Travel the World for One Year – April 2016 Update

Hi everyone, my April 2016 update towards my one year travel around the world looks like this:

There has been some changes to my itinerary. I will fly out on September 14, 2016 but the countries I will first visit will be Jordan, Israel and, Egypt.

Initially, I was going to go to Turkey but changed of plans happened when my sisters preferred to go to Egypt instead. This is fine with me because I would like to go to Egypt and can save Turkey during the European portion of my travels.

After the middle east countries, I plan to fly down to South Africa and do a road trip. My sisters will have to fly back home to go back to work leaving me and Karen to continue the journey.

We fly into Johannesburg from Egypt and from there, we will rent a car and drive towards Cape Town. On the way to Cape Town, we will stop by Lesotho just to check it out.. On the way back to Johannesburg from Cape Town, we also plan on taking a detour to visit Swaziland.

After Swaziland, we plan on driving back to Johannesburg and take a Greyhound to Maputo (Mozambique’s capital city).

After checking out Maputo, we plan on heading back to Johannesburg. We will fly out of the country and head to Hong Kong to visit Karen’s relatives.

Sadly, we have to part ways after Hong Kong as Karen have to fly back to Canada and head back to work. Hopefully, she can extend her trip a little and come to New Zealand with me to do a road trip and check out the Shire from Lords of the Rings.

 

Here is the April 2016 update on my travel hacking stats in preparation for my one year trip:

  • 420,000 Aeroplan miles saved up to fly between countries.
  • 50,000 Alaska miles – Unfortunately, Emirates devalued their points redemption and I won’t be able to save up to ride in first class.
  • 66,000 Starwood points – Roughly 16-22 free nights at a category 1 or 2 hotel.
  • 60,000 Marriott Hotel points – Roughly 7 free nights at a category 2 hotel.
  • 50,000 IHG points – IHG devalued their points and now require 60,000 points to stay for free at Bora Bora’s over the water bungalow. I will definitely figure out a way to earn that last 10,000 points so I can stay at the elusive over the water bungalow.
  • Hilton Hotel Silver Status
  • Best Western Platinum Status
  • Fairmont Hotel Premier Status
  • Marriott Hotel temporary gold status
  • $8000 saved up – $8000 to go to hit my minimum goal of having $16,000 saved up.

 

Ideally, I’d like to have $18,500 saved up. I will be selling my car before I leave. Unfortunately, the money I make from selling the car will just be enough to pay for travel insurance, shots  and Visas. I am hoping that my online business picks up and will prove to be a reliable source of supplementary income to help fund my trip.

IHG Promotion Update

As part of the April 2016 update, I’d like to talk about IHG real quick. A few months back, IHG had a promotion called the Priceless Surprise. Essentially, if you mailed 94 hand written letters and mail it to IHG, they will give you a minimum of 500 IHG points per mail. I ended up earning 49,500 IHG points from all the letters I mailed out. This was especially awesome because Canadians can no longer earn IHG points after the credit card was discontinued. Which also means we can no longer travel hack to Bora Bora…for now. Regardless, I took a risk and it paid off and I am one stop closing to travel hacking my way to Bora Bora’s over the water bungalow.

Current Challenges

As of now, my main challenge is still money. The Canadian dollar is quite weak making the one year trip more expensive than initially predicted. To offset the weak dollar, I will need to pick up extra shifts in the next few months to make extra money. This is tough because I am also working on building location independent income which takes a good chunk of my time and energy. The biggest dilemma then is…should I go for the sure thing and earn money from working or should I focus on building my online business which can potentially help me earn side income when I actually travel?

On a side note, I will be working as a staff travel writer for LivingtheDreamRTW. The side income from this writing gig can potentially generate an up to $1,800 USD for the entire year while I am traveling.

Summary and Insights

As I write this April 2016 update, one of my biggest insight when it comes to traveling the world for one year is my hunger to earn location independent income. The more I dream about travel, the more I do not want the dream to end. If I want to continue traveling after my one year journey, then I must focus my energies on creating and launching my digital products.

My plan from here on out is to allocate my time and energy into creating my digital products. I’m aiming to complete them by June of 2016 so that I can redirect my energy into picking up extra shifts to hit my goal of saving up $16,000-$18,500 before I leave for my one year trip.

 

I’d like to thank you, the readers, for following my journey. I hope to motivate you to also go on your own one year trip to see the world.