Goals and Objectives for Traveling the World

by Keith on January 24, 2011 · 6 comments

Being a goal-oriented, type-A professional, I always look to define clear Goals and Objectives for any significant undertaking.  I am fine with leaving the tactical elements or “details” to chance and because of that was fine with not having every aspect of our trip planned ahead of time.  In fact, one of the things I miss most about our trip is that at home we are so scheduled.  I know that this Wednesday from 12:00-1:00 pm I will be dialing in for a “Beyond Ecolabels: Green Marketing – Communicating Sustainability Initiatives” conference call, whereas most days while traveling I did not know what I was going to do that very afternoon.

While I enjoyed the freedom of a not having a detailed schedule, I could not spend a year without a clear set of Goals and Objectives to help guide our decisions while traveling.  So before we packed our backpacks, or even thought about destinations, I set out to draft a clear set of Goals and Objectives for this great investment Amy and I were about to make.  Now the time has come to see how we did.  And while we were not courageous enough to share these publically at the beginning of the trip, except for some health goals below,

I feel the need to air our successes and shortcomings now that we are back.   After reviewing below, let us know how you think we did.  The goals are italicized with the results following.

Overall Objective: Take an unforgettable RTW trip that will be a catalyst into lives and careers aligned with our passions for a more sustainable future: Result: An unequivocal success for Keith; still TBD for Amy.

Professional Goals

  • Utilize this free time to explore and clearly articulate our ideal career path and goals when we return. Keith: Result: Complete, as I articulated the “Was Our Trip Career Suicide?” post I was able to come home with a clear vision of what I wanted to do next professionally.
  • Gain fluency and demonstrated skill in utilizing social media as a way to connect with advocates creating a “tribe” of followers. Result: We were able to successfully create a presence on social media gaining a tribe of followers and friends.
  • Create a website that is credible in the travel and green space:
    • 1000 average monthly visitorsResult: 1,047 rolling 3 month average.
    • 300 Facebook fansResult: 170, but you can still help us by becoming a fan here.
    • 200 email/RSS subscribersResult: 154, most of which came after we were listed on almostfearless’s best of 2010 post – never underestimate the power of a fellow blogger to help drive traffic!
    • Google Page Rank of 3: Result: Exceeded, current page rank is 4.
  • Establish professional connections with key sustainability Opinion Leaders in our relevant industriesResult: Achieved, we have been able to make connections at: Masdar City, E+Co, SME-RE, KEA and other relevant companies in the business of sustainability.
  • Secure placement of our story with two credible outside publications: Result: Achieved with placement of our story for GreenBiz.com and multiple articles on other blogs including Briefcase to BackpackAlmost Fearless and eLifeMentor.

Personal Goals

  • Create a shared positive experience that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. Result: Absolutely achieved

  • To ensure we are living our lives with no regrets by “seizing the day” and the tremendous opportunity that lays in front of us. Result: By undertaking this trip, something many people talk about but never do, we have proven our ability to seize the day and pursue our dreams with meticulous planning.
  • Connect with family and friends through visits and sharing this experience through our website. Result: We were able to spend significant time with our families both before we left and when we returned.
  • Challenge ourselves mentally:
    • Read an average of 1 book per week each: Result: Total books read Keith = 48,  Amy = 68
    • Become better creative and persuasive writers. Result: The challenge of regularly writing blog posts increased our writing skills.
    • Improve ability to use technology; iMovie, iPhoto, WordPress, Still and Video cameras. Result: The challenges of developing and maintaining an interactive and visually interesting blog has increased our ability to use these software tools as well as lots of practice with the camera.
    • Learn and use key phrases in local languages. Result: We were able to learn key phases in most countries we visited including: hello, delicious, thank you and importantly for Keith cilantro.
  • Challenge ourselves physically:
    • Travel in challenging conditions with patience, humor and a positive attitude. Result: For those that have heard the story the best example of meeting this goal is traveling on in hard sleeper class on  14hr train ride from Shanghai to Xi’an where Keith had a pretty nasty stomach bug and Amy couldn’t sleep.  More info here.
    • Keith to learn to scuba dive, completing 25 dives:  Result: 27 dives completed across Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam and Australia.
    • Snowboard in New Zealand. Result: Did not complete in New Zealand, but did snowboard in Dubai.
    • Try surfing, hang gliding and bungee jumping: Result: We both surfed at Bryon Bay in Australia, but did not hang glide or bungee jump.
  • Improve physical health. Result: Keith BMI (Body Mass Index) <26 and cholesterol <200: Achieved half: BMI 25.5 cholesterol 240. Amy improved strength and flexibility:  Completed couch to 5k running course.
  • Gain a global perspective by connecting with fellow travelers and locals. Result: Connecting with Gillian and Jason from One-Giant-Step and Akila and Patrick from The RoadForks were a couple of the highlights from our trip.
  • Volunteer in 2 locations as a way to further give back and fully experience the people and culture around the world. Result: We did not complete this goal.

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January 27, 2011 at 2:51 PM

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Gillian @OneGiantStep January 24, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Influence people and teach them that ‘green’ is not a dirty word but a way of looking at the world and a method to be considered against all other methods, not just as a singular consideration. Check…you helped me realize that ‘green’ should be part of the whole argument and that, sometimes, it doesn’t make economic sense.

Show people that setting goals and objectives can help them stay focused and lead a more directed life. Check…your enthusiasm for the way you approach goals and objectives definitely influenced how we are looking forward at our own future. For the first time ever the next year has some framework around how we should proceed.

You guys have set a great example to the traveling world of how we CAN have it all! With forethought and guidance, even gallivanting around the world for a year can be made into a benefit from an employers perspective. Congratulations!

And thanks for the shout out…you rock!!

Reply

Keith January 24, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Thanks Gillian for such a great comment. I hope that 2011 is a phenomenal year for all of us, although a little planning will help the cause.

Akila January 24, 2011 at 5:18 PM

You guys are incredible. This is an amazing list of goals. Writing it all out shows how much you have accomplished. I wish we had done this, too last year because sometimes I think about the year and how little I have accomplished because we weren’t working . . . but, then again, when I look at what you have written out, I realize that we did accomplish a lot both personally and professionally! Meeting y’all was a highlight of our trip, as well, and we definitely want to meet up again when we start traveling toward the north.

At some point in the near future, I am going to be writing a post about traveling while working and I definitely want to feature you and how you turned your travels into a career opportunity. I’m still working out the post but I’m going to send you an email soon with some questions that I hope you’ll be willing to answer!

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Keith January 25, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Akila – I would love to help with any post you are working on. Let me know what I can contribute. Also we hope to see you guys in Philly soon since getting back to we have been conducting extensive research on the best restaurants and markets. Also we have a second bedroom you are welcome to use.

Bluegreen Kirk May 9, 2011 at 12:29 PM

You are very correct when you say never underestimate the power of another person’s blog. Almost Fearless is actually where I discovered your site.

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