So I've been at work almost a month now, and living in the truck for just as long. I've definitely established a comfortable routine, and I'm a lean, mean, code-producing machine on my team, so everything is going good. This means I can focus my non-work hours to the real goal: the big trip.
When I interned in Silicon Valley last summer, I realized a few very important and related things:
- I'm horrifically uncultured/culturally-unaware.
- I'd like to change that.
- The world is full of beautiful and amazing places.
- Of all these beautiful and amazing places, I've only ever seen a small handful of them.
- I'd like to change that too.
I've mentioned this here and there, but as a reminder, the end-goal of this whole situation, the culminating experience of 4+ years of van-life, is a world-encompassing expedition. Realizing how little I've done, seen, and know helps me put into perspective just how important this goal is for me. I want to experience as much of the world as possible, and over the course of the next few years, as I save money and my stocks vest and my investments grow, I'm going to plot out the journey in excruciating detail, making sure that I don't miss anything. I'm only going to be young and able for so long, now is the time to do this.
Plotting the Course
Right now, I have a very broad idea of what I want to do, and a very limited idea of what is actually out there in the world for me to experience. I know I want to spend at least six months traveling. I know I want to visit all the (inhabited) continents. I know I want to learn the basics of a few languages. But beyond these few basic desires, I don't have much concrete knowledge as to what I should even be looking for. Luckily, I'm not the only human being on the planet, and I can draw on the near infinite wisdom of the rest of the world's past and present human beings through the endlessly useful invention of The BookTM. To get warmed up, I've purchased two whole books.
Book #1: How to Drop Everything And Travel Around The World
A vaguely gimmicky title yes, and not a super thick book, but it has exactly what I need: firsthand travel experience from someone way more knowledgeable about the topic than me. The text certainly isn't exhaustive, but at the very least, it'll point me in the right direction regarding things like: learning languages, adapting to new cultures, understanding the philosophy of travel, and tons of other useful skills. It's basically a Sparknotes-edition of what I want my life to look like a few years down the road.
Book #2: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die
This book is some serious business. In it's physical form, it's 1200 pages of tiny text, a nearly comprehensive guide of places to travel to, and what to do when you get to them. And while it's naive of me to make any estimates without having read any actual content yet, I'd like to reach at least 250 of them in this trip. That may be a feasible goal, it may not be, I have absolutely no idea at this point. But reading this book, in it's entirety, will help me understand more about the cultures of the world and how to adequately approach them, as well as less abstract, more practical things like where to stay, what events to go to, and what to eat.
Like I said, this is just the start, and I'm sure I'll have a better idea of what to read/do/learn next once I start reading these books. I have years to go, and all the time I need. The sky is the limit and the world is my oyster: you bet I plan on being the most high-flying fisherman I can be.