Preparing to go starts the moment you set a date.
Once I committed to my decision I began reading and researching what it means to travel for extended periods of time and ultimately make it my new lifestyle. I now know from talking to people that it's a common dream for so many but so few venture out of their comfort zone into the world of the unknown. And who can blame them?! It's a scary thing to quit your job and let the randomness of life take you where it will...but I've never been one to let fear stop me from doing anything.
Three books that stand out from all the others I read are Travels with Charley, Only Pack What you can Carry and Wanderlust. Each one of these tugged at my travel bug heartstrings.
John Steinbecks, Travels with Charley, is my favorite book out of the three shown. In 1962, he set out in a truck and slide-on camper to travel the US. He wrote that he was moved by a desire to see his country on a personal level, since he made his living writing about it. His writing is so engaging and it's the book that really solidified my decision to pursue a life on the road...and get a dog!
Only Pack What you can Carry, by Janice Holly Booth, is a new book published by National Geographic about her deepening sense of personal understanding and appreciation of the travel experience through adventures she took by herself, for herself. She stresses that everyone should learn to overcome unhealthy fear and do things that make us feel uncomfortable, so that we can learn and grow. I found it very inspirational as a solo female traveler.
Wanderlust, by Elizabeth Eaves, was a great read for me because she is a woman traveling alone. It spans 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college. Elizabeth's insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people is inspiring.