The Story so Far: Reviewing the Past Three Months

As usual, this post is running a couple of weeks late. My actual 3 month travel anniversary (travelversary?) was December 22nd, but in the rush of the holiday season and the urge to push out as many Australia posts as I could, I’m only now getting around to seriously thinking on this past quarter year.

I like milestones like these, they are a good time to look back and reflect on how things have gone so far and how I want things to go. I’ve had some major successes and some minor setbacks as I adjust myself to long term travel. So here it is, where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going:

Where I’ve Been

Japan. My first and my favorite country so far- where I first came to accept my travel limits and really embrace the spirit of solo travel. It took my a couple days to find my feet, but I quickly re-adapted to the backpacker lifestyle.

China. I’m almost embarrassed to bring this up again, but I went to China for unexpected reasons and it turns out I really liked it! It took me a little while to warm up to the gritty and confusing city life, but now I hope to return sometime this spring to see more of this cool and complicated country.

Australia. I’m not going to lie, Australia was kind of a bust. I was there for 8 weeks and it rained for about 7 of them. I struggled a lot in Australia, with the weather, with family issues at home, and with a general lack of inspiration that assured me my time would be better spent somewhere else. It wasn’t all bad though: I got to reconnect with old friends, spend quality time with Liz and when the sun did show itself, it turned out the country was quite pretty.

Where I am Now

At this point Japan seems almost like a distant memory, I feel as if I’ve been traveling forever. As I write this I’m sitting in a hostel in Bangkok, next to a certain blogger boy, recovering from ringing in the new year with buckets and bloggers on Kho San Road. I’m so excited to be back in Asia and not just for the yummy food and cheap cheap prices. I’m feeling renewed and refreshed and I’m ready to tackle some new challenges in 2011… once I get over my hangover.

Where I’m Going

The next 4-6 months will be spent back in Asia, a place I just get more and more fascinated with. I’ve met up with Michael and for the next two months we will be traveling Thailand and Vietnam-which I am super excited about. After that I will finally be solo again- most likely headed to Laos, Cambodia and back to China. After that, who knows?

As I said above, Australia was very uninspiring to me. The best part of what I do is taking the experiences of the day and transforming them into something entertaining or thought provoking to read. It’s why I blog and to be honest, how I find my purpose in these long formless days. I’m really optimistic about finding my groove again in this new and exciting place.

It’s a new year, a new country and I have a renewed energy for this blog and for other, as yet unannounced projects as well. I think it’s going to be a good year for me!

What are your travel plans for 2011?

32 thoughts on “The Story so Far: Reviewing the Past Three Months”

  1. Crazy how your experience was exactly the same as mine. I also got driven out of Aus by the weather and ended up paying more to fly out and abandoning my already paid for bus ticket. The rains came heavy in January and I almost didnt make it to Cairns, from where I flew to Singapore (best thing I did on my trip) – I was lucky. It was awful seeing the devastation and destruction. Enjoyed Asia much more.

  2. Great review, we’ve fallen in love with SE Asia, our original plans were to head over to Oz May 2011… but right now we want to be around Asia for at least a couple of years! ๐Ÿ™‚

    We really enjoyed Vietnam, make sure you do an easy rider tour around the highlands if you get time, that was definitely our highlight.
    We did a one day tour then a four day tour, they will literally take you anywhere in the country and tell and show you some incredible stuff along the way
    We wrote about it here:

  3. i’m so sorry Australia was such a bummer. but SEA sounds like it will be really great! i’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Cambodia–it is a future travel must for me.

    as for me, my goals for this year are to finally get the heck out there! my British visa is processing, and then away to London i go!

  4. Steph,

    Even though we’ve never met of course, your blog was the first one I discovered back in June that led me to this crazy world of travel blogging and for that I’m so thankful! I am so excited for you that you are out there and now re-energized for 2011!

    For me, 2011 is the “save money like crazy” year to hopefully start a RTW of my own come a year from now!

  5. It’s funny, I’ve been in Australia for nine months now and have had visits from two friends I met traveling in South America back in the fall of ’09 who were on long RTW trips. Both of them were seriously disappointed with Australia. I know your disappointment was weather related, but I honestly think Oz just really doesn’t have a place on RTW trips these days (except maybe at the very start of a trip), especially if you’re coming from time traveling in countries with very different cultures.

    Australia has become extremely expensive (this is my third time here, the last time back in 2008, and I can’t believe how the prices have risen, not to mention the currency’s increase in value) and almost all the travelers around, in the hostels and even in the caravan parks, are here on a Working Holiday. It’s the only way most people can afford it. Unfortunately, that brings a very different social atmosphere than hostels in Europe or South America or bungalows in SEA. It’s harder to enjoy when you’re in the midst of an epic RTW trip.

    While I love Oz and think it’s a beautiful country, and certainly more enjoyable when you have friends to meet up with (I moved to Perth based solely on the gushing of some Perthite friends I met in South America and they are making life here much more fun!), it is not the backpacker destination it used to be. A nice place to live and work for a bit, but an increasingly challenging place to travel.

    However, it does stand that campervanning is the way to go for sure! I did it across the bottom of Oz and it was a great experience, though still a very different kind of adventure from most other travel one would do pretty much anywhere else on a RTW trip.

    Enjoy your time in SEA, it’s impossible not to live it there! (Hope it’s not as hot there as it is down here!)

    1. Thanks for the awesome and insightful comment! I definitely agree with a lot of what you have to say. Many places I went I thought would be great to live, but maybe not to just visit.

  6. Somehow I sensed you were losing your enthusiasm in Australia, I just wasn’t feelin’ it. But glad to hear you’ll kick 2011’s but….once the hangover’s gone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. it’s true…mother nature always seems to wiggle her way into travel plans.

    looking forward to reading the next chapter of your story!

    safe travels!

  8. Sounds like you have had some great UP & DOWNS during your 1st 3 months. Congrats on being on the road three months & CHEERS to an even better 2011!!!

    Happy New Year~

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