This is my first segment of many in my new “Extended World Travel” category and I am super excited to share all my experiences and help you realize the dream (if it is a dream) of living abroad for an extended period of time. This is no vacation. This is full cultural immersion. Enjoy!
I just took off from New York’s JFK headed to Rome with a quick layover in Dublin. I figured the Irish were as good as any to get me to Europe in one piece and with good beer to boot.
This is my first trip in extended world travel (over 30 days abroad) and I feel like its been in the works for several years now. (Thanks Four Hour Work Week) Little tweaks and pushes each day to give myself the opportunity and freedom to do so.
One of the best parts about this experience so far is learning how to pull it off and learning about how much more realistic it really is.
If you have always dreamed of picking up and experiencing more living than working and have positioned yourself ( I will teach more about this in the future) to get away for more than just a short vacation, here are some quick ways to figure out where to go and what to do that will enrich your life and make your adventure even more fulfilling.
Where Should You Go?
This one was easy for me but may not be for everyone. In traveling to Italy with my family years ago something drew me to the culture, the language, the food, the smiles, the way of life. Plus, I have Italian ancestry and I am extremely interested in my heritage. I knew Italy was my first stop but which part of Italy was the question.
When my parents came back from their 25th anniversary trip to Italy, I remember them telling me about this wonderful place called the Amalfi Coast. They told me about the beautiful islands, water, and small quaint towns.
Then I saw the pictures. I was sold right there. Subconsciously I had an idea in my head and it grew for 18 years. I wanted full cultural immersion in a small Italian town where I could get to know people on a personal level and experience the best Italy has to offer.
Do you have a place that you are drawn too? Perhaps you haven’t even been there. Maybe you saw it in a movie or a friend had gone and told you about it. Do you have a language or culture than interests you?
Write down a few countries you are interested in, have visited, or have ancestry from. There is no no need to be realistic here! Dream all you want. This is a great place to start.
Your Why For Going
Next establish your “Why” for traveling and tie it in with the countries on your list. I myself was very fascinated with learning a new language ( and I mean really learning) and combined with my Italian heritage and interest in Italian history, it made my decision easy.
Beginning two months before my trip I was taking and still continue to take Italian lessons using a great audio program called Pimsleur Approach. I have learned more Italian in 60 days then I did in 4 years of taking French in high school. Stupefacente!!!! (amazing)
The reason being is I was excited to use the language and I will be forced to use it going to small Italian town where English isn’t as prevalent as the big cities. The potential for full cultural immersion motivated me to learn quicker and got me more excited. I even hired someone to teach me Italian 5 days a week and its only 15 Euro per session. (about $18-$19).
Perhaps your “why” is to learn a new language, to learn how to cook, to explore new cultures, to surf the best waves, to climb the largest mountains, to help endangered sea life, etc. Whatever it is, realize that the more established this why is, the more specific you can be, and the easier the decision will be.
Your why can send you to a little surf town in Australia, to a bustling city in India, or to the mountains of Patagonia. Your why is going to fortify your confidence and excitement for your extended world travel. It’s also going to move your dreams into action faster and with more passion.
So get to it and do some dreaming. As I said this trip took me years to plan for and once I knew where I wanted to go and why I wanted to go there, the next step was the HOW. The HOW became much more manageable when I had a WHY to lean on. I’ll share the HOW with you in blog posts to come.
Ciao and Arrivederci per ora (bye for now) from Sorrento Italy.