Skydiving in New Zealand

Update: Our Future Travel Plans

At the beginning of this journey I imagined that travelling would transform me into a nonchalant, laid back, take-life-as-it comes kind of person but although I have learnt to be a lot more flexible over the last seven months, it turns out that old habits die hard. I just can’t seem to shake my obsessive compulsive travel planning tendencies – what can I say, I just love planning!

Skydiving in New Zealand

We want to see the whole world!

Our New Travel Plans

Over the last couple of months Andrew and I have been reflecting on our first hectic six months of travel, taking stock of our finances and discussing our future travel plans. One of the best, but also the most difficult things about living this nomadic lifestyle is that we’re confronted with endless opportunities. We could house-sit our way around Europe for example, road trip through America, work on a farm in New Zealand, teach in Asia or take on any number of other exciting  adventures instead. The world is our oyster right now and that can sometimes be hard to swallow; deciding which fork in the road to take next is a daunting but exhilarating experience. After much discussion however, we’ve finally figured out a rough travel plan for the next ten months; although we’ve learnt by now that plans can and usually do change, here is what our itinerary looks like at the moment:

Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

After three months in Thailand we’re excited to get moving again and explore some new countries. First up we head overland to Laos at the beginning of November; we’ll get a 30-day visa on arrival which can be extended if we like it there enough. We plan to explore some of the less-visited northern areas of the country as well as the main hot-spots. Next we plan to travel overland to Vietnam for 30 days; we’ll be spending our first hot Christmas away from the UK in Vietnam, which I’m sure will be a strange experience.  In January we’ll arrive in Cambodia, where we’ll stay for a month.

Burma and Thailand

Despite recent political changes which mean Burma is now fully opening its doors to tourists, it still doesn’t seem like the easiest country to travel through. We recently discovered that it’s not possible to travel to Burma overland, so we’ve had to book flights there from Thailand at the end of February.  We’ll spend three weeks in Burma and are a little apprehensive about the experience; we’ve heard that accommodation is expensive and difficult to come by and travelling around is more difficult. We are excited to take on this challenge though and experience a country in the midst of great historical change.

Sunset in Koh Phangan, Thailand

Sunset in Koh Phangan, Thailand

It looks like we’ll have a two-week gap in our schedule before we fly to Burma so we’re thinking about exploring close to Bangkok; either heading back to Kanchanaburi or chilling out on the island of Koh Chang. We arrive back in Thailand from Burma mid-March and are either planning to spend a few weeks somewhere in the North working or head back to Laos or Cambodia instead. Whatever happens we will definitely be back in Thailand early April for a bucket-list experience – Songkran. We can’t wait to take part in the giant water-fight to celebrate the New Year.

The Philippines and Taiwan

Since we first visited in July, we’ve been longing to return to the Philippines. We absolutely fell for this beautiful country and can’t wait to fly back there as soon as Songkran is over in April. Unfortunately we’ll only be staying for three weeks again but we’ll still have time to explore Boracay or El Nido before heading back to Sagada, our favourite spot up in the mountains.

Sagada, the Philippines

Sagada, the Philippines

Next we’ll hop over to Taiwan, a country we’ve heard a lot of good things about, especially from Steph and Tony over at 20 Years Hence. We have another motive for visiting Taiwan; our travel funds will be running low by summer 2014 so we figure we’ll need to settle down somewhere and work for a while. Andrew, who was a French and Spanish teacher for four years before we left London, is keen to try his hand at teaching in another country and from what we’ve researched so far, Taiwan seems to be the perfect place for that. Our trip there in May will help us decide whether to go ahead with this plan.

The UK and Europe

After 15 months of travel, we’ll finally head back to the UK in June for a three-month visit. We’ve missed home more than we ever imagined we would since we hit the road, so we’re really looking forward to returning. As well as catching up with everyone, Andrew is hoping to do some teaching supply work at his old school, so we may end up in London for a month, a prospect that absolutely fills me with excitement – I cannot wait to revisit my favourite city in the world, the place I really consider ‘home’.

The Thames Festival with Tower Bridge

I can’t wait to visit London again

We’re also in the process of planning some family trips for summer 2014. I’m excited to announce that we’re going to Scotland, a country I’ve been desperate to visit for a while now, with my parents in August. As well as spending a couple of days in Edinburgh I’ve found us a cute cottage in Fort William to stay in so we can explore the surrounding areas. We’ll also be heading to Spain with Andrew’s family; at the moment it looks like we’ll be renting a big house somewhere in Catalonia; Andrew and I will also take the opportunity to explore Barcelona for a few days while we’re there.

September 2014 and Beyond

As mentioned, our travel fund will likely be extremely depleted by September 2014 so we’ll be settling down somewhere in Asia – probably Taiwan – where living costs are relatively low and we can save as much money as possible. While Andrew gets a teaching job I plan to build up freelance work online and also do some long-term volunteering. We hope to save enough during a year to set off on a road-trip through Canada and America in 2015, ending up in South America – but that’s a whole new chapter!

What do you think of our travel plans; have you been to any of the countries we plan on visiting?

  • Patti
    Posted at 05:56h, 01 November Reply

    I’m a planner too. I love planning; but I’ve learned that life is what happens to us while we’re busy making other plans so sometimes we just have to roll with it. I love that you have the next year planned out and I hope it all comes together, including coming to the U.S. in 2015! Abi and I will be hitting the road again in about a month from now. We’re going to take an epic road trip around the U.S. for 9 weeks so maybe we’ll offer up some ideas for you.

    • Amy
      Posted at 06:13h, 01 November Reply

      So true about the planning Patti. Your road trip sounds epic and it’ll give us loads of ideas for our trip; 2015 sounds like a long way-away but I’m sure the time will fly by and we’ll be in America before we know it!

  • Charlie
    Posted at 16:43h, 04 November Reply

    Exciting plans! I’ve not been but my brother lives in Burma, and he can confirm that accommodation is super expensive compared to neighbouring countries (his rent is the same as mine in Canada!), better deals might be around the earlier you book though. Glad to hear you get to visit the Philippines again, it’s always great to re-visit a place you loved. And how lucky to get to visit home on your trip! Your family and friends my be happy with those plans!

    • Amy
      Posted at 11:14h, 05 November Reply

      Hi Charlie, shocking to hear that rent in Burma is as expensive as in Canada! We better start booking ahead for that trip I think. We’re excited about the Philippines too and visiting home again.

  • Jimmy
    Posted at 16:56h, 06 November Reply

    That’s some impressive planning Amy :)… I take my hat off to you. There is just no way I could plan so far in advance, well i could try, but no doubt after a few weeks, maybe even after a few days, I would change my route. Your choice of places really excites me 🙂

    How do you feel about returning to the UK, you say you’re excited. But can you envision you wanting to stay longer than 3 months? do you think you will settle back into your previous lifestyle? or do you definitely plan to continue exploring our world?

    High five, love your work.
    Jimmy 🙂

    • Amy
      Posted at 03:23h, 07 November Reply

      Thanks Jimmy 🙂 We’ve actually been discussing the UK leg lately too; I also fear that if we go back to the UK we may get sucked back into our old lives and never leave again. To prevent that from happening we’re going to book our flights back out to Taiwan for September 2014 in advance. It will be good for us to live and work in a completely different culture for a year, it is a daunting prospect though! I’m determined to get out to America after that in 2015 too, so the journey definitely isn’t over – it’s just beginning!

  • Rob
    Posted at 08:59h, 08 November Reply

    Good planning skills Amy! I have never considered Burma, very interested to hear about it.

    I love that you have fitted Scotland into your big adventure! The world’s a huge place to explore, but it’s great to see you are wanting to look close to home. Hope you like it as much as I do!

    Just out of interest are you planning on doing a post on all your flight costs? I’m always looking for a bargain 🙂

    • Amy
      Posted at 04:36h, 09 November Reply

      Thanks Rob – we’ll be sure to write lots about Burma, it’s one of the countries we’re most intrigued about visiting. I can’t wait to go to Scotland too; all those years I lived in England and just didn’t get around to it – that seems incredible to me now! From the looks of the Scotland pics on your website it looks amazing. Great idea about doing a flight cost post, thanks for that 🙂 I’ll get Andrew on to that as he’s the numbers man!

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    Posted at 15:14h, 18 November Reply

    I’m so glad that our posts on Taiwan had such an impact on you! I really think it’s a country you’ll love, with wonderful food, culture and people. Pretty much it’s all of the best parts of China (with some dashes of Japan thrown in for good measure) with none of the hassle and bad stuff. I’m so excited for you to visit and can’t wait to hear what you think!

    • Amy
      Posted at 15:22h, 18 November Reply

      Hi Steph, good to hear from you, I hope your trek went well! Yes, we’re really excited to visit Taiwan but have also been saddened by recent events in the Philippines, as I’m sure you are too; our second trip there in April will probably be a much more sober experience and I hope we can volunteer to be of some help to the disaster effort while we’re there.

  • Steve
    Posted at 16:29h, 11 February Reply

    Burma is great, you’ll love it!

    Some tips I wrote after my trip here:

    • Amy
      Posted at 05:55h, 12 February Reply

      Thanks Steve, our Burma trip is just a couple of weeks away now and we’re just trying to plan our route now so your tips will come in handy!

  • Zhany
    Posted at 14:47h, 08 June Reply

    Hi Amy,
    a little late by 5 years but just want to let you know I enjoyed reading your blog very much. I am an English teacher, teaching ESL and if you don’t mind I would like to use your blog (cited of course) to teach future tenses to my group. I love travelling and my husband and I have done a similar adventure to yours but within Europe, travelling and teaching. Wishing you and Andrew all the best,
    Zhany Hughes

    • Amy
      Posted at 01:21h, 09 June Reply

      Hi Zhany, thanks for reading and commenting. Of course you can use the post, I hope it’s helpful for your lesson. Happy travels and hope you have many more teaching adventures!

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