FAQ: Before our RTW trip
FAQ: Before our RTW trip
We wrote this before our round-the-world trip back in 2008, so we’ve left this pre-trip FAQ intact as a bit of handy ephemera. Check out the Post-trip FAQ too, where you can ask us new questions by adding a comment.
- What does Ephemerratic mean?
- It’s an idea we’re still developing around the concepts of belonging (as in “the sense of”) and belongings (as in “you don’t need as many as you think”); Emphemerratic also literally – as both a website and as an art project – will be a mish-mash of collaboration, community art and collage. We will bring together ephemera, ideas and things of no lasting significance that were originally meant to be discarded, all the while being erratic, not following a fixed course or rules.
- I’ve been having loads of fun reading your site! What kewl art!! What can I do to repay you?
- Aw shucks. First, remember to come back! Sign up for our RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, and/or sign up for email alerts when we post a new travel story. We also love to discover that you’ve tweeted, dugg, stumbled, or emailed our stories to your friends – we’ve put small icons under each page’s title to help you share. Then, if you want to add a little bit to our travel fund, click on any of our ads and buy something (we think they’re all useful and buy from them ourselves), or buy some of Todd’s drawings, created on the global road.
- How long will you be gone?
- About a year, give or take a country or two.
- Where are you going?
- We’re starting and ending in San Francisco. In between, we’re going to circumnavigate the globe, going eastward. For our planned stops on the way, see our route.
- Whaaaa? You’re not going to Africa / South and Central America / Eastern Europe / Australia and New Zealand?
- We’re not going to Antarctica either but no one ever asks about that. We’re traveling slow, we’re trying to minimize long flights and backtracking, and what is on our route has been on top of our must-see list for a long time. As far as Africa and the Americas go, it was easier and more practical to excise entire continents when paring down the list of places to go. We figure Eastern Europe and New Zealand will be great destinations during our Golden Girl years.
- Did you get one of those round-the-world tickets?
- Nope. The vocal majority on discussion forums and blogs had enough stories about how their around-the-world plane tickets were not the deal they’d hoped for. We tried working with a few agents who specialize in those sorts of tickets, and most were uncreative or unresponsive. Plus, since we’re not continent-hopping, we will be able to fly on local, cheap airlines and travel overland a lot. Overall, we decided that, while round-the-world tickets might be right for some travelers, they’re not for us.
- How can you afford this?
- On the surface, the math doesn’t add up: Lauren has long worked for nonprofits and Todd is a substitute teacher artist. Neither job makes us much money. We live in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. Yet, much to our surprise and confusion, we have saved money. How? A combination of decent rent, no iToys, thrift stores, dive bars, and burritos – lots and lots of burritos. We saved most of our money by choosing to live car-free in a city with public transit. According to this cost calculator, the average American household spends over $7,200 a year by ditching their car which, after 10 years, is more than enough to take us around the globe.
- What are you doing with your apartment?
- You’re coveting our backyard, aren’t you? Our friend Michael, a.k.a. “The Prince of Rhode Island,” found us a wonderful subletters. This means the famed Golden L, the mighty Green Dragon, and the rest of our things will be cared for during our travels. Our landlord was cool enough to let us sign a two-year lease so our return to San Francisco is guaranteed (and contractually required).
- Did you quit your job in order to travel?
- Yup. We both did.
- What will you do for work when you get back?
- Whoa, don’t rush us to the end already! We’ll figure it out on the beach in Bali. When we’re back, Lauren will entertain offers, and Todd will continue to make art and find a job (with benefits, hopefully) in community education.
- So, once you get all this traveling out of your system, you’ll settle down, right?
- We each renewed our passports and got 10-year visas for India. We could have spent less and gotten the 1-year visas, but we figure we’ll get our money’s worth when we go back again. And again.