My Decision to Start a Round the World Trip (RTW)

Vatican city

For most of the adult life I can remember, I wanted to travel the world. As seen in my earlier posts, that was a dream that seemed too far off, but not anymore. I am finally starting my round the world trip.

In December 2017, I was sitting in my apartment, alone, feeling lost and needing a change. That was when I found out about the concept of a Round the World Trip (RTW). I read many articles about people who had done it. People who had quit jobs and uprooted their lives to travel. And for the first time, I knew I wanted that. It sounded free and amazing.

But unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out like that. I had just started my master’s degree, and I had a 2-year binding contract, and I was broke AF.

PS: I first wrote this article on December 17th 2019. I was a different person then, pre-breakup. But I wanted to keep it authentic

2019 Edit: RTW Envisioned

In light of this, I realized that I couldn’t travel for the next 2 years even if I wanted. But that did not stop me from finding out what the Round the World Trip (RTW) would entail.

Very quickly I realized that there wasn’t one tool that you could use for all the things you needed to do to complete such a trip. Don’t get me wrong between google, house booking services, flight booking services and activity booking services, you have more than enough information and tools to do it.

But that would mean installing numerous apps and going through 1000 web pages just for one trip. Trust me, I am talking from experience here, the hustle almost makes you quit. Almost. Not as a display of my patience but only because I am not a quitter.

I am getting ahead of myself, in December 2017 when I made the resolution to do an actual RTW, I had no plans made but I knew that I needed a tool that incorporates most, if not all the elements I needed.

That is how I came up with my thesis idea. I remember how excited I was in January 2018, when I told Marc about it during his birthday dinner. I had it all outlined in my head. At the time, I wanted to do research on the best way possible to help a person who wanted to travel around the world, plan it seamlessly. The first thing was to suggest destinations that suited a person and not popular touristic destinations. I wanted to make it as personalized as I possibly could and I knew that it would not be an easy task.

Fast forward to May 2018, when I presented the idea to our thesis coordinator, he made statements like “Kenyans don’t roam. They don’t have the money”

That didn’t deter me. A few months later, I clarified my problem and solution in the next presentation and this time I got “Let the white people solve their problems”

In essence, what he meant was that Kenyans and generally people from third world countries do not travel just for the sake of it. At that time, I could not see it that way because I needed my thesis done. So from that tug of war between me and my supervisor came out research so far from my original idea that it is one of the things I will forever be ashamed of in my life. Like seriously, if you see my thesis paper, don’t waste your time on it. But that is not why I am writing this article.

Even though my thesis had turned to sh*t (pardon my colourful but true choice of words), the original idea I had was still intact in my head. There was still a clear niche and I would come to suffer for it first hand when I was planning my travels through Europe (If only I could show you how I planned it in a video, but it doesn’t exist. It took too many hours).

I have not abandoned the idea of researching the tool I had envisioned but at the moment I decided to help others from a different angle. Write about my experiences and tips on how to travel as a Kenyan, a third-world person, a broke person and basically anyone who wants to travel the world but the word budget keeps popping in their head.

Let’s be honest, if I had the money to do whatever and go wherever I wanted, I wouldn’t be writing this article and newsflash, if you had the money, the 99% chance is that you wouldn’t be reading this article either.

I want to clear out some details before I move on, when I say travel, I don’t mean your dream vacation to the Cayman Islands, or wherever you dream of going. Neither am I talking about the trips where you will be sipping champagne by the pool with a servant waiting for your next orders like they do in movies. And I am definitely not talking about private jets and first-class flights.

When I say travel, I mean experiencing new places for the first time, I mean walking through a city so much that you could plan it out in your head if you had to. I mean budget airlines and budget sleeping arrangements. It sounds awful when said like that I know, but it is not, you don’t have to trust me blindly, just follow my experiences. It won’t always be rainbows and sunshine but when has life ever been?

My articles and tips will mention being black, African, being Kenyan, and coming from a third world a lot because that is where I am from, and in truth, it factors in most decisions, but while you may not relate to being any of those three, then you may relate to being in your 20s, broke, and having a dream of travelling the world, but you are afraid of saying it out loud because it sounds like a pipe dream.

In all honesty, black people don’t travel, my supervisor was right. I could not defend his argument because I had not travelled, nor did I know anyone who had and therefore my problem sounded made up.

It is so serious that out of all articles I have read about people who quit/paused their jobs to travel the world, not one of them has been by a black person. It’s not like I have done a nosedive into looking for one, it’s just all the guides google produced after my search didn’t bring any. The only way I came across any black traveller was when I googled “Black travel bloggers”. And even then most of them were Black-Americans, not Africans.

I have come to realize, that one of the reasons why most Kenyans, in particular, do not travel is the perception that travelling takes a lot of money. While that statement has some truth in it, it is also accompanied by a lot of myths.

Myths that I hope by sharing my experiences will be lifted, or at least help one person. The other reasons revolve around culture and upbringing. The need to settle down in one place as opposed to moving around and those are things I cannot change. So this guide is aimed at the person whose major issue is budget.

While ultimately I would like this to be an RTW guide, it can also be used for short term getaways.

The truth is, quitting a job to travel around the world is a major risk and decision, so I am not accusing anyone. Even I haven’t quit my job. Yet. I am however using the opportunity given to do a trial run.

So head on to my articles to check out some of the European cities I have visited. Athens, Rome and Gdansk.

2021 Edit: Round the World Trip Planned

I was 2 years younger when I wrote all this. I was about to start the three weeks Europe trip and I was too excited.

That trip was the perfect confirmation of what I wanted with my life. To travel, live out of a suitcase/backpack and share my experiences with anyone who cared to listen.

I came back home in February 2020 from my 6-month exchange programme in Sweden. The world was changing.

Soon it would be too different from what we knew. A pandemic world filled with so much anxiety and uncertainty. The world shut down, economies suffered and people died.

Needless to say, my plans to travel had to be put on hold.

At the start of 2020, I actually quit my job in the university and took a job at a remote company. This was my first step to freedom.

The next year would be spent mainly in the house, too afraid to venture out because of covid 19.

Eventually, the measures eased a little and we started getting used to the idea of living in a pandemic world. My friends and I managed to visit some few places towards the end of 2020.

Around October 2020, I decided to move to Malindi to start my RTW in a way.

My initial plan was to live in each city for around 4-6 months, or 1 month depending on the city/town. From Malindi, I planned to move to Zanzibar and then Kigali. Other places that came to mind were Marsabit, Kenya, Dar es Salaam, and Cape Town, South Africa.

The only completely figured out move was going to Malindi for four months. I searched for a house and paid for a four-month lease with the possibility of an extension. In February 2021, I officially moved to Malindi. I was happy because of the new chapter.

My paradise living would be interrupted by the breakup and the next few months would change me and my life completely. Read about it here: Heartbroken and Healing Series.

I decided not to extend my stay in Malindi and went to live with my sister for a few months before finally venturing out to start my RTW officially. Because of how Tanzania was handling Covid matter at the time, I changed my next destination to Kigali.

While staying with my sister, it was when my travelling got defined. I knew I wanted to see everything and be everywhere. I then created a 5-year goal to visit all countries in the world. This is not set in stone. I pride myself on being flexible. Having the freedom to change my mind whenever I want.

I am so glad that I am single now and so I get to make decisions just for me.

I plan to stay in Kigali for 2 months.

After that, I have a plan to go to Southern Africa countries.

Unfortunately, the pandemic is still here with us and that will make travelling quite difficult for me.

My Kenyan passport is also a challenge but that is part of the adventure.

The things I wanted to write about 2 years ago are still active. I wish to provide a guide to people who want to travel. And now I have added a youtube channel.

Making a decision to travel the world is something that most people can’t comprehend. But for me, it was as easy as breathing. I knew that it was what I want with my life.

If you are like me, feel free to DM me on my social media or the contact form. I would like to collaborate on some travels.

If you have no desire to travel, then you can enjoy seeing and knowing about the world through my posts.

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