2019 Goals, Business and Travel Plans
After recapping on my 2018 goals, then what actually happened in 2018, it’s time to plan my attack on 2019. I’ve broken it down to travel, biz, charity and health so let’s have a look. Travels as always are going to be pretty busy, both with my 7 summits attempts and as always my givebackgiveaway.com foundation. I’m also slowly hoping to finish my expanded 215 country list with a trip to the Pacific islands and a really cool trip to Mount Fuji with my mum.
Business-wise, it’s more of the same. I’ll continue doing what I do, would love to expand and hire someone but time is against me with such a jam-packed year, read on for more info. The charity stuff should be an AMAZING year, we’re really looking forward to growing, hiring, having some epic trips and doing some super positive stuff for developing communities. Finally, I’ll chat about fitness stuff, daunting but need to face the biggest challenge of my life yet! Here we go:
2019 TRAVEL PLANS
January: We’re already halfway through. The month started with a GBGA (GiveBackGiveAway) with a private company in the north where we built a clinic, water filtration system and 2 classrooms. The rest of the month is another private charity event, this time in Cambodia, starting next week where we will build 5 home for a homeless community and sponsor one of the community’s students to study in Australia. We’ll also have time to re-visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia too, and maybe party a little bit in Siem Reap!
February: 2 weeks of ultra-marathon training in Bangkok, followed by a flight to Kathmandu for our GiveBackGiveAway.com/Nepal (24 February to March 10). We’ll also be doing the Annapurna Base Camp trek during our time in Nepal, I can’t wait to get back to the Himalayas and feel disconnected from the online world for a bit. Before that, we’re developing a kitchen, toilets and early development centre in Pokhara, western Nepal.
March: The Nepal trip takes me up to March 10th, from there I’ll fly right back to Bangkok and continue my ultra-Marathon training. It’s the last month before the race in April so it’ll be no booze, 3 marathons a week, half-marathons on the other days. Ouch.
April: I’M RUNNING THE MARATHON DES SABLES (you can still join me if you want!). April 5-15, if you don’t know it – it’s 7 marathons in 7 days across the Sahara desert in Morocco. More info on the fitness section below.
May: Another GiveBackGiveAway project, this time in BALI. That runs from May 4th to May 16th where we’ll be building a library in northern Bali followed by an epic trip around the island, finishing off with 3 nights in a balling villa to celebrate, CANNOT WAIT! We still have 4 spots available, first come-first served, so let me know if you’d like to join. Straight after that, we have a little 5-day add-on for anyone who wants to come to Lombok, Indonesia and climb Lombok’s highest volcano with us, Mount Rinjani, followed by 3 days chilling in Gili Trawangan.
The rest of June, I’m hoping to climb Puncak Jaya, Australasia’s highest mountain. It’s quite pricey at $8k, but it’s one of the 7 summits, so we have that pencilled in. Again, let me know if you’d like to join, right now it’s just me and one buddy.
June: Time off. Or at least I hope it is! If we make it to the summit of Puncak Jaya, then that means I have most of June to recover, work and relax in Thailand. I will pop over to Australia to see some friends, and also to summit Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain, which is honestly just a bit of a hike but it has a vague claim to be one of the 7 summits, so might as well make a long weekend of it.
Rest of June in Thailand.
Around the 4th July, I’ll do the first trip of the year with my mum. She’ll come to visit me in Bangkok, and then on July 6th we’ll fly to Tokyo, Japan to get ready for one of the biggest challenges of her life – to summit Mount Fuji, at 70, with Parkinson’s! We are bringing a group of 16 with us, you can read the itinerary here if you want to join and be added to the waiting list. That finishes up on July 13th, I have a quick 5-day pit-stop in Bangkok, Thailand before flying to Nairobi, Kenya where I’m running 2 back-to-back charity projects in Tanzania with the Facebook.com/girlslovetravel group. Classrooms built, toilets built, safari, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro. Twice. That takes me alllll the way up to August 17th.
First, half of the month is in Kenya and Tanzania for our GiveBackGiveAway projects. After that I’ll fly to Chamonix, France to climb Mount Blanc with a few friends, bringing me right up to the end of August, where I’ll hop on a flight back to Thailand.
Finally some personal travels. Since I drew up that list of 215 countries, I’ve been keen to get it finished. After visiting Faroe Islands, Greenland, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Iraq proper last year, I’m left with just Niue and the Cook Islands. So in September, I’m planning to visit those, finish my 215/215 and then celebrate in either Bora Bora or Fiji, or both. I’ll fly via Auckland, so maybe I’ll spend a few days in New Zealand too. That trip should be 3 weeks or so of my September, then I’ll spend a couple more weeks ‘home’ in Thailand.
Back to work! The first week of October will be in Thailand, but on the 5th I fly to Amman, Jordan to run another project with our GiveBackGiveAway foundation, as well as visits to Wadi Rum desert, the Dead Sea and of course Petra (tickets available here). Then I have 10 days or so to spare before the next GBGA project in Ethiopia, right now I’m thinking maybe I’ll head home to Ireland OR maybe (more probably) I’ll organise a onestep4ward tour to Damascus, Syria and Beirut, Lebanon – Syria is starting to be safer but it’s still quite pricey, if there’s enough interest I’ll get that sorted.
Either way, the end of the move I’ll fly to Addis Ababa on October 27th for our best ever project…
Early November we will install a water-well for a rural community in Ethiopia (tickets available here), then we’ll take our 16 volunteers around Ethiopia – Lalibela, Gondar, Bahir Dar and for the most adventurous of our group we’ll do an additional trip to the hottest place on the planet, the Danakil Depression. I’ve never been and it’s a place I’m itching to visit. Finally finishing up on November 14th, then back to Thailand to recover from a busy, busy year!
2 weeks in Thailand for my birthday, to work-out, do some business, then around mid-December, I plan to fly back to London and Ireland to see my family and spend Christmas at my original home in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland. I’ll be training all December though because in the first week of January the following month, I have a date with destiny, to start my second attempt at summiting Aconcagua, South America’s highest mountain. After the failure last month, it’s a point of stress for me, time to put that right!
And thanks 2019 laid-out. As always things can change, but that’s a rough plan of my travels in 2019. Countries planned to visit – 18*, but that can change quite quickly!
- Cook Islands
- French Polynesia *(not really a country!)
My money making endeavours come down to a few things:
Blogging: I’ll continue to blog on onestep4ward.com, I find it both amazing and humbling that people still tune in to my ramblings. And I find it astounding that it’s a viable way to make a living. Through affiliate marketing, direct advertising, brand ambassadorships, public speaking etc, I hope to keep this all ticking over and clearing well into 6 figures again in 2019. I would LOVE to finally finish my course to show you guys how to do exactly what I do, but it’s tough when my schedule is so busy. Let’s see.
Step4WardMedia.com: Content creation for other bloggers and companies, social media management, website design and SEO services – I have a lot of people reaching out to me for this stuff, so I’ll continue with that, and my team will keep that ticking over too. No grand plans to expand this but if the right employee pops up, you never know.
Tours: Something I’d love to look into a little more. There’s not much money to be made in all honesty, but running maybe 2,3 tours per year to fascinating places like Iraq, or Syria, Socotra Island or Mogadishu is kinda fun, even if it is a little stressful. I’ll probably continue to do this a few times a year 🙂
Investments and Property: I have 3 properties worth over $1m. If they, as an asset class, increase by 5%, that’s $50k in capital appreciation. Then with 2 of them rented out at $1500 or each per month should be another $30k/$40k of mortgage pays off and income. Investments – both my fund manager and crypto portfolio got hit hard last year, lost about $20k or so. Let’s hope for a recovery there, over the last few years they’ve guaranteed $10k+ per year with safe investments, but with Brexit etc, who knows.
CONCLUSION: Each year my goal is to increase my net worth by $100k without having to have a job, and still maintaining my lifestyle of travel, giving back, and not solely focussing on business. My goal once again is to ensure that. Basically, that means saving a minimum of $2k per week, not easy but possible if don’t lose sight or go offline for ages!
My main focus these days is our GiveBack GiveAway foundation. 2 years ago we ran 2 projects, last year it was 4, this year it’ll be 8. That means we should donate over $100k of infrastructure, goods, supplies and education, pretty amazing.
We have projects in Cambodia, Nepal, Bali, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Jordan this year – so if you want to join us, then please check out http://GiveBackGiveAway.com and join us. Also, you can donate to our cause and enter yourself into a raffle to win a free trip for each project we carry out.
Our projects this year, you can still join and help us for 3 of the trips:
Cambodia (SOLD OUT): 5 new homes for a homeless community in Battambang, Cambodia
Nepal (SOLD OUT): A refurbished Early Development centre, new toilets and kitchen for a community near Pokhara, Nepal
Bali: A new library by Mount Batur, Bali
Tanzania (SOLD OUT): 2 new classrooms and toilets for a Massai community in Arusha, Tanzania
Jordan: A new education centre for a Christian community outside Amman, Jordan
Ethiopia: A water-well for a tribe 2 hours from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
HEALTH & FITNESS:
I plan to stick to my vegetarianism, and slowly move to veganism. I don’t drink milk, nor have i for over a year, but I still eat the occasional choclate bar, and probably have cheese twice a week in a burrito or pizza. I’ll slowly cut that out.
Fitness wise I have a few big goals, both for myself, but also to show people that you don’t need to eat meat to be healthy, so I plan to get my head down, train hard and ignore the pain.
Marathon Des Sables: The hardest race in the world, in Morocco, across the desert. April 5-15. I have 3 of us in our team but we’d love a couple more people to join and help with the morale, so let me know if you’re keen. We just started training last week, so it’s not too late!
Mountains: Mount Blanc, Mount Kosciuszko, Mount Fuji, Puncak Jaya. Fuji and Kosciuszko should be fun experiences in Japan and Australia, Mount Blanc will be a little trickier whereas Puncak Jaya, at $8k, is both expensive and difficult. Hopefully, my MDS training for Morocco will keep my fitness strong for all of it! I’ll also be trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in February so that should be good exercise too.
I hope to have all those experiences finished my June which leaves me with the 2nd half of the year free to think of some other crazy physical challenge. I’ve ripped ligaments in my left shoulder, cracked a rip in Thaliand last week, and aggravated my slipped discs in my back, all within the last few months. Maybe after all this stuff I’ll take a month or 2 off to recover properly, then perhaps start training for an Iron Man in 2020, I’m an awful simmer though – any ideas?!
Here’s to a stellar 2019, for you and for me 🙂