While I have no idea how 2016 will pan out, I can now announce that on the 24th January, we’re moving to Spain! Sometimes, this thought sends me into a panic and the future feels like one infinite black hole of uncertainty. At other times though, I remember how embracing fear and change has led to the most amazing experiences of my life; from quitting my job in London to travelling in Asia and teaching in Hanoi.
Ever tried using Airbnb? The website has become our go-to choice for booking travel accommodation these days and we used it exclusively during our trip to the USA. Airbnb has saved us tons of cash, allowed us to stay in some beautiful places and meet some amazing people. Unfortunately, we’ve also had some less comfortable experiences with Airbnb, from freezing cabins in the woods to last-minute cancellations and the worst of the worst: bedbugs.
I remember sitting in my London office back in 2012, reading travel blogs and trying to figure out just how people could afford to travel full time for years on end, it seemed so unachievable. Now I occasionally get a little shock when I realise that it’s been two and a half years since Andrew and I left the UK and we’re still travelling and unbelievably, we’re not broke!
I woke up this morning in a bit of a panic. This was brought on by the realisation that we have just five days left in the UK before we fly to New York. I started this summer with lists of plans and projects to tackle, I had articles and e-books to write, research to undertake for our move to Europe after Christmas and of course, things to organise for our fast-approaching trip to the US. Have I managed to tick even half those projects off my task list? Not even close, but we have had some amazing catch-up time with family and friends, so it’s definitely been a summer well spent.
To me, the start of a new year always begins with autumn, my favourite season. I suppose that’s because for most of my life, September has brought with it change, a new academic year and the chance to start afresh with a batch of brand new notebooks and pens. I love the feel of autumn’s approach as the long summer evenings start to draw in and an Arctic nip taints the morning air, bringing with it the promise of orange-tinted leaves, silver frosts and bonfire night.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, isn’t it a little bit early to be deciding where we’ll be this time next year? Not for me. I know that some people enjoy going with the flow and making spur-of-the-moment decisions but I’m not one of those people. Andrew and I have been making travel plans for 2015 ever since we moved into our apartment here in Hanoi and we’ve come to some surprising decisions about where we want to go next.
We spent an incredible 15 months backpacking through Australia, New Zealand and South-East Asia, but how much did this trip cost us? We’ve tallied up the figures to reveal how much we spent including pre-trip costs, flights and visas; we’ve also broken down how much money we spent in each country we visited.
Since Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) recommended that the tourism boycott of Burma be lifted in 2010, the number of people travelling to the country has steadily increased. However, the NLD urges tourists to boycott package tours and cruises as they benefit the ruling government rather than the local Burmese people; with that in mind, here are some tips on how to get around Burma independently.
How do you plan your trip to Burma? It isn’t as easy as heading to other nearby countries like Laos, Cambodia or Thailand. You can’t just cross overland into the country, you can’t just pick up a visa on arrival at the airport, you need all your money in crisp, unmarked US$ and you have to book your accommodation in advance, or so we thought. Burma travel planning is full-on! Read on to find out more.
Cambodia doesn’t have a wealth of options when it comes to tourist transport; there are no trains (other than the touristic bamboo train in Battambang) and flights are out of the question for budget travel. To get from city to city we had no choice but to use a mixture of buses. So read on to find out more about bus travel around Cambodia; expect breakdowns, bribes and bundles of air con! Here are our travel tips for Cambodia.