You’ve Decided to Free Yourself and Travel the World: 8 Steps to Get You Ready

So, you’re ready to go travel the world?! That’s fantastic! First, make sure it’s what you really want to do, enough so that you’re willing to work hard for it. Unless you’ve recently been given a very large inheritance, it’s a big commitment, and believe it or not, the process of getting ready responsibly is surprisingly stressful.

Step One:

Get an accurate, up to date picture of your entire financial situation. Pretend you’re Ebenezer Scrooge and count every single penny that you have. (Yes, it’s even time to take the giant change jar down to the CoinStar machine…just make sure you check for wheat pennies first!)
Check every single one of your accounts:

  • insurance policy values
  • stocks/shares
  • money market
  • equity in house & cars
  • get current values for all artwork and jewelry

Now check ALL of your credit accounts (and your credit score while you’re at it) and tally up everything you owe vs everything you have.

Photo courtesy of Fabian Blank

Step Two:

Make decisions about the BIG things based upon the results of your financial tally and the best financial benefits to suit your needs: (A great guiding question to ask yourself: Exactly how “free” of responsibility do you want to be and feel?)

  • Will you leave your job entirely or take a leave of absence/sabbatical?
  • Will you sell your house or rent it?
  • Will you sell your car, store it, loan it to a relative or lease it to a friend?

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Andreo

Step Three:

Decide what you’re going to do to earn money/support yourself while traveling (if you need to). Can you possibly launch a website to do what you’re already doing for work and be mobile? If so, perfect! What on earth have you been waiting for?! This is going to save you from the additional stress and learning curve of an entirely new profession. If not, maybe like me, you are in serious need of something entirely new, ask yourself what you are most interested in doing that can be done from any location. Here are some options to consider:

  • Blogging
  • Photography
  • Copy writing
  • Graphic design
  • Consulting
  • Marketing
  • Coaching/Counseling

Or, would you rather be offline and volunteer to cover your room and board? If so, consider applying to one of these organizations: (Don’t worry about your age! There are no age limits and they love having volunteers who are already brimming with life experience!)

Photo courtesy of Madi Robson

Step Four:

Get all your personal affairs in order.  Are there any things that need to be dealt with so that you can go with a clear heart and mind? (I REALLY needed to get a divorce, but had been putting it off/struggling to do it for far too long.) Do you have relationships that need to end, or people that you need to contact and make amends with? Now is the time.

You want to launch yourself into this adventurous new phase of life in the healthiest mental and physical condition possible. Having emotional tendrils that rear their ugly heads to pull at you from the past will not allow you to walk into this new exciting future freely. Even if you manage to push through it with some remaining, the odds of them snapping you back into a place you don’t want to be later are pretty high. Best to deal with any potential issues prior to leaving. Just think of it as cleaning out your emotional closet, just as you must clear out the closets in your house. Taking the broom to do a proper sweep through and get every last little bit of emotional cobweb hiding in the corners near the base boards. Maybe you find that this is quick and easy, or maybe you find there is a surprisingly strong web in one, with spider eggs, that when disturbed bursts and millions of tiny babies scatter and run everywhere….? This will certainly freak you out a bit as it did me, because you never really even noticed it being there this whole time. It’s honestly to be expected when we haven’t cleaned and cleared for a while. Consider contacting a therapist to help you deal with all those baby spiders running wildly through your emotional closet.

Photo courtesy of Genta Mochizawa

Step Five:

Get a complete medical check up and all preventative care needed to include travel vaccinations.

  • Head to Toe Physical Examination (To include any of the needed biggies: Mammogram, Pap, or Colonoscopy.)
  • Travel Screening and Immunizations
  • Dental (Cleaning, X-rays and complete all the dental work that has been on the back burner.)
  • Vision (Get an updated prescription. Do you need new glasses or maybe now is the time for Lasik?)

Step Six:

Update all of your ‘just in case’ paperwork:

  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Living Will
  • Will
  • Verify your medical coverage benefits and exclusions while traveling.
  • Consider purchasing travel insurance if needed (I am using TravelEx for any risky trips).

Photo courtesy of Helloquence

Step Seven:

Decide who will get your mail and what home address you will use. You will need one. This question comes up a lot and the world doesn’t accept “I’m nomadic” for an answer.  Without one, for example, you will not be able to stay in hotels abroad or rent cars.

You will also likely have some mail which cannot be paperless. It is good to have a trusted relative or friend who can open things and get a message to you if need be.

Step Eight:

Sell all your stuff.
Decide if you’re selling everything or just some of it, and where you will leave/store what you decide to keep. See my post detailing how I sold all my stuff by clicking here.


  • Reply
    June 26, 2017 at 8:43 am

    This is a really good list! It is great for those getting ready to travel or those who just need to do some big cleaning. Thank you for all of the personal insight and for being such great role model. You’re going to be great out there!

    • Reply
      Bethany Eells Porter
      July 7, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Thank you, Gary! I really hope you find something that you can put to use with your upcoming travels.
      And thank you for always taking the time to make comments! They are greatly appreciated!

  • Reply
    Donna Mitchell
    June 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Yes, this is all great advice. I was particularly interested in the volunteer organizations. I hadn’t even heard of most of these organizations! Good information.

    • Reply
      Bethany Eells Porter
      July 7, 2017 at 8:24 am

      Oh good Donna!
      I’m so happy to hear that some of it was new information for you. Please let me know if you end up working with any of them.

  • Reply
    July 1, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Another great read! You mentioned a link to your post on how to launch your own website. Is that an upcoming share, because I couldn’t find it. Thanks for all the valuable information here!!

    • Reply
      Bethany Eells Porter
      July 7, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Hi Lysa!
      Yes, I actually included that to remind myself to write the post and meant to delete it before posting, but haven’t gotten it completed yet. But, I’ll let you know as soon as I do! Thanks for reminding me!

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