Best of Two Go RTW: November 2010

| November 30, 2010 | 4 Comments

bestoffnovember10 Best of Two Go RTW: November 2010

Looking for something great to read? Check out our ‘Best of the Month’!

We’re happy to introduce our monthly update, which includes our ‘Best of the Month’! In it we feature our fabulous five: our five most-read posts, our five busiest comment contributors and our five top referring sites. What makes them fabulous? Our readers do! We’ll take stock of our fabulous five once a month in order to celebrate and thank those that make this site special, offering a link back to the sites that have helped our light on the web burn a little brighter. Once a month, we also check out the state of our savings, as well!

The Holiday Season

As you might have noticed, we’ve decorated our blog for the festive season! We’re also in the process of putting the decorations up in our house, too. The holiday spirit has washed over us like a cold winter snow. The recent cold weather and a little bit of snow was just the push we needed to start decorating. After the house was in its holiday finest, we turned back to our online world and realized it looked a little ordinary. It too needed a few decorations to make it feel festive.

And lastly, we apologize for the paucity of posts over the last month. As mentioned earlier, Kathryn and I have simply reached the point of saturation! Due to a vicious revolving door of never-ending deadlines and family obligations, Two Go Round-The-World has been spotty. The good news is that things are getting better!

Top Five Articles from Two Go Round-The-World

  1. Great Gift Ideas for the Round-The-World Traveller: The holiday season is right around the corner, and we figured it’s time to start coming up with some useful, thoughtful and hopefully interesting gift ideas for the traveller (or travellers) in your life. While most of these suggestions are quite affordable, we’ve been sure to provide a wide range of ideas for all budgets (from $8 to $800).
  2. Hackpacking: Grapefruit Seed Extract: Travellers gastro, or diarrhoea, is the most common ailment of backpackers travelling abroad, particularly to developing countries. And, as travellers, we’re generally well-versed in the three-rule guide to preventing gastro problems—boil, bottle and peel.
  3. The Whole Picture: Gyeongbokgung Palace Sundial: The sundial located in Gyeongbokgung was invented by Jang Yeong-sil in 1433 (during the 16th year of King Sejong). The circular design has been taken as an indication that Joseon scientists could accurately read the sun’s movement and were very much aware that the earth was round. It was constructed in the shape of a hemisphere in order to express the shape of the sky.
  4. Looking Back: Tokyo, Japan: You move. You move without remembering the ones you’ve left. Without a tether, without an anchor to your bed back home. You move. You have no need for memories. You have the deepest need for maps. In the overstuffed drawers of travel agencies you live a post-modern epic where nothing happens This is how you live—a pause punishable by death. With the urgency of instinct, you move against the currents of the day.
  5. The Whole Picture: San Pedro Market: If you’re headed to Cusco, be sure to take a day or an afternoon to explore the city on foot. Of particular note is the San Pedro Market—a covered open-air market encompassing three city blocks. Located West of the Plaza de Armas near the San Pedro Train Station, Cusco’s central market is a vibrant spot that can keep you entertained for hours.

Top Five Comment Contributors

Top Five Referring Sites

  1. Gap Year Escape: Gap Year Escape is written and edited by Amar. He is a freelance writer with a keen interest in photography, history, writing, philanthropy and most importantly, travel. He wonders how you can know your place in the world if you’ve not seen it?
  2. Married with Luggage: On a mission to redesign their lives to travel full-time. Whether your dream is halfway around the world or in your own backyard, you’ll find information on goal-setting, living well, managing your money, and simplifying your life every week on this blog.
  3. Johnny Vagabond: Join Wes on his 1+ year trip around the world. Currently in Vietnam, he’s traveling cheap, sharing tips, taking pics, and telling lies.
  4. Nomadic Matt: Matt’s a twenty-something vagabond who has been on the road regularly since 2005.
  5. Adventurous Kate: Adventurous Kate is an independent global travel site—here you’ll find travel advice, destination reviews, travel photography and dispatches from the road, all catering to the smart, fiery and independent traveler. Plus Vegas. There’s always room for Vegas. Join Kate in taking the unconventional route!

Round-the-World Savings Update

This past month our savings climbed a further 5% toward our goal. We now sit at 76%! We feel that staying interested and motivated to save is directly related to our success. So we have set ourselves up for success by being realistic when we set our savings goals. We started with small, bite-sized saving targets at first. As we got better and more successful in cutting back, we made our savings targets more ambitious.

If you plan to put away money for an extended period of time until you’ve achieved the requisite amount for traveling, your shooed “pay yourself first” before paying your bills. This money could become automatic contributions to a money market fund or other stock-oriented fund. If you need the money to be more liquid than that—or the current market is too risky to assure your money will be there when you need it, consider an online savings account that’s linked to your current checking account. Many of these online-only accounts are insured and pay annual percentage yields better than a regular saving account; however, their still paltry at current yields of about 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent. To find such an account, go to (if you’re American—we’re yet to find a comparable service for Canadians or countries outside of North America although we’re sure it exists). Find the “Compare rates” section on the home page, select “Checking & Savings,” and then “MMAs/Savings Accounts.” (Just keep choosing MMAs and savings accounts as you click through).

According to US News and World Report, the average savings rate from the 1945–85 was between 6 and 10% of after tax income. From 1985 to 2005, that rate had shrunk to 0! One of the silver linings to the recent recession is that the average savings rate climbed again—and is now around 4%.

We don’t reveal actual income numbers, so it’s easier to share our savings rate. We use after-tax income because we feel it is more applicable. On average we spend 40% of our after-tax income each month, giving us a saving rate of 60%. You may consider this low or high, but in terms of retirement most experts suggest that people put away 10–15% each month. In Canada, the RRSP contribution limit calculation is based on putting aside 18% of earned income.

Saving for such a substantial investment in one’s self usually means making significant changes in the way one thinks about savings and the areas where one spends the most. Interested in our thoughts on saving for a round-the-world trip? Check out our series of articles focusing on personal finances for a round-the-world trip. The series comprises the following articles: Constructing a savings plan for your travel fundSaving For a Round-the-World Trip and Budgeting for the return home. Have any budgeting or savings tips that didn’t make the lists herein? Please contact us!

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Category: Dan's Blog

About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. Check him out on Google+.

Comments (4)

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  1. Amar says:

    I’m glad I’m still sending traffic your way :)

  2. ayngelina says:

    76% it’s all downhill from here, time will fly by!

  3. Poi says:

    I use to save 60% of my earnings, it was painfull with that rent and bills, I’m spending it now which is a lot more fun.

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