- Travel Topics
1. Can you start by giving us a little bit of background about yourself and your blog. How did you start traveling? When did you start blogging, and what did you expect readers to get out of it?
We’re both from Indianapolis. We’ve been together for several years and have been traveling as much as our jobs and income would allow. We always talk about writing on our trips but never follow through. We started the blog as a way to simply document the trip for us. I started writing blog ideas back in June not too long after we started planning for our trip and started posting in July. I didn’t share it with anyone for at least a month because I wanted to make sure I stuck with it. We just hope some readers find the motivation they need to pursue their dream whatever it is. It doesn’t have to be about traveling the world. Motivation isn’t interest specific, it can come from anywhere. My motivation came from comedians and ad men, finding travel blogs like yours just sealed the deal.
2. Let’s talk experiences – what has been the best experience you’ve had on the road? The worst?
Ask us again in 12 months. 😀
3. You say there “is always time to make money, but you can never make more time” – what do you mean by this?
Time is a finite resource. You only get so much of it and to make matters worse, you don’t know how much of it you get. You can use it, waste it or lose it, but you can’t make more of it. Money on the other hand comes down to how much and how hard you’re willing to work. I’ve done freelance web work in addition to my full-time job for over a decade. I also ran a pub trivia night every week for five years at my local drinking establishment. The extra money helped to fund vacations and it was nice to have a backup in case something happened to the full-time job. I’ve turned down more than one job that offered more money but less vacation time as I was more concerned about time to travel than anything else and having that extra income allowed me to do that. Of course, looking back I should have made the money and done this a lot sooner.
4. What is your plan for your upcoming trip?
We’re heading south in January. Julie has always wanted to go to Costa Rica so we will be starting there and then continuing on to South America. We would like to spend more time in Central America but we will be meeting friends in France in June for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and would like to spend May in Spain & Portugal so we have a time constraint on the South American leg of the trip. After Le Mans it is wide open. We’re looking at summer in Northern Europe, autumn in Southern Europe and then probably off to Asia.
5. What are some of the unforeseen difficulties of trip planning?
We can both be procrastinators so planning for anything this far in advance seems a bit unnatural. We seem to be doing pretty well though. It is just difficult to stay on track while not neglecting work duties and making time to hang out with everyone who wants to hang out before we leave. It can be a bit overwhelming and stressful at times but so far I?d give us a B or B+. We’re ahead of the curve but there’s room for improvement.
6. What kind of travel style do you envision having?
We learned a long time ago that we prefer to spend more time in fewer places so we’re planning on most of our stops being in the 4-7 day range per location. We know there will be certain places that will be only a day or two but ideally we want to take our time. We will be on a pretty strict schedule for the South American stint but we expect things to open up after Le Mans. If we find a place we like, we?ll stay longer. We?re not in a hurry to be anywhere.
7. How do you and your girlfriend Julie plan on dividing up the trip responsibilities.
She travels for work so she’s always in charge of airfare because she has the miles and the experience hunting for deals on flights. I?m usually in charge of in country transportation. As far as itinerary planning, it comes down to who picked the country. She wanted Costa Rica so she’s working on the details on where to go. Peru is our next stop and I’ve wanted to go there since I was a kid so I get that one. There is always some kind of negotiating going on, I’ll give you two weeks here if I can have two weeks there.?
8. After working so long in the 9 to 5 world, how did you decide that now was the time?
We were both burnt out at our jobs and looking to make a change. We realized that just changing jobs wouldn’t really solve anything. We had talked about it before but this was the first time we were really in a position to go for it. To be honest it was a pretty short discussion. Let’s quit our jobs and go travel around the world.Okay.?
9. What are some of your interests outside of traveling?
We have some common interests. We both love to cook. We both are perfectly content sitting at a café, sipping wine and watching the world unfold on the street. We both love roller coasters and music. Though our tastes in music don’t intersect much of the time, we’re hoping to catch some good shows along the way. Julie likes to read, scuba dive & is finishing up her yoga instructor certification. I?m interested in history, auto racing and I play video games more than I probably should.
10. What are your upcoming plans, both travel and non travel?
We?re just trying to stay on track with our preparation for the trip while making sure we are spending time with friends and family. Weekends fill up quickly especially going into the holiday season. We’ll probably host Thanksgiving so we can cook one more big meal for our families. Julie cooks a mean bird
Mark and his girlfriend Julie are quitting their jobs at the end of 2013 and embarking on a 12 month (hopefully longer) round the world backpacking trip. Their blog, The Time to Go Is Now, documents what lead up to their decision, what they are doing to get ready for their trip, reports back from their travels and any other random thoughts that occur along the way.