January 7, 2012

Let’s Talk About Feelings

Planning this trip has been a roller coaster of emotions since the very beginning. Similar to the 7 stages of grief, we have gone through the 7 stages of pre-RTWing.

Stage 1: Wonder
Time frame: -2-3 years
We were mere dreamers, wondering if it was remotely possible.

Stage 2: Irresponsible and apologetic
Time frame: -1 year
We were about 80% sure we wanted to take the plunge, but we were having a hard time coming to grips with the notion of taking a year off of working and earning an income.

Stage 3: Acceptance
Time frame: -11 months
A trip to Ohio and a good sit-down talk with my parents pretty quickly got us out of Stage 2. They told us that the two best things you can gift yourself in life are an education and the experience of travel.

Stage 4: Excitement
Time frame: -6 months
We moved from 80% to 100% committed. 3 days before our wedding anniversary, we bought our first set of plane tickets as our gift to each other. No turning back now!

Stage 5: Overwhelmed
Time frame: -5 months
Reality set in. So. Much. To. Do. In all of our spare time, we became completely focused on our massive to-do list.

Stage 6: Scared
Time frame: -3 months
We knew enough about each the countries we were going to, to realize that we knew nothing about each of the countries we were going to. Little worries started to creep in. How will we find our way in a new city where we don’t know the language? Are we leaving ourselves enough time in each country so that we don’t feel rushed? What will it feel like to end each day and not have a “home” to come home to? Even though it helped to talk to friends about our uncertainties, most people still didn’t know about our trip, and we felt somewhat isolated with our fears.

Stage 7: Anticipation
Time frame: -1 month
We announced our trip! The word was out and we could talk openly with everyone about it. All of the encouragement that we’ve received really helped us out of that little funk we were having. We were reminded why we were doing this in the first place. Sure, some things will inevitably go wrong, but we’re determined to laugh through them and enjoy every little twist and turn this adventure hands us.

We were lucky enough to spend 12 days with our families in Ohio and Colorado over Christmas and New Years. After getting that much needed time to soak them up and hug them extra tight, we are ready to do this thing!


  1. Just read about your trip on Nomadic Matt and it sounded awesome. Do you plan on doing anymore travelling now?

    Forest Parks From http://EverydayNomad.com

    1. Once we get settled back at home, we're looking forward to traveling around our own country for a change!

    2. That's awesome! I'm 18 I and in school so I'm not ready for a rtw but I'm doing a month long back packing in Italy and France with my Friend next year. One day I'd love to do a rtw trip and I'd love to live in different parts of Canada (more than just a visit). I saw this on Nomadic Matt too btw.

  2. I just posted this comment on Nomadic Matt's site but I thought I would come on over and personally say hello.

    Katie and Steve, your story couldn't be more similar to Ron and I's story. We lived up the beach from you in Huntington Beach. We began our trip September 2012 and are just 4 months into a year long adventure. So nice to hear other stories like ours.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren Tellkamp from www.25yearsyoung.com

    1. Hey Lauren!

      Thanks for saying hi. We have hardly met any Americans on during our trip,so it's great to hear your story. It sounds like you're going through SEA. What else is on your agenda?

      Congrats on your engagement by the way! Sydney Harbor could not be more perfect!!

  3. Hi! Very inspiring story! My boyfriend and I are currently talking about doing this exact same thing in a year from now. Thanks for sharing all the details about planning and throughout your journey. It's so helpful! I'd love to keep up and continue to read how life has been since you've returned. Keep blogging! :)

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