Our world trip begins

We are Jana and Alf. Since today we are backpackers and globetrotters. Here on our travel blog we would like to share our experiences. In this article you will learn a lot about the motives, the preparations and the time until the start of our world trip.

Two years ago during a trip to Vietnam with friends I had the wish to travel. One year later I sold my house and my company and dared to minimize my life to my backpack stuff.

Goodbye DCN
Goodbye DCN – Image Credit: Alf Drollinger, DCN GmbH

For 20 years I was self-employed and managing director of DCN GmbH, a web agency, and therefore did not often have the opportunity to spend time in faraway countries. It was not easy for me to say goodbye to the company, as I had to part with my colleagues at the same time, who are also good friends for me. DCN has been like a family to me in recent years.

My disease

At that time I was already seriously ill, but I didn’t notice much of it yet. I had been in pain for months, but I thought of burnout and side effects from sitting around and staring at flickering screens. Then everything got worse.

Lyme disease and antibiosis do not suit me well – Image Credit: I’ve repressed it

The diagnosis neuro-borreliosis became my new fetlock after a blood test. I had just got rid of all the others. In a later article I will tell you more about Lyme disease and living with it while traveling.

Getting to know each other

But somehow everything had its reason, because on the way back from my healing trips to Hamburg I met Jana. She was my seat neighbor in the Flixbus and found me with my two backpacks interesting.

Kennenlernen in Hamburg
Get to know in Hamburg- Image Credit: Self-timer

After talking for a while and noticing that we were both vegans, we didn’t want to part again in Karlsruhe. Just a few weeks later I moved into her flat in Rastatt.

Because of her job training and my disease the travel plans moved into the background. Together we went to Hamburg, Amsterdam and Italy to satisfy our desire to travel. But the desire to travel remained and had already caught Jana.

So we didn’t stop planning and thinking about when the right time would be to start out in the world. After training and after my therapy? But life had other plans with us. Jana could not continue her education for other reasons. So we quit her flat and filled another backpack.

The preparations for the world trip

It simply makes sense to own little if you have to carry it all the time on your back. After the sale of the house and the company was clear, I handed everything over in a house flea market into good hands and got a few more euros for the travel cash together. The most joyful thing for me was the shredding of no longer needed files.

Jana made it similar later and gave many things away to friends.

Dropping a ballast feels good and once you’ve started, you can feel how it all gets easier.

However, there are many items of equipment that you need as a world traveller and most of them are for our work as travel bloggers. Also here we will write some articles for you, which deal with our packing list and the travel equipment. We’ve read a lot of articles ourselves.

The second part of the preparations went much faster. The actual travel planning was limited to where we would start. Since I was weakened by my illness, my favourite means of transport, the bicycle, unfortunately failed. Also on foot no start was possible in December from Germany, although we often thought about it and also indulged again and again in travel reports and our route into distant countries.

So there was still bus and train or just a flight. Even though we would have liked to do without the plane and are even a little ashamed of it, we had no better idea. The Trans-Siberian Railway was on the test bench for a long time but today I am glad that Jana was so vehemently against it. I would not have survived this tour well.

The last official visits were to the Karlsruhe District Office and the Thai Consulate in Stuttgart. An international driving license is necessary in most countries in order to drive a scooter or car. The visa for Thailand is meaningful starting from 30 days and we wanted to stay longer. Also here another extra article, because our experiences in the consulate are interesting and funny at the same time.

The topic of health insurance and deregistration from Germany is still more complicated. I made a tactical mistake, which caused a lot of trouble even three months later. I should have immediately unsubscribed and cancelled the insurances. Why this is so and how it works is however also a separate history, which we would like to explain in a whole article series

The goodbye before our world trip

A very difficult and long chapter was the goodbye of friends, family and of course the dogs. Some tears were shed and the uncertainty was shown in many questions: When will you be back? Where will you sleep? What if you have no more money? And if no one understands you?

The official goodbye party never took place, but some friends came and said goodbye in the small apartment in Ittersbach. That was really nice and we hope that one or the other promise to come and visit us will be kept at some point

From Cologne to Phuket

We didn’t want to fly. Firstly, we find it ecologically unacceptable to simply jet around the world on a plane and secondly, we quickly fly over great places we would have liked to see. Because we wanted to go to a country where the climate was good for me, this way was unavoidable. Exactly at the right time we found the right flight with Skyscanner. In December for 200 Euro per person from Cologne to Phuket. This is unique and unbeatable. Booked.

On 9.12.2017 my parents drove us to Karlsruhe, where we came to Cologne with the Flixbus, how else could it be? From there our Eurowings machine went to Phuket in a snow flurry. During the 10-hour direct flight there was also the missing desire to travel, which should not be lost to us for months.

Start of our world trip
Start of our world trip

At this point many thanks to my parents, the best parents in the world. Not just for this one shuttle service. You have supported our plans from the beginning and encouraged us to take this big step. I love you, Keks you too.

What’s next

In the next article we tell you about our first days in Southeast Asia and the impressions we both had. Jana is in Asia for the first time (not counting the birth and the first two years), I am in Thailand for the first time. There are already some new impressions. We look forward to you travelling with us and especially to your comments.

Sawasdee,
Jana und Alf

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