Month 36: Travel Summary & Statistics


Month 36 travel summary

Month 36 travel summary

I can’t believe I’ve been travelling for three years! I remember sitting in my bedroom a few days before I was going to leave England and staring at blank map in front of me. I plotted my route out for the next year — what I believed then to be my entire trip — and stared at it in awe. I couldn’t believe I was going to visit so many countries. I couldn’t believe I was going to travel for an entire year.

Now, three years later, I make sure to remind myself of how I felt in that moment. It’s a reminder to stay humble, be grateful, and feel proud of what I’ve achieved.

The past month has brought a welcome change from all the rushing around I’ve been doing. It was a chance for me to recover and heal, and finally get healthy.

I was all about the laziness in Pokhara. It was far too rainy to hike. I was too tired to even think consider it. There was power for only a few hours each day so I couldn’t work much, either. I laid in a hammock and read, I drank buckets of masala tea and promptly sweated them back out again, I napped, I ate salads and I dreamt about swimming in an icy cold lake.

Himalayas from Pokhara
A rare glimpse of the Himalayas, seen at sunrise in Pokhara.

After a while, Pokhara started to get to me. I was visiting at the wrong time of year — at least, it was wrong for me. I did love how quiet it was, and how the streets were empty of tourists. I loved that everything was cheap, and there was never a wait for food at restaurants. I loved, even, the rain, as much as it did prevent us from going outside. There’s nothing I like more than sitting huddled up inside and listening to thunderstorms.

Except I couldn’t huddle because it was so, so hot. After two weeks of cold showers every 20 minutes in an attempt to stay cool in our sauna of a room, we left. Pokhara was such a beautiful place, but I should have visited during winter. The power cuts wouldn’t have bothered me if it hadn’t been 35 degrees everyday. So, I forced myself to leave before I grew to dislike it, and vowed to return next year during the colder months. I’m determined to return in the dry season and do some of the hikes that Nepal is so famous for.

Chitwan was scratched from our itinerary because it was even hotter than Pokhara, and we took our bumpy, bumpy bus back to Kathmandu. I loved Kathmandu just as hard the second time around and, if it wasn’t for the pollution, I’d have been itching to stay for several months. I spent my final few days in Kathmandu eating buffalo momos, drinking masala tea, and grinning at all of the power.

Fried buff momos -- so good!
Fried buffalo momos — so good!

My time in Nepal was wonderful, but I didn’t fall for the country like I’d expected to. That’s why I’m planning on revisiting during a different season. Without mono, without the rains, without the heat, I’ll be able to do what I had originally planned for. I came at the wrong time but that’s okay. I got a taster of Nepal, which is exactly what I wanted.

It was with blocked sinuses that I left Kathmandu for Chiang Mai, excited to be returning to the place that feels most like home to both Dave and I. Like every time we visit, we revelled in the familiarity. It was time to get healthy. It was time to get some work done. It was time to finally recover my energy levels.

Onto the statistics for the month!  

Travels for month 36

Countries Visited: 2

Nepal, Thailand

Cities Visited: 4

Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kathmandu, Pokhara

Distance Travelled: 3495 kilometres

Photos Taken: 54

Highlight of the Month: Arriving in Chiang Mai and having everything fall into place within a few hours of our arrival. We found the perfect apartment and moved in immediately, we rented a scooter, we joined the gym, we got SIM cards, we met up with our friend Diana for lunch. We were settled and happy within about two hours on our first morning. It’s good to be back.

My Favourite Photo:

Sunset in Chiang Mai

Sunsets in Chiang Mai are always a spectacle. This photo was taken from Chiang Mai Gate night market, looking across the moat.

The Best Thing I Ate:  

Salad from Salad Concept

As part of my whole getting-my-life-together plan for Chiang Mai, I’m cutting out the crap from my diet and eating healthily for the first time in my life. One of my favourite new discoveries here is Salad Concept, where you can find me munching away practically every lunchtime. I love their make your own salads, where you get an enormous salad, five vegetable toppings, some meat dishes, and a choice of around 15 different dressings. My current favourite has toppings of tomatoes, Japanese cucumbers, asparagus, croutons, feta cheese, raw salmon, a carrot dressing and a side of grilled vegetables. Who knew salads could taste so good?

Money Spent: 

Accommodation: 

  • 12 nights in Pokhara: $87.36 ($7.28 a night)
  • 5 nights in Kathmandu: $30.75 ($6.15 a night)
  • 13 nights in Chiang Mai: $86.58 ($6.67 a night)

Transportation: 

  • Bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu: $13
  • Taxi from Kathmandu to the airport: $2.50
  • Flight from Kathmandu to Chiang Mai via Bangkok: $319.35
  • Taxi from Chiang Mai airport to our apartment: $1.88
  • Scooter rental for the month: $39.25

Food: $279.08

Miscellaneous: 

  • New toiletries: $10

Total Amount Spent: $869.75

Amount by Country (excluding flights): 

Nepal: $313.61 over 17 days = $18.45 per day

Thailand: $236.79 over 13 days = $18.22 per day

The Next Month

Month 37 travel summary

Despite fleeing back to Southeast Asia to get some work done, I seem to be spending quite a bit of time exploring the South Asian countries I’ve always wanted to visit. Next month, it’ll be Sri Lanka’s turn. From Chiang Mai, I’ll be flying out to Colombo and immediately heading south. We’re planning for a week on the beaches of Sri Lanka — Galle and Mirissa being the two main ones — and then heading north for some hiking in the tea plantations near Ella.

Next month, I’ll also have a pretty exciting announcement to share with you all!

 

Any tips for places to go in Sri Lanka? Any comments on my past month? Let me know below!

 

Looking to follow along with my travels through my monthly summaries? You can read the previous month’s summary here, the next month’s summary here, or head on over to the monthly summary page to read from the very beginning!

Previous 11 Ways in Which Travel Has Changed My Life
Next Why I Love The Catlins

41 Comments

  1. Kendra (the Escapologist)
    July 30, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations on three years of travel! Those fried buffalo momos look so good.

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Kendra! Momos are one thing I’m really going to miss from Nepal.

  2. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    July 30, 2014
    Reply

    Congrats on making it to 3 years on the road! That is such an incredible, awesome milestone to have reached!

    It’s also great to see that, 3 years in, you are continuing to explore completely new countries and seek out new experiences. I am both excited and JEALOUS that you are heading to Sri Lanka—Tony & I spent 24 days there back in April/May and it was also our last stop in Asia before heading to Europe. It was absolute HEAVEN and I have no doubt you will absolutely adore it (if you thought the Philippines had great beaches, prepare to have your mind blown). We visited both Galle & Mirissa, as well as Ella and many other places (we hired a tuk tuk and drove ourselves around the country!), so we have plenty of thoughts on things to do, see & eat, and also places to stay. If you check out our site, we’ve started covering Sri Lanka (just writing about Mirissa now!) so hopefully you will find some inspiration (and some helpful information) there!

    All the best in year 4, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on SL. (My only fear is that if Nepal was too hot for you, SL is definitely going to be worse…)

  3. Inês
    July 30, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations on the 3 years travel :D

    I’ve recently found your blog and I’m pretty sure I’ve read it almost entirely by now. Your writing is so cool and fresh and you publish great content.
    I’m planning a trip to Indonesia next year and you really inspired me with your post.

    Keep on going :D

    • Lauren
      July 30, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Ines! That means the world to me :-) Hope you enjoy Indonesia!

  4. Scarlett
    July 30, 2014
    Reply

    I can’t believe you’ve been travelling for 3 years, and I’ve been reading this blog for three years! That’s incredible. I would be exactly the same grabbing my crotch in public if I was in that bladder-bursting situation too! xx

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks for sticking with me for all this time, Jen! You should have seen the looks I was attracting as I waddled to my guesthouse!

  5. Sophie Camp
    July 30, 2014
    Reply

    Being desperate for a wee when travelling is the worst! Well, maybe not the WORST, but it gives me nightmares just thinking about it. I had a similar thing with a train breaking down in middle of Bosnia just before I was about to head to loo. Hours and a few buses later I genuinely thought about running into first house I saw and begging them to let me use their loo.

    Also that salad looks like heaven on a plate!

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2014
      Reply

      It was so traumatising! And your story sounds just as bad. Lesson learned. I won’t be downing anymore water until I’m checked into my guesthouse.

  6. Sophie Camp
    July 30, 2014
    Reply

    Oh and congratulations of three years of travel! :D

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks! :-)

  7. Catherine
    July 30, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations on three years of travelling – that’s an amazing achievement and you’re right to be proud of yourself!

    I’m so happy for you that you’re back in Chiang Mai and that everything is going to plan there – you deserve everything to just fall into place so nicely after the tough couple of months you’ve had with the mono.

    Can’t wait for the announcement next month. Is this the secret project you’ve been working on? Do we finally get to find out what it is?!?

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2014
      Reply

      Awww, thanks so much, Catherine! It’s been so wonderful to rest and recover, and nap for as long as I need! And yes to the announcement! I’m so excited to share my news :-)

  8. Katie
    July 30, 2014
    Reply

    Congrats on three years of travel, that is incredible!!! I really would like to visit Sri Lanka next year while in India, the more I see about, the more I think I will do it! Keep up the travels :)
    Katie

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Katie! :-) I haven’t heard many bad things about Sri Lanka, and I’d expect it to be an easier experience than India. I think you should go, too!

  9. Katie @ The World on my Necklace
    July 31, 2014
    Reply

    Looking forward to hearing about Sri Lanka when you get there as I will be heading there next year. Also, the big announcement!

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2014
      Reply

      I’m so excited for Sri Lanka! :-)

  10. Tiana
    July 31, 2014
    Reply

    LOVE that Chiang Mai sunset photo!! Congrats on 3 years :)

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2014
      Reply

      Thank you, Tiana! :-)

  11. Carney
    July 31, 2014
    Reply

    Love reading about your travels Lauren! I think you are going to have to write a how-to on how you do it ;) The pics are amazing.

    • Lauren
      July 31, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Carney! :-)

  12. memographer
    July 31, 2014
    Reply

    Congrats on 3 years, Lauren!
    Great stats and pics. The colors in the Chiang Mai sunset photo are incredible!

    • Lauren
      August 1, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks so much!

  13. Becks :-)
    July 31, 2014
    Reply

    Hello, you definitely need to go back to Nepal a cooler time of year and experience hiking in the Himalayas and staying in the tea houses. You missed out. :-( Enjoy Sri Lanka. I recommend the elephant orphanage at Pinnawala. I know you probably seen a million elephants in Thailand, but what I loved about this was they take them down to the river everyday. There must be about an 100 roaming free. It is a spectacular sight. Happy travels :-)

    • Lauren
      August 1, 2014
      Reply

      Hi Becks, yep I definitely missed out on the best Nepal has to offer, but it was good for a quick taster visit! I actually haven’t seen any elephants in Thailand, and have heard great things about Pinnawala — thanks for the tip! :-)

  14. Stephanie
    July 31, 2014
    Reply

    I love the photo of Chiang Mai. I miss Thailand so much, especially my beloved 7 Eleven :)

    Sri Lanka is amazing, it’s so different to South East Asian countries. Climbing Adams peak at night was the highlight for me! Hikkaduwa is the perfect place to relax too, The Koh Chang of Sri Lanka!

    • Lauren
      November 13, 2015
      Reply

      Thanks, Stephanie! I think I miss Thailand pretty much non-stop these days!

  15. Rachel of Hippie in Heels
    July 31, 2014
    Reply

    great travel plans! I have been in India 2 years and STILL haven’t hit up Sri Lanka and Nepal! Ah! haha but I think Sri Lanka is next- hopefully you’ll have some tips posted I can follow!

    • Lauren
      September 7, 2014
      Reply

      Sri Lanka turned out to be one of my favourite countries — you’ll love it there :-)

  16. Tom @ Waegook Tom
    August 1, 2014
    Reply

    Congratulations on the three years! I’m tentatively planning to visit Nepal next year, during the dry season, and checking it out. Will have to wait and see how that materialises…those buffalo momos look amazing by the way. Also, Sri Lanka!?! I’ve been toying with the idea of going to Sri Lanka, well, forever, so I’m looking forward to seeing what you make of it.

    • Lauren
      September 7, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks, Tom! I’m all about South Asia at the moment — both Nepal and Sri Lanka have been so amazing.

  17. Sacha | Beautiful Travel Hangover
    August 1, 2014
    Reply

    Oh, delicious momo’s! How hungry I am now…
    Have fun in Sri Lanka! I have a penpal from Sri Lanka and she describes it as a place I really want to visit, even though I didn’t now anything about the country when we first started writing to each other. It is somehow easily overlooked because of big brother India. Anyway, I can’t wait to hear your stories and see photos of Sri Lanka! It will keep me informed and entertained until I go there myself one day :)

    • Lauren
      September 7, 2014
      Reply

      One of my best friends is from Sri Lanka and she’d been telling me for years to travel there. I’m glad I finally did because now I want to talk about it with her non-stop :-)

  18. Marcia @ CuracaoVacation
    August 4, 2014
    Reply

    I think you established a new world record. Congratulations on your 3 years travel anniversary. I think the fried buffalo momos taste great! What is your best experience from all these 3 years?

    • Lauren
      September 1, 2014
      Reply

      My best experience would have to be camping in the Sahara Desert! So magical! :-)

  19. Jo
    August 6, 2014
    Reply

    Just to echo almost everyone else here: those fried buffalo momos look AMAZING. Congratulations on three years of travel. As someone who sometimes struggles with anxiety herself, you’ve inspired me so much to get out there and see more stuff!

    • Lauren
      September 1, 2014
      Reply

      I’m so happy to hear that, Jo! :-)

  20. Priyanka
    April 27, 2017
    Reply

    first of all.. lemme congratulate you. You have been travelling 3 years!!!!I enjoy reading your blog. !Love that Chaing mai sunset pic..May you travel for years to come. All the best Lauren.

    • Lauren
      April 29, 2017
      Reply

      And now I’m coming up on six years of travel! Thanks so much, Priyanka :-)

  21. Hayley
    December 22, 2018
    Reply

    I really appreciated this blog post. I haven’t read anything about Nepal before so this was fascinating. Great writing with beautiful pictures. Congrats on 3 years on the road, Lauren :)

    • Lauren
      January 7, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you! It’s actually been almost eight years now at this point :-)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.