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T minus one year

Bridgewater Canal

Going places.

I started this blog a few months ago because I wanted to see if I could maintain the self-discipline to post at least twice a week, regularly, no matter if I had something specific to write about or not. With the exception of one or two slightly missed deadlines, I’ve managed to keep it up. November was always the real launch date I had in mind, because November 2015 is when I’m aiming to leave for the big adventure.

So, here I am, one year away. A lot can change in a year, but I hope that whatever does change, it’s not my resolve to do this for real after a decade of thinking and talking and dreaming about it.

I know the biggest challenge is going to be the money. I am currently on track to pay off my last big trip (and all my credit card debt) by the end of the year. With recent freelance work, I should also be able to pay for my citizenship application by then. These are two huge expenses out of the way. The rest is just saving as much as possible for ten months. And trying to pick up as much extra work as I can handle.

Life happens in the meantime though. And life includes more travel. Between now and next November, there are a few things that will eat into the big adventure fund:

  • A quick trip to London (seems to be an annual tradition at this point) sometime in January or February to get a dress for my friend Lindsay’s wedding. I have to go to David’s Bridal, and by some stroke of luck, they have a shop in London now. I also really, REALLY want to go to Paris, and this may give me an excuse to do it reasonably cheaply. I can use Avios to get a free Eurostar ticket and stay in a hostel for 2 or 3 nights. I’ll have to think about it though, because I know I’ll spend loads on food if I do go. We shall see.
  • Back to the US for the aforementioned wedding in May. I’ll be packing a lot into that trip as usual. Staying with friends in DC, Frederick, MD (where I did most of my growing up), and Raleigh, NC, plus the wedding itself in Pennsylvania. Should be a good time all around, and I’ll get to ride Amtrak again too!
  • Either Morocco or a Baltic cruise with my friend Sara in June. We haven’t decided yet. Both things look amazing in totally different ways. This was originally going to be a trip to Greenland, but I’m here to tell you that HOLY CRAP it is expensive to get to Greenland let alone do anything there. I’d love to do it someday, but I had to limit my travel budget this year and it was at least 3 times more than what I wanted to be spending.
  • I intend to throw a massive party when I get citizenship. That will hopefully be sometime early in the year, and will inevitably cost a bit.
  • I’d also love to take a weekend trip to Arran or one of the other islands, maybe later in the summer. That can be done super cheaply, but I keep meaning to do it and never have.

So, with all those things along with normal life stuff and unexpected expenses, saving tons of money will be a challenge. But: eyes on the prize. It will be worth it. A year from now, I should be gearing up for winter in Siberia and Christmas somewhere in Southeast Asia.

Right now, the year is already doing that thing where it becomes a steep hill ending in Hogmanay. I’m really enjoying the holiday anticipation and all the Thanksgiving and Christmas plans already mostly in place. November and December can get manic, but mostly in a good way. And if all goes to plan, my holiday season next year will look very different, so I’m going to soak this one up.

Life is good, and I’m going places. I couldn’t ask for much more.