Writing out these blog posts about the year ahead is quite a strange tradition for us. We don’t actually plan our year very far in advance and currently only have set plans up until the end of February.
We are trying to live in the moment more and more and to stop constantly thinking ‘what’s next?’. It’s actually been easy here, in Vietnam, because we both feel so settled. We really love our lives here.
But, what we do like to do is dream. Travel is on our minds all the time. Even more so for me in this job, where I write about travel 8 hours a day!
So here are our short-term plans and lofty dreams for 2017:
We are flying out to Myanmar TONIGHT! By taking two extra days of annual leave I was able to stretch out the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday to 11 days. Neither of us has been to Myanmar before and neither have Jay or Audra who will be joining us! We’re strapping backpacks on and riding the budget travel train through Yangon, Inle and Bagan. You can follow along on Facebook and Instagram.
We arrive back in Hanoi on February 5th and then I’m off again on the 16th for a business trip to Cambodia. A fantastic opportunity came up to join a workshop with the educational travel arm of my company so I jumped at the chance to spend the week in the Siem Reap office. It also tied in perfectly to a festival happening on the island of Koh Rong; Oli and I will meet our friends for a weekend of beach fun. The easiest route to the island is through the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc, where Oli will spend a few days before the festival. We are both eager to get into the remote working game.
The first weekend of March we are heading back to Dong Hoi, which is where we spent New Years with Mum and Gui. We have a very special reason to return which we are keeping a secret for now…
Later in the month one of our favourite travel companions arrives from England for a week and we want to make it somewhere new with him. We’d love to start ticking off even more National Parks in 2017 so Xuan Thuy or Cat Ba might happen over the long weekend I have booked.
My oldest friend is getting married in April and we are frantically trying to figure out the best flights home. She is getting married in a beautiful town in the alps, which is very exciting but doesn’t make for the easiest or cheapest flight routes! Obviously we’d then be heading to London to see friends and to our family homes.
Without committing to any specific plan, we are sticking around Hanoi until at least November when we will attend (and hopefully work with) Quest Festival for the second time. That’s not to say we have any big life-changing plans on the cards after that, but we know that in 10 months a lot can change.
Between May and November, our most concrete plan is to enjoy Vietnam as much as possible.
We have no guests scheduled in at all for the rest of the year but, whether this changes or not, more Vietnam travel is on the cards. We’d still love to make it back to Nha Trang, as it will be a whopping 7 years since we met there by the time June rolls around. I also want to take time off to motorbike the Northern routes which would be beautiful in Autumn.
In terms of international travel, there are still so many spots in Asia that we’ve yet to explore. Those that are looking more realistic, mostly because of my work, are Japan and Indonesia. We’d also love to make it to Malaysian Borneo to get back into diving and trekking.
Oli and I both hold a dream of being at home for Christmas this year but, like we said, anything could happen between now and then. So, for now at least, this is a cosy dream.
It’s not much of a plan but hopefully this fantastic start to 2017 will continue throughout the year!
What are your travel plans for 2017? And what are your travel dreams? Let us know in the comments below.