you lose your journal and then you have all the pics of family and friends and you’ll be able to Skype to. (You can download books on it)
3- I like the idea of a light sheet, you just never know when it will come in handy, for multiple reasons
4- good luck with what to bring for a luggage, I am sure you will figure that one out. Remember you can always send stuff home.
5- Your Pop is right, a good leather man but don’t forget to put in checked luggage or you can kiss that puppy goodbye if you carry on. If you’re taking only carry on then rethink or research what else there is for a similar resourceful tool.
Where to go:
– Definitely China! The Great Wall is fricken amazing! Go to Tina-min Square and join in (if they allow) a Taoist Chi session, I missed seeing that.
– Seychelles! Please go for me! Beautiful!
– Israel – History, history, history
– Prague – The Charles Bridge is incredible, the country is so beautiful and since you’re relatively close the Ukraine ( wait until it’s safe to go though) or any of the Eastern block countries, Croatia etc
– India – go be one with yourself at some incredible temple, but see The Taj Mahal !
Wherever you go, whatever stories you tell, whatever pictures you take we are that much richer because of you and this amazing journey. Have fun planning, don’t stress, all will be ok here, and always be safe!
Thank you Patty! I appreciate your kind words:) Very good reasoning for writing on my iPad (I will have my computer as well, as I will need to do heavy photo editing and other stuff along the way, so I can’t just have iPad)- i would HATE to lose my journal. I can’t imagine what that would be like. It already has things written in it from past trips, and it is super special to me. So this might be a game changer for me, in terms of bringing my journal with me… I think that was really good advice- keeping it electronic and I will for sure have things backed up off-site (I am contemplating “CrashPlan” backup service).
I wish I could try the carryon only option, but that would be a miracle for me! I never travel light, and my camera backpack will be a large backpack, so that will take up my carryon allowance as it is. Therefore, I am stuck with having to bring a medim-sized suitcase with wheels… and I will have to do a lot of research to pick that one out! I’ve had a few offers from people to be my bag carriers along the way, but unfortunately I don’t have the budget for that:( This will be my new workout – carrying the bags all over the place. No need to worry about getting a gym membership anywhere! Thanks again and I hope you enjoy following my journeys!
T; love following your blog. Can’t wait to see your pics from your year off. Clothing seems to be tricky, especially since you’ll be experiencing many different climates. I like anything from Mountain Equipment Co-op. I guess you’d want a durable piece of material that could be easily hand washed and quick drying. I traveled for a month in Costa Rica out of a backpack and found my go to pieces were black capris (they could be for hiking or dressed up easily), a few shirts, a fleece, one pair of shorts, one pair of pants. I bought pieces cheaply if I needed a dress or something fancy!
Most comfy shoes: Birkenstocks? 🙂
Hey Bridget! Thanks for following and I’m glad you are enjoying…I intend on becoming more active with my posts, so stay tuned! I am dealing with processing of 6000 RAW files from Italy, so this has taken my attention lately. I like MEC too… I should try to check out there end of season sales when summer is over! I have the black capris already…. bought them just for next year, but I already used them in Italy this May… very handy indeed! It’s going to be tough to decide! Especially since I like dressing up! I will definitely report on what i end up deciding (for “gear” and travel plans:)
I’ve enjoyed the beginnings of your blog. I’m also attending the workshop in San Diego this Sept (that’s how I found you). Unsure if you have heard of “my family abroad” program, but you might want to check it out. They have families in Spain & Central/South America. Exchange about 15 hrs a wk teaching English to a family in exchange for a place to stay. Looking fwd to meeting you, see ya at the workshop.
Hi Paula! Thanks for visiting my blog and website! I look forward to meeting you too! I haven’t heard of “my family abroad”, so I’ll be sure to check it out. Thank you for the info;)
Hi Tawna! I’m so excited about your journey 🙂 Before I took off on my yearlong journey all I knew is that I was going to Southeast Asia. I knew I would start in Thailand and go to Laos but I didn’t have any big plan for specific destinations. I had traveled in the region before and loved it, but I also knew that it would likely be cheaper than traveling in South America. Since I was working on a $40-a-day budget, cost was a huge issue and dictated where I traveled.
I’m not sure what type of traveling you want to do (i.e. if you’re more of an adventure traveler or more interested in the cultural side of things). Places that I’d recommend in terms of photography would be Cambodia and Vietnam. But if you want specific recommendations about where to go in Southeast Asia feel free to ask me. I’ve traveled a lot here 🙂
In terms of what to pack, you should really try not to bring too much. This is super hard, I know. But since you’ll be traveling with so much camera gear you have to be particularly picky about what to bring. Here are a few thoughts:
1) kindle – I love to read but bringing paperbacks take up so much room. I highly recommend a kindle.
2) sarong – Don’t bring a bulky towel. a sarong doubles as a cover up and beach towel. Plus they can be washed and dried easily.
3) converter – Since you don’t know which countries you’re visiting definitely be prepared with a kit.
4) shoes – Don’t bring a ton of shoes and don’t bring hiking shoes unless you’re someone who actually does a lot of hiking as they are so bulky. A good pair of walking shoes is all I brought and worked just fine. If you’re someone who likes to dress up a pair of flats won’t take up much space. Shoes are easy to find on the road so don’t overdo it in that department. Just bring what will work for the first countries you’ll be visiting and go from there.
5) clothes – Bring things that you can mix and match. If you’re going to be traveling in warm climates don’t bring a bunch of bulky warm weather clothes, just in case you might go to a cold weather destination. You’ll end up throwing them out anyway. Do bring light layers so you’ll always be able to cover up if you need to.
Anyway, I’m super excited for you and I can’t wait to read more about your trip planning!!
Hi Justine! Thank you for visiting my site and for your informative comments. I don’t have a particular plan…although I do know I’ll be in Italy for a couple of months, and visiting surrounding countries, and Greece; I have an interest in Bali (I’m very curious! I’ll be going through your blog posts to read up), South Africa (and other neighbouring countries), Argentina maybe, NYC, Mexico… (and other places!) I’ll have a month or two on both ends of my year off at home or visiting family in Canada. I hope to be staying with friends and new friends for much of the time, as I want to live as the locals do, and experience what they do.. I especially want to cook local dishes! I love cooking! (but as a single person, it’s not that easy).
The packing part is going to be tough, but not super tough I don’t think, because I’m not planning on going to any countries that are cold (at least not in the immediate 4 months or so), but traveling with a big camera backpack and suitcase on wheels will be no walk in the park! There is no way for me to get around this, as I need to bring most of my camera gear. I don’t have a kindle, but I have an ipad- which I rarely ever ever use! I am not much of a reader, but that’s mainly because i’m a busy body and never give myself the time to relax and read! Hopefully I can put books on the ipad- if I wanted to. I don’t know if you can do that.
I very much enjoy following our blog as well! Safe travels!
Living through you next year is going to be exciting for me too. I admire your sense of adventure and am so happy you are able to travel for the year and see the world, meet new people, and have wonderful experiences that you will remember for a lifetime.
Five thing I would take with me:
~ My phone ~ I would have to stay connected to my family and friends.
~ Journal ~ I know you will, but you have to write your adventures every day. Maybe you will have the next Eat, Pray, Love movie or even better.
~ Photo Album of family and people I love ~ There I go again feeling like I have to stay connected.
~ Comfortable shoes ~ Ugg are the best, not very sexy, but any pair of Uggs make your feet feel wonderful and there is nothing that can ruin the day if your feet feel good.
~ Tooth Brush ~ At least if you can brush your teeth you will feel refreshed.
Places I would visit:
~ Definitely Italy ~ Never stay less than 2 months in this beautiful country with these beautiful people.
~ France ~ Wonderful places and beautiful countryside. Try to take a trip to Cancale. It’s a great little city not far out from Paris mostly where the French vacation.
~ Portugal ~ Great country, lots to see and do.
~ Chile ~ My friend is from Chile and loves her country. If you need any suggestions and/or help let me know.
I hope this post helps you in your travels and you think about me when you are in Italy, putting your Uggs on for the day and brushing your teeth. 🙂
How wonderfully exciting,
Diana (your friend from the writing class in San Diego)
Hi Diana! We sure do share a similar love…Italy! Maybe we should both plan a visit at the same time! I definitely want to be visiting wine producing countries, so Chile is certainly a possibility (France as well, Italy of course, and I would consider Portugal). I’m fairly open. Thank you for sharing your tips of places to visit and things to bring… it is a tough call, since I’ll be gone for a long time… Many people pack for shorter trips, but 8 months or so of traveling… gees, that’s a lot more challenging to think about. Eventually I will write a post about my choice on luggage and contents! Stay tuned!!!
For my 70th birthday, I treated myself to a two month backpacking trip through Europe. Here are some of the things I learned on that trip.
1. The most important item you can have is a good sturdy pair of shoes. I had never paid much attention to my feet until I came down with Plantar Fasciitis as I was leaving Belgium headed for London.. By the time I reached the subway (a two mile hike from the place I had stayed) I could hardly walk. Spent a week laid up in a hostel in London before I could make my way to Paris and fly home. All because I was wearing sandles and tennis shoes.
2. You don’t need many clothes as long as you can get to a sink with water and have some soap.
3. Couchsurfing and hostels are the way to go. Just be mindful of your surroundings and do your research prior to leaving home.
4. Have a backup money source–ie 2 credit cards or bank cards. One of my cards got stuck in a money machine in Austria and it took a month to get it canceled, replaced and back to me.
5. Have medical insurance that is good world wide. You never know when you will need it.
6. I used a backpack for my personal items and a “front pack” for my camera gear. It balanced out nicely, but it did add 53 lbs. Be sure you are in good physical shape when you start your journey.
7. Keep your gear with you and under your control at all times. Pickpockets are prevalent worldwide. They will steal anything that is not tied down. On that same note, keep your cash, train tickets, and personal papers (passport, etc.) in an inside zipper pocket and don’t carry more cash than you need each day. Most everyplace takes plastic, so use it.
8. A small digital tape recorder comes in very handy for dictating notes about your journey when pen and paper are not available or easily used. However, you really must download your notes every night or they will overwhelm you.
9. Take time to enjoy your journey. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.
That sounds like quite the amazing trip you made! I don’t think I could ever travel with just a pack on my back! I love to collect/acquire treasures along the way, and my camera bag is always a bag on its own, plus my carryon…. so as long as I am able to manage it… i do! (In fact, on my RTW trip, at one time I even had two big suitcases, carryon and 2nd carryon! Flying business class, so I brought the 2nd suitcase towards the end!!) I learned a lot from my RTW trip also (10 months, went around twice!) And for my 40th bday in 2017, I went for 5 weeks to Tuscany and Bali…and I was already a fairly seasoned traveler by then! Now I’ve got my suitcase and carryon and camera bag all packed up and ready to go to Tuscany and Crete, Greece, a month from now!! It was this exact time 4 years ago that I started my 10-month long RTW journey (which this post was a preview about)…. And about a year from now, I’ll be doing it again! Great advice, thank you for sharing. There is so much to be gained by learning from other’s experiences! Best wishes to you in your future travels:)