Now this is hard! It is very easy to get carried away, I know personally my “places to visit” list is becoming ridiculously long, but at the same time, a trip isn’t a trip without places to visit! With this in mind there are a couple of things you should take into account when choosing where to go.
It’s going to be pretty hard to get anywhere if you have no idea where you would like to go. I don’t think many people will have a problem with this part, after all, the world is filled with amazing and inspiring places. For the few of you that may find it a problem, start by finding travel blogs and looking at pictures! If somewhere looks amazing in a photograph, the majority of the time you can almost guarantee it will look better in real life. Add it to the list!
Alternatively, if you know some one who has travelled, or has told you a story about a location and you like the sound of it, add that too. At this point don’t worry about where in the world they are, or how you are going to get there, just focus on making a good list and don’t worry if it gets quite long.
Right now your list will probably be a complete mess. If you tried to travel to your chosen destinations in this order, or indeed in one trip, unless you have more luck than sense bad things will happen, and you will no doubt end up spending a fortune.
Try grouping your destinations into their continents as a start, and begin to think about possible routes of travel. You want to be economical here. Flying to Brazil, then to New Zealand, and back to Chile is probably not the best idea. If you’re in Brazil, head to Chile first, then New Zealand. You get the point, it’s not a complex idea, but it will save you sitting on a plane for longer than necessary, and should also make your trip cheaper.
Don’t be afraid to split it up into separate trips either. As much as we all would love to visit everywhere in one go, it is almost never feasible. Assuming like me, you want to visit quite a few places in your lifetime, visiting all of them at once would be very expensive. I think the key here is common sense. You know what your budget is, you know how long you have to spare, so think wisely. There will be nothing worse than rushing around and missing things as you try and keep up with a relentless timetable.
Some things just aren’t practical. It would be great if we could traverse the Amazon Jungle as the crow flies, or walk right beneath Mount Everest, but the chances of this are slim to say the least. Ok, so these are pretty extreme examples, but you do need to be aware of the difficulties traveling to certain places. Whatever you do though, don’t be put off. Once you arrive, that 48 hour bus journey will soon be forgotten.
Its not just physical barriers either. What about language? Foreign languages, although part of the authentic experience, can make things much harder. Again, by all means, please don’t be put off this. We plan to backpack across South America and I can tell you now our Spanish is lacking, and our Portuguese, well, lets not talk about that!
I think what I’m try to get at here (and forgive me if I’m making a meal of it) is that this really needs the time spent on it that it deserves. Don’t rush into booking any tickets, or you could end up realising you have made mistake, don’t always stick to the beaten track, you might find something amazing, and don’t be put off by difficulties. But most importantly, trust your instincts. If you see somewhere you would love to visit, do your best to get there! If there is somewhere you’re not sure about, don’t dismiss it straight away, do your research and then if you still have a bad gut feeling about it, give it a miss.
(Oh dear, I feel I may have trailed off a bit during this post. Note to self, keep focus while writing posts. Oh god, I just realised, its probably because we ONLY have 1 month left until we leave. Where does the time go?)