They say preparing and anticipating for a trip is as exciting as the trip itself. I’m pretty sure TripAdvisor has some legitimate concerns about how often I’ve been logged in. Is there a TripAdvisor Intervention team?
“Dear Caroline, Your addiction to TripAdvisor has affected my life negatively in the following ways…”
These last few months have been incredibly stressful in our household; the culmination being this month with important exams occurring. I’m not sure how to describe medical school to everyone else other than saying it’s a slow form of torture. It’s tough to watch and very often, tough to be a part of.
Perhaps planning has been my outlet? The med school hubster doesn’t have time to help, so it’s been my responsibility and a way to “check out” from the stress. Either way, I think it’s safe to say we are both very happy to see this trip happen at the beginning of July.
– All of our visas for Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia have been approved online and are ready to be stamped once we arrive (pending an in-person approval)
– Extra passport photos printed:
– Obnoxious To-Do list made
– Make sure all of my travel docs are printed
-Buy all the last-minute travel size items (P.S.- Have I ever told you my love for travel-size items?!)
– Learn how to use my new GoPro!
– Plan out posts here while I’m gone
I very often walk a fine line of having just the right amount planned and not leaving enough time to explore or, you know, relax like normal humans.
I held myself back a couple times while preparing for this trip to not make reservations for every food or walking tour in site. I fully believe they are beneficial to immersing yourself and learning more about cultures. But, while I may struggle with it, I want to be a bit more spontaneous. Some of my favorite memories from Thailand or Cambodia were when we had nothing planned and just explored.
FOMO be dammed, I’m trying to be okay knowing we may not hit every single thing Trip Advisor…advises.
That said, there are some things that needed to be reserved prior to arrival and few things I’m just really looking forward to:
To Hanoi, Vietnam:
We’ll be flying in the Prestige Class of Korean Airlines in their lie-flat beds and they. have. a. bar.
To the U.S.:
We’ll be flying home in First Class on Delta’s upper deck. I’ve always wanted to fly in the upper deck of a 747 and since most are going out of commission, I’m happy I’ll be able to. Plus, lie-flat beds!
This student-run organization provides tours around Hanoi and adjusts the half-day or full-day tour depending on what you want to see. The tours are free and used as a way for students to practice their English. How cool, right? I can’t wait for them to tell us the best place to get egg coffee.
Not only am I so excited to check this beautiful place off my travel list, but we decided to splurge and reserve a suite on a eco-friendly junk boat overnight. (That’s the local term for the boats.) I’m excited to explore the bay, kayak and take beautiful pictures. Everything I’ve read says you get what you pay for, so I’m hoping that’s true.
I just want to hop on an eBike, strap my GoPro on and explore, explore, explore. I’m hoping I don’t have my expectations set too high because this is really what I’m thinking the highlight may be.
New Hope Cambodia
This NGO provides education, training, housing and health programs for impoverished youth and families. Many of the families cannot afford public school fees, clothes or food and are at-risk for human traffickers. I read about the training restaurant that has lunch and dinner for patrons cooked by students in training. I emailed to inquire more and it looks like we’ll be doing a tour, eating lunch as well as talking to the medical team. Med school hubster is very happy. (Psst. I am too.) Read more here.
Tour with Nat
The last time we visited Cambodia, we did a tour of Angkor Wat with a tour guide named Nat. We had such a crazy-fun time that I emailed him recently to see if he’d take us around again, and it looks like he’s available!
I have zero planned here. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But we only have about 48 hours and to be honest, I just want a video of me dancing to Gangnam Style to send to my dad while we’re staying at the Intercontinental COEX in Gangnam. It’s a favorite song of his. This is a judgement-free zone.
So I’d say that aside from some last-minute purchases and fitting everything into a carry-on (imagine me doing the sign of the cross right now and I’m not even Catholic), we’re well on our way to taking off in 3-ish weeks. What do you think of our plans?