2014 is quickly filling up! In the rare moments that we are actually sitting still, we’ve had to spend our internet time planning the next several days out, as well as the next 5 months. Recently, Bryan has literally booked dozens of flights. We’ve commented a few times that our trip is “winding down.” Time has been flying by and before we know it we’ll be back in the US. At the start of our trip, I thought that a year or less would be plenty of time to see the world. How naive I was! It turns out 2.5 years isn’t close to enough time. With 5 months remaining, we have to really pick and choose what interests us most. We want to make the most of this time. We have some exciting stuff coming up so I wanted to give you an overview of our plans.
We are currently wrapping up our 6-week loop through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. On January 25th, we fly from Bangkok to Myanmar (Burma) for two weeks. Bryan scored flights for $25 USD per person each way! Upon returning to Bangkok, we will be flying to New Zealand with a 3-day stopover in Australia. It was actually cheaper this way, as opposed to flying straight to Auckland, NZ. Due to the high costs in Australia and having more interest in other regions, this will likely be the only time we spend in the land down under. So we are cramming in as much scenery and wildlife experiences as possible with a drive along the Great Ocean Road and a trip to Grampians National Park. I’ve been diligently searching the best areas to spot koalas, kangaroos, and wallabies. So touristy, I know, but where else can you see those adorable creatures in the wild!?
After our speedy Australia trip, we’ll spend 3 weeks driving through New Zealand and hopefully partaking in a few outdoorsy, adventure activities. After NZ, it’s on to Bali, Indonesia. We’ll spend a few weeks island hopping in search of beautiful beaches, volcanoes to climb, Komodo dragons, and trekking to see the ethnic tribes in Papua (an area so remote that some of the men still only wear a gourd to cover themselves). We’ll then return to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a couple days (where we have some awesome friends and hosts) before a trip to the Borneo region of Malaysia for scuba diving off the islands of Mabul and Sipidan. This area is known for some of the best diving in the world and was a favorite dive spot of Jacques Cousteau’s. Hopefully, we’ll spot some proboscis monkeys and orangutans during our time on land in Borneo. Proboscis monkeys are the cool guys with the ridiculously big noses.
On April 13th, we return to Bangkok again for the Songkron Festival – a three-day water festival to celebrate the Thai New Year with huge water fights and processions. You know how Bryan loves unusual festivals. It sounds much cleaner than the tomato festival in Spain that we went to for Bryan’s 30th Birthday in 2009! We will be spending Easter in the Philippines (a big holiday in the majority Catholic country). I’m hoping to cross “Swimming with Whale Sharks” off my bucket list; April is whale shark season there. After the Philippines, details are a bit up in the air. We plan to visit Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and maybe South Korea before taking the Trans-Mongolian and Trans-Siberian trains from Beijing across China, Mongolia, and Russia. It looks like I’ll be spending my 32nd Birthday on a Russian train (Vodka shots, anyone?). Our final stops will likely be Jordan and Israel.
We will return to the US “for good” in late June. We still have yet to figure out what we want to do when we return or where we will live. Feel free to send any fantastic job offers or novel ideas our way. Although I’m sure our parents are thrilled at the prospect of their homeless, unemployed, 30-something children (and two large dogs) moving back in with them!
We’re glad you’ve been following our travels for the last 2 years. If there’s anything you’d like to see us post in the next 5 months, please let us know! And please don’t hesitate to comment!! We love getting them!
1/20 – 1/25 – Bangkok, Thailand
1/25 – 2/9 – Myanmar (Burma)
2/9 – 2/13 – Australia
2/13 – 3/6 – New Zealand
3/6 – 4/4 – Indonesia
4/4 – 4/6 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4/6 – 4/13 – Borneo / Mabul & Sipidan, Malaysia
4/13 – 4/15 – Bangkok, Thailand (Songkron Festival)
4/15 – ~4/29 – Philippines
~4/29 – 5/21 – Details TBD – Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and China
5/21 – 6/11 – Trans-Mongolian / Trans-Siberian Train across China, Mongolia, and Russia
6/11 – 6/13 – Moscow, Russia
6/13 – 6/16 – St. Petersburg, Russia
6/16 – 6/18 – Jordan
6/18 – 6/25 – Israel
Late June – return home and back to reality – YIKES!