Backpacking Around the World – How I Took an RTW Trip at 26

skydiving in hawaii

I quit my job in 2008 to take a year off to do an around the world trip at age 26. At the time, there weren’t a lot of people doing this! Yes, people have always gone backpacking around the world. But it was before Instagram and the quitting your job to travel and living/working remotely phase. So I documented parts of my trip on this blog. Here’s all my RTW trip stuff rounded up in one spot!


I hadn’t left North America until grad school (as a resident of USA, living in the Pacific Northwest, I had traveled to Canada growing up, and Mexico after college) . I officially got the travel bug after my month in the south of France as part of my grad school program. About 18 months later, I left on my around the world trip.

Round the World Trip Itinerary:

Countries Visited: China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, back to Thailand, back to China, back to the States for some summer adventures, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Morocco, back to Spain, slow-boat transAtlantic cruise through Azores, Portugal, Bahamas, back to USA for holidays, Costa Rica.

Round the World Trip Cost:

I spent in the $30,000 range for about a year of solo travel. Yes, I could have spent more or less! I went to a mix of cheaper and more expensive countries. Also, I did some small group adventure trips through Intrepid & G Adventures (reviews) which increased the price for some countries.

Posts on the blog about my Round the World Trip:

  • Career Break, Please – My first post, letting out my little secret that I was going traveling. Looking back now it’s kind of funny how secretive I was about the whole thing. I left in February 2008.
  • RTW Packing List – My round the world packing list. Here’s what I packed and what I ditched along the way and tips on how to pack for a long trip!
  • Intrepid Travel and G Adventures Review – My review of small group adventure travel with G Adventures & Intrepid Travel.

Let me know any questions you have about my around the world trip!