Traveling around the world for a year (or more) sounds like a wonderful adventure to many people. It’s a life changing experience, but it’s not one long vacation. Andy and I deal with a lot of details when we prepare to take our long trips. Things can get overwhelming if your plans include a career break, a gap year, travel in retirement or living on the road as a digital nomad. What if you could learn all the steps involved with planning and executing a major trip like this from experts who have gone through it all? Luckily you can – with Travel School!
I’ve never made a bucket list. I think having a list of goals is great, but I never felt the need to officially put together a bucket list because I fear that 95% of it would just be a list of places I want to visit. And let’s face it, that list of places might as well be 95% of the countries on the planet. But recently my friend Gigi wrote a post about her reverse bucket list, the idea of looking back at things she’s already accomplished. Since I usually spend too much time focusing on what I haven’t accomplished, I thought this would be a good way to remind myself that I have actually done some awesome things.
I don’t watch much TV, and reality shows certainly aren’t my top choice. But I do enjoy “The Amazing Race.” It’s travel-related, so I love seeing all the interesting places they visit. Plus there are always some logistical aspects that intrigue me since I love the planning part of travel. I’ve even had a few people in the past tell me I should try to get on the show because I love to travel so much. Despite all of this, with every episode I see, one thought is reconfirmed in my mind over and over again: I would NEVER want to be on this show!
Sandwiched in between Cambodia and Vietnam, Laos is hard to pass up. It’s a laid back country with beautiful scenery and extremely friendly people. Laos is also where I started having a meltdown and decided I needed to fly back to Germany to see Andy. I didn’t do much that cost anything while I was there. Lots of relaxing, lots of admiring the landscape, and lots of thinking. So most of what I spent in Laos was just the bare essentials.
Angkor Wat is one of the major reasons why so many tourists visit Cambodia each year, and it’s easy to see why. Here are some ruins in front of the Angkor Wat temple. Even as it rained on and off while I was exploring this famous temple, I loved seeing all the different ruins and knowing how much history is behind them. There are so many temples, you can’t possibly see them all, so I hope Andy and I can get back there someday.
Cambodia is a popular country to visit in Southeast Asia, especially on a round the world trip. The people are incredibly friendly and helpful, there’s so much history to explore, and it’s cheap. I got my fill of beaches while I was in Indonesia, so I didn’t go to any in Cambodia. But I spent 10 days between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and I enjoyed my time there so much I hope to return someday with Andy. I will show you here just how cheap my Cambodia budget was so you can plan your trip.
Update: I did return with Andy in early 2014, and you can see how much we spent traveling in Cambodia here.
I don’t necessarily push the fact that I am a solo female traveler, but I often encourage solo travel. I just happen to also be a female. Solo travel, whether you’re a man or a woman, can teach you so much about yourself, give you more flexibility, and I truly believe it’s something everyone should try at least once. But some people think solo travel, especially for a woman, is foolish, irresponsible, and just plain stupid. Obviously I strongly disagree.
I get a lot of questions about how much it costs to travel in Southeast Asia. I’ve written about how much I spent in two months in Southeast Asia, but because I get so many country-specific searches and questions from people working on a travel budget, I thought it would be helpful to give a breakdown of my expenses by country. My time in Indonesia was by no means extensive, but I spent two weeks between Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands, and Java. Here’s how it all worked out.
When I started planning my round the world trip almost two years ago, I decided to get a round the world ticket with Sky Team for a few reasons. I had a well defined period of time in which I would be traveling, I had several specific places I wanted to make sure I visited, and I planned on meeting up with my friend Amanda and with Andy at different points during the trip. I priced out the ticket to compare the actual cost with the number of Delta Skymiles I needed to get the ticket for free (well, almost free). Ultimately I went with miles because it saved me a lot of money. Here’s how the ticket worked and why it might not have been the best decision.
The year is coming to a close, and I’m realizing just how much travel I did this year. At the beginning of the year, I was still on my round the world trip. Throughout 2012 I traveled in 12 different countries on five different continents. I collected tons of wonderful memories and way more pictures than I will ever actually use. My friend Jeremy from Budget Travel Adventures is doing a Best of Travel 2012, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite travel experiences from this year as well.