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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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The name's Annie.

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October 24, 2019

Planning For World Travels [what we’re doing different this time]

Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller

PLANNING A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD IS NO SMALL TASK.

But I must say, having some experience under our belts has made planning a second round of world travels easier.

There is a LARGE learning curve in both getting ready to travel the world and actually traveling the world.

We learned a lot during our world travels from May 2018 to May 2019. And through those experiences, we can better plan for our January 2020 adventures.

This post is in regards to what we’re doing DIFFERENT this time around. But I’ll also cover what we’re doing the same, because I think that is important to note as well.

Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller

What’s Different?

We’re splitting it up.

In 2018-2019 we were gone for 367 days. That made sense because we wanted to travel the world for one year.

But, being gone in June-August is terrible in our opinion…for a few reasons.

  1. That is the best time to be home, in the Pacific Northwest.
  2. It’s the worst time to be a lot of other places in the world (peak season for a lot of places = more tourists, higher prices, and VERY WARM or VERY COLD depending on the hemisphere).

So, for round two we said, how about we travel the Southern Hemisphere (plus Japan) from January to May, come home for the best time of the year (May – August) and then take off again September through December for Northern Europe. Ya girl is trying to see the Northern lights and experience Sweden and Norway in the winter. Less humans, still beautiful. My fav.

We absolutely adored Europe in Sept/Oct 2018 and loved living in Poland in December and January. So we think it’s safe to say we’ll enjoy Northern Europe that time of year.

Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller

Bucket-list influenced

In 2018-2019 the motivation was to LIVE in other places. To stay for a month or two at a time, work from home and take small adventures along the way. Aside from our six week European road trip (which you can read about here), we went slow, adapted to the culture, and befriended our baristas along the way. We loved that. Clearly, because we’re making a second go-around.

With that being said, we didn’t have a bucket-list for those travels. I mean we did check off some big ones like Machu Picchu and the Swiss Alps. But we were mainly picking places that were good for LONG TERM expats. We researched where it was cheap to live, had good food, and excellent wifi (which is a joke in most places).

Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller
Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller

For 2020 we are chasing more bucket list locations. Things we missed in 2018 and 2019.

That has led us to locations like:

  • Mexico City (a place we debated living in 2018)
  • Patagonia (18 day road trip) – we were so close in Santiago, Chile last time but it was the dead of their winter. Again, simple lack of planning and thinking about the Southern vs Northern Hemisphere.
  • Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia (Missed it from Peru last round due to poor planning)
  • Japanese Road Trip
  • New Zealand Road Trip (was on the list for the last round but we decided to stay put in Southeast Asia and tour Vietnam + check off the temples of Seim Reap Cambodia instead – which we learned about while in Thailand).
  • South Africa (also debated this as a home base in 2019) + a safari.

All bucket list locations – all on the more expensive end.

Let’s talk about that for a moment.

Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller

The budget

In 2018-2019 we had no clue what was going to happen with my biz so we were much more conservative with our budget, responsibly so.

In 2020 I, the breadwinner, will be bringing in a more dependable income. This gives us more wiggle room and opportunity to see and experience the things we truly want to.

Budget DOES effect travel. But it shouldn’t stop you from traveling if you can indeed make something happen.

Flights are a big portion of this.

In 2018-2019 we only had four BIG flights. Light intercontinental, long, expensive flights.

  • Home to Santiago
  • Rio to Rome to Greece (booking a stopover in Rome was cheaper than a flight from Rio to Greece).
  • Poland to Thailand (this was the hardest time change for us).
  • Cambodia to Portugal
  • (Fre skincare paid for our flights from Morocco to home)

Now, obviously we had flights within South America, Europe and Southeast Asia, but the only place that flights were expensive was South America. I think we paid over a grand for the two of us to fly from Peru to Brazil – not cheap.

That was over the course of a year.

Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller

We’re going faster this time

Fact: Traveling slow is cheaper – 28+ day stays = huge lodging discounts. And you’ll likely being paying less for transportation (flights).

In 2020 we will have 11 flights, five of which will be intercontinental in a four to five month time span.

Fact: Faster travel is more expensive. Money doesn’t buy happiness but it caaaaaannn open the door for more options.

We are also better equipped this round with tools to find cheaper flights and accommodations.

We use Kiwi and Skyscanner for flights, sometimes Momondo. And Airbnb or Booking for lodging. If in Southeast Asia, checkout Agoda.

In 2018 and 2019 we chose not to do a few things in order to save money, which was wise. We also chose to splurge a few times and it was WORTH IT. Oh my goodness, was it worth it.

Those splurges taught us something about travel…the upgrades are typically worth it.

  • Staying in the highest chalet in the Swiss alps…WORTH IT.
  • Booking extra leg room on an 11 hour flight…WORTH IT.
  • Paying what would be more than six months of our car payment to lease a car for one month in order to drive through all of Europe instead of catching trains and flights…WORTH IT.

Someone with a first class budget probs says first class is worth it. But it is not yet worth it to the Millers. You feel me?

So you do you with what you have, okay?

Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller

That’s all just to say, that in world travels round two (2020), we are choosing to spend a little more on experiences we know will be more than worth the monetary cost.

For instance we are choosing to rent a car for 18 days in order to drive through all of Patagonia. And you might feel nauseous if I shared the price of that rental. But the alternative is catching 24 hour buses, renting cars locally, or only seeing part of Patagonia, and that’s just not what we want to do. In fact that sounds terrible. The other alternative is to book with a company that does it all for us, which would be MORE expensive than this car rental and we hate tours…so there’s that.

Which brings me to…last but not least.

Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller
Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller
Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller
Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller
Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller

Road trip extravaganza

When Nate and I reviewed our fav moments from 2018-2019 travels, most of our experiences were around road trips we had taken. Whether for a weekend trip, or our various week long – month long European adventures, or day trips doubled up on a scooter in Bali, Vietnam or Thailand. It was clear, WE LOVE ROAD TRIPS.

They have a sense of adventure and freedom about them that you just don’t get on a plane, train or tour.

We like the lack of a schedule, the control, the freedom to decide we want to take off at 4am or 10am or stop in a small adorable unexpected town for lunch. Feel me?

You don’t have to have everything all packed up nice in your suitcase, you can just throw it all in the back and move on. We love it.

So, just in our first half of these 2020 travels we will be planning three to four week road trips in Patagonia, Japan, and New Zealand. Basically taking up three months of our travels.

Planning for world travels (and what we're doing differently this time) with Annie Miller

What we’re doing the same

Planning ahead

  • Getting needed visas and vaccinations (actually had to expedite new passports because we didn’t realize we’d need new ones).
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights (find good prices near the dates you wanted, then book the flight and plan lodging around that)
  • Cars (Nate researches if renting or leasing is cheaper and if there is a discount for booking early)
  • Lodging (most expensive locations to cheapest, or in order of of our arrival) – from experience, places get more expensive and options become limited the closer you get. Safest for us to book a few months in advance.

Really the bulk of the planning process is the same. We made a calendar with our dates, made a list of where we want to go, found the best times for us to go, plugged them into the calendar and the process takes off from there.

That’s it!

Here’s to another year around the globe.

PS. Join my mailing list for weekly blog and podcast updates. You may or may not get VIP discounts as well. Just saying. Join the fam.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

hey beautiful. i see you.

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The name's Annie.

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