How We Set Travel Goals (& our subsequent huge one!)


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When Heath and I first began touring, we set a really clear objective:

Visit all 50 states in a 12 months for our honeymoon.

It was loopy particular—right down to the timeframe—however that’s what helped us make it occur.

(Okay “technically” we crossed into Alaska one 12 months and one week after our honeymoon began. But I name {that a} win!)

For the previous eight years, we’ve continued to journey however with much less concrete targets:

  • RV on each New Zealand Islands
  • RV in Europe
  • See the autumn leaves within the northeast
  • Zipline in another country (which we simply crossed off final month in Mexico!)
  • Spend half of the 12 months in another country

These have been nice targets to information how we plan our journey annually, however Heath and I’ve craved one thing a bit of greater.

Setting Intentional Travel Goals

I bought main déjà vu beginning to write this weblog submit as a result of I spotted Heath and I discuss objective setting on a regular basis! Usually on the finish of December once we write our year-end critiques. We are very obsessed for not being productiveness gurus.

But we each love having huge targets. They information our selections and assist us select the precise path once we are confronted with choices.

We’ve talked about journey targets usually with our associates Kara and Nate. We visited all 50 states; they visited 100 international locations. And after we every achieved our targets, there was nearly an vacancy there. We all felt the necessity to suppose up a brand new objective to attain.

In loads of methods, there’s strain that the subsequent objective be even greater and higher.

After Heath labored a job in every state, so many individuals stated “Now work a job in each country!”

Between Instagram and journey blogs and Youtubers, I believe it is a frequent feeling. It’s not sufficient to only full-time RV or journey with your loved ones. You want to go to each nationwide park or go to each Disney park or accomplish some epic objective that may wow everybody.

I’m not a fan of that social strain, however I do see the enchantment of getting a single, intentional objective to information journey.

Why Set Travel Goals?

I hear all the time from new RVers the identical, sort of foolish query: “How do you plan where to go?”

I completely get it! When you open your life as much as journey, you abruptly notice the world is at your fingertips. Especially with an RV. Anywhere you possibly can drive, you possibly can go to! It might be exhausting to decide on.

This is why I like setting a tangible objective. It might be easy like spending Christmas with my nieces and nephews or difficult like visiting 50 microbreweries in Colorado. Whatever it’s, it helps information and anchor you as you journey so that you don’t really feel aimless as you wander, one thing I do know many vacationers have felt at one level or one other.

For Heath and I, our targets have appeared like this:

2014: Visit all 50 states

2015: ✅ Visit all 50 states (nonetheless had Hawaii and Alaska to go!) and dwell for affordable within the RV to repay all our debt so we are able to maintain touring

2016: ✅ Re-visit all the west coast + RV overseas for the primary time

2017: ✅ Re-visit all the east coast

2018: ✅ Spend half of the 12 months RVing overseas

2019: ✅ Take our daughter on her first worldwide RVing journey (Italy)

2020: ✅ Full-time RV within the states as a household of three

2021: ❎ the primary 12 months we didn’t set a journey objective as a result of I knew I needed child #2 and we had been constructing a campground so we took little journeys as an alternative of any huge journey. It was bizarre not having a journey objective, and we missed it.

Other than not paying off our pupil debt till mid-2017 (why did we predict we may pay all of it off in a 12 months?), we completed all of those loopy huge targets and began annually with a robust course.

Sometimes that course modified. In 2020, we rapidly switched from “Let’s see if we love full-time RVing with kids as much as we loved it as a couple” to “Let’s buy a house, the world is in turmoil and we want a safe place to land.” It was an enormous pivot on the time, however one which has allowed us to chase different targets, like having our son, constructing a campground, and residing in a home collectively for the primary time in our marriage. 100% was the proper choice for us.

And now that we do have a house base, we are able to begin wanting overseas once more and chasing a objective I scribbled down with a query mark subsequent to it again in 2016: RVing the world over.

RVing Across the World

Heath and I (clearly) love RVing. I imply have a look at that checklist above. Seven years of my life had been devoted to it! And it’s our absolute favourite option to journey.

I also have a complete checklist of all of the international locations the place RVing is a factor so we are able to begin brainstorming the place to RV subsequent. Spoiler: we’re about to move to France to spend a month RVing throughout southern France which is understood for being probably the most RV-friendly elements of Europe.

With the children becoming a member of us on adventures, we’re aiming to be much more intentional with our journey and set a brand new objective for an entire household. I knew I needed RVing world wide to be part of it, however I wasn’t actually certain the place to start out. So I requested myself a query:

How Many Countries Do I Want to Visit?

I pulled up Google Maps and a spreadsheet. I like a great spreadsheet—the extra organized, the higher.

I began making an inventory of all of the international locations we’ve visited to this point:

I knew off the highest of my head the place we had visited with the children, however actually didn’t know what number of international locations Heath and I had visited. Heath and I’ve visited 9 international locations collectively, Ellie 5, and Eli 4. (Yes, it’s going to hassle me till we make it again to Rome and go to Vatican City that Ellie and Eli haven’t visited the identical variety of international locations!)

I had no thought what number of international locations I needed to go to or what number of international locations I needed to RV in. I do know many associates who’ve the objective to go to 100 international locations and even each nation (at the moment 195), however these targets don’t enchantment to me. They are a bit of too huge. Especially while you’re taking a look at packing alongside a double-stroller on all these adventures!

I took to my spreadsheet and created a “Want to Visit” checklist of locations we hadn’t but ventured. With Google Maps zoomed out far sufficient to learn the names of most international locations, I began typing out each nation I knew I needed to go to. I got here up with an inventory of 39 international locations.

This was purely primarily based on me saying “I saw a pretty picture of Albania once” and “Never heard of Saint Kitts and Nevis before but it sounds like they serve piña coladas, so let’s add that one to the list.” I haven’t really completed any analysis into what international locations to go to. That will all come later once we began making legit plans! This was simply enjoyable brainstorming the place I don’t have to fret about visas or which season is one of the best time to go to or if I can realistically afford ever visiting the Maldives.

Here’s what I got here up with at first look:

It’s not a spreadsheet if it’s not color-coded.

Yes, I do know my South America and Africa lists want some critical boosting. I must Google which international locations Victoria Falls straddles and of all of the international locations in Africa, I most wish to go to Morocco and I didn’t even checklist it in my brainstorming! Also, what international locations are technically in South America however appear to be they’re in Central America? Why is that so complicated? Oh and I forgot China! Disneyland Hong Kong is a should.

I’m going again and including to this checklist as I write out this weblog 😂  But this checklist was nearly getting a baseline for what number of international locations I knew I needed to go to simply from fast brainstorming. If there’s something I’ve realized about journey, it’s that after you begin touring, your checklist of “places to visit” will get longer and longer the extra locations you go!

With this checklist of 39 international locations, plus what we’ve already visited collectively, I simply drew a conclusive journey objective:

go to 50 international locations with Heath.

I’m simply now realizing the parallel between this objective and our honeymoon. Maybe 50 is our magic quantity? 😂

Not all of those international locations might be visited by RV, like Cuba or the Philippines. But a great portion of Europe positively could possibly be. That’ll be one thing we are able to look into later, once we really begin planning and reserving journey.

Part-time touring, I estimate that this can take us a decade or two to deal with. I’m in no rush. We like spending a few weeks minimal in every nation we go to, and longer if we’re capable of RV in that nation. We spent two months camper vanning round New Zealand and have traveled for 3 months throughout Italy, so in my thoughts, we want at least a month in every nation to totally respect it… Although I simply did a Google Image search of Saint Kitts and Nevis, so should you don’t hear from me for some time, it’s as a result of I moved to an island paradise. 🏝

Setting a Family Travel Goal

One of the primary causes Heath and I began speaking about setting an intentional objective was in order that we may have one thing to information us as we plan huge journeys with our youngsters. Saying we wish to go to 50 international locations with Ellie earlier than she turns into an grownup sounds a bit of too loopy. That’s 45 international locations over the subsequent 15 years, which could possibly be potential, however like I stated, we prefer to journey slowly and revel in new international locations.

So we set the objective of go to 20 international locations with the children earlier than they flip 18.

Since they have already got just a few beneath their belts, that works out to about one nation per 12 months till Ellie graduates highschool. Much extra doable and fewer wild, however nonetheless an enormous objective.

It’s ridiculous to me as a result of this objective feels small. Shouldn’t my objective be 100 international locations? Or higher but all of them? 20 is so few!

(This is without doubt one of the many issues with social media. I’ve been touring for my entire grownup life and I haven’t visited 20 international locations but. It’s tricked me into pondering 20 is small, when it’s actually an enormous, superb objective.)

I don’t know which 20 international locations we’ll find yourself visiting. Canada will in all probability make the checklist. Spain positively will, since we’ll begin RVing in France in just a few weeks and finish in Spain this October. But I’m excited to let the children be part of this objective. Ellie has been speaking to me continually these days about how she needs to return to “Ratatouille’s house” AKA Paris, and he or she needs to go to “Bluey’s house” too, AKA Australia. She could also be three, however she continues to wow me together with her understanding of journey.

I’m nervous-excited about this subsequent huge journey with the children. Like Heath shared final week, touring with children is so drastically totally different than touring alone and everybody has an opinion on it. Some households love soccer. Baseball. Gymnastics. Hiking. The checklist goes on. Heath and I like to journey, in order that’s what we’re sharing with our household. And now we’ve bought clear targets to information us alongside the way in which. Our objective will in all probability change and stretch with time as all targets ought to.

But I’m excited to have this subsequent one down in writing, inspiring us to maintain chasing after the issues we love.

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