Pang Ung reservoir, 'The Switzerland of Northern Thailand'

Our Big Fat 2017 Travel Plans

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I make travel plans for the year ahead. So, where in the world will our adventures take us in 2017? As we know from experience, things don’t always work out as we expect them to, but here’s a look at our big fat 2017 travel plans to date.

2017 Travel Plans: January

This month we’re sticking around our much-loved base in Chiang Mai. So far we’ve already spent a thrilling day (and at least £80) at the immigration office extending our 60-day Thai visas from Penang. After spending more money than planned recently we’re focusing on reducing our outgoings at the moment and taking on as much freelance work as possible. We do have one big surprise event this month though, we’re getting married! Here’s why we’ve decided to tie the knot here in the Land of Smiles and the process of how we’re getting married in Thailand.

Yun Lai Viewpoint in Pai Selfie


Life will go on as usual in Chiang Mai, with the exception of a visa run to Vietnam at the end of the month. We’ll be heading back to our former home in Hanoi, the place we lived and taught English in for 10 months back in 2014/15. I have no idea how I’ll feel when we return to Hanoi, a city that drove me absolutely mental, even though I loved it. While we’re there, Andrew will pick up some recruitment wages from our old employer; a much safer option after the last payment was sent electronically and temporarily lost in transit. Hopefully we’ll have time to head out to the countryside in Northern Vietnam for a few days, which is one of my favourite parts of Asia.

Coffee shops with small stools in Hanoi

March and April

We’ll be back in Thailand working, saving and enjoying life in Chiang Mai. If we’ve got the time and money, perhaps we’ll take some short trips down south to the islands. In April we’re excited to experience our second Songkran, the Thai New Year festival, which is essentially a giant water fight in the streets.

Thai Boy Squirting a Water Pistol During Songkran 2014


Time for a complete change, one that I’m equally excited and nervous about: Nepal. It feels like a long time since we really stepped out of our comfort zones and I’m sure that’s exactly what Nepal will do for me. We’re hoping to trek to Everest Base Camp which I expect will be no easy feat when you take into account the cold and altitude. In addition, we’re looking into volunteering in Nepal with All Hands, the organisation we worked with in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan. May will also be a challenge because we’ll be almost completely offline and won’t be able to work. I’m looking forward to this digital detox, but I also worry how it will affect our earnings and savings.

A Home Destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

Volunteering in the Philippines


Next up is Sri Lanka, another brand new destination for us. So far we have a short press stay at a hotel lined up, but that’s it. Friends have told us to go to Kandy, perhaps take a safari and visit some of Sri Lanka’s famous UNESCO sites and tea plantations. Hopefully we’ll have time to relax by the beach as well before we fly back to the UK on the 16th for our annual summer visit.

10 reasons to visit sri lanka train

Our friends, Finding Beyond, have lots of stories about their trip to Sri Lanka

July and August

As usual, we’ll spend time in the UK with family and friends and hopefully find another great house sit in London. Throughout the summer we’ll be continuing our online work and it’ll be interesting to see how that pans out, as I’d one day love to work freelance while living semi-permanently in London. If we can work out a sustainable digital income over the next few years, that is. In August, we’ll be in Wales for a family wedding and we’re toying with the idea of borrowing a dog from my parents and camper-vanning around Wales for a while. This is another experiment to see whether we could potentially travel full-time around Europe in a camper with our very own hound one day.

New Quay Harbour, Wales

September to December

That’s as far as our formal 2017 travel plans go, but here are a few things we’re considering for the rest of the year:

  • House sitting around Europe – this would require us to be flexible and just see what comes up. We like the idea of looking after pets though and exploring new places while continuing to work online.
  • Renting an apartment in Eastern Europe – we loved travelling in Eastern Europe over the summer, so another idea is to pick a destination and rent an apartment for up to six months. Estonia? Czech Republic? Romania? Croatia? Whichever country we choose, we’ll continue mixing online work with road-trip style travel.
  • December in Prague – whatever happens, we’re pretty set on the idea of spending most of December in Prague, a city we fell in love with when we visited last year. I want frosty weather, glittering lights, dark evenings, cosy pubs and Christmas markets. We’d love to rent a two-bed apartment so family and friends can pop out and visit if they want to.
  • Christmas in Blighty – it’s highly likely that we’ll fly back to spend Christmas in the UK with family. Celebrating in Asia just isn’t the same and I recently found myself really missing festivities back in the UK.
  • New Year’s in Edinburgh – Hogmanay in Edinburgh has been on my wish-list since we visited the city several years ago. I would love to grab some friends, bag an apartment and head up to this fairytale city for a magical celebration.
Prague Old Town Square lit up at Night

Prague Old Town Square at Night

Of course, as we know from strange events of 2016, anything can happen, especially when you live the kind of transient lifestyle we do. So it’s possible that these plans could change completely and I’ll be reading this back in a year’s time from a totally different part of the world. That’s all part of the fun I suppose!

Our Big Fat 2017 Travel Plans, Pinterest Pin

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Thank you to everyone who’s followed our adventures to date and I hope you’ll stick with us in 2017.

What are your travel and life plans for this year?

  • Jim Horgan
    Posted at 11:22h, 13 January Reply

    Hi, my wif and I in our late 50s will be in Hanoi the first week of April due 6 days (possibly 7).
    We are not really fir going into Halong Bay, so would like any advice on must do things / tours in and around Hanoi that you think should not be missed,
    Guy talk about going into the North Vietnam countryside, can you give a little bit of advice why you like going there?

    If your too busy just say and I’ll keep in surfing ideas.

    Keep enjoying the travelling.

    Keep bf regards


    • Amy
      Posted at 12:05h, 13 January Reply

      Hi Jim, thanks for reading and commenting. Great to hear that you’re heading to Hanoi, I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Some of the places we personally love in Northern Vietnam are Sapa for the rice terraces, as well as Tam Coc, Mai Chau and Cuc Phuong National Park. If you want to, you can read an article I wrote about my favourite trips from Hanoi here: Have a great trip!

  • Frances
    Posted at 12:05h, 13 January Reply

    Sounds exciting, lots going on and lots of possibilities. I hope you make it to Edinburgh for Hogmanay (our hometown). Its so lively and the fireworks are normally awesome (we missed it this year as we were in HCMCity). All the best for your coming year! 🙂

    • Amy
      Posted at 12:07h, 13 January Reply

      Thanks Frances, all the best to you too 🙂 We are so excited about the possibility of Hogmanay and it’s great to hear from a local that the festivities are as awesome as I imagine them to be! I am determined to make that happen!

  • Patti
    Posted at 16:14h, 13 January Reply

    I’m thinking I may know what your big reveal will be, but I’m waiting with eager anticipation.

    It sounds as if you’ve got some amazing plans for 2017 and that life as digital nomads is beginning to fall in to place, I’m so happy for the two of you.

    Abi and I are gearing up for 2017 and have our own BIG reveal, but we can’t share the news quite yet. Waiting for a few of those pesky ducks to line up for us. Stay tuned!

    • Amy
      Posted at 06:25h, 14 January Reply

      Yes, I think you probably do know what the big reveal is 🙂 I have no idea what yours is though and I’m super-excited to find out!

      • Patti
        Posted at 02:03h, 17 January Reply

        I will send you a secret message. 😉

        • Amy
          Posted at 03:26h, 17 January Reply

          Oh, exciting!

  • Donna
    Posted at 22:10h, 13 January Reply

    Are you giving up your Chiang Mai apartment? Sounds like you’re leaving in May and will be elsewhere for the rest of the year.

    • Amy
      Posted at 06:23h, 14 January Reply

      Hi Donna, Yes, we will sadly have to give up our apartment. We’ve extended the contract until the end of April and if we come back we’ll have to find something else. We’d hope to find something in the same apartment building though as we love it here!

  • Gilda Baxter
    Posted at 09:08h, 14 January Reply

    Amy, I love all your plans for 2017 and in particular Nepal, trekking in the Himalayas in high in my wish list. Christmas with the family will be wonderful for you, but for us we are thinking of a sunnier place for Christmas 2017. I hope you have an amazing year and I hope our paths will cross sometime in the near future?

    • Amy
      Posted at 07:39h, 16 January Reply

      Thanks so much Gilda, I hope our paths cross too. I’m interested to hear your travel plans, it sounds like you have some big adventures in the works 🙂

  • Victoria @The British Berliner
    Posted at 06:17h, 18 January Reply

    Ooooo! I’m so excited to hear what you have in store for us! Happy New Year by the way as I can’t remember if I’ve already said it lol!

    ‘Very much looking forward to reading all about Nepal, trekking to Mount Everest, and the worthy work that you’ll be doing out there. I’m sure you’ll find a way to manage your financial stuff before then. Fingers crossed!

    ‘Lots of travel plans for 2017. ‘Looking forward especially to Croatia, Austria, Russia, Sweden, and Ireland.

    • Amy
      Posted at 07:55h, 18 January Reply

      Thanks Victoria, Happy New Year to you too. Your travel plans sound amazing, I’m particularly interested to hear about Russia and Sweden!

  • Louisa klimentos
    Posted at 23:43h, 06 February Reply

    I read all the blogs on places that you visited in Thialand and those forested mountains of some of the places in Thialand a so beautiful .Unfortuntely the comments were closed and could not make a comment.My son and his two friends went recently went to Thialand .They visited Bankok,Koh Samui,Koh Phi Phi,and Phuket.They went to the moon festival at Kho Samui.They loved the islands around Kho Phi Phi and loved the moon festival.How ever they had alot of problems.Some of the beaches were very polluted .My son and his friends were drinking alcahol,which was mixed with those V drinks ,which are high in caffeine .They were affected badly,because alcahol and caffeine do not mix well together.They were also attacked by Lady Boys in Bankok and one of the friends went missing for a couple of days.Thialand didn’t impress them as much as they would like it to have.In my opinion ,they didn’t do their homework.The most advertised places for travel,are not necessary the best places.So you should do alot of research ,then you know what to expect.I think my son should give Thialand a second chance,because every country has something incredible.Do you mind if you can tell me some of the most scenic places,eg,mountains in Thialand that are pristine and not over crowded and cities that are less busy than Bankok and that are beautiful?The places that touched your heart .Thankyou kindly Amy

    • Amy
      Posted at 04:14h, 07 February Reply

      Hi Louisa, sorry to hear your son has some problems in Thailand. There are some lovely places here, even in the touristy areas like Ko Phangan if you head away from the Full Moon Party area to the other side of the island you’ll find peaceful beaches like Haad Salad. We also loved Ko Chang island south of Bangkok, which gets less visitors. In the north, we’ve driven around the Mae Hong Son loop and up to Mae Salong, where we saw barely any other western tourists. I think it all depends on what you want out of your trip, if you come to party then you are going to end up in the really busy, backpacker areas but it’s easy to get off that beaten track a bit.

  • Louisa klimentos
    Posted at 23:48h, 06 February Reply

    Your travel plans sound absolutely great.Sri Lanka sounds really nice.Best of luck with your travels for 2017,love louisa

    • Amy
      Posted at 04:15h, 07 February Reply

      Thanks Louisa, we’re really excited about Nepal and Sri Lanka and look forward to sharing our adventures with you 🙂

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