When did you decide to take a trip around the world?

It’s hard to say exactly when the idea took root, but we have already traveled fairly extensively with one another—especially if you include the year we spent in Hartlepool, England, doing youth work together from 2005 to 2006. For those who have traveled, you know traveling is addictive. The moment you return from one trip you begin dreaming about the next. David remembers dreaming about a year of travel as early as his teens, but we both committed to doing this in fall 2010.

So many people heard us talk about the dream and encouraged us to take the trip the first chance we got—“Don’t look back and regret not doing it,” they said. So we’re heeding their advice and putting a check mark next to so many items on our bucket lists.

Is this a mission trip?

No, Global Encounter is not a mission trip. However, Global Encounter is not without a sense of mission. Through volunteering and interacting with all kinds of peoples and cultures, we’re hoping to impact and influence people in positive and potentially life-changing ways. The beauty of traveling for a year is that we won’t be too busy to help out where help is needed. We fully intend to help spontaneously and intentionally—from conversations with others to random acts of kindness to spending weeks with an orphanage. We believe we can live out who we are and foster goodwill among the people and places we visit.

How are you paying for this and how much does it cost?

The short answer is savings—we’ve each saved diligently and methodically for a long time. People have differing opinions on how much to budget for a year around the world, and there are lots of travel resources out there to help you plan. On the extremely frugal end of the spectrum, they say it can be done for $10,000. On the other end of the spectrum, of course, the sky is the limit. We’re planning to camp or stay with friends wherever possible, and when it’s not possible, we’ll stay in the safest, most inexpensive places we can find. All told, we’re hoping to keep this one-year excursion to less than $20,000 per person.

How did you decide where all you wanted to go?

The beauty of traveling with only one other is person is that you only have to convince one person. That said, we sat down in the fall 2010 and each made two separate lists of places we’d like to visit with our negotiables and non-negotiables. The truth is, there was a lot of overlap between our two lists, and our initial plan was to visit 43 countries in 50 weeks. If you’ve ever even tried to visit five countries in one trip, you’ve got an inkling of just how overly ambitious we were, and it didn’t take us long to see it.

After a brutal session of striking lots of the negotiables (and even a couple of the non-negotiables), we narrowed it down to just under 25, which you can see here.

Are you really leaving your jobs? Why?

Yes, we really are. Achieving a dream usually involves risk, and this jaunt around the world is no exception.

What all are you taking with you?

Bear in mind that anything we pack, we have to carry on our backs! So, just the essentials: warm/cold weather clothes, boots/shoes, tent, cookware, some technology, and a lot of creativity to make up for the things we forgot or couldn’t fit.

What can I expect from Global Encounter?

Our goal is to keep fun, interesting, and engaging content coming your way as often as possible. Of course, when you’re living on the road, you don’t get to pick when and where your next access to WiFi will be.  But as a standard, we’ll be posting a new video every two weeks.

What makes Global Encounter different is that we want you to be involved in this incredible trip around the world. While you only hear from us every so often, we truly hope to hear from you all the time. We want to hear your questions, your comments, your suggestions, and advice because we believe it will make our journey better.

It’s a lot easier to post a tweet or update to our Facebook page, so look for regular updates in both of those places: www.facebook.com/gencounter and on Twitter @GEncounter.

Where will you be going?

Check out our itinerary here.