Everything we do involves some level of preparation whether we realize it or not. The three day weekend getaway requires specific things to occur in order for it to be successful. Planning for a six month trip as you can imagine is a significantly more involved process.
So what this have we considered thus far and what do we still need to do? The first step to any journey is to decide where you’re going to set off from and then ultimately where you intend to finish. For us that was easy, Philly is the start and Ushuaia is as far south as you can go in South America. We’re not the first to ride to Ushuaia so we’re able to learn a great deal from our predecessors.
A lot of the preparation we’ve completed thus far has been focused on documentation, this website/blog, Facebook, Instagram, forum threads, and documentary discussions. None of this is a requirement to us having a successful trip but it’s an important step to us nonetheless. While social media can be an annoyance it’s almost a necessity. With it we can quickly obtain information on the best places to go, have people volunteer to host us, and keep our morale high with those ever important “likes.”
Organization has been the crux of planning. To keep the three of us on the same page, we’ve maximized the use of Google Docs and Google Calendar. As a project manager by trade I basically live and die by the spreadsheet so we have one for everything. “Attractions by Country” “Hotel Reward Stays by Country” “Contacts by Country” “Visa/documentation Requirements by country” Each one of these as important as the next. The fact that these can be edited online in near real-time means that we never really have to worry about version control which is a borderline miracle.
So with a known start/end and a list of things we want to see, we’ve been able to start drawing out a tentative route. I say tentative because we full expect and want this route to be shaped by the people we meet along the way. Our goal is not to recreate the trip of the people before us but to very much have one of our own.
Probably an even bigger undertaking than the trip planning is tying up all the loose ends so that we can leave for x months with minimal issue/resistance. This means our jobs, our residences, relationships, etc all need to be sorted out prior to leaving. The rest of the world doesn’t stop when we leave.
These are just some of the thoughts I’ve been having today, I’ll continue this prep discussion in more detail as the departure date gets closer. Stay tuned!