RTW Adventure. Yes, I said it.

It's time. I've flirted with this long enough. Anyone who has known me longer than three minutes knows my life's passion is travel. I'm at my best when I'm in motion. I'm also passionate about writing, photography, and building communities. As Danielle LaPorte declares, it's time for me to:
Push. Turn up the volume. Go hard. Go harder. Re-prioritize your aches and pains. Infuse your sensitivities with courage. Tell fear to fuck right the fuck off. Devote to Done. Decide to be one of those people who pull it off.

What am I going to pull off? An around-the-world adventure (RTW in internet speak). I've talked about long-term travel for years, but not until very recently have I really let it sink really deep down in my soul, letting it rest in the place where I really know I really need to pull it off. Not even just want to pull it off at this point, because we're passed that. Need to pull it off. Full on need. There was a distinct moment when it all shifted. A moment when I realized that the fear of not doing something, the fear of regret, overpowered the fear of doing that thing. This is that moment. A RTW adventure is that thing. Writing and photographing and inspiring other people to take the leap is also a part of it. 

Up to now I've said this out loud to only a few kindred souls. The most common, well-intentioned question: What about money and your career? My answer is two fold: 1) I'm saving my pennies and becoming BFFs with an abundant universe; and 2) Institutions of higher education will be here when I get back. My resume will be here when I get back. In fact, speaking of my career in higher ed, I'm framing this adventure as a sabbatical. Granted it's a sabbatical that I fund entirely on my own and must quit my job to pull off; but that only means I have ultimate freedom over my time and the terms of my travel.

The wish list below is 100% fluid and ever-changing (click for the permanent page link that houses the dynamic list). The point is that there is power in the declaration itself. There is power in being transparent with myself, The Universe, anyone who reads this. The list is messy and unedited. It contradicts and repeats itself. It's a creative flow of energy and it's what I need to keep my momentum going. It will change and change some more and eventually, over time, it will narrow down into plane tickets and Airbnb reservations. As of right now, this is what I dream of most:

Location-based Adventures

I should just type one word and be done: Everywhere. There is no end to this particular list. I must say though, I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I realized all the places I've already been. This list is a continuation of those travels and full of (mostly) brand new adventures I've yet to experience. I realize not all of my bucket list adventures are in my location-based adventures list and vice versa. It's a game of free association and categorizing uncategorizable things. Just go with it. 

Visit every continent
Swim in every ocean
Stand at the North Pole
Stand at the South Pole
A National Geographic Expedition
Live in Copenhagen for whatever period of time feels like living and not visiting
Canadian Rockies
Australia + New Zealand 
Easter Island - really so many islands in Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia

Transportation Adventures

I'll likely be flying most everywhere I go, but I'd also like to give myself a break from airports.

My own two feet on a pilgrimage (high on my list is the Camino de Santiago)
One of only a few civilians on a cargo ship
Sailboat (possibly as crew)
River cruises
Trans-Atlantic cruise

Lodging Adventures

I love my Hilton points as much as the next business traveler, but it gets a bit sterile after a while.

Bucket List Adventures

Random stuff I dream of doing that feels too big and too exciting to be listed as a mere location. These feel more like once-in-a-lifetime experiences. 

As many UNESCO World Heritage sites as I can manage
Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
Skydive. Somewhere. Anywhere. As long as it's tandem.
At least one night on a private, remote island (I must stop watching The Bachelorette)
Northern Lights
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The Great Wall, China
Sleep with an Italian. In Italy. More than once.
Petra, Jordan
Taj Mahal, India
Machu Picchu, Peru
Hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey

Logistical Considerations

My family traveled around the States a lot when I was young. I was 15 when I went abroad for the first time, with friends, to Russia. I've been exploring the world ever since in one way or another. I know myself as a traveler. I know my patterns. I know what puts me in the flow and makes me feel awesome, and I know what makes me tense and burns me out. 

Balance and alternate city trips with wilderness trips. Go go go then chill chill chill. 
Balance and alternate guided group experiences and getting lost all on my own. 
Balance and alternate luxury and budget experiences, from lodging to transportation to food. 
Balance and alternate solo travel with group travel, be it friends or strangers.

These balances and alternations are very literal, says the introverted Libra. For example: A hostel in the heart of Paris with packed days and colorful nights...then housesitting and grocery shopping in Nowhere, Norway...then a river cruise in China with guided excursions...then an Airbnb in Japan with an invitation to a friend from back home. Like that. 

Also, unplanned windows of time. This makes my palms sweat and I desperately want to color code something to calm myself down, which is exactly why I know I need to do it. For every ellipses you see in the itinerary above, add an undecided length of time filled with random whatever. Maybe it's additional time in the current or the next location. Maybe it's a quick stop somewhere between the two locations. Maybe it's a multiple choice game presented to readers of this site, letting you chose your own adventure with/for me. For real. The goal is space. Time. Allowing. Staying open to the magic of it all. 

Mighty Life List

I'll obviously update this site as I pursue my RTW adventure, but you're also invited to join me on Go Mighty. In fact, I challenge you to create your own Mighty Life List. It will take me a while to fully populate my Mighty Life List, but I kind of like that it's an ongoing process. Check them out! Decide to be one of those people who pull it off.

I'd love to hear from you. Have you tackled a RTW trip? Have you tackled any big dream, really? Let's talk. Let's inspire each other. Let's do this. 

Love and adventure, 

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