Today's frequently asked question: "How fast will the two of you travel? Will you stay in a few places or travel all over?" I'll get to the answer later, but you need some background to understand the answer.
One of the most important questions to decide when you are traveling is what kind of traveler you are. Many people haven't actually thought about what kind of travelers they are, and these are the people who end up angry at their traveling partners. It is okay to be any kind of traveler, and best to keep it in mind while planning. I summarize travelers into the following four (symbolic) classes, though some may be between categories on the spectrum: 1.) Beach-goers; 2.) Museum-goers; 3.) Explorers; and 4.) Marathoners. Unless you are incredibly selfless, I suggest not traveling with someone who is more than about half a category in either direction.
Beach-goer: One who prefers to do nothing on vacation. Said nothing may include reading a book, sitting in the sun by the pool, sitting in a cabin, or otherwise relaxing. A nice exotic drink can often be found with the beach-goer, who may not even be on the beach. He or she may occasionally take an outing, but it is more because most people don't like to tell their friends they took a six hour flight to do absolutely nothing than because they actually want to do something. Beach-goers may not make great round-the-world travelers, since it would be cheaper for them just to move to a Caribbean island.
Museum-goer: One who vacations primarily to experience the culture of another place and is content to absorb the surroundings. Museum-goers generally don't go somewhere to sit around doing nothing, but they often prefer to stay in a limited number of places and fully experience them. Museum-goers can travel round-the-world very cheaply if they are willing to stay for extended periods in a limited number of cities with small trips from those bases. This dramatically reduces all costs (talked about in the next post).
Explorer: One who wants to see a lot, but burns out occasionally. They aren't likely to stay in one place for very long, but some part of any vacation needs to be at least a few days in one place and involve relaxation. They may see some cultural institutions, but they also spend a lot of time outdoors, hiking or adventuring. They may also see overland travel as a waste of time and prefer to fly. This is probably the group that includes most round-the-world travelers. See a good amount, but stop and recharge from time-to-time.
Marathoner: One who takes traveling more seriously than any job and feels that the goal of travel is to see everything possible. They will give up sleep, food, or their health to squeeze in that last hike or destination. Two days in one place is an eternity and is reserved for only the best of places. Round-the-world trips have the potential to really overload these people. They also spend more on transportation than any other group.
So, where do Tara and I fall? I'm a marathoner, through and through. Most people who have traveled with me will say that they saw more on a trip with me than they ever thought possible. They will also say that they wanted to kill me for a majority of the trip.
Tara is more of an explorer. She indulges me most of the time, but she likes to take some time to relax on occasion. She doesn't really like climbing mountains just to say you did, and she doesn't really care if we go 6 hours out of the way to see a really big tree.
As we travel around the world, we will mostly be marathoners, with the occasional stop for a few days to keep the peace between us. I may also take some day trips on my own when Tara doesn't want to go someplace. We're also hoping some friends meet us along the way, which would be a good break for everyone.