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2017 RTW Begins!

I left Michigan on Feb 27, 2017, to begin a RTW (round the world) trip. The reactions to my news have been mixed…from “it’s about time” to multiple variations of the question “why?”.

Answering why was simple. I have an ever-burning desire to get to know more of our multicultural world. I found a way to still earn an income/work remotely…and so my response was “why not?!”.

I had researched “Digital Nomads” a year or so back and found the lifestyle absolutely intriguing and something that I knew would energize me, but most nomads I read about were graphic designers or software engineers and were 20-something backpackers, sleeping in hostiles. I’m 41, I don’t backpack, I’m not a designer or engineer, and I enjoy nice homes/Airbnbs or hotels/resorts that have clean towels and don’t give me bed bugs! I started to lose hope that I could afford to travel for an extended period of time given my taste in accommodation and comforts.

A few months ago, I began researching again and a blogger in her 20’s wrote an article about women from 40 to 70 years old that travel RTW full-time. Bingo! This was the information I was looking for. From single women who set out to travel the world for a year and haven’t stopped for 7 years…to a woman who retired and sold her house to travel…to a wife and mother who takes her family with her. I’ve learned so much from reading their blogs and networking. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not stereotyping nomads in their 20’s and I’ve learned a lot from them as well. But I found helpful information about finding affordable accommodation that allows you to feel more settled in place, etc. from these older more experienced women.

In a whirlwind three months time, I solidified my budget, changes with my career, rented my house out, found an adoptive family for my dog, figured out a way to stay in community with my friends long-distance, over-packed my bags (oops!), and said goodbye to the Michigan Winter!

First stop is Penang Island, Malaysia (landed on 1 March 2017).

At some point, I’ll share the more in-depth version of my decision on this blog, but in short… I’m leaning into my true self and it’s good…and right.

I hope you follow my journey on this blog. I’ll be sharing my experiences, stories of people I meet along the way, travel tips, and more!

by Julie Slagter