Saturday, March 5, 2011

How to plan a year abroad

One of the most frequent questions I get is, How do you plan for a trip this long? Here are the 3, well really 2 most important questions:
1. What is your budget?
2. What do you want to?
3. What's your time frame?  (this is going to be heavily influenced by your budget and what you want to do)

I did the math, crunched the numbers endlessly, and took a good long look at my bank account. I knew, roughly, some things that I wanted to see/do, like the Taj Mahal and the Great Wall. I knew that I wanted to go to Tibet and play dodgeball with the Dalhi Lama and drink some yak butter tea. Seriously, no joke on that one, they really drink that stuff there; Anthony Bourdain said it was good...Anyways! I also wanted to do some medical volunteering. The company that I contacted said that the best placement for me with NICU experienece was Ghana. Off to Africa I go! Which obviously meant going to Morocco and hello, a safari!
Once those details were all worked out it was just a matter of organizing it, which consequently was one of the hardest parts. I had come up with an awesome list of places and countries loosely strung together. Here is a list of websites that I used to help me peice together my trip:

http://www.poweredbytofu.com/ - There's a good peice on the pros/cons of tour groups
http://www.lostgirlsworld.com/
http://www.nomadicmatt.com/
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ - I used both the website and several travel books

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