It is unbelievable that we have already been travelling for three months! It seems like time has passed very quickly, but then so much has happened that it is sometimes difficult to remember the first part of our trip. We would like to take the opportunity to let you know what it feels like to be on a trip around the world. What is good and what is bad? Would we have done anthing differently?
A trip around the world is not a holiday. In the beginning, we travelled quickly from one place to another with no time to digest all the experiences, information, cultural differences, food, people and impressions. That might be the reason why we find it difficult to remember Nepal at the moment. It feels like this has been another trip at another time.
When you travel too quickly, it gets exhausting and you will not be able to take it all in. So we have slowed down a lot after the first six weeks. We now have a rule to generally spent at least 3 nights in one place. That way you have at least two full days and can get to know the place you are staying. We are especially using the time in Thailand to get some new energy to move on.
We booked most of our flights in advance for the first 4 months of our trip. The reason for that was to save money. We still believe we got a lot of cheap flights that way. But on the other hand, we were not as flexible as we sometimes wanted to be. In Myanmar for example, we found out that crossing boarders got a lot easier and we could have travelled to Thailand overland. That was also the time when we needed some beach days the most. Unfortunately we had booked the flight to Chiang Mai and had to move on to Laos first. We are definitely looking forward to South America where we haven´t booked any flights and will be much more flexible. We are also more flexible now on the itinerary we set for ourselves. If we like it in one place, we stay longer. It doesn´t always matter to see everything, it is more important to make good experiences.
Asia has some of the best food in the world, and we have to admit we do not miss anything from home! Maybe once a month we notice that some Pizza and Pasta would be great. We have it then, but quickly notice that there isn´t much to miss and happily order some papaya salad or noodle soup afterwards.
We usually do not have a kitchen here and the food in the street or at restaurants is so incredibly cheap that cooking ourselves is not worth the effort. Sometimes we miss that and we are looking forward to some home made food in Australia, where we will have a campervan with a kitchen.
During the last three months we have never spent more than 3 hours apart. That means we do not have any secrets any more. You know the good and bad moods of your partner and there is nowhere to hide from it 😉 Sometimes we fight about totally unnecessary things like where to stay or what to eat. But at the same time, travelling together is like taking the most important part of „home“ with you and we wouldn´t want to be on this trip with anybody else!
Our budget is 66€ per day. In Asia, it has been very easy to stick to this budget. When we leave Thailand we will give you an overview on how much you really need in each country. So far, we have been saving money, which is good, because Australia will be expensive! The only thing that was really hard was that we can´t go shopping (maybe you notice now who is writing this 😉 ) Especially things you need daily, like sunscreen can really hurt your budget.
One of the most interesting experiences on this trip is noticing how little you really need to live. We are travelling with two backpacks, and you might have read our post about what we packed (What to pack). Well – big surprise – we packed too much! After two months we have already sent a package of 4kg back home. It included also some souvenirs that we bought along the way, but we definitely have to admit that we have too much luggage. Sandra´s backpack weighs 16kg, Jens´ backpack now has 18kg. We are still trying to get down to 14-15kg! Carrying this while searching for are place to stay is just too exhausting. We decided that in the future we just need to do our laundry more often instead of carrying to much clothes.
We have been to four countries now. Some have been more developed than others. Noticing the difference between the very touristic places and the less developed can be alarming. Tourism has a lot of positive aspects for a country or a local community. But on the other hand, it can destroy cultures and nature. We are thinking more and more about our own responsibility during this trip. Dressing politely and taking all your garbage with us are just the easiest things to mention.
We always want it all – the real cultural experience, but at the same time enough infrastructure for our personal comfort (a western toilet, hot running water, food that´s save to eat,….). But this is hard to combine. We keep wondering how much tourism is positive for a place. When does it turn negative? Thailand for example got a great culture and amazing nature. But on every boat trip you find plastic in the ocean, there is a terrible party and sex tourism, people walk around half naked in buddistic or muslime communities,…
Not to mention the elephant tourism we already wrote about (The Elephant Experience). Myanmar on the other hand is not yet too developed, but there is a hype at the moment and everyone wants to go. So the question is – when and how will it change?
So what is our solution? Actually we don´t have one. We still believe that travelling is one of the best ways to stay open-minded, it broadens your horizon and last but not least it is a lot of fun! We just try to respect and get to know local culture as much as possible, spend our money wisely so that it contributes to local communities and sometimes waive things that are not sustainable.