What the heck are they up to?

We are a young couple from Tacoma, Washington, USA with a dream and a plan to spend at least a year traveling across America and then exploring Europe, some South America, and wherever else we can. 

Our blog takes you through several months of lead-up to our departure in the fall of 2018 as we plan, budget, and pack, and then we will keep you up to date on our adventures as we go with stories and tips from each of our experiences. We are budget travelers!

The Plan as it Stands

"A dream written down with a date is a goal. A goal broken down into steps is a plan. A plan backed by action becomes reality." 

I saw that quote handwritten on a notepad on the desk in our studio office just a few days ago, and the timing felt significant. 

Andrew and I have our dream, we have a date, and we wrote it down. Time to break it down into steps. Do you want the short version, or the long version?

Short version: 

STEP 1: Get married. 
STEP 2: Road trip. 
STEP 3: International travel. 

... and the long version for you (since that could mean anything).

STEP 1: Get married. This is not always necessary to complete for a travel plan to be successful (so don't worry, those of you who started sweating) but for us, this is big. Marriage has been assumed pretty much since the first "I love yous" were exchanged back in college, but after we moved in together a few months later, it became unclear when the "right time" was. In the fall of 2017 we felt like we were coming up on the "right time," and shortly after, decided to use our wedding--a giant life and relationship milestone--as a catalyst for the rest of this bucket list dream. (Plus, what better going-away party is there? I LOVE weddings.)
September 1, 2018 update: CHECK! 

STEP 2: Road trip. Both Andrew and I grew up in Washington State, and while we've visited extended family in other states and been on a couple small road trips, neither of us has truly explored the enormous country we call home. The route includes San Francisco, LA, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and New York City, with many stops in between! (Including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, since our wedding was Harry Potter inspired).  

STEP 3: International travel. We have a flight from NYC to Paris on December 3rd, 2018, with an Airbnb reservation for an entire month! At the end of our one-month trip in May of 2017, we spent just under a week in la Ville Lumiere, as I had never been, and it is one of Andrew's favorite places on the planet. It delivered. I, too, fell for it immediately, with the sprawling web of streets and wild scooter drivers, people sipping wine outside the cafes at pretty much any hour, even the near lack of breakfast/brunch of any kind--our favorite meal--was charming. One of my favorite moments was joining the throngs of locals at dusk along the Seine with a couple bottles of merlot, a baguette, camembert and prosciutto, getting tipsy as the lights sparkled from the boats that passed us. (Of course, it will be winter this time while we're there.)

We are not taking an ordinary honeymoon post-wedding, so kicking off the Europe portion of our trip with some time enjoying the romantic city is something we're looking forward to. 

However, most of the international part of our big trip--the point, really--is unplanned at the moment. We know we want to utilize Workaway, and probably some Couchsurfing. We know we want to spend a few weeks in each place if we can, as we are not speedy travelers. We know we'd like to meet up with Andrew's parents (you'll find mention of them peppered throughout the blog, more details at Little Cunning Plan) and become crewmen on their boat for some adventures, but we honestly don't know where they'll be at what time. We want to backpack Europe. We're interested in South America. We'd love to see New Zealand, and maybe Asia. Who knows? Will we be traveling for 8 months, or nearly two years?

Our To-Do List:

The first item we checked off our list: purchasing a new-to-us (but in excellent shape) 2004 Honda Element for the road trip. It's kind of a dorky looking car--no offense to any other Element drivers out there--and the gas mileage leaves something to be desired (namely, money in our wallet) but it's big enough to sleep in and it's about as PNW-millennial you can get without owning a Subaru wagon. (There's even a "heart Washington" sticker that came with it.)

We also acquired our sleeping setup for the car-camper conversion, but have a lot left to do regarding the interior design. Ease of setup and plenty of storage space are priorities. Throughout the road trip we have plenty of stops soon-to-be-planned where family and friends can accommodate us, but to save money, we're also looking at campgrounds and Walmart parking lots where we can hunker down for approximately a third of our nights. (Got tips for the best overnight car camping spots? Please let us know in the comments, or shoot us an email at thewanderblobs@gmail.com!)

We're wrapping up our time at our current jobs and finishing our preparations for our road trip to start in the first week of October!

Other checklist items:
- Finish converting the inside of the Element for sleeping (this will be quite bare bones)
- Establish Workaways with hosts, especially for immediately following our month in Paris. These will continue to evolve over time, as they tend not to be planned as far in advance as we're working. Our first workaway necessary will be in January 2019.
- Finish my name-change paperwork now that we're married, so I can have all my documents in order well before our international departure!
- Network with other travel bloggers! We'll take all the advice we can get, and it never hurts to have connections while you're out and about :)

Stay tuned for news! 


Comments

  1. I found your blog through your parents' blog. :-)

    I love that the two of you planning to do some serious adventuring while you're young. In some ways, I wish we had done the same instead of waiting until we were old and wrinkly. So fun to see you'll start off in Paris. My husband and I honeymooned there. We didn't have much money so we stayed in a very dodgy hotel, but heck, it was Paris! After a couple of days, we spent the rest of our honeymoon backpacking around Europe. Great way to start off married life. Looking forward to following along with your adventures in Paris and beyond.

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    1. Thank you so much, and that's definitely great to hear! Any tips you have or must-see places are welcome. I imagine there's something profound about traveling once you've lived a little more of life as well; what a thing to get to "do life" one way and then pick up and do it totally different! Thank you for your comment and for following :)

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