I know a lot of people like the idea of simply quitting their job or taking a leave and travel around the globe with just a backpack on (like we did!) but they either think it’s financially impossible, it’s scary or they wouldn’t know what to do whilst out there. Well, I wrote this post to help ya’ll out and to neutralise those thoughts.
- Just to make clear, I’m the worst planner in the world and I leave everything to the last minute, but travelling the world requires careful and early planning (I want to thank Joe here for being the masterplanner and helping me to develop in this matter). So if you want to do it – plan it! I can’t even stress enough on how much you need Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor.com during your travels outside of Europe. Lonely Planet tells you EVERYTHING you need to know from cultural etiquette and habits to restaurants and accommodations giving you different points of views (depending if you want to party or find inner peace). So my first and foremost advice is to either buy a book (example) which you can carry around and grab when needed or read their website carefully.
- Here’s a few questions for you to think about when you’re planning your trip:
- What part of the world do you want to go?
- What do you want from the trip/What do you want to learn or find?
- How long would you be travelling?
- Who would you go with? BELOW
I met Joe a month before he left for his 6 months trip to Asia. We fell in love and I was left with a decision: to wait or to go? And I went. I took a bloody big risk, but 29th of December 2016 I flew from Helsinki to Hanoi, Vietnam and spent two absolutely amazing months travelling in Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore and Malaysia with the love of my life. We fought, we were grumpy and we didn’t understand each other at times but it was so worth it because now we know each other better than many couples know after years of being in relationship PLUS on our current half a year trip we know how to act in situations where either one (or both) is upset, stressed or just bloody hungry.
Also, if you travel with your partner, you get better deals on accommodation! If you’re not in a relationship or feel like you want to go and have fun with your mates, choose your mate(s) carefully. I would travel with my best friend because we know each other well and we can be honest with each other (after living together in a studio in Helsinki!) so there wouldn’t be any surprises. It’s important to want the same things, to do similar stuff and feel that you can make your friendship better instead of ruining it.
- After roughly deciding where you want to travel it is good to Google “how much time should I spend in Sri Lanka” as an example. There are many sites and blogs specifically helping fellow travellers to plan their time in each city/area/country/part of the world.
FLIGHTS AND BOOKING
- In order to find cheap or fairly priced flights we use Skyscanner.com because it has usually if not always super good deals (We booked a flight from Athens to Singapore for only 75 quid!)
- For accommodation we think the best site is booking.com also because after 5 bookings you start getting some sweet discounts. If you’re travelling by yourself or you and your comrade want the cheapest possible option, try hostelworld.com
FOOD / DIETS
- Here’s the obvious stuff: jabs, medication, tummy tablets (maintaining the bacterial balance and function of the gut aka avoid the shits)
- And then… diets. In ideal world, I would be a vegan. I used to call myself a vegan until I flew to Asia. Let me make this clear. There is NO EASY WAY to be a vegan whilst backpacking outside Europe. I even struggle to get plain noodles with just vegetables! In Vietnam and Myanmar, breakfast was mainly eggs on toast and if you didn’t eat eggs, you were left with toast. I ate toast for 3 weeks and my stomach stopped working. That might be just me as my tummy dislikes wheat but I had no choice – Asia is mainly about meat and wheat. I’m currently in Indonesia and in some parts of the country they seriously think that chicken is vegetarian! So, if you’re a vegan and you want to travel without hassle, here’s your options: 1. Start eating fish, like I’ve done 2. Starve 3. Stay at home and be a vegan unless you’re planning to spend the whole time Singapore (eco-friendly). If you really, really want to stick to veganism there is a growing community of vegan travellers who are fighting their way through, so you can always have a little Google and see if you’re up for the faff.
STUFF YOU NEED FROM HOME
EDIT: Read my post TRAVEL ESSENTIALS for more details
- Two swimsuits
- Four tops
- Two pairs of shorts
- A tote bag, possibly with a zip (a fancy handbag won’t help you on the beach!)
- Socks for planes and night buses
- A big scarf for planes, night buses and temples
- Make-up: bronzer is enough to bring out your features and create a night-time look because you’ll sweat your foundation or BB/CC-cream off. Mascara and an eyebrow pencil.
- A moisturising face cream because of that air-con dryness… Apply on long flights too!
- Here’s our biggest realisation from our last trip to Asia: travel-sized cosmetic bottles which you can keep topping up with suncream, shampoo and shower gel. Not all hotels or guesthouses have shampoo available so it saves you from buying it again and again! Why didn’t we think of this before!?
I hope this post helped you in any way and if you have some questions, please leave a comment! Happy travels! ❤