I think everyone should keep a list of goals in mind for anything in life. It keeps you focused and gives you a constant reminder of what you’re trying to achieve. Travel is no different. I decided to write a list of my top 10 goals I wanted to accomplish traveling, not necessarily on this trip but just in life in general. Some are easier to obtain than others, but if they were all easy there would be no challenge! Now, without further ado, here’s the list!
* These are in no particular order!*
1. Fly Singapore Airlines Suites Class
I’ve mentioned it a couple times on the blog, but one of my hobbies ( among many ) is travel hacking. Travel hacking in short is the art of traveling for very little, or sometimes even no money. This is most commonly done with frequent flyer miles, which contrary to popular belief, can be earned from a variety of ways not just flying. Over the last few years I’ve earned hundreds of thousands of miles which have helped us travel, including the flight from Boston to Bangkok which started this life-changing trip of ours.
The creme de la creme of all flights though, at least in my opinion, is the Singapore Airlines Suites Class flight. This isn’t your typical first class seat, this is a private suite on the flight, and average cash prices for this particular class of cabin can be upwards of $20,000 USD for a roundtrip ticket. That’s as much money as I have budgeted for all of our travels for a year, but with the points Breada and I have accrued this flight can be attained for much less. This is a goal I hope to achieve within the next year, and rest assured there will be a post about it and plenty of pictures to go along with it.
2. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Ancient civilizations have always fascinated me, and the Incas are at the top of that list. Originally when Breada and I planned this trip it was to be a round the world trip, and Peru was one of our South American stops, but since things have changed and we decided to stay in Asia indefinitely, I’m not sure when this will happen. Nevertheless, I’m very confident it will indeed happen and when it does, I’ll need to make sure i’m in shape. The 5 day hike looks like it’s no joke, but the views and the opportunity to see what was once (and still is) sacred land, will make it absolutely worth it.
3. Walk El Camino de Santiago
As many of my friends can tell you, I was never a runner. I do enjoy a nice walk though, and a 480 mile walk will certainly beat my previous personal record by…well let’s just say a lot. The Camino was originally a religious pilgrimage, beginning in the St Jean-Pied-du-Port in France and ends in Santiago, Spain. Since then it has evolved into not just a religious pilgrimage, but a spiritual journey for many, a trail for hiking enthusiasts, or just something you want to set your mind to and do. For me, it is a combination of all of those. I think it will be one of the most unique ways to see France and Spain and after spending countless hours reading, talking to people who have done it, and watching documentaries on the subject, i’ve decided it’s something I should do at least once.
4. Go to the Maldives
Ohhh The Maldives. This to me is the ultimate island destination. Everything about it is absolute paradise. Set smack dab in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this set of tiny islands are secluded from the rest of the world, the water is crystal clear and the weather is magnificent. The only problem is it is insanely expensive both to fly and stay there. This will likely be another time where points and miles will come in handy rather than cash. Something tells me there are no hostels in The Maldives 🙂
5. Travel to Every Continent
This one is on just about every long-term travelers list, and for good reason. There are so many amazing things to see around the world and every continent brings something new to the table. And yes, that even includes Antarctica. This one will likely take me a while to accomplish, but I’m confident within the next year or 2 I’ll be able to knock a couple more off the list.
6. Travel For At Least 1 Year Straight
So far I’m about 5 months in and going strong, so I’m confident this one will be achieved on this trip. Ever since my first international trip I’ve had the travel bug, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon. The first trip was only 3 weeks long, which to me seemed like a good bit of time, but I met so many people along the way that were gone for 6 months, 9 months, a year, 2 years. It was crazy. I couldn’t believe people could do that. In the US we’re brought up to think a certain way, and that’s go to school, get a job, get a car, get a house, yada yada yada, and hopefully when you’re old you’ll have enough money to retire and live comfortably. After that first trip my entire mindset changed. Now, instead of a fancy car and nice house, I want experiences, stories, memories. In the first 5 months alone I’ve had some of the best experiences of my life, and I’m excited to see what the next 7+ months will bring as well.
7. Work in a Hostel
Since my first trip to Europe in 2010, I fell in love with hostels. Sure, not all of them are terrific, but I’ve also stayed in some that are far superior to hotels, and a fraction of the cost. The atmosphere in a hostel can’t be matched in any hotel. You can meet and socialize with people from all across the world, and that is one of my favorite parts about traveling. I decided a few years ago one of my life goals was to open up and own my own hostel, so it’s natural for me to want to work in a few across the world to learn the ropes. I’ve stayed in 50+ by now, but that’s always as a guest and not an employee. I think I could learn a lot so when the time comes that I do open one up, I’ll be ready.
8. Learn A Language
I’ve struggled with this one since high school Spanish class, but I haven’t given up yet. In 2012 I studied abroad for a month in Frankfurt, Germany where I began to learn German ( yeah I sprechen! ). I immediately took to the language and when I returned to the States I decided to take it up at UMass, where I studied it for two semesters before they dropped the upper level courses… and then proceeded to bring them back as soon as I graduated. Bastards. Anyway, after they dropped the courses I fell off the wagon, but I’m jumping back on! Luckily there are many German travelers and whenever I meet one I try and practice a little. I’ve also jumped back on to Duolingo, an invaluable app for learning languages. It may take a while, but I’m determined to learn!
9. Learn Local Culture
Though I was a business major in college, my true passion was history. Nearly all of my favorite courses were history, and learning the history of the cultures I visit is one of my favorite things about traveling. Some people come simply to party and have a good time, and I can appreciate that and we do it ourselves, but you’re not seeing or experiencing the true culture if that’s all you’re doing. You need to understand it’s people and history, or at least try to, if you really want to see somewhere.
10. Run A Successful Travel Blog
To me, successful doesn’t mean profitable… though I would love that too! I consider The Shoestring Trekkers successful if Breada and I can convince even 1 person to get out of their comfort zone and travel. Just 1. If that happens then the blog accomplished one of it’s goals, and I will be happy with it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you don’t need a lot of money to travel, you just need to take a leap of faith and get out of your comfort zone a little bit. Breada and I are always willing to help people who are interested, so don’t be afraid to ask.
What are some of your travel goals? Comment below and maybe Breada and I can help you achieve some of them!