We go on a trip around the world
We are Jana and Alf. We have been backpackers and globetrotters since today. Here on our travel blog we would like to tell you about our experiences. In this article you will learn a lot about the motivations, the preparations and the time leading up to the start of our world tour.
Two years ago on a Vietnam trip with friends, the desire came up in me to travel. A good year later, I sold my house and company and took the step of minimizing my life on the backpack contents.
I was self-employed or managing director of DCN GmbH, a web agency for 20 years, and therefore did not often have the opportunity to stay in distant countries. The departure from the company was not easy for me, as I had to part with my colleagues at the same time, who are also good friends for me. DCN has been like family to me for the last few years.
By then, I was already seriously ill, but didn’t notice much of it yet. While I’ve been in pain for months, I thought of burnout and side-effects from the many seats and into flickering screens. Then it all got worse.
The diagnosis of neuro-Lyme disease was made after a blood finding to my new shackles. I had only just got rid of everyone else. In a later article, I will tell you more about Lyme disease and travelling with this disease.
Getting to know us
But somehow everything had its reason, because on the way back from my healing trips to Hamburg I met Jana. She was my seat neighbour on Flixbus and found me just as interesting with my two backpacks.
After we had a chat for a while and noticed that we are both vegans, we were reluctant to separate in Karlsruhe. A few weeks later I moved in with her in Rastatt.
Because of your education and my illness, the travel plans moved a bit into the distance. Together we are to Hamburg, Amsterdam and Italy to satisfy our travel misery. But the travel fever remained and had already infected Jana.
So we didn’t stop planning and thinking about when would be the right time to start the world. After training and after my therapy? Yet life had other plans with us. Jana was unable to continue her education for other reasons. So we canceled her apartment and filled another backpack.
Minimalism is trump. It just makes sense to own little when you have to wear it on your back all the time. After the sale of the house and the company was clear, I handed everything into good hands in a house flea market and got a few more euros for the travel budget together. The destruction of no longer needed files gave me the most pleasure.
Jana later did it similarly, giving away a lot of things to friends.
Discarding Balast is a good thing and once you’ve started it, you can feel how everything gets easier.
Even so, there are many pieces of equipment that you need as a world traveler and most of it, in number and weight, is for our work as travel bloggers. Here, too, we will write some articles for you that deal with our packing list and travel equipment. After all, we read a lot of articles ourselves and dealt with them for months.
The second part of the preparations went much faster. The actual travel planning has been limited to where we’re going to start. Because I was weakened by my illness, my preferred means of transport, the bike, unfortunately dropped out. Even on foot in December it was not possible to start from Germany, although we often thought about it and also repeatedly welded into travel reports and were able to present our tour to distant lands through native areas very well. So there was still bus and train or just a flight. Even though we would have liked to have dispensed with the latter and were even a bit ashamed of it, we didn’t have a better idea. The Trans-Siberian Railway has been under scrutiny for a long time, but today I am glad that Jana was so vehemently opposed. I wouldn’t have weathered this “goal tour” well.
The last terms of office were the Karlsruhe district council and the Thai Consulate in Stuttgart. An international driver’s license is necessary in most countries to be allowed to drive a scooter or larger one. The visa for Thailand makes sense from 30 days and we wanted to exceed it from the outset. Here, too, an extra article is due, because our experiences in the consulate are interesting and fun at the same time.
A little more complicated was and still is the topic of health insurance and deregistration from Germany. I, in particular, made a tactical mistake, which still causes trouble three months later. I should have signed off right away and cancelled the insurance. Why this is so and how it works, though, is also a separate story that we’d like to explain in an entire article series.
A very difficult and lengthy chapter was the farewell to friends, family and, of course, the Hundis. Some tears have flowed and the uncertainty has been evident in many questions: When are you coming back? Where are you going to sleep? What if you run out of money? And if no one understands you? Especially with children, it is difficult not to have a temporal horizon that gives them certainty.
The official farewell party never existed, but at short notice some friends came in, who said in the small single-unit apartment in Ittersbach. That was really nice and we hope that one or the other who-come-euveal-visit promise will be fulfilled at some point.
Cologne to Phuket
Actually, as I said, we didn’t want to fly at all. Firstly, we find it ecologically indefensible to simply whet the world with the plane and secondly, you quickly fly over great places that you would have experienced better. Since we urgently wanted to go to a country where the climate benefits me, however, this path was inevitable. At Skyscanner, we found the right flight at exactly the right time. In December for 200 euros per person from Cologne to Phuket. This is unique and unbeatable. Booked.
On 9.12.2017 my parents took us to Karlsruhe, where we came to Cologne with the Flixbus, how could it be otherwise. From there, our Eurowings machine went to Phuket in a snowdrip. During the 10-hour direct flight, by the way, also came the missing travel misery, which should not be lost on us for months.
At this point thank you 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 great step. I love you guys, biscuit you too.
How to move on
In the next article, we’ll tell you about our first days in Southeast Asia and the impressions we both had. Jana is in Asia for the first time (if you ignore the birth and the first two years), I’m in Thailand for the first time. There are already some new impressions. We look forward to you travelling with us and especially your comments.
Jana and Alf