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Farewell To A Friend About To Go Round the World

I know you have probably heard this all a million times before and ultimately you will find your own way, create your own stories and form your own wonderful memories.  For what it is worth however here is what I wish someone had told me before I went Round the World:

Don’t overpack

You know this already, everyone says it, but seriously I repeat – DON’T OVERPACK!  Pack what you think you need and then halve it.  There is very little you cannot buy on the road.  As soon as you realise how painful it is to put your pack on and off several times a day, find yourself titling backwards at bustops and leaning dangerous towards the water as you try to board a boat you will unceremoniously dump all the unnecessary crap you spent your savings on before leaving.  It’s cheaper and safer to just not bring it in the first place.

Don’t forget the sensible clothing (and the not so sensible too)

If your tour guide recommends long sleeve’s for the jungle don’t ignore him.  Splurge on the unsexy, cooling, fast drying clothing you would never normally touch with a bargepole because 100 insect bites later the tour guide will be the one laughing.  Equally don’t forget a pretty dress and some less practical shoes – you’ll always feel like a tramp on the city stop overs but with a silky dress you might just pass as presentable.
Pack a small mirror

Not because you are vain but because you are practical. Imagine a 12 bed female dorm, one bathroom, one mirror. You’re not high maintenance, a bit of mascara and a slick of lipgloss and you’re ready for the day. Having your own mirror means you cut your queuing time and that of your fellow roommates. How very altruistic of you!

Try and book the first nights accommodation for every new destination

Knocking on guesthouses doors with you life on your back is not fun.  Booking ahead saves time and gives you somewhere to aim for.  If it turns out to be a dump at least you can leave your bags there while you look for somewhere more sanitar

You will have down days

Even the most passionate traveller has a few days where they are sick of the sight of maps.  You will probably beat yourself up for thinking about home on the trip of a lifetime. Don’t.  Treat yourself to some comforting food, call home and then get over it.  Also we can’t all be intrepid explorers 365 days a year.  If you feel like having a day in bed do it.  There is nothing like having a day of doing nothing to make you want to get back on the road.

Do your own thing

Travelling with a friend is a wonderful experience, you will reminisce about these days for the rest of your life.  There will be times when you have to compromise what you want to do, see, spend for the sake of your friendship but there will also be times when you shouldn’t be afraid to go your own way.  It’s the trip of a lifetime for both of you and sometimes this may equate to different things.  Time apart can do wonders for travelling pairs and think of all the stories you will have for each other when you reunite.

Get snap happy

Channel the paparazzi – you may never see these places again.  Back up your pics as you go and have some photo’s of your friends and family on the start of your memory card so you can have an instant hit of familiarity anytime you need it.

Be safe

Take care of your health – remember to take necessary medication, go easy on the booze, watch what you eat.  You know all this.  In terms of safety just don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in London.  If you can survive this city safely you already know what to do to avoid harm.

Have an emergency credit card

Not just because there may be unexpected expenses and just sometimes you would like to sleep in a private room with an actual duvet but having several cash cards means you can spread your risk.  Try and keep one on your person and one locked in your pack and hopefully you shouldn’t get mugged and burgled on the same day 😉

Seize the day

You’ve taken the plunge, left your job, saved like mad now its time for the adventure.  Make the most of every single day.  Get the most out of the experience you can.  Be flexible with plans, let your heart lead you.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can come back.  3 years after my RTW trip I’m still trying to find the money, time etc to go again.  You will probably only do this once so milk it.

Have fun

You do not need to justify this trip in any way to anybody.  You may spend 9 months drinking beer on the worlds most beautiful beaches if you want to.  The point is its about doing exactly what you want and you may even find what you want changes as you travel.  Have fun and be happy.

I’ll be thinking of you everyday, imagining what you are seeing, feeling and experiencing.  I’m so pleased for you, proud of you and indescribably jealous of you.  I’ll miss you loads and keep dreaming about meeting you half way.  Sending love until we meet again my friend… wherever that may be xxxxx

Bon Voyage
About Author

Travel blogger and freelancer writer who loves boutique hotels and brunching. I've been blogging for 10 years, visited 60+ countries and called London, Sydney, Melbourne and (oh so briefly) New York home at various points during the last decade. Now travelling with a baby and trying to make it as stylish and stress-free as can be!

No Comments

  • Caroline in the City
    September 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I always feel like I have to justify my travels to other people but I don't want to do that anymore.

    Reply
  • Ayngelina
    September 15, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    6 months ago I purposely did not bring dresses but after a few weeks of seeing other travelers with pretty things I realized I had to buy some – fortunately in Latin America they are cheap and plentiful!

    Reply
  • Miss G
    September 17, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Sorry I took so long to get these comments published – I really appreciate the response!Ayngelina – I too had to stock up on dresses in Buenos Aires! They are so bargainous aren't they and I still have them as souvenirs now. Whenever I wear them back in London it reminds me of times I partied in them around the globe!And I also feel the same Caroline. Its not about point scoring – if you want to climb the highest mountain or volunteer in an orphanage then great, but if not who is anyone else to judge your life?!Happy travels girls 🙂

    Reply
  • Vippie
    September 29, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I'm kinda fascinated by this country of china.. Being a citizen of India and how the relationship India has been sharing with China since antiquity and The student of International Relations, I'd Like to Go China to actually feel the "real" china, not the one which the Chinese Government With Its Censored Media Tell Us.. Also I want To Go There, To Listen Its Folk Music, Which I Sincerely Adore.. That's All

    Reply
  • My 7 Links « 40 countries before I'm 30
    August 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    […] The post I am most proud of – Farewell to a friend about to go RTW […]

    Reply
  • […] For a bit more on my background (not as a lawyer) visit the Meet Me page. If you have any questions about taking time out feel free to get in touch via the comments below. For some advice I wrote to a friend about to go around the world click here. […]

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