I was meandering through my Facebook page yesterday in the mindless manner I somehow instinctively revert to when I need to get work done but secretly welcome distraction. So yeah, I was doing that when I noticed this message on my sidebar:
On this day in 2009, your status update was:
Yay! Heading to the Fringe Festival today and so excited to see some shows! I’ve been waiting for this for an entire year!!
Now, please excuse the overuse of exclamation marks in that update; I have no excuse for my actions but to say it does clearly express my sentiments at the time: I was tickled pink and this was a four exclamation point kind of day! Way back in June of 2008 when I first hatched my plan to travel around the world for a year I jotted down a list of things I had always dreamed about seeing/doing/experiencing (as close to a bucket list as I’ve ever gotten) with the express purpose of plotting my route around the world.
On that list were things like:
- Diving the Great Barrier Reef
- A Ten Day Vipassana Meditation Course (yes, this was actually pre-planned and plotted!!)
- Holi, India’s Wacky Festival of Colors
Also a few I haven’t made it to yet:
- Journeying to Antarctica
- A safari in Africa to see lions, lots of lions
- Diving in the Galapagos
Included in bucket list position numero uno was the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, the largest arts festival in the world. The Fringe was one of the few non-negotiables because if I was going to traverse all over the planet then I was going to see some good theatre in the process!
This may seem a bit silly for non-theatre lovers, but that’s entirely how I set my route around the world. I often answer emails and questions about where to travel and how to plan a travel route (and I have tips on my RTW Planning FAQ) but it always comes down to knowing that your trip can and should center on fulfilling a dream, a passion, or a combination of the two. It’s perfectly reasonable to plot your route around one single passionate idea on your bucket list. And if you’re not a long-term traveler, I fully embrace the notion that no dream is too big and most can be accomplished in your short vacation from work.
So, with that in mind, I had two constants for my RTW route: a one-way flight to Australia in November of 2008 to start the trip, and a fixed location of Scotland in August of 2009 for the Fringe Festival.
And nicely, I might add. Of course, if I could do it over again I would go slower, but then again, maybe not. It all worked out quite swell and today I have a tiny pang of nostalgia for this day two years ago when my derriere was plunked down in the cool air-conditioning confines of a distinguished theater in Scotland watching the antics and emptions of actors who had traveled from all over the world to present their craft to an eager face smiling at them from the darkened shadows of the audience.
Were you doing something you loved two years ago this month? Or will you be doing something wonderful next August?