I don’t remember when I had the idea for this trip. It kind of evolved slowly. I knew for a long time I wanted do something crazy.
I had already taken three months off and spent a summer in San Francisco, one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.
Also, after 12 years of living in Belgium, I was ready for a change of scenery.
Brussels can be a lovely city with its bars and beers… and it can be depressingly grey and rainy.
So a break was in order.
I thought I might take time off to drive from coast to coast in the US in three months… or study photography… or astronomy… whatever… You get the picture.
I started saving some money in 2010, so that within a few years I could actually do whatever I decided on.
Then, inspiration struck.
I read about this German journalist, who had won half a million Euro in Who wants to be a millionaire…? and went on a trip around the world.
I was hooked. Seriously. If it wasn’t updated daily I went cold turkey.
Her style: living in a different city every month and getting to know the place.
That’s the way I like to travel, too.
I’ve done a lot of short city trips, but often regretted that I only scratched on the surface, when I had to leave.
So on this trip I wanted to take much more time.
Around the same time, this clip went viral.
I am still watching it years later. It just sums it up. The idea stuck in my head.
That was what I wanted to do.
I contacted other travellers, read other blogs, calculated how much I’d need, and by early 2012 I knew:
I’ll do it.
PS: Meike Winnemuth went on to write about her year on the road.
And it turned out to be a national best seller, selling more than 250.000 copies.
The funny thing is: she realized, she had never actually needed the money she won, she made enough with her job as a journalist while travelling.
Winning the lottery was just the kick in the butt to get things rolling.
Life. Isn’t it amazing.