Archive for July, 2009

My Last Week of Work

| by Jason on July 28th, 2009 | 25 Comments » | Reflections

corpheadOne week left for maintaining employment in the United States.  It is shocking and uneasy to say at the same time.  I feel like my entire adult life has been heavily focused on improving my career, making more money and being able to invest in my future and myself.  The thought of not having a job for the first time since I graduated college is frightening.  Here comes my story’s hook.  It is not frightening for me; it is frightening for those that surround me.

I am perfectly content leaving my job after 12 years of commitment.  Fortunately, I was able to attend college through supportive parents and establish, in my opinion, a successful career.  My dedication to my career will fund my trip and provide a sense of financial security.  I must admit the gear and gadgets I will be purchasing are more expensive than those I would have purchased had I done this as a gap year out of college.  There is no denying that.  There is no reason to feel guilt or irresponsible for taking an extended vacation, career break or to just search for what it is that you feel you should be doing.  Life provides us options, but only for those courageous enough to seek them out.  This is easier for me, considering I have spent the last 12 years working and saving, I don’t own a house and I am debt free.  But, it is important for you to know that there are many others that have the same desires and much less than any of us can imagine, but still seek out their dreams. (more…)

What is a Flashpacker

| by Jason on July 26th, 2009 | 14 Comments » | Travel Gear

Things a Flashpacker Carries

Aracely and I must full-heartedly admit we are flashpackers.  Wikipedia loosely defines flashpackers as tech-savvy adventurers who often prefer to travel with a cell phone, digital camera, iPod and a laptop, although none of these is required in order to be a flashpacker. As with other forms of travel, the term flashpacker is mainly one of self-identification. The origin of the term itself is obscure. There are many factors that probably contributed to the development of the term.  Some believe it was born out of animosity from minimalist backpackers; those that truly want to escape the world and get off the grid.  I don’t think this theory has much warrant considering the backpacking community in general promotes living life to your own personal desires.  But, there is clearly a visible change in the appearance of many backpackers.  White ear buds dangling from one’s neck, a camera hanging off a shoulder or even a laptop opened at a local café is now often seen accompanying the large backpack. Some of these items have become affordable to the masses from industrialized countries and provide an easy means of communicating with others around the world.  The hostel industry has had to adjust by investing in WiFi and other international gadget friendly technologies.  I attribute these changes to the normal evolution of technology and its impact on humans.  A flashpacker is also believed to have more disposable income for adventure tours and more upscale accommodations.  With Couchsurfing exploding around the world as the most cultural enriching and affordable accommodation, all are able to travel more frugally.  Universally, the backpacker’s goal remains the same; experience foreign cultures and lands. (more…)

Lack of an Itinerary

| by Jason on July 21st, 2009 | 12 Comments » | Reflections

After we tell people that we are going to travel the world usually the first question they ask is, “Where are you going?”  I struggled with this question in the beginning.  After stumbling for not having a definitive answer I would say, “Latin America and Southeast Asia.”  Well, that leads to additional questions for specifics from those that are truly interested.  We don’t have those specific answers, and initially I used the excuse that we were just beginning to plan the itinerary.  But, with only 4 weeks until we leave our apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey for good, I still have very little to add to my previous answer. (more…)

Travel Immunizations

| by Aracely on July 19th, 2009 | 9 Comments » | Trip Planning

Aracely receiving her vaccinations

After the decision to drop everything and go travel was made, we had to write The List.  It began as a high level to do list which has grown organically into a massively detailed inventory of what we need to take care of before leaving it all behind for the adventure of a lifetime.  If you ask me, the list is on steroids; it has grown exponentially.  One of the sections of said list (yes, it has sections), is medical related tasks.

In the medical section we list things such as: purchasing travel insurance, getting physical exams, dental checkup and my absolute favorite, immunizations—I hate needles.  I’m that girl, the one that not only turns away when getting blood drawn, but also closes her eyes, tightly.  Yeah, that’s me.

Anyway, both Jason and I made appointments with our general practitioners to get some questions answered about the medical risks of long term travel in foreign countries; they both recommended consulting a travel specialist.  Luckily, we found a great one locally in Hoboken; Dr. Messihi certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases. (more…)

Choosing the Right Backpack

| by Jason on July 14th, 2009 | 7 Comments » | Travel Gear

Backpack Rack at REI in Marlton, NJ

A backpack is the most important piece of equipment you will own during your travels. Think of it as your new home, where everything you possess is stored. Now you must lug it around on your back for the next few weeks, months or even years. This list is intended to provide you with some basic knowledge when choosing a backpack for your travels. (more…)