Our RTW Travel (Un) Plans

It’s nearly here. I can almost feel it. Warm, tropical air, spicy curries and exotic spiky fruits with strange names. Lychee. Jackfruit. Rambutan. Okay, maybe it’s just that last one that’s weird.

Our Indefinite Travel Adventure (read, this is not a holiday) is just around the corner, starting in Southeast Asia, a part of the world that is so close, yet so far away.

Close in distance, but a world away culturally.

And I can’t wait.

I’ve always loved Asia. From my first overseas trip to Bali, to countless jaunts to Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok as a flight attendant, I have always felt an affinity with the place. Yeah I know,  Asia is a very broad term that refers to a whole heap of uniquely interesting countries with extremely diverse cultures.

But I love all the places I have visited so far, and can’t wait to discover more.


The dream becomes a reality…

We’re almost there. We have sold our home, and most of our possessions. We’ve purchased the majority of out travel gear. We’ve scaled the mountain of fear and uncertainty, reached the summit, and now jog down the other side. Confident. Excited. Happy.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. Visas, vaccinations, flight connections, airport layovers. We’ve expelled so much energy dismantling the material evidence of our lives here, that we haven’t really done much travel planning.

The Un-plan…

Our first stop will be Cambodia. We’re flying into Phnom Penh to meet up with our friend Marty, who is having a Southeast Asian adventure of his own. He’s a great mate, and we are so looking forward to sharing some adventures with him after countless nights in our backyard pondering the prospect together.

We plan to head to some islands for rest, recuperation and relaxation. We’ve been working our butts off at work , downsizing our possessions and dismantling our lives here. We need some down time.

We will apply for our  Cambodian 30 day visas via the e-visa site before we arrive. That’s topping the To Do list at the moment.

Then, we’ll probably head into Thailand. Tyrhone would like to do some Muay Thai boxing training. He wants me to do it too. I want to bathe an elephant. Not ride one, bathe one. I want to hug it and touch it and kiss it (yes, I’ve had my shots) and I’m not sure why.

We’ll spend the following few months exploring Vietnam, Laos, and the Philippines. Maybe Malaysia and Indonesia too.

When we’ve had a gut-full of the delights of SEA, which I can’t imagine ever happening, we might head into China, which I can only imagine is going to be One Huge Culture Shock.

Tyrhone is fascinated with China. Me…not so much. Honestly, I am a little scared!

On an episode of Karl Pilkington’s Idiot Abroad, a man ate chicken foetus. Maybe I’ll be able to brave China if I veto eggs.

Here is your scrambled eggs madam, don’t mind the feathers, eyeballs and beaks.



I know, I know, I eat (and absolutely love) blue cheese, which some cultures would find positively stomach churning, but I just can’t summon the courage to acquire a taste for bird foetus.

I’ll stick to mouldy cheese thanks.

And After the Delights of China?

It’s anyones guess really.

We have 1 year Canadian work/study visas, having applied for them just before our 31st birthdays. The catch is, however, we have to arrive by Jan 2013 in order to activate them, exactly a year after mine was granted.

Now I have never been too keen on this idea for some reason, believing that I simply won’t be ready get a job (those words feel like foetus in my mouth) so early in our adventure. But it’s always good to have options.

Adding to that, I have committed to a very exciting and as yet undisclosed adventure in India in the first two weeks of January 2013 with two blogging friends, that I am just so crazy excited about, the details of which I will reveal soon. But believe me, it’s going to be epic…

I’d love to spend several months at least in India, another of my favourite countries.

And though it is too far into the future to contemplate right now, Canada, USA, Central America and South America are definitely on the cards.

Damn it, I forgot to factor in Africa (being such a puny-sized continent and all), which is actually my dream destination. I’d love to attempt Kilimanjaro, and of course see as many beautiful animals and people as possible. So we will get there at some point, too, I just don’t know when.

So they are our un-plans! And they will of course change and develop and unfold as we go.

My only hope is that I am able to be present in each place we happen to land, especially those places that we don’t plan to find ourselves in, but do.

The whole purpose of this adventure is to let things happen naturally, and to give ourselves time and space to appreciate different places. If we want to sleep in, we will. If we want to climb a mountain, so be it.

We hope to give ourselves total freedom in our travels, not restricting ourselves to having to see certain sights but rather allowing the world to show herself to us, through people, culture and nature.

My blogging friend Kim shared a great quote with me the other day:

Take the first step, and the staircase will appear…

I’d love to live my life by this. So far, it’s working out pretty well.








Our RTW Travel (Un) Plans — 20 Comments

  1. There comes a time in everybody’s life when you stop living vicariously through others, stop trying to realize other people’s dreams, stop being encumbered by what is in the history books and instead step forth into the great unknown and chart your own course, make your own history.

    You’re about to do something that many people in their entire lives never accomplish out of fear of the unknown. And when their lives are over they end them wishing they did what you are about to do.

    As a fellow journeyer on the path of life, let me send you forth with this Irish blessing that I’ve grown quite fond of over a number of years:

    May the road
    Rise to meet you,
    May the wind
    Always be at your back,
    May the sun
    Shine warm upon your face,
    May the rains
    Fall softly upon your fields.

    I look forward with anticipation towards reading about your adventures. I’ll be cheering you every step of the way.

  2. Sarah!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am just so so so so SO excited for you to begin your adventures and I can’t wait to read about the world through your eyes. I’m sure that there will be a million highs and lows and through it all you will grow, change, and experience the world in ways that others only dream. And we will always be here to cheer you on via the internet (and, ahem, in person too ;)) Many, many hugs and wishes of goodness to you. Life is grand.

  3. Great attitude! I think that we shape how things go by our way of thinking about it. I find planning to be almost impossible. Although I’ve been entertaining the idea of China for quite some time, might be a bit rough but I feel it’s something I need to experience, and it would be great to go to a Mandarin speaking area and try to learn some of that. Just a thought for now though :-)

    • Thanks Mike, I have bee inspired by your ‘drifting’ style!! Christine from Almostfearless.com is doing just that at the moment, based in Beijing. Might be worth checking out. Happy drifting :)

  4. This is amazing Sarah, I am so happy and excited for you. I can’t wait to see what adventures you and Tyrhone encounter during your un-plans. I will be following every step of the way, and cheering, nudging and winking too 😉 Namaste…

    • Namaste Hannah, all this nudging and winking is just getting too much…I’m gonna crack! Hang on, why am I keeping this a secret anyway?!! So that I can’t be talked out of it?! xx

  5. So excited for you! :-) Your un-plans sound perfect – wonderful settings for grand adventures with people you care about. :-)

  6. Sarah, that is absolutely inspirational. I think that you are already living by that quote “take the first step and the staircase will appear” because you’ve started doing what you need to do to kick off your adventures. It’s all happening for you and it will be a ball! I’m excited to read more about your adventures! Take care and enjoy your travels.

    • Thank you so much Christine! It has been a pretty amazing journey so far, and we haven’t even started our travels yet! I really appreciate your support and wish you well in your adventures too :)

  7. Wow. It all sounds so fantastic. I love that you have unplans. You will no doubt make so many friends along the way and be able to accept their ideas and offers. I’m wondering if your India secret is going to be a little Eat Pray Love in style??!

    • Hi there, it is so un- EPL, though I’m thinking of signing up for some meditation afterwards, as I think I’ll need it after the adventure we have planned! More news soon, I’m not holding out, just have to make sure it’s happening and get the details in order first. Thanks for reading :)