General Trip Planning

Trip Interview

Before we left on our adventure, Chiara and I completed a “pre-trip interview”. Basically asking ourselves a series of questions about how we feel about the upcoming journey. The idea being that we will take the same test again when we get back and see how our responses have changed. See below for our answers.

We did not discuss our answers beforehand despite how similar some may seem.

Feel free to post any guesses in the comments as to how you think our answers will change after a year!

Why do you want to take this trip?

Chiara

To learn more about the world, to reflect on the past and future, to relax after many years of nonstop busy-ness, to spend quality time with my partner.

Tarick

An extended travel adventure is something I’ve always wanted to do, for one, because I enjoy travel. Also, right now, the timing is perfect in our lives to take some time off with minimal disruption. I feel that a lot has happened in the past five years (finished grad school, worked two consulting jobs, started a company, moved to oakland, got married) and I haven’t really had time to reflect on those events or think about what I want to do for the next five years. I’m hoping this trip will offer an opportunity for self-reflection and inspiration for what comes next.

How do you think this trip will change you?

Chiara

I think it will give me perspective on what things in life are most important and give me focus. I think it will make me more relaxed overall.

Tarick

I think this trip will cause me to live more in the moment and be more present daily. I think it will relax me by not having to work and having less external pressure to “do things”.

What do you hope to learn about yourself?

Chiara

How to live in the moment/be more mindful & healthy (even when the trip is over).

Tarick

I hope to learn what makes me happy, what stimulates me, what I am passionate about, what is important to me, what are my core values, how I can help others, how I want to be spending my time in the future, where I want to live, who I want to associate with, and overall how I can live a more satisfying and fulfilling life.

What do you hope to learn about the world?

Chiara

How people in other places live and what makes them happy and healthy.

Tarick

I hope to learn about different kinds of people and how they live their daily lives. I want to see how people around the world experience and value work, family, friends, health, social life, food, basic needs, children, education, etc. I hope to learn from these experiences how to be more empathetic and understanding of people living different lives and how to incorporate these things into my own life in way that increases my happiness.

What skills do you hope to learn?

Chiara

Language skills, How to write about engineering topics in an interesting way, basic contortion.

Tarick

I want to become better at being flexible and spontaneous while traveling by relying on the help of others. I want to obtain a very basic understanding of several new languages. I want to learn about different cuisine. I want to learn how to be a better traveler in terms of minimal packing and maximizing experiences.

What particular places (e.g. landmarks, natural wonders, museums, towns) are you most excited to visit?

Chiara

Angkor Wat, Lake Baikal, Georgia, Taiwan hot springs.

Tarick

Angkor Wat. Himalayas. The Balkans. Rural towns in Asia and Europe.

What 3 countries will you enjoy the most overall?

Chiara

Taiwan, Georgia, Slovenia

Tarick

Vietnam, Georgia, Slovenia

What 3 countries will have the best food?

Chiara

Taiwan, Georgia, Italy

Tarick

Vietnam, Georgia, Italy

What will you want to eat when you get back?

Chiara

Burrito with a lot of avocado

Tarick

In n’ Out Burger. Burritos. Mexican.

Will you want to come home?

Chiara

No

Tarick

No

Where will we want to move?

Chiara

Bay Area or Sacramento

Tarick

Oakland or Southeast Asia (wildcard)

What pet peeve about the other person will bother you the most?

Chiara

Not wanting to do all the weird things I am excited to do, and body noises sometimes.

Tarick

Wanting to walk everywhere all the time. Letting her luggage spill all over my side of the room.

What qualities will you most appreciate about your partner?

Chiara

He makes everything more fun, and when he’s all in he’s all in!

Tarick

Her sense of adventure. Her kindness and generosity. Her ability to stay calm and be flexible when plans don’t work out perfectly. Her excitement about food. Her passion for travel and new experiences.

How many books will you read?

Chiara

24

Tarick

24

What will we miss most while travelling?

Chiara

Our friends.

Tarick

Reliable water pressure. Friends.

Upload a current photo of yourself.

Chiara

IMG_20181230_144139.jpg

Tarick

IMG_20181230_144045 (1)

 

That’s all folks. Check back for more updates!

 

IMG_20181231_173639
Farewell from SFO!

 

11 comments

    1. Haha, yes! And Slovenia. I think we watched some really good Anthony Bourdain episodes on those two before we left and it set expectations high!

    1. I have a theme going where I am reading one book connected to each country we go, ideally by an author from that country. So far I’ve read a book for Taiwan (Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan) and for Cambodia (First They Killed by Father by Loung Ung). I’m really enjoying it so far — it’s easier for me to absorb history and cultural context through a book than a Wikipedia article. I’m also reading books on the side, unrelated to where we are. I forgot how much I like to read! I think we’ll post book reviews every month or so. Tarick is doing his own thing, but he’s happily devouring books at the same rate as me. 🙂

  1. What I tried to learn ( in our 1980 world trip and other travels)) from folks in other countries (or did upon reflection), what people share in common as to their motivations, goals, family, values. I also learned I think that people in some cultures I do not relate to because of (perhaps a bias) differences in values and basic beliefs or societal norms. I could give examples but that might be better done in a small setting of conversation.

    1. I think it’s really interesting to observe the themes of what we all have in common, too. I also like to consider how different communities value the individual self or the collective group (it seems as though one is usually valued at the expense of the other). We’ll have lots to talk about when we next visit Denver.

  2. So it was pretty interesting to see how much you both like Georgia and mexican food but I want to know how you both arrived at 24 for # of books read or I’m raising the issue of academic dishonesty related to this quiz.

    Glad to know you’ll both miss your friends =) we will all miss you

    1. I can’t speak for Chiara but I was thinking something along the lines of 12 months x 2 books/month. However, I’ve almost read 4 books already and January isn’t even over yet!

    2. Finally! Someone called us out on having the exact same number of books! We actually discussed the questions (over wine) before we filled out the answers “officially” on Google forms, so the number of books as 24 was probably converged on in that discussion.

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