New year. New travels. Will that be the case for me? Read on…
When I started traveling in July 2017, I had a plan for the next six months, and after that six months period, I’ll let my feet decide what to do or where to go. But as I continuously travel, my six months plan gradually change, from destinations to dates. Until the time that I did not follow my six months travel plan and just let my travel instinct decide, where to goNew year. New travel destinations.Click To Tweet
2017 was full of adventure, mishap, and crazy choices. I left my comfortable life back home and threw my life and myself into the unknown. I live my everyday life outside of my comfort zone. But even though with that fact, I never had regrets about all the choices I make. Looking back and comparing my life before and today, I am happier and more of myself now than before.
Before I continue with my travel plans this year, let me look back first where I had been since I started traveling indefinitely
MY 2017 TRAVELS
JULY (Hong Kong and Indonesia)
My trip started in the second half of July in Hong Kong where I spent 10 days of exploring the other parts of Hong Kong that I never visited on my first visit on May 2016. I chose to do things and visit places that will not break my pocket, mostly free or cheap things that I can do while in the city because Hong Kong is more than just Disneyland or Ocean Park.
AUGUST (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia)
Before July ended, I started my trip to Indonesia where I spent a total of 22 days. I visited Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Bali. Then I went to Singapore, where I spent for almost a week before I crossed the land border to Malaysia. From Singapore, I went straight to Georgetown, Penang and spent a few days before I went to Cameron Highland and ended my Malaysia trip through Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur, aside from Hong Kong, will always be my favorite country because of its vibrancy and diversity.
SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, AND NOVEMBER (Vietnam and Laos)
Although as a Philippines passport holder I can enter Vietnam visa-free for 21 days, I choose to apply for a three-month tourist visa that will allow me to stay in Vietnam for three months, obviously. Visa fee is quite cheap, and the process was very easy and straightforward. I am about to travel Vietnam from North to South but when it was already time for me to travel going to the South, the cities I am about to make a stop experienced bad weather due to a typhoon. I was already in Hue that time and got stranded for a week, so I postponed the plan and head back to Hanoi. Then I changed my destination from Hanoi to Laos, then Laos to Thailand rather than the original plan of Ho Chi Minh, Cambodia, and Thailand.
DECEMBER (Laos and Thailand)
Due to the changed of travel destination, in the last few days of November, I headed to Vientiane, Laos. I stayed there until the first half of December before I went to Thailand for a 29-day trip from Bangkok to Chiang Mai to Ayutthaya, then head back to Bangkok where I’ll end my Thailand trip. As of now, I am currently still on my Thailand trip. I am still in Chiang Mai where I spend the most of my 29 days.
This year (2018), the highlight of my travels will be my South America backpacking by which I am planning to start on the third or fourth quarter of the year whichever way possible.
MY ROUGH TRAVEL PLANS FOR 2018
JANUARY, FEBRUARY, NAD MARCH (Thailand and Vietnam)
I am still in Chiang Mai today but will head to Ayutthaya tomorrow where I’ll spend 4 days before I head to Bangkok. I ‘ll stay in Bangkok for a week then I’ll fly to Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam. Yes, you heard it right. I am going back to Vietnam for another three months tourist visa. Although my visa will end on April 13, 2018, I am planning to end my Vietnam trip on March 31.
Why did I decide to go back to Vietnam? Aside from the fact that I never visited the Southern part of the country, it is only the country I know that I can easily apply for a longer visa. And I am quite comfortable with the country (especially Hanoi), and I can easily navigate. I also need a longer time without the hassle for a visa run to finish some projects for my clients and mine.
APRIL and MAY (Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Jeju Island)
I’m planning to end my Vietnam trip from Ho Chi Mihn then cross the land border going to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. From Cambodia, I’ll head to Bangkok, Thailand for a quick stop then fly to Myanmar. From Myanmar, I’ll head back to Bangkok and travel to the other part of Thailand that I didn’t have the chance to visit on my first trip in the country. Hopefully to end my Southeast Asia trip by April or the first week of May so I can head to Taiwan to maximize my visa-free entry since the trial period for Philippines passport holder visa-free will end on July 31, 2018. From Taiwan, I’ll fly to Hong Kong for the third time and visit the happiest place on earth, Disneyland again. Then have a side trip to Jeju Island, South Korea.
JUNE, JULY, AUGUST (Israel and Georgia)
By the first week of June, I’ll head to Israel, and if I get a 90-day visa, I am planning to maximize the visa validity to experience how to live in Tel Aviv. Then head over to Georgia for a quick trip before I head to Colombia or Brasil where I’ll start my South America backpacking.
SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, AND DECEMBER (Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Suriname)
Although I am not yet sure what country I’ll be in these months, one thing for sure, I am already on the South America continent. I am planning to backpack South America by crossing land borders. My routes will be from Colombia to Brasil or Brasil to Colombia. Let’s see which route will I do.
As always, this only my rough plan. I still want my travel schedules to be as flexible as possible because I don’t know what will happen along the way. It’s like my Vietnam trip last year and can’t help but fell in love with the country, so I’m going back for another three months this year.
Did you already make a plan for your travels this year? Where are you going this year? Share your thoughts or experience in the comment section below. I’d love to hear about it!
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