[ptcPhoto filename=”EricSamNiagara.jpg” title=”Eric and Sam” caption=”Sam and Eric at Niagara” position=”left”]
Welcome to Plotting the Course! We are Eric and Sam, a married couple from Denver, Colorado. For more than a year now we’ve been traveling the world and documenting our journey on this site. Here you can learn all about our route, our shared endeavors, and even the impact our travels have had on our bank account.
Up until now, it doesn’t look like our website has answered the three big questions everyone seems to ask – questions about how we afford traveling, what it’s like to travel as a couple, and what have been some of our most memorable experiences. Those certainly are three major pieces to this puzzle, so it’s high time we addressed them!
How Can We Afford to Travel the World?
Before leaving Denver, Eric worked as a software engineer and Sam was an accountant. We saved every possible penny over the course of 18 months, sold almost all of our possessions including our cars, furniture, and Eric’s condo, and rented out Sam’s property for rental income. Sam also had some spare dollars left over from her time as a student that went into our savings.
[ptcPhoto filename=”SamEricStairs.jpg” title=”Wedding day” caption=”Our wedding day” position=”right”]
But for the most part, the only way we were able to quit our jobs and travel was to make saving money our top priority for a very long time. There have been a lot of financial sacrifices, both before and during our trip, but we believe that most everyone can travel long-term if they’re really dedicated and make it a priority.
One other thing: We use frequent flyer miles and rarely pay for flights. Eric wrote about how we do this here.
Do You Get Tired of Being Together All the Time?
Well…yes. We’re pretty-much together 24/7 and that much togetherness can take a toll on even the best relationship. What’s good about it is that we’ve gotten to know each other on a much deeper level since we left, and we get to see the world with someone we love.
It helps that we have our own interests and hobbies – Eric is always travel-hacking flights or learning new programming skills, and Sam does a lot of writing and flirts with things like knitting and ukulele-playing. Also, we have very different talents when it comes to the trip itself. Sam tracks all of our expenses and Eric maintains the website. She’s the big picture “Where to go, what to do” person, while He figures out the daily logistics that make it all happen. We make a good team. Will we need separate vacations after all of this? Probably!
What Have Been Your Favorite Places and Experiences?
There are a few towns to which we’d probably never return, but for the most part we look back fondly at every place we’ve visited. It’s as you might expect: Places that challenge you also teach you the most. The Chinese food in China is nothing like the Chinese food back home. Big cities can get crazy expensive.
But if we have to narrow it down, here are some of our most memorable experiences from our first year of travel, in order of occurrence:
- Our 53-hour first-class journey to Colombo, Sri Lanka
- That time we rode camels with Caroline in India
- Sunrise over the Ganges River
- Trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal
- Cheering on the Doosan Bears in Seoul
- A whacky fun day with friends in Tokyo
- Climbing Mount Fuji
- Discovering Tibetan culture in China
- Eating absurd quantities of jamón in Spain
[ptcPhoto filename=”SamEricWall2.jpg” title=”Great Wall” caption=”At the Great Wall of China” position=”right”]
Bonus Question: What are we Most Looking Forward to on Leg Two?
The coming year will be a big one for PTC. After a couple months in Europe we’ll fly to Oceania before stopping back in Asia…and then back to Europe! By autumn we’ll be in southern Africa, and then we plan to finish up the leg with yet more time in Asia. We promise there’s some rhyme to our reason with regard to routing…
Here are some highlights in our plan for the year:
- Eating Peking duck in Hong Kong
- Diving the Great Barrier Reef
- Hiking with friends in New Zealand
- Shopping in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar
- Finding accordionists in Bulgaria
- Seeing the Big Five on a safari in southern Africa, and…
- Laying on beaches. Many, many beaches.
We hope you guys know us better now, and that you’ll keep visiting our page. If you ever have questions for us or just want to say hello, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.