Posts Tagged ‘planning’

Ch Ch Changes…

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (this is where you nod your head, yes) you may have read my itinerary post way back in January where I laid out a list of countries in Asia I plan to visit on my upcoming RTW trip. Although Asia is still in my plans, I have made a few changes in recent weeks. As I prepare for my trip different factors have come into play, money being one and my Dad’s upcoming 75th birthday being the other. I hate the idea of being half way around the world on his birthday and thoughts of flying home for the weekend to surprise him were squashed when I looked at the price of flights. So, I’ve come up with a compromise, Central & South Americas.

I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Living in Canada makes Central and South America very accessible and getting there is cheap! Flying from Calgary to Bangkok will cost $1,600-$2,200 however I can take a bus down to Mexico for $270, travel throughout Central & South Americas, take a bus home to surprise my Dad for his birthday and then fly from L.A. to New Zealand and on to Asia. It’s the perfect plan- okay maybe it’s not “perfect”, but it is better.

So here is my new itinerary…

After arriving in Morelia, MX by bus, I’ll be spending about a month traveling through southern Mexico before moving on to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama (I’m not sure about Belize). I’ll then fly to Bogota, Colombia and travel through Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil before making my way towards LA to catch a flight to New Zealand.

Depending on my funds at the time, I may spend up to 6 months working and traveling through New Zealand before flying to Asia where my original itinerary still stands. This is an open-ended RTW trip and to date I have roughly 30 countries on my list of places to go. I’ll be spending a lot of time in some countries and only a few weeks in others. But either way I’m going to be embarking on an amazing adventure. Is it August yet?


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My work week has become so busy and full that I find myself day dreaming of naps and pajamas. Some days it’s a matter of minutes between the time I get home from work and the time I have pajamas on, and some days its a matter of seconds. It feels SO good- too good actually, and as I sit here typing this post (in my pj’s) the idea of Pajama Sunday is getting better and better. It’s the perfect way to spend the first of my 2 days off.  I’ve put in more than my share of hours at work, I deserve to relax.

My brain is in mellow mode and it feels like I’ve smoked a bunch of joints (except I’ve never really smoked a joint, so this is merely an assumption). This morning I rolled out of bed, tied up my hair walked to the futon in my living room- the only other room in my apartment- and curled up with my laptop. My plans for my first Pajama Sunday are naps, snacks, trip research, tweeting, blogging, editing photos, and catching up on favourite blogs as well as reading new ones.  I will not be getting dressed. I will not answer my phone (unless it’s my Mom, she’d worry if I didn’t answer). I will relax, be lazy, whatever you want to call it.  Oh, I also refuse to look at my work email!

I’ve got no strings
To hold me down
To make me fret, or make me frown
I had strings
But now I’m free
There are no strings on me
Hi-ho the me-ri-o
That’s the only way to go
I want the world to know
Nothing ever worries me
Hi-ho the me-ri-o
I’m as happy as can be
I want the world to know
Nothing ever worries me
I’ve got no strings
So I have fun
I’m not tied up to anyone
They’ve got strings
But you can see
There are no strings on me…

Like my new theme song?  I know, I stole it from Disney’s Pinocchio– but it fits so well!

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My internet connection is beyond ridiculous, which means it’s just my guidebooks and I.  Not that I’m complaining, I like reading and glancing through guidebooks.  I really like looking at the photos, as they’re great travel inspiration.  However it would be useful to search airfares etc online to get a better idea of budget.  Oh well, that can wait until my connection problems are resolved.  For now my research materials consist of 3 or 4 guidebooks, my wall map of the world and Long Way Down on DVD (I just like watching/listening to it).

I haven’t narrowed down an exact route along with timing, and I probably never will.  It goes against my spontaneous nature!  I do however know the countries I want to travel to and where my starting point will be, kind of.  Basically my starting point is either Beijing or Hong Kong, depending on airfare.  The plan from there is still very much in the air.  What I do know is that my first destinations will be Mongolia and Tibet, along with various parts of China that I missed on my last trip.  After China the plan (for now) is to travel overland through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, then down to Malaysia. From there, who knows what the order will be.  I do know that I’ll be traveling to Brunei, Myanmar, Bali, India and Nepal.  I’m still up in the air over Bangladesh, Bhutan, Philippines and East Timor.  Those countries will be decided while I’m on the road and that’s okay.  Either way, I don’t have a time frame for this trip, which is fantastic.

I’m traveling until the money runs out and I absolutely have to go home.  I’ve always taken 2 week vacations, so this will be my first long term trip. I have to admit, although it’s exciting, it’s also scary as hell.  But I’m focusing on the positive side of things.  It’s a liberating feeling, knowing you can take your time.  Oh, how my travel style has changed over the years.  In the beginning I wanted to go everywhere and see everything and I didn’t really care if I barely scratched the surface.  Now, I like the idea of having time to explore, discover and relax.  Maybe it’s an age thing?

Over the next 7 months I’m sure I’ll have my doubts, and wonder if I’m doing the right thing or not.  The plan for the next 7 months is to eat, sleep and drink travel, or try to.  I’ll be blogging about day trips and weekend tips, as well as my planning and other bits of travel.  If I can keep travel fresh in my mind on a daily basis, maybe I can stay more focused and keep the excitement alive.  Wish me luck!

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So, it’s decided- for the most part.  Travel is in my blood.  It has been for awhile now. To ignore the opportunity would be a crime.  For years I’ve struggled with saving the money I would need for long term travel. Plus, life happens and things change.  However, I now have some inheritance money coming my way.  I could do the “responsible” thing and use it to put a downpayment on a house, or invest it, but why?  I mean, I would spend the next who knows how many years wishing I had traveled.  So, I’m putting 30% of the money in the back and using the remaining 70% to travel.

My current plan (I’m not going to pretend that this plan won’t change a million times) is to leave around August 2010.  Why then?  Well my lease is up at the end of the July, the condo should be sold by then and I will have even more money saved from my job- not to mention I’ll be 100% out of debt.  So 8 or 9 months from now I’m hitting the road.

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