my-2015-travel-plans-revealed

So my travel plans for next year aren’t exactly a secret. I have mentioned them on numerous occasions to friends and family and even a bit on my social media channels, but I haven’t laid it all out in one place as yet.

Until now.

There is still a lot to confirm (i.e. EVERYTHING) but I have a pretty good idea about what the plan is now and I am well on track with my savings to pay for it all. I will be finishing my contract in mid-June and the epic travel plans will begin from there, but I also have a few smaller trips planned while I am still working which I am also very excited about.

The shorter travel plans are set in stone now as I have already booked the flights, but the big plans? Well, there has been a lot of brain storming but the plans are yet to make it into reality. I will probably be starting to book my flights and some other travel arrangements early next year, but I want my longer term travel plans to be flexible as much as possible so I won’t be booking too much.

I will pretty much be travelling in the same style as my 13 month Americas trip, where we booked our first couple of flights and first few nights’ accommodation then left most of the rest of it to chance. I am keen to travel slower this time though, and stop off longer at places that I really like to recuperate.

So without further ado:

January 2015

We will be ringing in the New Year in one of my favourite cities in the world, Cape Town! On the 2nd January we will be flying up to Pretoria to spend three nights at Trav’s brother’s place then we will be in Singapore for five days before getting back to Sydney, and back to work, after four weeks away.

At the end of the month we are taking a four day weekend and will be flying to Melbourne where we will have two nights and one day to explore, before driving and camping along the Great Ocean Road for three days with friends. I have spent time in Melbourne before and have done all the touristy stuff that I wanted to do so this time will be about the amazing food and coffee, which Melbourne does so well. I will DEFINITELY be visiting the Cat Café also. How could I not?!

Great Ocean Road via telegraph.co.uk

February 2015

As well as enjoying the fabulous summer weather in Manly, we will be heading to Adelaide and Kangaroo Island for another four day weekend. I have heard such good things about Kangaroo Island and despite the ridiculously overpriced ferry to get there, I am excited for some camping, hiking and kangaroo chasing. We will spend one night and a morning in Adelaide before flying back to Sydney, which is not nearly enough time but we hope to get a little taste of Radelaide, as the locals call it.

March 2015

March should still be sunny and hot (hopefully) so I definitely want to have a weekend away in a cabin down the south coast of New South Wales at Jervis Bay. The beaches look incredible so my fingers are crossed that it will be hot swimming weather. I would also like to get away to Royal National Park in March or April, as we weren’t able to go in November due to time constraints. I want to walk the two day coastal trail, staying a night in a back country camping ground on the beach. Hopefully Trav won’t fall off a cliff this time.

April 2015

Over Easter we are visiting friends and their new baby in Cairns for five days. As well as a long overdue catch up, I am so excited to finally get out to the Great Barrier Reef, either snorkelling or diving. With the current Government in Australia’s complete disregard for environmental issues coupled with the predicted effects of climate change on the reef, I want to see it while it still exists.

There are a few tropical islands off Cairns so I would like to get out to one of them as well while we are up there, as well as swimming in the Esplanade lagoon pool, exploring some of the northern beaches and maybe heading up to Port Douglas, a small resort town north of Cairns. I would also love to make it up to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest but I think I will save them for another trip.

May 2015

We will likely go away for a weekend somewhere within a couple of hours drive from Sydney in May but I’m not sure where yet. I am interested in going to either Kangaroo Valley, Orange or Mudgee which should all have spectacular displays of Autumnal colour, something that I miss living in Sydney. I am envisaging two days of incredible food, red wine, long walks in the vibrant autumn foliage and evenings by a roaring fire. Sounds pretty good huh?

June 2015 – September 2015

My last trip while still working in my current job, I will be heading back home to New Zealand for eight days at the beginning of June. It will be one year since I was back for my Grandmother’s funeral and I’m looking forward to spending some time at my Mum and Step Dad’s new house by the beach in Papamoa and seeing my Dad in Auckland, as well as friends between the two. Hopefully I will squeeze visits in to Hamilton to see a good friend and her lovely family and up to Matakana to get my perfect Kiwi country town fix. There will also definitely be a visit to a thermal pool or two, my favourite Kiwi winter activity.

But I guess the biggest travel news that I have is that from mid-June, I am planning to take a year off to travel!

I am so freaken excited! (and scared and nervous)

There will be a couple of different trips making up my year off and the first one will involve three and a half months of solo travel through British Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii. It will be the longest solo trip I have ever done! My plan is to spend three months in British Columbia and Alaska then two weeks on the islands of Kauai and Oahu in Hawaii. I will be using air miles to book a return flight from Sydney to Honolulu then I will pay for a return flight from Honolulu to Vancouver.

I’m not sure of the itinerary yet as it depends on volunteering opportunities through Help X, but the main objective of the trip is to make my way up through the Inside Passage from British Columbia in Canada and onward into Alaska. This is the route that the cruise ships take and I love the idea of doing it by ferry. I have a few ideas in mind of what else I would like to do on this trip which include:

  • Spending a couple of weeks in my beloved Vancouver
  • Volunteering for a couple of weeks on the pristine islands of Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)
  • Staying in alternative accommodations and remote lodges along the way when possible
  • Re-visiting the stately capital of British Columbia, Victoria
  • Volunteering at a remote lodge on Kodiak Island or somewhere else in the wilderness of Alaska
  • Hiking in Denali National Park
  • Whale watching to see orcas
  • Kayaking in Glacier Bay
  • Seeing a spirit bear (or at least attempting to) in the Great Bear Rainforest
  • Hiking the Kalalau trail along the Na Pali coast on Kauai

I am really hoping to partner up with some fantastic tour companies and accommodation providers along the way, preferably eco conscious businesses. There are some incredible lodges and some quirky HI Hostels that I would love to stay at so I will begin contacting them in the New Year. Wish me luck!

Kayaking_in_Glacier_Bay_Alaska

October 2015

Sometime at the beginning of October I will be back to see my fiancé in Sydney as I am sure I will be missing him a lot by then! I am planning on being back for about a month and I am hoping to pick up a bit of temping during that time, to help with funds for part two of my epic adventure. If there is nothing available then I will enjoy all of the free activities Sydney has to offer including hiking in native bushland and along spectacular coastlines, visiting the many eclectic markets and doing a bit of urban exploration. I will probably need some downtime too so there will be a lot of catching up on TV programs and just chilling out with Trav and friends.

November 2015 –June 2016

At the beginning of November I will be continuing with my travels by spending about two weeks in New Zealand, mainly in the South Island. I have been dying to visit Wanaka in summer since I was first there in winter 2009, so I will definitely be visiting the cute alpine town on this trip as well as doing one of the Great Walks; it’s a toss-up at the moment between the Routeburn track and the Kepler track. I also hope to revisit Queenstown and spend a few days in the Catlins if there is time.

From New Zealand I will be heading to Asia to finally explore this exotic continent. Other than a 30 hour stopover in South Korea and an upcoming 5 day trip to Singapore, I haven’t dipped my toes into the wonders of Asia so I am so excited to finally be travelling there. The plan is to spend between 7-8 months in total, travelling in South East Asia, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

India via telegraph.co.uk

I will most likely start in Chiang Mai, Thailand, hopefully in time for the free Yi Peng Lantern Festival, although dates aren’t released until closer to the time. I will hopefully be travelling with one of my closest friends most of the time in Asia but there may be a bit of solo travel involved as well. Another close friend is going to join us in India for a month and Trav will be meeting me along the way in the Philippines and Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks at a time.

I’m not too sure of the order I will be visiting each country and how long I will end up staying as I want to leave it up to chance, but the countries I would like to visit at this stage are:

  • Thailand: 1 month
  • Vietnam: 3 weeks
  • Myanmar: 3 weeks (or a few places in Laos and Cambodia instead)
  • Philippines: 3-4 weeks
  • Nepal: 1 month
  • India: 2 – 2 ½ months
  • Sri Lanka: 1 month
  • Hong Kong: 5 days

This really is just a rough outline as I can’t help myself planning just a little bit, but nothing will be set in stone. One of the good things about living in Australia is that if I decide to stay longer in a country and skip others that I had planned to visit, then I can easily go back another time.

The countries that I am most looking forward to going to are Thailand, Philippines, India and Sri Lanka so as long as I get to them over the 7-8 months, I am happy.

God knows some of these plans will change along the way, especially the longer term ones, but that is all part of the fun.

I’m nothing if not indecisive.

What are your travel plans for next year? Are we going to cross paths at all? I would love to meet up with any fellow bloggers or readers along the way!

61 comments on “My 2015 Travel Plans REVEALED”

  1. Looks like a great itinerary! I’ll be in southeast Asia around that time as well. I was flip flopping around with Myanmar too. I hadn’t planned on going, then a friend just told me it was one of their favorite places in SE Asia so I want to add it to my list. I wanted to mention one of my favorite spots in Kauai. The Limahuli Gardens. They are really beautiful and peaceful. I loved Kauai. I kept sounding like a broken record when I was there saying “magical” all the time. It’s a really special place. 🙂

    • The gardens sound amazing, I will definitely put them on my list. I am really looking forward to Myanmar now, not sure how long I will have there but will definitely get to Bagan and Inle Lake if nowhere else in the country 🙂

  2. Hey I love your ambition for 2015. Mine aren’t as big as yours as I’m stuck doing other stuff, but good for you!

  3. Wow, this sounds like such an incredible itinerary! I’m also dying to visit many of these destinations, especially Sri Lanka, The Philippines, and Hawaii.

    I was so happy to see that you mentioned Mudgee in your Australia travel plans! I spent a few weeks WWOOFing at a farm just outside Mudgee a few years ago and loved it!

  4. YES, definitely do Great Barrier while you can! I went earlier this year – stupidly expensive flights but I had the time and wanted to get in while I could. Port Douglas was lovely but very quiet and slow, quite a different pace.

    SE Asia will be amazing, and really affordable. Yay!

    Good luck finding HelpX! Have you done it before?

    • I am so excited about the Great Barrier Reef! With the current Australian Government, who knows how much longer it will be there so I am happy I have concrete plans to visit. I did Help X in Canada last year and loved it, well I loved 3 out of 4 of the placements, one was horrible!

  5. I’m really excited for you, Asia is spectacular! Living in Sydney you’ll find yourself popping over to South East Asia all the time after your trip. Great to find a fellow kiwi blogger!

  6. That is so exciting. The most I ever took was three months but wow a year. I can imagine how excited you must be to travel and see more of the world during this time.

  7. What an incredible year you have planned with so many amazing places! I’m quite jealous 🙂 I can’t wait to hear about your travels through Asia. I still haven’t had a chance to explore the continent but I’m just itching to go, especially to Thailand and Nepal. Maybe I’ll just have to make it happen. It would be fun to meet up and do some hiking in Nepal! And I’m still up for hiking the Kalalau trail if our schedules work. Would be a blast!

    • Thanks Amy! I haven’t been traevlling much this year so I am really excited for next year! Maybe your work would give you some unpaid leave? It would be awesome to meet up in Nepal and definitely the Kalalau trail, I will let you know once I book my flights when I will be in Hawaii. Not sure when I will be in Nepal yet but it may be around April 🙂

  8. This is one exciting itinerary! Of course I am happy you are visiting my neighbourhood of British Columbia, and I’m happy to hear you’ll be on our favourite of the Hawaiian islands, Kauai. We’ve done parts of the Kalalau trail and loved it. The views are spectacular. I love how lush Kauai is with all of it’s annual rainfall. It sure makes for a beautiful island. I look forward to reading all about your travels, and who knows?…maybe when you visit Vancouver Island we’ll get to meet. 🙂 -g

    • So excited to be doing the Kalalau trail, I am planning to do it with Amy from The Unsettled Meliorist if our schedules align. I would love to meet up with you guys on Vancouver Island. I will certainly be in touch about that 🙂

  9. Sounds super fantastic! You’ll be covering so much in one year. You know that when you go to Vancouver you have to let me know, If I’m back for a visit at that same time we should meet up. It also sounds like we’ll be in Asia at the same time as I plan to start a seven month trip there in Thailand for TBEX. Happy planning!!

    • Thanks Sarah. I am trying to find a balance between seeing a lot and not rushing so will see how I go. I will definitely let you know when I plan on being in Vancouver and it would be great to meet up. Don’t think I will be making it to Asia in time for TBEX though, probably be in Thailand sometime near the beginning of November.

  10. I did Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year. I really wish I had more time in each city. I also did the Great Ocean Road Tour and it was 100% amazing. I wish I could plan that far ahead but I hope to change jobs in August so that’s halting things a bit.

    • Good to hear that the Great Ocean Road is amazing! It is hard to plan when you aren’t sure about your job situation. I was the same until I got this current contract. It goes until April but my boss said that they will probably extend. If this doesn’t happen then some of my plans may change 🙂

  11. Wow! It sounds like you have spent some serious time planning for you future trips and adventures. We are heading to Melbourne in January so will check out the Cat Cafe whilst we are there. I am quite jealous about all your travel plans – highlights I need to get organising our 2015! 🙂

  12. How exciting!! I haven’t been anywhere (except for Oahu) you’re planning on going until SEA, so I’ll be looking forward to your reports. 🙂 You must see the mass coordinated lantern release in Chiang Mai! We started our SEA tour there too, and for that reason. 😀 Just remember that it’s not the same as Yi Peng, and that it usually happens a couple of weeks before the offical Yi Peng dates, so plan accordingly! We almost missed it because we were so confused on when/what the event is.

    • Hi Anna, I would love to go to the free one at the University in Chiang Mai but it depends when it will be, if we miss that one then we will go to the organised festival for tourists but I would much prefer the locals one 🙂

  13. How awesome! I’ve never made it to the Southern Hemisphere (yet!) so most of your upcoming travels will be brand new for me to experience. I’ll just have to live vicariously through you until I can join in on the fun on that side of the world! 🙂 Best of luck on your big trip!

  14. Sounds like it will be an incredible year! Looking forward to reading and seeing all the pics. Stay safe and have loads of fun and adventure. 🙂

  15. That’s amazing! I can’t wait to hear about Alaska. I’ll be going to southeast asia in a few months and I’m so excited too! I hope it all works out amazingly!

  16. Hurrah! Theses sound like great plans. I know some people in Seattle if you need connections there, but that’s about it for that leg of the trip. I’ve only been to a few countries in Southeast Asia, but I’ve written about my time there, so check out Stowaway if you like. I’m so envious and excited for you!

    • Thanks Lisa, I will definitely read your posts for SE Asia, I think I already have but will read them again closer to the time. I am jealous you are exploring Europe, I would love to get back there at some stage 🙂

  17. Wow!! How awesome does this sound??!! We are so excited for you…. taking such a huge chunk of time off to travel.. good for you! We have only recently done our 2nd 4-month stint and all we want is more…..
    So good of you to plan all those side trips from Sydney, we have to get our act together and look at doing more weekends away around the country.
    Cannot wait to follow your journey and adventures!

  18. I am so excited for your Southeast Asia travels. Southeast Asia is just so near and dear to my heart and I’m sure you are going to LOVE it! How could you not? While I loved each and every country I visited in the region, there was just something about the Philippines that really clicked with me. I’m not sure if you know where you’re going yet (I’m sure your plans will change a million time between now and when you get there). But definitely leave a lot of time for travel there. Travel around isn’t always the easiest or most logical thing, so when you assume you only have to allot a day to get between destinations, it can often take 2-3. Ferries get canceled all the time and a lot of flights route you though Manila and Cebu, so you’ll probably have more than a couple layovers in those cities. Plus, a lot of the islands that are more remote can be tough to reach and can take a lot of time to get to and from. You might want to think about doing one month minimum. I got a 60-day visa before I arrived and I was so glad I didn’t just have 30 days. It’s such a big country and there’s so much I still haven’t seen. It’s a wonderful place though and I’m super excited for you 🙂

    • Thanks for the tips Justine. I am hoping to spend a month there and I can always go back to see more on another trip as not too hard to get to from Australia. I think I will pick a few key places to visit during the month and leave more for another trip so I have time to get between places and it isn’t too rushed 🙂

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