Thursday, February 19, 2009

One month to go!

We are less than a month away and our trip is starting to take shape.  We leave LAX for Singapore on Mar 18th and on the way we will be stopping in Tokyo for 2 days and 3 nights.  We have not been to Tokyo before (except the airport) and are really looking forward to seeing the city.  Best of all is I have a cousin who has lived there for 10+ years.  It will be good to see Kevin and glean some local knowledge about the city from him.

From Tokyo, we head to Singapore aboard the new A-380 plane.  Even though we are "stuck" in coach it will still be cool to take a flight on the newest and biggest Airbus plane.  Betsy laughs at how excited I am about this but as someone who gets on an airplane every week I can't help it!

We will be in Singapore for a week which seems like a long time but given the fact that we got a great points deal at the Holiday Inn (i.e. free room for little points) and the fact that Tiger Airways only flies to Hanoi, Vietnam 2x week it will be good.  I am sure we can keep ourselves busy eating at all the great hawker stalls.

Vietnam will be the "real" start of our trip.  We should be in Vietnam for about a month working our way north to south.  April is shoulder season in Vietnam and actually one of the better months to travel there.  It is also said to be one of the "tougher" countries to travel in so we'll see how we do!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Here we go again!

"Wanna goto Central America? " Oh boy!  Here we go again, I am sure Betsy was saying.  What kind of crazy travel books has my husband been reading now?

With the economy in the tank, our stocks down, the value of our house dropping by the week and our IT contracts ending we decided this was the perfect time for us to take some extended time off and go travelling. After some internet research and Lonely Planet reading we decided that Central America was where we needed to go!  We'd fly to Mexico City and travel overland down to Panama.  We'd hit Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Costa Rica on the way and if the economy was still awful we'd keep going through South America.  We'd take spanish lessons, travel by chicken bus, lie on the beach, it would be a great adventure!

Betsy, as always, was open to my crazy ideas and we began reading and researching about the countries we'd be travelling through.  She started learning how to pronounce Quetzaltenango and I started looking at the best in cheap Belizean beach resorts.  We were well into the planning stages for a March start when......I went to the bookstore and started reading a travel book on Southeast Asia.

Now Southeast Asia had always been our first choice for an extended trip.  We'd honeymooned in Thailand (and Ankgor in Cambodia) but felt we'd only just scratched the surface.  We'd planned a 4 month trip a year and a half ago to Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Laos & Cambodia that we had to postpone due to a family emergency and had never really given up the the thought of going back. 

So what was preventing us from going this time?  The weather!  April is the hottest month of the year in Thailand/Cambodia/Burma and in May the rainy season starts which extends until October.  The more I thought about it though the more it didn't seem like a good reason to not go.  Lots of people are travelling to these places at this time and are still glad that they went and SE Asia was always our destination of choice so why let a bit of rain turn us off?  We could work an itinerary that would make this the trip we wanted and hopefully avoid the worst of the heat and rain.  The prices would be cheaper and the tourists less if we went during the "low" season.

So we booked two tickets to Singapore on Singapore Air and decided to play it by ear as to where we go once we get there.  Possible/likely destinations are Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma)  and Thailand.  

We leave on Mar 18th and I don't know how long we'll be gone.  It might be 2 months it might be 6 months.  As long as we are enjoying ourselves we'll continue to travel.  When we stop having fun then maybe its time to stop living out of a backpack!