As you probably know by now, a few days ago I finally left Asia and I am currently sat at home writing this post.
The rainy season in Thailand was fast approaching and after realising just how insane the rains can get at this time of year, I booked a flight to Europe with the plan of returning to Asia in November.
I now have 6 months to try and cram in as many epic adventures as possible and it looks like these will be taking place predominantly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
As always, my plans aren’t fixed, but here’s a rough idea of what the next 6 months are going to look like.
I left Siem Reap at 7am on the 13th May and what followed was one of my longest travel days to date.
A 2 hour taxi to the Cambodia-Thailand border. 4 hours of queueing in the sweltering heat to cross the border. 7 hours on a local bus to get to Bangkok. 1 hour in a cab to get to Bangkok airport. 4 hours of waiting at the airport. A 10 hour flight to Cairo. 4 hours in Cairo airport. A 5 hour flight to Amsterdam.
And then, finally, I was in Europe.
And how did it feel? Like I’d never left, actually. It felt like my time in Asia had been one long and crazy dream and now I was back in the real world. It was cold. There was cheese. I ate bagels for the first time, I drank €6 pints of cider, and even thought I was expecting to hate it, I didn’t.
I’m now back home in London, and it’s not as strange as I was expecting it to be. I’m staying in my old bedroom at my parents’ house and it feels like nothing has changed.
I spent a few evenings telling them about some of the crazy ordeals that have yet to make it onto the site, I chatted with friends and we laughed at all the stupid things I’ve done. I’ve eaten cheese, drank tea and squealed when I had my first roast dinner.
It’s… nice. It feels familiar and it feels comfortable, but it’s also helped to consolidate my belief that travelling, and making my income online, is 100% the right path for me to be taking right now. And as much as I’d like to be visiting London for the Olympics, the thought of sticking around for two months doesn’t seem very appealing! Two weeks will be enough for me.
Slovenia is my favourite country in Europe and Ljubljana my favourite city.
I can’t wait to return, and this time will be even more special as I’ll be celebrating my birthday there! Dave’s never been to Slovenia so I’m really looking forward to showing him around and forcing him to make it his favourite country too!
Most of our time will be spent in Ljubljana, but I also have plans for an adventurous two days in Bled. We’ll be taking a hot air balloon ride over Lake Bled at sunrise one morning and trying out canyoning for the first time too. No doubt I’m going to be absolutely terrified of both and I’m sure it’ll make for some dramatic posts.
I’ve travelled quite a lot through Western and Central Europe and I can’t believe I still haven’t been to Austria! Although this will only be a short visit to Vienna, I’m excited to explore the historic centre of the city, and I’ve already discovered a few themed restaurants that I’ll be checking out while I’m there.
On the 10th June, I’ll be saying goodbye to Dave and flying out of Vienna to travel solo around Morocco for a month. I’m SO excited to take my first steps on the continent of Africa and especially in a country that I’ve dreamed of visiting for so long.
If you read this site when I first started then you’ll know that originally I had planned on starting my travels in Morocco! As soon as I made the announcement a few people advised me to choose somewhere else because of the intensity of the country.
I decided to save it for a later date and while I definitely don’t feel any more experienced or qualified to cope with the hassles and stresses of Morocco, I’m sure it will make for an amazing experience nevertheless.
My adventures will begin in Marrakech before I leave to spend a few days camping and riding camels through the Sahara Desert. I want to have my second surf lesson at some point, and I’m sure I’ll spend a lot of time chilling out at the beach town of Essaouira. I will definitely be spending a large part of my month in Chefchaouen, the gorgeous city where everything is painted blue!
Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia
It’s back to Austria again in July, where I’ll meet up with Dave and we’ll begin our Eastern European adventure. From here onwards, our plans are extremely vague and can be summarised as “somehow getting from Vienna to Istanbul”.
The following is looking like our most likely route:
Starting from Graz in Vienna, we will head back through Ljubljana again(!), before visiting Zagreb and Plitvice National Park in Croatia.
From Croatia, we’ll most likely travel into Bosnia to check out Sarajevo and Mostar. I visited Mostar last year as part of a tour and could only spend an hour there. I’m looking forward to spending much longer this time around!
Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria
Here are when plans get really vague, but from Bosnia, we’ll probably travel through Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria, before arriving at our final destination.
We’re planning on arriving in Istanbul at some point in August and this will mark the beginning of a 6 week stint in the country. As for our plans? Dave will be going on a 2 week sailing trip around the Turkish islands and I may or may not be going with him, depending on how confident I am that I won’t get seasick. If I don’t then I’ll be planning a trip to Georgia or Armenia for the time that he is away.
As for Turkey itself? On my list are the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and the hot springs at Pamukkale, but other than that I am completely open to suggestions and have no idea where I’ll end up.
I’ll be spending most of October in the Middle East! This will be my first time in the region and I’m slightly apprehensive but really looking forward to spending some time there. At the moment it’s looking most likely that I’ll be visiting Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.
Yep! Back to my beloved Thailand. In November, I will be returning to one of my favourite countries in the world. I won’t be staying for long though – this will just be a quick stop to revisit some of my favourite spots and to check out the awesome Yi Peng festival.
…And that just about summarises my next 6 months of travel. As always, I expect most of these plans to change and knowing me, I’ll probably end up spending 6 months in Ghana.
What do you think of my travel plans? Good? Bad? Any suggestions for any of the places I’ll be visiting? Will you be in any of the same places at the same time? Drop me a message!
[Images via: Tomontheroof/Flickr, zilverbat/Flickr, lassi.kurkijavi/Flickr, klearchos/Flickr, djtomic/Flickr]