On all the occasions where we’ve travelled, we’ve planned our trip meticulously. We read our Lonely Planet from front to back, read reviews, pre-booked all our accommodation and major activities and tracked it all on a very well kept spreadsheet. Being that we only had a certain amount of time to travel, we wanted to make sure we made the most of each and every day we were away, and it worked well for us.
However, five weeks of travelling is a lot more manageable to plan than say – 18 months. This is how long we plan on travelling continuously before coming back to Perth, Australia for a visit before setting off on our next adventure. It’s a long time, and as much as we love to plan, the idea of meticulously researching and planning and booking for that long is just impossible.
So, we have a plan – we know where we want to go, and when – but the reality is, the only thing we have booked is our very first flight! We want to take a different approach to long term travel – have a plan, but one that is flexible – able to accommodate change. We would like to have the opportunity to arrive at a new destination, and if we love it – to stay longer than anticipated or to add additional stops on, and vice versa – if we don’t like it as much as anticipated, then we can move on.
Our current plan is to visit most of the continent of Asia – we thought we’d start with a region we’re familiar with, one that is close to home for Mike to fly back and forth too, and is fairly cheap to travel long term.
Our very first stop is Sumatra in Indonesia, in particular the northern region – followed by Bali and Java, for approximately two months.
We’ll be spending a week in Singapore after our Indonesian travels.
We’re looking to spend 4 – 6 weeks in Malaysia, including the island of Borneo.
Can’t wait to visit the island of Phuket again, and also visit Koh Samui for the first time.
The Philippines are comprised of over 7000 islands – we can’t see them all obviously, but are going to focus on the regions of Bohol and Palawan in our travels.
Vietnam is only one of two countries we are returning too – because we love it so much!
We are going to spend over 8 weeks straight visiting India, including the state of Rajasthan, Kolkata to Varanasi and then Mumbai to the south.
Sri Lanka is a favourite destination of many people we know, we can’t wait to experience it for ourselves!
We’ll be visiting Japan in March and April next year – one of the best times of the year to see the beautiful cherry blossom trees!
With friends in South Korea, we hope to experience this country like a local.
Mongolia is going to be such an adventure, we can’t wait to get lost in the great outdoors and immerse ourselves in the nomadic culture of this incredible country.
The biggest country we’ll be visiting – with so much to see and explore, we can’t wait to visit China!
Tourism is the largest source of foreign income for Nepal – considering the devastation this country has experienced in recent months, we feel it’s so important to visit again and do our part for it’s economy.
We have heard so many wonderful things about the beautiful nature of the people of Myanmar – looking forward to spending at least a month here next year.
Bangladesh will be one of our last stops, and the perfect opportunity to slow the pace down before coming back to Australia.
A part of the country we’ve not explored at all – Thailand is deliciously hot and muggy in November – our last stop next year before returning home to visit family and friends.
So – that’s our Asian adventures in a nutshell – but who knows what changes we’ll make! We also have Taiwan, Bhutan, and Brunei pegged as other places to visit. The important thing for us is that we don’t feel tied down to any particular itinerary or route – we want the freedom to be able to change our minds and take advantage of opportunities that may come our way.
Less than a week to go until we’re off… should probably look at booking at least the first night’s accommodation…