Where are you going?

All over! View my route for an idea of the countries I will visit and when I will be there.

How did you choose your route?

Lower cost of living was my first consideration. India and China became must visit countries because I advised many international students from both places. Minnesota has one of the largest immigrant communities from South East Asia in the United States, kindling my interest in visiting Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. I added South America to the list so I could see family and friends in Chile plus spend time in parts of that continent I have yet to visit.

Are you going alone?

You betcha. A few friends will visit during the year and I look forward to making new friends too.

How did you save for a year of travel?

I lived frugally (read – no car, no cable, no eating out, no new clothes and a 350 sq. ft. studio apartment). After two years, the savings from choosing a minimalist lifestyle and prioritizing The Year of Sarah Joy added up.

What does your family think about your travel plans?

When I asked my Dad this question, he said “leaves don’t fall far from the tree,” and reminded me of the six years my mom spent working, living, and traveling internationally. Don’t worry mom, I won’t say which years! My mom says it will be the best year of my life and time will pass too quickly. My sister created this hashtag for me: #coolestsisterever to share her excitement. In addition to being excited and supportive, I know my family is also looking forward to my safe return in summer 2017.