Five 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:
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.
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.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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!