My biggest challenge in travel will be figuring out how to manage my introversion amid never-ending socialization and a constantly changing landscape. But there are plenty of other more tangible things I’m ready to learn on the road.
I got a lot of flack in high school over taking French instead of Spanish. I chose a beautiful language I loved over the more practical option. I don’t live in a city with a huge Hispanic population, like Miami or LA, and I don’t regret learning French instead of Spanish by a long shot; but the practical option is still one worth having.
My projected RTW itinerary includes time in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, and Mexico — all in all, about four full months of travel through Spanish-speaking countries. Who knows how much I’ll pick up in that time?
Okay, so I’m already a pretty decent cook. But there’s always room for improvement and taking a cooking class here and there while abroad is something I’m really excited for, whether it’s proper spring rolls and pho in Vietnam or pizza dough in Italy.
It took no fewer than eight years and ten different people to teach me how to swim. I love being in the water, but for whatever reason, I never liked the physical act of swimming as a kid. I still don’t do a whole lot, but I think things like snorkeling off the coast of Phuket, kayaking around the city walls of Dubrovnik, or surfing in Costa Rica are all much more motivational experiences than doing laps in the average American pool. Getting my sea legs will be a huge RTW achievement.
None of these are hard and fast goals. But they’re all things I’m staying open to. I’m sure there will be many more unexpected lessons along the way, but there’s no harm in having a loosely formed bucket list.