Living in NYC for the past 5 years changed our lives forever, so you can only imagine the mixed feelings we had when we decided to leave. We were excited, yet nervous. Sad, yet very happy. We had an itinerary of 50-60 countries to visit, so there was more than enough to look forward too! Here’s how we planned to travel the world.

Minimize & Pack Up Your Life

It’s a daunting task to pack up an apartment that you have spent so much time making your home, but we were determined to begin early to make for a less stressful experience. We began this process 3 months before it was time to leave our apartment. A lot of people said “wow you’re starting so early” but it was the best thing we could have done. We cancelled subscriptions, changed our address and notified our banks of our travel, and of course, minimized our belongings down to a 65L backpack.

We started sifting through our belongings, choosing what to keep, donate or throw out. Craigslist was our best friend here, and we were extremely surprised by the number of people wanting our belongings, from coat hangers to old shoes (seriously?!). Within 2 weeks we had nearly “pre-sold” our apartment, meaning people paid us a deposit and picked up our items when we were ready to leave.

We shipped two boxes home to Australia (our eventual home) and the rest of the items and clothes were donated resulting in 12 donated bags. It’s amazing how many unnecessary items you accumulate over time! We actually tried to donate our furniture too but not one company would come up past the 3rd floor to pick up the furniture.

What we had left over was a 65L backpack of belongings which can be seen in the photos below. We will be doing another post outlining what’s in our bags soon.

Jacob's two bags

What Jacob will be living out of for the next 18months.

Emily's two bags

Emily’s two bags.

Put a Rough Itinerary Together

To embark on a trip of this length, you need to be prepared. You will need a rough itinerary of where you want to go, not only so you can travel economically but also so you get the right weather and make the most out of each city/country. This said you need to go with the flow as there is no doubt that these plans will change whilst on your trip.

Personally, we started choosing countries we wanted to visit, over the course of six months, with the idea that we wanted to be in warm weather at all times. We set aside more time in the countries we were most interested in and also events that we really wanted to go to, such as Oktoberfest or a sailing trip in Croatia.

Get the Right Gear + Group Your Belongings

To live out of a backpack, for any length of time means you need to be organized. You need to group things together to maximize your space and to stay organized. There are a number of items that help do this such as packing cubes and zip lock bags amongst others. You need to put clothes together, electronics together, toiletries together, etc. We will soon put together a more comprehensive list of everything we have utilized to make our lives easier on the road.

Say Farewell, but know it’s not “goodbye”

Our farewells began a couple of weeks in advance and there were a lot of “last goodbyes”. The real last goodbye was, of course, the hardest but we have formed such close bonds with our friends in NYC that we know this isn’t “goodbye”. In fact, many are planning to visit us in places around the world.

Get Super Excited!

We are both extremely excited for the next 18 months and who know’s what is in store for us. We feel very fortunate to be on this exciting adventure and whilst I’m sure we will hit a few bumps in the road, we are prepared to overcome any obstacles that may come our way!

First stop, London! Let the games begin! 

Photos from our farewell in NYC