5 Months Until We Leave – Tasks Still Remaining for the Trip of a Lifetime

Welcome to 2019.  THE year.  We have finally arrived.  We have earned the right to say we are leaving to travel the world THIS YEAR.  That’s exhilarating and terrifying.  Being on this side of the year makes all the difference, as it’s finally beginning to feel real.  We’re doing this.  And there’s still so much to do!

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Epic Mountain Viewpoint Norway

Route Planning – Changes to Our World Trip

As we continue to plan out the rough route of our trip and start hammering out the details, we find things we need to rearrange. Our first attempt had too much time in South America, had Europe during peak season, and more long-haul flights than we wanted to endure. We’ve cleaned up the timeline without sacrificing anything. Here are our changes and some examples on why the timing makes sense for each region.

Route Planning: Changes to our World Trip | BIG tiny World Travel | As we continue our planning, we found our original route needed an overhaul! See what we changed and why here! | #worldtravel #aroundtheworld #travel #travelcouple #travelplanning

Route Plan 2019-2020Check out our ever-evolving route on TripHappy.com!

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Long-term Travel – How We Chose Our Starting Point

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

This world is a big place (although smaller than you think). The number of countries to explore seems very overwhelming at times. We at least want to find our starting point and go from there. But how do we make that choice? Should we throw a dart at a map and see where it lands? Here is how we decided on the first spot.World Map Photo by Tomjonescoaley Creative Commons

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Know the Common Scams in Each Country

One thing that can take your trip from epic awesomeness to complete misery is getting scammed. It can happen to anyone, but it is good to know what the common scams are in the country you plan to visit. This can help you take precautions to avoid these potential traps and better enjoy your stay. Here are some examples from the simple search of “Scams in [country of your choice].”
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Why You Need Insurance While Traveling the World

There is a lot of uncertainty in world travel, and you never know when something bad might happen. You could get sick and need medical care. If you are into adventure sports, you may find yourself needing an emergency evacuation from a remote area. All of your possessions might get stolen from your hotel room or hostel. These things do happen and for a long-term trip, especially, you have a higher chance for a mishap. Even small trips should be considered for travel insurance as it is better to be safe than stuck with a bill that is out of your means to pay.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017
Do not touch poisonous dart frogs! They can kill you with all the poison stored in their tiny bodies. If you accidentally encounter one and touch them, insurance can help with your treatment and save your life if you are lucky. (Cute = Death)

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Considering… Norway

Norway is a stunning country and is home to many natural wonders that are too numerous to count. It has many incredible cities rich with viking history and some of the happiest people. It is a bit expensive – just a tad – but you can find ways to do it cheaply and still have an incredible experience.

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Photo by DeconvertiniCreative Commons

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A Year Out: An Update

As another year draws to a close, we realize we’re that much closer to our departure.  In conversation, we’re now saying “in about a year.”  That’s crazy!  We usually plan for smaller trips about a year out, so things are getting serious now!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Considering… Laos

Laos is one of those places that is stunningly beautiful and not as populated as most other Asian countries. This allows more breathing room when traveling to some of the top destinations and a nice break from the overrun tourist areas of nearby Thailand. Its culture is more accessible and isn’t as blurred by the tourism machine.

Laos has many excellent ways to volunteer for those who like helping out in communities while abroad. We plan to do just that. As we travel we do want to find ways to give back and this is the perfect opportunity. With programs like Big Brother Mouse Project, volunteers help children learn how to read and improve their English skills. There is also Cope, which provides assistance and rehabilitation to those who were injured during the Vietnam war (details on both below).

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The 12 Countries of Christmas

Christmas means a lot to me and my family.  It’s the one time of year when we all come together to exchange gifts, eat far too much food, and socialize and laugh over games and drinks.  In America, it’s a family holiday, and offices across the country are closed for multiple days for the celebration.  We decorate trees in our living rooms, and we hang lights all throughout the cities.  It’s a time of giving and joy and coming together.

I love Christmas.

Spending a year abroad, there’s every chance we’ll spend the holiday in a foreign country.  And we know that not everyone celebrates it the same as we do.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015
Photo by Brianna Shade, used with permission

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