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.
- 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 visitors: Result: 1,047 rolling 3 month average.
- 300 Facebook fans: Result: 170, but you can still help us by becoming a fan here.
- 200 email/RSS subscribers: Result: 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 industries. Result: 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 Backpack, Almost Fearless and eLifeMentor.
- 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.