After that first big backpacking trip to Thailand and Laos, we just wanted more. We craved travel. We really wanted another go at planning a trip and making it better. That first trip was in January 2011. For the next two years, we traveled as often as we could. We were living in Beijing, teaching English at an international training center called Wall Street English. Through creative scheduling, we were able to switch shifts with other teachers or work extra hours leading up to the holiday or once we returned. We could turn a week-long public holiday into a ten-day vacation.
In October 2012 we went to Bali for the Chinese Golden Week festival. One afternoon near the end of our vacation, we were lounging in the pool talking about how cool Bali was and how it was one of the best vacations we’d had yet. Then Sasha asked the question we were both wondering:
“Why do we have to go back to Beijing? Why can’t we just stay here longer?”
“Because we have jobs and a nice apartment.”
“But what if we didn’t have those things?”
So as soon as we got back to Beijing we got to work planning, researching, saving, and preparing to quit our jobs and take a gap year. On August 3rd, 2013 – only 10 months after that trip to Bali – we handed over the keys to our apartment in Beijing, where we had lived for 3 years, and set off with just our backpacks. Through careful planning and budgeting, we were able to extend the year a little bit longer making it a total of 14 months; 3 months in America, 8 months in Southeast Asia, another five weeks in America, then three weeks backpacking from Hong Kong to Kunming overland.
That trip was life-changing. We learned so many things about ourselves and made so many new friends along the way. Our eyes were opened to several different ways of life. We now have a deeper appreciation for different cultures and languages.
Our Travel Planning System
Thanks to our travel planning system, we only had a few minor pitfalls along the way (read about our terrifying bus ride here). Those few times were a result of neglecting to have a solid plan in place.
These days we enjoy a life of location independence where we have the freedom to travel and live wherever we want, whenever we want. Over time we’ve developed a travel planning system to make planning such epic travels a breeze and we want to share it with you completely free! You might be thinking:
“I don’t want to travel extensively for a long time. I just want a sweet vacation.”
No worries! Our system can be applied to planning any sort of travel. Sign up for our travel planning challenge and we’ll help you choose where you should go, when you should go, and tell you where to look to learn everything you’ll need to have the best trip possible.
We’ll even be going through the steps with you because we just booked flights to Colombia for this September! Join us and let’s plan a kick-ass trip together. Sound good?