For months Andy and I have been talking about going somewhere for at least part of the winter. I hate cold weather, and Andy hates the darkness that winter brings. I never thought the darkness bothered me all that much, but Berlin has been my breaking point. It’s a great city, but too far north which means extremely short days this time of year. Did you know Berlin is farther north than London? And that Berlin’s latitude of 52.5 degrees north means it falls somewhere south of Edmonton and north of Calgary? The shortest day of the year here gets only 7 hours 39 minutes of daylight. Freiburg is only better by about 40 minutes. So yes, we need to get out of here and run off to someplace warm. But where are we going?
After much debate and stress, we finally decided on spending seven weeks in Southeast Asia. On January 14th we will fly out of Zurich and land in Singapore on the 15th. We’re only staying in Singapore for three days before flying to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. That’s about where our planning and booking ahead stops.
Cambodia issues 30 day tourist visas, so we could potentially stay that long. Or we could decide to only stay for two weeks. We’re not going to decide that until we get there and see how we feel. We’ll definitely be going to Siem Reap where Andy will get to see Angkor Wat for the first time, and hopefully I’ll get to see some temples I didn’t get to last time I was there. We might explore other parts of Cambodia, but we might not.
Even if we stay the entire 30 days, that still leaves us with about two weeks before our flight home. So our thought right now is to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, explore the city (I was only there for one day almost four years ago), and maybe find a beach somewhere in Malaysia to hang out on for a few days. Then we’ll take the train back to Singapore in time for our flight home, which leaves on March 3rd and gets us back on March 4th. But since we’re not committed to anything besides our flight home, we could potentially decide to go somewhere else.
Flexibility and work time
One of our biggest regrets from our trip over the summer was that we had almost no flexibility. We had certain commitments we had arranged ahead of time, which meant we had a schedule to keep, so we booked almost everything before we even left home. This time around it’s important to us to have that flexibility and make decisions more spontaneously.
It’s also important to us to make sure we have enough work time. We need to travel slow enough that we can still have plenty of time to write and work on other projects. We do want to enjoy some sightseeing, but this is not a vacation. This is a much needed escape from winter, but we still have to get things done. On our summer trip, we barely had time to keep up with our blogs let alone get any other work done. Hopefully this time will be different.
So there you have it, our plans for our seven week winter escape to Southeast Asia! It’s not nearly long enough to miss all of winter, but it should be enough for us to recharge and get some much-needed sunlight and warmth. As usual I will be tracking our costs, showing you the interesting (and probably not so interesting) parts of how we travel and telling you about the countries we visit. Feel free to ask any questions, and don’t forget to sign up for our monthly newsletter where we announced our plans last week!