If you had six months to travel, what would you do?

km190's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 538

Hey all,

It's been a while since I posted on here. Well, after a summer analyst stint in M&A and the grueling process of full-time interviews, I was able to come out of the whole thing with a full-time offer in M&A at my top choice. Very excited for the opportunity, and now have a very cool/unique situation to run by you guys.

I have the option to graduate in December, however full-time starts over the summer. That leaves me a spring semester's worth of time to do, well, just about anything. I want to put that time to good use and go abroad, and I would Ideally like to bolster my profile for MBA school in the future when that time comes. I've looked into programs to teach English in foreign countries, non-profit programs, and even working at a startup for a few months.

Would like to hear what the WSO community has to say, what do you guys suggest?

Comments (66)

Oct 9, 2014

1.) Ft. Funston, CA. Save $10k over going abroad.
2.) Buy a hang glider and hang gliding lessons.
3.) Have fun.

(Or, in my case, since my only hang gliding friends are in Ellenville, NY, deal with the winter there.)

Oct 9, 2014

Pick a season and plan your travels accordingly. If you like to ski/board you can plan your travel so that you're doing so all across Europe. If you just want to rage start in Australia (December = summer) and work your way back.

Oct 9, 2014

Start studying Brazilian Portuguese or Spanish NOW, about 2-3 hours per day. Either go to Brazil, Madrid or Barcelona. Be sure to book Croatia Yacht week and definitely do New Years in whichever of those cities you aren't going to be living in for 6 months. So if you choose Barcelona, go to Rio for new years. BTW don't worry about overstaying your tourist Visa. No one cares. Also I'd do the "powder trail" up in Canada. The one benefit of going to school when I had money was enjoying traveling like that.

If you're a foodie, let me know... I know some places around the globe that would blow your mind.

Oct 9, 2014

You're young. Go somewhere there's little chance you'll go when you have more strings (job, girlfriend, family). Buy a one way flight somewhere, show up in the first hostel and proceed to freestyle the next six months like a baws.

Oct 15, 2014
StJamesPark:

You're young. Go somewhere there's little chance you'll go when you have more strings (job, girlfriend, family). Buy a one way flight somewhere, show up in the first hostel and proceed to freestyle the next six months like a baws.

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Oct 9, 2014

I did Southeast Asia. Fly over to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur (which are the travel hubs for the region) and then do Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Philippines, etc. It is amazing out there and you'll get the most bang for your buck as it is still dirt cheap. Not to mention the nice weather, ridiculous beaches.

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Oct 9, 2014

I'm a surfer so I'd tailor it to that. all of this is if money wasn't an issue, and is definitely a pie in the sky scenario. but hey, it never hurts to dream, right?

I'd do a week in central & southern california (never been to Cali), then spend a week in mexico (mainly cabo, but also oaxaca), hit costa rica, Nica, panama, then make my way into south america, all of that will probably take 1 month.

spend 4 weeks in south america, hit patagonia, chicama (longest wave in the world, in Peru), maccu pichu, santiago chile and some of the andes mountains and inca ruins. if possible, see the galapagos and easter island.

go back to the east coast for a week to recharge my batteries, visit family, so now we're at 9 weeks and it's March.

go to Europe for 6 weeks. spend 1 week surfing around Spain & Portugal & seeing some buddies I have in Madrid, spend a week in France surfing there and taking in the scene, then spend a few days in Switzerland, Zurich area where my dad's side of the family is from. finish up that week plus one more week in Italy, because it's friggin Italy, why not? spend 2 weeks goofing off not surfing and hitting all of the countries with no waves: czech rep, serbia, turkey, poland, austria, germany, denmark, holland, scotland (play some golf), etc.

no we're at 15 weeks, 9 to go. it's Mid April

fly into Johannesburg, spend 2 weeks in Africa. hit Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya, and Madagascar. I would like to go to Senegal and other places in West Africa but they're not my top priority. in all likelihood, I would skip this leg if this was a real thing because of Ebola and probably go to parts of Asia like China, Mongolia, Japan, and India.

fly into Singapore, spend a week recharging with my buddy who lives in Singapore and seeing the mainland (Thailand Cambodia Vietnam & Malaysia). after that, it's 3 weeks in the south pacific. have to hit Bali, Mentawais, Java, then French Polynesia, mainly Micronesia Tahiti and Fiji.

3 weeks to go and it's almost June, gotta make em count. I could either try to tackle parts of Asia here or go to Oz, I'd in all likelihood go to Oz & New Zealand, spend 1 week in West Oz then spend the last week out of country in East Oz & maybe go into NZ for a couple of days. After that, spend 1 week in the Caribbean to relax and do nothing/recharge, probably just sleep the whole time, and by then I'm ready to start work and earn back some of the money I spent.

the key for you I think OP is to tailor your trip to things you love to do. if you don't love to surf or fish, Mozambique will likely be boring. if you like to hike, cabo won't do it for you (and neither will East Oz). if you like the metropolitan scene and big cities, stay out of Nicaragua. I could do this trip by myself, hire a guide everywhere I went, and have a great time, but that's me, it may not be you. my interests lie in taking in the local culture, surfing, and eating. I don't care much for a posh vacation, which is why I don't care to go to bora bora, seychelles, monaco, stuff like that if I had the opportunity to do what you're talking about.

All in all, I'd guess this trip would cost $100k, but hey you said what would I do, there it is.

if we're talking practical here, I'd try to teach English abroad or work for some non profit in Latin America, my Spanish is pretty good and I could go to a lot of cool places with that.

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Oct 9, 2014

Brofessor is totally right, in that if you have a huge hobby (surfing for him) it'd be sick to theme your trip, so to say. Scuba diving, mountaineering, distance running (run a marathon on all six continents), etc. Dope.

Oct 9, 2014

oh man, six months out on the islands in Thailand, or Bali, Cambodia, Malaysia, other parts of SE Asia would be ridic. I don't think there's any coming back from that though... you'll be an expat for life.

Oct 9, 2014

Asia bro - super cheap and the best time of your life

speed boost blaze

Oct 9, 2014

I'd float up and down riverboats in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Oct 10, 2014

i absolutely love winter, so i'd probably make my way around the british columbia area, and hit up places i've always wanted to ski, like whistler. Would probably do that for 2-3 weeks, and explore the mountains as much as possible. then i'd go heli skiing in alaska, weather permitting, for a week or two. Then i'd probably make my way around american resorts for a month, spending a lot of time at big sky, breckenridge, and blue bird.

after that, i'd strap on a back pack, buy a one way ticket to rome and backpack around europe. this is my plan after graduation, just gonna spend a month and a half making my way around europe. Seeing as travel inside europe is so cheap, it would be pretty affordable and cool as shit.

assuming the above takes up ~4 months, i'd spend the next 2 months with my family and getting acquainted in the city i'd be working.

but thats just me.

Oct 10, 2014

I might just so happen to have 4 to 6 months to kill this winter so I will tell you what my plans are.

My life's obsessions is snowboarding so I am taking a trip that if I don't take now, I most likely will never be able to take.

Around January 2nd I am heading out west to Jackson to meet up with some friends. Will be touring around the area chasing whatever quality snow comes through for about two weeks.

January 16th I leave for Japan. Flying into Tokyo meeting a friend and off to Hokkaido for a month. No set plans, other than a few Cat trips. Rest of the time we will be with a crew of people touring around the backcountry.

February 15 - early March is kind of a toss up. I might head home for a few days to hang out with the GF. But after that I plan on chasing storms and heading wherever the snow is good. The powder highway is on my list of places to go so if it works out that's where I will be.

March - Early April: Alaska. If you like big mountain skiing/snowboarding there's no where else to go. I have been trying to go to Alaska for the last 3 years and have never made it. It's happening this year and I am going for a full month. If nothing else on my trip happens, it's all good because Alaska is the only thing on this list I truly care about.

After that it will really come down to how much cash I've burned through. The friend I am going to Japan and Alaska with is headed to Kazakhstan and he has invited me to go but I will probably have to pass. Might go visit some friends in Colorado until the snow melts or just head back to NY. I also REALLY want to go to Mt. Baker but we shall see.

Oct 16, 2014

Enjoy! Spent a fair amount of time up on Hokkaido, best snow in the world.

If all you have planned so far is CAT trips make sure to check out the festival in Sapporo, go to an Onsen (but check beforehand, some can be a bit funny about gaijin groups). Loads of small resorts scattered around, Niseko is good, amazing when they open up the top - but the resort has a concentration of drunk foreigners so don't stay too long.

Amazing place, amazing people and the food, oh my god the food.

EDIT: To the OP, I totally support the above comments that you should do something which interests you and that you might never get the opportunity to do again. Whether that is a Muay Thai camp in Thailand, a diving course on the Gili islands, a ski trip to Chamonix, surfing in Brazil or teaching English in Moscow. Enjoy the freedom.

Oct 16, 2014

What are CAT trips?

Oct 15, 2014

here's what you do if you're up for asia / australia

one way flight to shanghai
one month touring China, tibet, nepal, ideally in the fall (October)
Nov - Feb: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos,
One week Hong Kong, maybe one week Singapore
One month roadtrip on the Australian coast (eastern side obv) with maybe a flight to Perth and a week over on that side
two weeks new zealand

shorten the nov-feb part if you're interested to add in s.korea and/or japan

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Oct 15, 2014

Buy a motorcycle and tour around europe crashing in hostels and meet locals. You see more on a motorcycle.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Oct 16, 2014
heister:

Buy a motorcycle and tour around europe crashing in hostels and meet locals. You see more on a motorcycle.

I'm second or thirding this. A motorcycle and a backpack+tent and you're good to go! Although from everything I've seen, most American riders would probably be very hesitant to ride in a lot of places of Europe.

Best Response
Oct 15, 2014

Guess I got monkey shit from a midget or a guy with no legs.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

    • 2
Oct 15, 2014

Hahahaha here's a SB to "cancel" the shit

Oct 9, 2014
heister:

Guess I got monkey shit from a midget or a guy with no legs.

hahaha.

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Oct 16, 2014

Whoever said, do stuff you may not do later in life (work family pressures etc) is totally spot on. If you have a hobby pursue it. If you want to try a new hobby (or 5) pursue it. If you are a planner, try to learn to fly by the seat of you pants. Is there a random place that you've always wanted to visit or thought about? It could be really weird but now is the time to try that.

I used to be much more into planning trips. A few years ago I went to Taiwan (one of the most underrated places on Earth - well worth a look) with just a little bookbag for 5 days (it's amazing what you can fit in and cut out of packing if you think about it). No hotel/hostel reservations, no idea where I was going. A one way ticket into Taipei and a one way ticket out of Kaohsiung (the southernmost city) and no plans. It was life-changing and awesome and now I don't plan as much anymore...

EDITED TO ADD: Since I am Asia-based there may be some biases.. But I would take said bookbag and try to travel around Taiwan for 2 weeks to a month. I would try to do the same in Japan but for a month. I would want to explore Southeast Asia more. If I was US based, I'd probably look to do more of Central and South America and Caribbean, especially more random places since you may not have the option to go to those places again, or for a while. If I was Europe based, more stuff in Europe or in Africa.

Congrats and have a ball!

Good Luck

Oct 9, 2014

Indeed, especially with the backpacker style of travelling, planning ahead takes some of the thrill / adventure out of it. It's great to have the flexibility to spontaneously decide to stay in a city you really like, or travel to somewhere completely off your radar with some other travelers you really clicked with at the hostel.

Oct 16, 2014

Get a motorcycle and do a round the world trip on it. There are a number of people that have done it and lots of prep videos on YouTube. I was looking at it myself if I can get a 1 year sabbatical.

Oct 16, 2014

Go to an emerging economy with hot women great weather and help a buddy launch a company

Oct 16, 2014

I hear Western Africa is on sale right now.

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Oct 16, 2014

Hang out naked in a little shack with your mom OP.

Oct 16, 2014

hey man, I would be interested to hear what you do eventually. I might have a chance to do the same thing.

With that said, I think traveling is cool. Definitely go backpacking for a month or two in Asia. The living cost is not too high and you will have plenty of unique cultural experiences. Just be safe though.

Oct 16, 2014

I appreciate the suggestions guys. Will definitely keep posted on what I do.

Oct 16, 2014

Will travel all the top cities in the world voted by Conde Nast Traveler.

Oct 16, 2014

Through-hike the Appalachian trail. Hands down my biggest want in near term.

Oct 16, 2014

SE Asia. Catch some (curable) diseases, bang as many women as you can, and party until you're too tired to do it anymore for a looong time. Your life is going to suck for the next year or two so make some memories to look back upon as you won't have another opportunity to leave for longer than two weeks (at best) for a very long time.

Oct 16, 2014

I just got back from Indonesia, I lived in Malang for two months, and it was life changing. If there is anyone needing to travel on a budget, I'd really recommend Indonesia and SouthEast Asia. You can pretty much get a great meal for around a dollar. Also, housing is really posh and affordable. I was able to live like a Queen for two months on around $5000. I went through a scholarship program, and that was the stipend, and I still had a bit leftover at the end. It's beautiful, so many clear, deserted beaches strewn across the archipelago.

Aside from that, my dream is to see the Northern Lights. I would love to stay in an igloo hotel in Northern Norway and see them...will do that as soon as I have money!

Oct 16, 2014

I'm in the same boat. Check out workaway(dot)info.

Oct 17, 2014

Ooh man I was in this exact same position a year ago. I graduated in December and headed for Southeast Asia, and it was literally the time of my life. While my wife did a month-long yoga program in Northern Thailand, I had a friend visit and we went on dirtbiking and bulletbiking trips to villages and waterfalls in faraway mountains. We did Muay Thai training and worked out with all the locals everyday. We went cliff jumping in an old abandoned mine that filled with water. We explored markets, got massages, ate Thai food, and went hostel hopping. We absolutely lived it up. After that month, my wife and I went to the beaches of Thailand's south, did service in China, and experienced Angkor Wat. It was a 4-5 month trip, and was worth every last penny.

Now as I sit daily for 13+ hours crankin on models or earnings notes (in ER at a BB), I literally think of that beautiful time and how, how one day I can make it happen again...

Oct 17, 2014

Yatch Week, Party in the Summer in Sweden (Visby and Bastad) and backpack around Europe.

OR

Southeast Asia for a long period of time because it is so cheap

Oct 18, 2014

I spent 6 months of my undergrad working in Malaysia and visiting the surrounding area, can't recommend it enough - I recommend taking a journal, whatever you do/wherever you go, you wont regret it!

Oct 18, 2014

Do the Southern Cone

Oct 9, 2014

So many douchey recommendations here...

Sep 29, 2017

If someone give me Expenditure for Free 6 months travel .. Amazing.. I love to Travel Whole World.

Oct 15, 2014

Some of these kind of depend on the month you're going. What's your plan for the book?

NW europe: Edinburgh (a must in my opinion, easy 4hr train north from London), Dublin is fun

Germany definitely add in Berlin, then good jumping off point for eastern europe: Prague, Budapest, Krakow, Istanbul

Southern europe: coast of portugal i hear is beautiful, southern coast of spain for sure (malaga) and barcelona (spain is cheap these days), southern coast of France (Nice) then hop over to italy: Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice Rome

Also add in if possible: Greece,

Something unique (for americans at least): tenerife, canary islands, rent a car and hit up all the beaches/valleys/historical cities,volcano. stay in Orotava for the more traditional Spanish feel

Places maybe to avoid (not my own opinion necessarily, just what i've heard): Switzerland "way too expensive", Belgium "boring",

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Oct 15, 2014

Buy a motorcycle and ride around for 6 months. You will experience way more that way than taking a train from place to place. Also do not plan a time line. Just land in London and buy a used adventure bike, have it tuned up while you mess around in London, buy some gear a helmet is a must in Europe because the drivers there are insane. Then just drive around for 6 months. Camp out, stay at random peoples houses, hotels, hostels, houses of lady workers. This is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture and locals.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Sep 29, 2017

South of Spain is nice, Sevilla, Cordoba, Malaga. Might make sense to start there as its still going to be relatively warm there in the winter compared to the rest of Europe.

Rome is a must if you haven't already, Venice is nice for a day or two but its going to be really expensive, its definitely targeted at an older and wealthier crowd. I'd spend a lot of time in Eastern Europe if I had the chance. Budapest is gorgeous and I heard Prague is as well. Really wish I had the chance to see Istanbul.

You could even look into the Middle East, especially Israel. Its not that expensive to get to from Europe and theres no shortage of history there.

Sep 29, 2017

go to Central and Eastern Europe. Beautiful ladies, cheap cost of staying in hotels/food. Prague, Cracow, Bratislava, Budapest are great cities to visit and much different than anything you'll see in Western Europe.

Sep 29, 2017

Not as commonly mentioned but Northern Spain is also supposed to be great. I've been to San Sebastian (highly recommend it), but also Galicia and Basque country for a bit less touristy/scenic. I'd also echo the above comments about Southern Spain

Disclosure: I lived in Madrid for a year and am a big fan of the country

Sep 29, 2017

A few places that I have found to be really cool:
-As ai215 indicated above, San Sebastian is really neat. Very scenic, decent in city beaches and a compact old area of the city. Walking from bar to bar, stopping for a drink and some pintxos (the Basque answer to tapas) at each one is a fun night out.
-Its touristy, but Barcelona is so cool. The architecture, people and just the general feel of the city are a lot of fun.
-Also 2nd (or 3rd) the recommendation for Istanbul. If you have time, you should also go to Cappadocia. It is about an hour flight from Istanbul (and technically takes you into Asia). It is an unreal landscape and very photogenic. Would recommend staying in a cave hotel in Goreme.

Sep 29, 2017

Lagos, Portugal is a great little town on the coast, an awesome spot to lay on the beach all day and party all night. If you plan it right, all the Australians will be in town pre/post Tomatina festival and/or the running of the bulls. It would make for a fun couple of days and the cliffs along the ocean should provide plenty of pics. I highly recommend making this a part of the trip.

I also enjoyed Barcelona which has some amazing architecture, good night life and culture.

I wasn't a big fan of the Italian cities that I've been to (Venice, Pisa, Florence, Rome), they have some great history but are definitely tourist traps, skip those this time, you'll have plenty of time to check them out later in life with a wife/girlfriend.

Sep 29, 2017

if you're looking for some lady action head over to Thessaloniki in Greece. My understanding is that it's a highly underrated center for punani. Lots of hot european travelers and girls there love to park. Also, Greek girls are muy bueno.... mmmm mmmm Mediterranean booty.

"Yes. Money has been a little bit tight lately, but at the end of my life, when I'm sitting on my yacht, am I gonna be thinking about how much money I have? No. I'm gonna be thinking about how many friends I have and my children and my comedy albums."

Sep 29, 2017

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I've been to Italy, England, France, Germany, Switzerland etc a few times and have no interest in doing the typical Eurotour again. Eastern Europe I will definitely check out, as well as Spain (have never been actually)

Is Israel safe right now? How is Amsterdam (never been) and rest of UK aside from London? Keep suggestions coming!

Sep 29, 2017
HEBanker:

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I've been to Italy, England, France, Germany, Switzerland etc a few times and have no interest in doing the typical Eurotour again. Eastern Europe I will definitely check out, as well as Spain (have never been actually)

Is Israel safe right now? How is Amsterdam (never been) and rest of UK aside from London? Keep suggestions coming!

Amsterdam is a lot of fun, especially for a young person. Get a houseboat if you can, and take your time there. It's a good city to get to know, and to explore.

I saw some mentions of Belgium earlier. Belgium is OK; make it a two day trip, tops.

The rest of the UK isn't as nice as London; Liverpool is dead in the evenings, even on St. Patty's day. I'd love to go to Dublin. Scotland is good for the experience/scenery (you get to sing Loch Lomond at Loch Lomond!), but it gets old after a while.

Some suggestions...
Copenhagen is also a unique city. I personally am not a fan, but if I were in your situation, I would hit the place up. It's very grungy, especially compared to Stockholm and Oslo, but it's also beautiful, and a unique experience in the winter. It's got a darker atmosphere than other Scandinavian cities, which makes it special. If you're a Kierkegaard buff, or like Hans Christian Andersen, it's a good place to trace their histories. Malmo is also a train ride away if Denmark gets too gloomy.

Oslo is for the wealthier/older crowd, but a great place. It's more sophisticated than Copenhagen, and has a very cool/refined feel to it. I would have loved to visit some of the bars/lounges there. Lots of literary and historical places of interest there as well, with Ibsen et al. Oslo's very diverse as well; certain areas are 90%+ immigrant. Stockholm is much more fun than Oslo, but not as dirty as Copenhagen, and also worth visiting. It's a young person's city, and has a lighter atmosphere; it's one of my favorite places to take walks in for the sake of it. In every Scandinavian country, though, be sure to check out the countryside; it's a postcard come to life.

Finland ... just don't. There's nothing to see there.

Sep 29, 2017

Amsterdam is a must if I was to suggest a destination. I have not been there, but it is on my list of places to visit. Also, you might want to visit Bulgaria (that's where I'm from), but I recommend doing it in the spring as I personally find it the most beautiful of seasons. There are enough cool things to see despite the size of the country.

Sep 29, 2017

That's the other issue - I am going Feb through July so most of my time abroad will be in the cold

Sep 29, 2017

Great feedback, thanks. Will add Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Sep 29, 2017

Do something meaningful

Sep 29, 2017

A lot of law firms are delaying their associates' start dates, so most of those kids are in the same situation.

In your case, since you're going to have the spring semester off, I'd do a few months of skiing, then switch gears and find a beach somewhere. I'm thinking one of the Greek islands, but I'm not fully committed to the idea. You could probably sublet someone's house in southern Spain for a few months without much cost.

Sep 29, 2017

If you have a job lined up and 6 months free, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?

No one else can answer this question. Go be a ski-bum, or hang out someplace warm, or something meaningful.

We don't care, do what you would enjoy for 6 months.

Sep 29, 2017

John Kretschmer has 1 spot left on his 800-mile Caribbean training passage from 2/20/10-3/02/10. Get offshore and have the shit scared out of you and learn what you're made of:

http://www.yayablues.com/

Sep 29, 2017

really appreciate the input.

@powermonkey i do have some things in mind, I just figured this opportunity was great enough to get some input. bankers tend to have big dreams, so i though this would be a good place to put the question out there.

@edmundo sailing isn't really my thing, but that's exactly what I'm looking for...something crazy that I probably wont have the time or balls to do down the line. thanks.

Sep 29, 2017

Visit Japan or something, pick a country that you've never experienced before and make sure you stay in smaller casual guest house or someplace where the local citizens stay, so you get an immersive experience and are not distracted by fellow foreigners.

Also, just to offer a contrast, I would cruise on the new $1.4 billion, 225,282 GRT, 1,187 ft long 16 deck Oasis of the Seas - a bit more comfy than a regular sailboat. I like technology and engineering feats whether they are buildings or vehicles so I would definitely ride it. This boat has a massive open-air central park, amphitheater, Candy store, tattoo parlor, multiple night clubs, etc it is crazy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oasis_of_the_Seas

Cruises start this December.

Sep 29, 2017

I think CS did this to their 2009 analysts in equities I heard (not all). one of my friends is in this pool and he is just drinking and sleeping all day and loves doing that.

Sep 29, 2017
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Sep 29, 2017