Now that I have said goodbye to Japan, I thought it was time to reveal my big adventure for 2016. After a few changes due to visa issues, and a change in the amount of time traveling, it seems that our plans are finally set in stone. Reservations are being made, and lots of research is happening in my free time. Come November it will be 3 years since I left the US on this crazy adventure. My travels have brought me to live in two new countries (Japan and China) allowing me to experience local life and culture. Since I was working, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to explore but I tried to travel as much as possible. That being said, I still feel like there are many places in both Japan and China that I would like to experience in more depth, something I think I will always feel no matter where I travel.
So, where will I be going?
For the short answer, I will be traveling across East Asia to Central Asia. I had wanted to make it to Europe as well, but we have things pulling us back to the US a little earlier than we had expected. Aside from going to France once when I was 16, I have never spent any time in Europe. So although I am a little sad I wont be making it this time, I know sooner than later I will make it there and explore all it has to offer.
Ok, so I wont be going to Europe this time, but it’s on my radar, and I would like to go soon, maybe in the spring, or next summer, who knows? I am excited that our travels will bring me to many new countries, and will also allow me to go back to China and Thailand. I will also be able to see two college friends who have also been living abroad in Asia. They are in Beijing now so I’ll get to see that amazing city a little more.
The first part of the trip will also have me traveling around the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand. This will allow me to be a beach bum, something that I have been dreaming of since back in the beginning of 2014 when we spent time in NE Australia.
What countries will I explore?
I will be spending about half of my journey in SE Asia and China, and the other half in Central Asia. I am happy to venture back to SE Asia as my first and only time was in 2008, when I visited Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos with two amazing women, and my new boyfriend who now happens to be my husband. I wish I could return to Cambodia and Laos, but this time around I will focus on new places. I don’t know about you, but it seems that I end of wanting to see way more once I visit a place, making my desire to travel grow so much more. After Myanmar and Vietnam I will be heading back to China for a few weeks on my way to Central Asia. Our journey will once again take us along the Silk Road and into Tibetan areas on our way to Xinjiang. Xinjiang has been on my radar since living in China. I think that it is given a bad wrap, but I believe there is much beauty to enjoy there.
After China I will head to Central Asia, checking out Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and hopefully the weirdly elusive Turkmenistan (although at this point our first attempt at getting visa has failed). I am so excited for the opportunity to travel in these countries, explore the mountains, and see a different side of the Silk Road. There isn’t a whole lot of information about travel in these areas, so I am excited that I can offer some insight into practical information about going there, from visas to places to visit.
How long is the journey?
The short answer is not long enough. But the precise answer is about 6 months. To some it might seem like a long time, and it is, but I know that it will leave me with a desire to see more. I am lucky to see these places, and I am lucky to have the time and resources to make a journey of this magnitude.
Once I have made it through Central Asia I will make my way back to the US for the first time in 3 years. I am hoping the trip home will be short, but long enough to visit with family and friends that have stayed connected with me along the way.
Have you been to any of the countries I am planning to visit? If so, what was your favorite destination, food, or experience? I would love to hear any suggestions.