Looking back at a year of travel

8 Jan

Sunset on Koh Lanta Beach

Sunset at the beach – Koh Lanta, Thailand

A new year has started and many new travel adventures lie ahead. As we start out the new year we also want to look back at 2012. It’s the year that changed our lives permanently, the year we realized what it is we want to do, at least for the next little while.

Our adventurous year starts in Krabi Town, Southern Thailand. We had just moved there.

Yes, moved! We never set out to a life of travel or a gap year of seeing as much as possible on as small a budget as possible. It all started with the idea to spend a year in Thailand, not all over Thailand, but one location. And on visa runs we hoped to see a bit of the neighbouring countries.

After lots and lots of internet research – as if that really gives you a clear picture – we thought Krabi would be a good place for our year away. And what a year (and one month by now) it has been!

It truly was a life-changing time. We learnt so much about ourselves and each other. It’s funny how you sometimes just have to get away from your familiar places and people, expectations and pressures to be able to listen to yourself only.

In a sense we found ourselves in Krabi. It is also the place where we fell in love with SE Asia. Sure, it’s not all the same everywhere, but definitely so different from Europe and North America.

After 8 month of Krabi and 2 short stints to Malaysia we realized that we wanted to move on and do more of this travelling thing. The rainy weather of monsoon season in Thailand was another factor pushing us to move on.

So travelling we did. For the next 5 months we travelled Malaysia from North to South by bus, flew from Singapore to Bali and spent an amazing 7 weeks there. Back from Singapore we set out on a 4 day train journey to Chiang Mai with stops in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Bangkok.

Chiang Mai stole a piece of our heart but we had to move on after two weeks when our visa was up.

Enter Laos. We are kind of divided on Laos. We loved Luang Prabang with its lovely setting between two rivers and the charming temples, although we got sick there. Vientiane, where we had to get a new Thai visa, was not so much up our alley. We got sick there again.

Back to Chiang Mai it was (for almost a month). We fully enjoyed the coffee and café culture, the charisma of the Old City and its wats and chedis and even ventured out to the mountain side for an adventurous bike trip.

Beach on Poda Island

Poda Island – Krabi – Thailand

But for the end of the year my sister announced her visit and we really wanted to show her ‘home’ – Krabi that is. So we went back to the place where it all began, where we fell in love with Asia and came to the conclusion we could travel for a living.

We showed her the mellow, laid-back town life with colourful, vibrant markets, the lovely riverside with impressive limestone karsts and the many amazing beaches and islands close by.

You will see and read more of our adventures with my sister as we are working on a series on Krabi – what to do there and why we love it so much. Coming back there again as ‘tour guides’ made these points really clear for us and we want to share this lovely place with you too.

In the meantime we remain in Thailand (Chiang Mai) for now. We are looking forward to another exciting year of travel and are curious to see where the roads will lead us. Vietnam and Cambodia are on the ‘next’-list for the beginning of the year. Maybe we will go home to Canada for the summer, but we definitely hear South America calling us already.

We hear you and we are coming…soon!

One thought on “Looking back at a year of travel

  1. Thanks for the many stories about your trips in Asia. I grew up in South America and can recommend it. Many of the beaches may not compare to Thailand’s but the continent has a lot to offer in variation between jungle, desert, cloud-mountains and awesome folklore. One stop should be a trip to the snowy volcanos of Ecuador. Not a person in sight but with luck you may get a visit from the wild horses.

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