Travel year

I can’t remember exactly when, where or how this plan was born. I think it was when I noticed that the job I was in as a waste coach wasn’t fulfilling anymore. My hours and responsibilities were cut. From the moment that I noticed I wasn’t getting the chance to grow and develop within this company I started looking for new things.

Around that same time I wrote a blog about what I think is wrong with the national park system in the Netherlands. I had some conversation about what I think I can offer to these parks. I was motivated by the people I had these conversations with, to apply for a job within these parks. So I took on the challenge and applied to jobs far and wide within my level of knowledge and experience. But to no avail. 

I kept on blogging and noticed that the blogs about climbing destinations did so much better than all the other ones. So I started fantasizing about making a living out of blogging about rock climbing. 

I set myself a goal. I started saving and once I reach €10.000 (that’s how much money I spent in the year in the US), I’m allowed to travel and have fun climbing. For a while I kept applying, because I thought I should give it a serious try. If I did manage to find a job that has my heart and does allow me to develop, then that’s perfect.

Over time my heart was going out more and more to the travel plan. Failure after failure I endured, getting quick and slow no’s for jobs that I think I can accelerate in. In the end it was all about the leaving. I completely focused on that goal. Saving enough money and finding the right timing for leaving. 

Halfway through February I had my general plan for the trip thought out. I was going to quit my job on my own terms. Feeling so powerful about that, since most times in life I was fired and felt devastated about it. But two weeks before I could hand in my notice I was sat down by my superior and he told me that my job would end with them in a month’s time. I wasn’t surprised since that same day we said goodbye to another colleague. However it did leave me frustrated that he took my power away and that my plans had to be rearranged.

Wow, this was a long introduction to what I actually wanted to share with you.

My plan is to pack up my tiny house (caravan) and go from climbing destination to climbing destination. Thinking about relocating every month. I’ll start off in Italy, climbing in Finale Ligure. After that I might also go to Arco. From there on my focus will be on eastern Europe. The reason why I chose that direction has to do with how little is written about the climbing destinations out there. There is so much popular climbing in western Europe and Greece. I’m hoping to find some great hidden gems in that part of the world. Another reason for going in that direction is that my money will probably last a lot longer than out in France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

I’ll be following the seasons as I go, going south when temperatures drop and going north when the temperatures rise again. 

To save money I plan to stay at workaways as much as I can. Or otherwise find cheap or free places to stay at. Maybe I will find a little job here and there. The rock climber’s community is always friendly and helpful, so I also expect to find help and direction there. I’m also hoping that some of my friends in the climbing community will come out and climb with me for a period of time. In any way, this is an open invitation to come out and play.

However, most of the time I think I’ll need to search for local climbers. I think most of the time this won’t be too much of a problem, but if I really can’t find anyone that will be the moment when things will get interesting. 

The last thing I’d like to share with you is something that I live by and is very important for the success of this trip as well. The year goal is only a guideline. I’m not going to stay away solely to make the goal, but being miserable at it. From the moment I’m unhappy about the situation at hand I’ll pack my things and leave. Either go home or somewhere else. On the other hand, if the year has passed and money allows and I’m still enjoying myself, I will be staying out for longer.

I live by the expression “never say never”

That’s why none of my plans are set in stone.

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