Travelling around for a longer time has been on my bucketlist for as long as I can remember! And the moment is finally here! It’s a longtime dream that I’m finally fulfilling and I’m so in luck because my boyfriend, Michiel is joining me. We’ll be starting in Asia and have a lot of exciting things in our mind!
So I always wanted to do this, but I guess as most of you know, it’s not that simple to take off for a year. It wasn’t easy and leaving my job and life in Belgium behind – putting it on pause for a year – was harder than expected. However, for me it was always clear that it wasn’t a maybe, but a when. Many people were surprised that I actually did go through with my plan. It made me realize how many people do not actually follow the dreams they have. So I’m extra grateful that I can do this.
I’ll write a more elaborate post about this, for anyone who would like to do something in the same line, but it took a lot of preparation! The moment we decided to go, the planning started and boy, is it a lot! The to-do list felt endless, especially the last weeks before leaving. There’s so many things you have to think about! How to pack your bag, what do you take with you? Which climates will you be in? What activities will you do? What countries do you want to go to? Checking if you need visas, looking for insurance, all the vaccinations you need to get, international drivers license, etc.
I’ll talk about our destinations right away, but since we decided to do a trekking in Nepal and a through hike in New-Zealand, the challenge of packing grew even bigger! There’s so much specific stuff you need to take with you simply for those activities. Honestly, if we didn’t have to take with us the things we need for those trekkings, we would have a lot of space left in our backpacks! Luckily, we will be able to lose some stuff after a while.
The most exciting part! Where are we heading? We will start off in China and will travel around in this huge country for one month by bus and train. Next stop is Nepal, where I’ll revisit the home I volunteered last year and we’ll hike the Manaslu trail. We’ll celebrate Christmas in Nepal, since I thought it would be nice to spend this moment with the kids I grew to love so much! New Year we’ll celebrate in Cambodja on the beach! After this we’ll fly to New Zealand where we’ll hike half of the Te Araroa, a trail that takes you all the way through the country, from North to South. We’ll only walk the Southern Island, but that is still around 1500km! It should take us 50 to 80 days. It will be a challenge, since we’ve both never done anything like the likes of that before! But if you don’t try something, you don’t know how it will be! If it turns out to be to hard, or if we don’t like it, we can change our plans!
That’s everything that is planned so far, since it was important to arrive at the right time in New Zealand, to do the trek in the best weather conditions. After that, everything is open, but we have a list of countries we’d like to go to, at the moment these are on the list: Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru. But we have now idea how our trip will actually go and where we’ll end up or how far our budget will take us! And who knows, maybe we want to discover other places… What we do know is that we want to really see the countries we visit, so we will stay at least two weeks and maybe even more. It’s not about checking destinations of our list, it’s about experiencing new places, new cultures, people, food, everything.
We are really excited and we hope you’ll maybe follow us along!
Love Elise (and Michiel)