Eight months ago we got engaged. Four months ago we got married. Three months ago we flew the long way to Southeast Asia and began our honeymoon adventure!
Since we started this journey, we’ve visited seven countries (including a 13-hour layover in the United Arab Emirates); spent time in 27 cities/towns; slept at 37 guesthouses; traveled via overnight train, sleeper bus, local bus, minivan, ferry, plane and a 2-day slow boat; and cooked just ONE of our own meals, thanks to a cooking course we took in Chiang Mai.
To date, we’re spending an average of $58/day for the two of us, or about $1700/month; this number covers ALL expenses including accommodation, transportation, food, water, toiletries, laundry, visas, tours, what little shopping we’ve done and even small offerings made at temples or donated to organizations. Our biggest expense has been airfare from Hanoi to Singapore, on Tiger Airlines, at $363.94 for two tickets – this is the only time we’ve flown since our initial flight out of Seattle. It’s difficult to say what our smallest expense has been; there have been so many meals, drinks, tuk tuk rides, metro tickets and souvenirs which have cost less than $1 USD.
We’ve dipped our feet in the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and the mighty Mekong River. We’ve toured six UNESCO World Heritage sites and dozens of places of worship – Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Catholic. We’re walking 5-7 miles a day on average, or at least that’s what we had tracked before our Fitbits petered out and died. We’ve done laundry eight times. We’ve collectively read/listened to more than 25 books. We’ve gotten lost a handful of times yet always find our way. We’ve met awesome people – both tourists like us as well as locals. We’ve had too many delicious meals to count (and have even more photos of those delicious meals). Despite hundreds of mosquito bites and a few blisters on our feet, Chris and I are still in two whole pieces, respectively, still trucking, and still fully embracing our time “honeymooning” across Southeast Asia.
We’re calling this trip a honeymoon, though not every day feels like the romantic, post-wedding getaway you might typically expect from a honeymoon. We’re not lounging on a white sandy beach, tropical drink in one hand, book in the other, contemplating whether to snorkel or sunbathe (though we really did try to do this one week in Cambodia!). A lot of our honeymoon is spent on the move, figuring out logistics…where to go, what to eat, how to spend, what bus to catch, when to set the alarm clock, how to avoid getting hangry, taking care of each other when we get sick – all the things we’ve always done, now just in Asia. It’s life like usual, but with backpacks.
Of course, we are taking time to pause, explore, learn, marvel and reflect – that’s the main objective of this journey. There’s so much to gain from traveling: broader perspective and awareness; greater appreciation for people and how others live and thrive; understanding of culture, religion, history, current events; gratitude for our own roots and for the small place we occupy in the world. Travel has been a solid education. Traveling together has made learning more fun; we have become witnesses to each others’ exploration, story-tellers with unique perspectives on similar experiences, partners in mapping and navigating this first year of our shared lifetime.
After three months, we’re still happy, healthy and enjoying this journey. We plan to travel through Malaysia for the next few weeks before meeting our friends Breia and Ryan to explore more of Thailand and then Myanmar, which will be new to all of us. In October, we look forward to meeting family – Richard, Amanda and Quince – in Hong Kong for a few days. We plan to move a lot slower after that and are starting to look at month rentals in Hanoi and Saigon, two cities we both enjoyed and would like to spend more time in.
We miss all of you, our family and friends. We’re wishing you well and hope you’ve enjoyed journeying with us so far. Here’s a photo album of some of my favorites shots from the past three months!
|15.08.03_Three Month Round Up!|