Our Travel Destinations for the Next 7 Months

 

Our Travel Destinations for the Next 7 MonthsFive months ago, we inhaled the hot, humid air of Asia for the first time in Bangkok. After only four days of temple hopping and tasting totally different flavours, we moved to Chiang Mai, where we settled for three months. At the end of January we travelled to Laos for two weeks, which was an adventure for us. After that we went back to Thailand on our double entry visa.

We stayed for one month in Udon Thani, a town near the Laotian border, to solve an urgent dental problem. Once the treatment was finished we headed to Ayutthaya, the former capital of the Kingdom of Thailand.

The heat was almost unbearable and although we did not have high expectations, we were still disappointed. After visiting Ayutthaya we moved to Kanchanaburi to volunteer with the foundation Bring The Elephant Home, which turned out to be a wonderful experience for us.

After three days in the hot, dry forest, we were excited to jump into the sea water that we had been dreaming about since we were in our ‘saving mode’, visualising our much-deserved reward back in Frankfurt. We started our beach tour with Ao Nang beach in Krabi, where we stayed for five days. After that, we were very lucky to find a good accommodation on Koh Lanta, just one minute’s walk to Klong Nin beach. Now it has been almost ten days since we arrived, and we are still enjoying the life of this lovely, quiet village.

Now our time in Thailand is coming to an end and it is time to plan the next destinations. Compared to the previous travel plans, this time it was harder to make a decision. We had to consider three main criteria: the weather, our budget and visits to family in Europe. Here is the result of hours and hours of brainstorming exciting travel ideas:

The Philippines

Sunset in the Philippines.

Photo by Clelia Mattana – Keep Calm and Travel

We have read so many contradictory perspectives about this country that we want to check it out with our own eyes. We will fly to Manila on the 1st of April to visit the Philippines for one month. We plan to stay in the capital only for a few days and then explore the Visayas region.

Malaysia (Borneo)

Orangutan and her baby in Borneo.

Photo by Ross & Alyse – Free Your Mind Travel

This is so far the most unexpected choice so far. We have made a decision to go to Bali, but from the Philippines it looked like a very long way for one journey, so after checking a world map and Gianni’s research, we are travelling there at the end of April. Besides, Gianni is fascinated with the possibility to see orangutans there and I am amazed by the fact that the rainforest in Borneo is over 130 million years old, one of the oldest rainforests in the world.

Indonesia (Bali)

Balinese Rituals

Photo by Emanuele Siracusa – The Siracusas

We were already curious about this island back in Europe, while reading about the adventures of other bloggers. We would like to visit the Indonesian digital nomad hub Ubud, although we are aware it has gotten more touristy nowadays. It was suggested that we pay a visit to the Gili Islands that some friends described as a real paradise.

We plan to stay in Bali in June, which should bring a mild temperature of 27-31C comparing to the tropic heat or frequent showers in the other parts of SE Asia.

United Kingdom (London)

People in the streets of London.

People in the streets of London.

Our travels will take us back to this pulsing, unique and hyperactive city! Both of us used to live in London for a time and although one might get bored or overwhelmed with all the tourist attractions at Oxford Circus, we just love this city because of its cool music scene, hipster culture, vibrant riverbank life and much more. This is going to be just a short stop we are planning for the beginning of July.

Slovakia

Orthodox church in Prešov.

Orthodox church in Prešov.

Family time. We will visit Ivana’s parents in Prešov in the Eastern part of Slovakia, where we will stay for a few weeks in July. The region offers some spectacular places to visit and we look forward to exploring more castles, small towns, doing some trekking and visiting friends, too.

The Czech Republic (Prague)

Charles Bridge in Prague.

Charles Bridge in Prague.

Oh, we cannot miss a chance to stop in our beloved city, where we met each other for the first time! We are excited to meet up with Ivana’s sister and her family there and to revisit the familiar, tiny, hidden streets and beautiful parks and to climb the hundreds of stone steps of this absolutely gorgeous city.  We will do some side trips to the Central Bohemian region to catch up with old friends in August.

Italy (Puglia)

A trullo in the Itria Valley.

A trullo in the Itria Valley.

Breath-taking landscape, warm-hearted and hospitable people, rich and intriguing history of culture, and unbeatable food! This time we will visit Gianni’s family in Martina Franca and see close friends in the neighbouring towns. We plan to arrive in Puglia in September and stay there for a few weeks. Later on a group of travel bloggers will join us to do a trip through the region together. We are very excited for that and looking forward to meeting our colleagues in person that we have only known virtually so far.

Greece (Athens)

In October 2014 we’ll celebrate one year of travel and we are more than pleased to do so at our first TBEX conference in Athens at the end of October. This is a huge opportunity to meet other fellow travellers and hopefully to learn more about the travel industry.

This schedule is a rough sketch for the following seven months. There is still a lot to learn about some of the countries mentioned before we land. On that note, we would like to hear from you about any suggestions, tips, and advice on what to see, where to go and which places are not worth visiting and why.

Also, advice regarding cultural norms and faux pas would be much appreciated!

Thanks to all of you for following our adventures and for your big support. Gianni and I are looking forward to hearing from you!

Comments

    • Ivana says

      Ahahaha, Carlo! Whatever time it will happen to be, we are looking forward to meeting you again!

  1. says

    Great plans. I’ve been to almost all of these countries and I must say you will absolutely fall in love with Bali and Prague. Bali is so spiritual and mysterious. Stay away from the busy city center, rent a scooter and go far far away to explore the off-the-beaten paths! As for Prague, don’t miss trdelnik which is my favourite pastry there! So sugary, but it tastes gorgeous.

    • Ivana says

      Thank you, Agness. We are really curious about Bali, and let’s see how we will feel about it.
      Oh, yeah, trdelnik! We tried it, but you need to be lucky to get a fresh one. Actually, it is a Slovakian specialty, and that explain why they sell it in Prague only in touristy areas :)
      Happy travels!

  2. says

    Great plan, guys!

    Probably we’ll have a chance to meet again in Europe as we are planning to go back more or less in the same period!

    Cheers,
    the groovies

  3. says

    Yay for The Philippines! I’ve read a few mixed reports about this country as well and I absolutely can’t understand them AT ALL! This was the first place we really fell in love with in Asia and it’s utterly unlike the rest of the continent—so unique and just really really amazing. You will be certain to meet some of the nicest people of your trip here, that is for certain! We went in thinking we might only spend 3 weeks and wound up staying for 2 months… and it was still not enough! If you’re interested for a unilaterally positive account of the country, check out our archives where we wrote a lot about the places we visited and our time there. My one piece of advice is that if you don’t already have things booked, get out of Manila asap. It’s really not like the rest of the country and most people don’t enjoy it at all. We didn’t mind it because after 2 months it was just a big Filipino city to us, but if you’ve never been to the Philippines before, you probably don’t want Manila to be your first impression. This is a country that is about the beaches and the natural beauty, not the cities.

    Oh, and we also visited Malaysian Borneo and spent 3 weeks there and wrote all about that too, so you might find some of our stories about it inspiring/useful as well. It’s also a really wonderful place to explore, though definitely a bit of a hassle to get around (similar to the Philippines in that respect).

    • Ivana says

      Hi Steph,
      that says enough if you prolonged your staying there! Many thanks for navigating us to your blog, much appreciated.
      Will check your stories and tips!

  4. says

    Wow – these are some of my favorite destinations! I’ll be in Indonesia next week as well :)

    Btw just followed you on Twitter as well – great travel blog you have :) Looking forward to connect!

  5. says

    Your plans look intense but VERY exciting! We will likely be heading to Central/Eastern Europe in August, so I look forward to your posts (and whereabouts) around that time of the year!

    • Ivana says

      Hi Emily, thanks. Wish we crossed the paths somewhere in Europe :)
      Looking forward to your adventures, too!

  6. says

    Enjoy Ubud just stay away from Kuta — there is nothing but drunken debauchery and insistent hawkers there. I’ve been traveling back and forth to and throughout Indonesia for a long time (I even speak and blog in Bahasa Indonesia now) and Bali is the only part of Indonesia that I did not like. I’ve found tastier food, prettier beaches, friendlier people, and more authentic culture elsewhere.

    I’m in Jakarta right now for a series of meetings but will be in Ubud briefly in the middle of May to start my Tour de Horror (a journey across all of Indonesia visiting haunted locations) and may pass back through there briefly in June as my editor lives there. If so, let’s definitely cross paths! Give me a shout on Twitter @the_HoliDaze once y’all arrive :)

    • Ivana Greslikova says

      Hi Derek, thanks for this advice! Hopefully we’ll find a piece of peace in Ubud :) Sure, we’ll keep in touch, would be great to meet you. Enjoy the road!

  7. says

    Oh no, I’ve just realised that we’ll have left Puglia by the time you get here in September. Come here now!

    • Ivana Greslikova says

      Ouchhhh!! We hoped to catch up with you there guys… But as long as we all keep ourselves on the road, there are high chances we’ll meet one day!
      Ciao to beautiful Puglia!

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