The next chapter begins….

After five years of wishing, dreaming, saving and planning, one of our biggest dreams is just days away from becoming reality – less than six days to be precise! Phil and I have had travel adventures before but this five month odyssey around Central and South East Asia that starts on Thursday June 2nd will redefine how we approach and experience a trip in ways that I can’t even comprehend right now.

As we speak we have just painstakingly packed up the London flat we have called our home for the past four years, filled 15 giant boxes for shipping to Australia, and stacked and unstacked a removal van. All our possessions, whether sentimental, functional or material, are divided between a ship, my in-laws’ house and two backpacks that will be our lives for the next five months.

I have just six days to whittle down a mountain of things into my share of those two backpacks – no easy feat for someone who uses multiple skin creams on a daily basis and thinks nothing of packing two weeks’ worth of clothing for a one week holiday to ensure all outfit situations are covered. While the thought of this is sending me into a slight panic, there is also a sense of anticipated relief that I know will come with just letting go of all these perceived needs. There’s no anti-ageing serum or new designer dress that will get me through a three day trek in Bhutan, for example. And when we reach the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, those will be the things furthest from my mind.

It’s such a strange, surreal feeling to have this new chapter at our fingertips and to close the door on what has been such a life defining era to date. But a five month world adventure followed by a move to Sydney feels like an appropriate follow up to the past 10 years spent living and breathing London – embracing both its scourges and pleasures, and coming to call it home both in name and in heart.

This of course makes me think of the famous Samuel Johnson quote: When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. I feel like in some ways, he is right, but he is wrong about everything in life being found in London. I don’t have the answers for where it can be found but that’s what we are about to find out!

We are neither tired of London nor tired of life – just ready to experience a new version of said life. One day we’ll find our way back to the place that has been the backdrop of our marriage, the scene of our first date and the place where we bought our first home. But for now this is what the next five months looks like and we’ll be documenting our travels on this blog (extract from our monster travel spreadsheet that Phil has been meticulously updating. Excuse the typos as I am very grateful for his amazing organisation!):

Day Date Overnight Staying
Thursday 02-Jun-16 Train
Friday 03-Jun-16 Warsaw
Saturday 04-Jun-16 Train
Sunday 05-Jun-16 St Petersburg
Monday 06-Jun-16 St Petersburg
Tuesday 07-Jun-16 Train
Wednesday 08-Jun-16 Train
Thursday 09-Jun-16 Train
Friday 10-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Tashkent
Saturday 11-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Tashkent
Sunday 12-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Tashkent
Monday 13-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Samarkand
Tuesday 14-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Samarkand
Wednesday 15-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Bukahra
Thursday 16-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Bukahra
Friday 17-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Khiva
Saturday 18-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Khiva
Sunday 19-Jun-16 Uzbekistan Travel
Monday 20-Jun-16 Kazakhstan Shymkent
Tuesday 21-Jun-16 Kazakhstan Shymkent
Wednesday 22-Jun-16 Kazakhstan Terymz
Thursday 23-Jun-16 Kyrgyzstan Bishkek
Friday 24-Jun-16 Kyrgyzstan Kochkor
Saturday 25-Jun-16 Kyrgyzstan Song Kol
Sunday 26-Jun-16 Kyrgyzstan Song Kol
Monday 27-Jun-16 Kyrgyzstan Song Kol
Tuesday 28-Jun-16 Kyrgyzstan Song Kol
Wednesday 29-Jun-16 Kyrgyzstan Song Kol
Thursday 30-Jun-16 Kyrgyzstan Karakol
Friday 01-Jul-16 Kyrgyzstan Issy Kol
Saturday 02-Jul-16 Kyrgyzstan Issy Kol
Sunday 03-Jul-16 Kyrgyzstan Issy Kol
Monday 04-Jul-16 Kyrgyzstan Issy Kol
Tuesday 05-Jul-16 Kyrgyzstan Issy Kol
Wednesday 06-Jul-16 Kyrgyzstan Issy Kol
Thursday 07-Jul-16 Kyrgyzstan Almaty
Friday 08-Jul-16 Kazakhstan Almaty
Saturday 09-Jul-16 Train Almaty
Sunday 10-Jul-16 Train
Monday 11-Jul-16 China Urumqui
Tuesday 12-Jul-16 China Turfan
Wednesday 13-Jul-16 China Train
Thursday 14-Jul-16 China Beijing
Friday 15-Jul-16 China Beijing
Saturday 16-Jul-16 China Beijing
Sunday 17-Jul-16 China Beijing
Monday 18-Jul-16 China Shanghai
Tuesday 19-Jul-16 China Shanghai
Wednesday 20-Jul-16 China Shanghai
Thursday 21-Jul-16 China Huang Shan
Friday 22-Jul-16 China Huang Shan
Saturday 23-Jul-16 China Huang Shan
Sunday 24-Jul-16 China Yangshuo
Monday 25-Jul-16 China Yangshuo
Tuesday 26-Jul-16 China Yangshuo
Wednesday 27-Jul-16 China Yangshuo
Thursday 28-Jul-16 China Nanning
Friday 29-Jul-16 Train
Saturday 30-Jul-16 Vietnam
Sunday 31-Jul-16 Vietnam
Monday 01-Aug-16 Vietnam
Tuesday 02-Aug-16 Vietnam
Wednesday 03-Aug-16 Vietnam
Thursday 04-Aug-16 Vietnam
Friday 05-Aug-16 Vietnam
Saturday 06-Aug-16 Vietnam
Sunday 07-Aug-16 Vietnam
Monday 08-Aug-16 Vietnam
Tuesday 09-Aug-16 Vietnam
Wednesday 10-Aug-16 Vietnam
Thursday 11-Aug-16 Vietnam
Friday 12-Aug-16 Vietnam
Saturday 13-Aug-16 Vietnam
Sunday 14-Aug-16 Vietnam
Monday 15-Aug-16 Vietnam
Tuesday 16-Aug-16 Vietnam
Wednesday 17-Aug-16 Philippines
Thursday 18-Aug-16 Philippines
Friday 19-Aug-16 Philippines
Saturday 20-Aug-16 Philippines
Sunday 21-Aug-16 Philippines
Monday 22-Aug-16 Philippines
Tuesday 23-Aug-16 Philippines
Wednesday 24-Aug-16 Philippines
Thursday 25-Aug-16 Philippines
Friday 26-Aug-16 Philippines
Saturday 27-Aug-16 Philippines
Sunday 28-Aug-16 Philippines
Monday 29-Aug-16 Philippines
Tuesday 30-Aug-16 Philippines
Wednesday 31-Aug-16 Philippines
Thursday 01-Sep-16 Philippines
Friday 02-Sep-16 Philippines
Saturday 03-Sep-16 Philippines
Sunday 04-Sep-16 Philippines
Monday 05-Sep-16 Cambodia
Tuesday 06-Sep-16 Cambodia
Wednesday 07-Sep-16 Cambodia
Thursday 08-Sep-16 Cambodia
Friday 09-Sep-16 Cambodia
Saturday 10-Sep-16 Cambodia
Sunday 11-Sep-16 Cambodia
Monday 12-Sep-16 Cambodia
Tuesday 13-Sep-16 Cambodia
Wednesday 14-Sep-16 Cambodia
Thursday 15-Sep-16 Thailand
Friday 16-Sep-16 India Mumbai
Saturday 17-Sep-16 India Kerala
Sunday 18-Sep-16 India Kerela
Monday 19-Sep-16 India Kerala
Tuesday 20-Sep-16 India Kerala
Wednesday 21-Sep-16 India Kerala
Thursday 22-Sep-16 India Kerala
Friday 23-Sep-16 India Kerala
Saturday 24-Sep-16 India Delhi
Sunday 25-Sep-16 India Delhi
Monday 26-Sep-16 India Rajistan
Tuesday 27-Sep-16 India Rajistan
Wednesday 28-Sep-16 India Rajistan
Thursday 29-Sep-16 India Rajistan
Friday 30-Sep-16 India Rajistan
Saturday 01-Oct-16 India Rajistan
Sunday 02-Oct-16 India Rajistan
Monday 03-Oct-16 India Agra
Tuesday 04-Oct-16 India Agra
Wednesday 05-Oct-16 India Varanasi
Thursday 06-Oct-16 India Varanasi
Friday 07-Oct-16 India Travel
Saturday 08-Oct-16 India Darjeling
Sunday 09-Oct-16 India Darjeling
Monday 10-Oct-16 India Sikkim
Tuesday 11-Oct-16 India Sikkim
Wednesday 12-Oct-16 India Sikkim
Thursday 13-Oct-16 India Sikkim
Friday 14-Oct-16 India Sikkim
Saturday 15-Oct-16 India Jaigoan
Sunday 16-Oct-16 Bhutan Paro
Monday 17-Oct-16 Bhutan Paro
Tuesday 18-Oct-16 Bhutan Trek
Wednesday 19-Oct-16 Bhutan Trek
Thursday 20-Oct-16 Bhutan Trek
Friday 21-Oct-16 Bhutan Thimphu
Saturday 22-Oct-16 Bhutan Thimphu
Sunday 23-Oct-16 Bhutan Punakha
Monday 24-Oct-16 Bhutan Punakha
Tuesday 25-Oct-16 Bhutan Phobjikha
Wednesday 26-Oct-16 Bhutan Paro
Thursday 27-Oct-16 Thailand
Friday 28-Oct-16 Thailand
Saturday 29-Oct-16 Thailand
Sunday 30-Oct-16 Thailand
Monday 31-Oct-16 Thailand
Tuesday 01-Nov-16 Thailand
Wednesday 02-Nov-16 Thailand
Thursday 03-Nov-16 Thailand
Friday 04-Nov-16 Australia

Before then there are so many other trips that I need to post about (I’m still not even finished posting about South America!). Apologies for the blog spam in advance but I don’t want to lose the memories as we’re about to create so many new ones!

Please do follow if you want to stay updated about our trip!

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