As "they" say, it's not WHAT you know, but WHO you know. And while I've found that knowing smart people doesn't entirely take the place of being smart yourself, there's a certain amount of truth to that saying.
One of the things that Anne and I have been talking recently about is how to leverage our networks to connect with people in the places that we're going. Anne started that here on the blog in this entry, and we've both been making lists of people that may be able to help us connect on our trip.
Since we're still 10 months away from our departure, it's a bit of a balancing act between reaching out to people now, and waiting until we're a little closer to the start of the trip. We're currently using this blog to keep our friends and family updated on our activities, as well as acting as a central link that we can share with new folks that we want to network with.
We're also starting to reach out to the larger travel network (I've learned the new terms "career break" in context of people who take off from the standard 9-5 job to travel, and "digital nomad" to refer to those lucky/smart ones who have figured out how to support themselves and their families by working remotely while travelling semi-permanently).
There are a ton of folks on Twitter (here we are), and I've followed quite a few other like-minded accounts. Plus, there are all sorts of travel "themes" you can follow via #hashtag - e.g. #travel, #TTOT (Travel Talk on Twitter), and, of course, any country you want (#singapore, #chile, you get the idea...). We've created our own list of Twitter travelers - you can follow our list and make it easy!
We've gotten a lot of good ideas from BootsnAll, and through them, connected with the Meet, Plan, Go! team. Anne and I will be attending the local Seattle meetup on October 18, and are looking forward to meeting other people in the area that have either done this sort of travel before, or who are like us in the planning stage.
Finally, there's always the big social networks - Facebook (Anne and Noah), LinkedIn (Anne and Noah), and Google+ (Noah). We're thinking about starting a page on FB for the trip (to augment this blog), and will be sending more updates and requests for networking connections as we move forward.
That said, anyone you know of that has experience or connections in the places that we're heading to (Cuzco, Peru; Santiago, Chile; Rapanui/Easter Island; Tahiti; West Coast Australia; South Island New Zealand; Singapore; SE Asia (Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam); China (HK, Shanghai, Beijing); Russia (Trans-Mongolian Railway, Moscow, St. Petersburg) - we would be very interested in connecting and talking with them now! To close with another oft-used phrase, "It takes a village..." - thanks in advance to our village!
(image from http://www.fuelyourwriting.com/files/LuckyOliver-1696379-blog-networking.jpg)