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We catalogued our first trip from London to Melbourne here. It was a 9 month adventure and we spent a year planning it. It was a bit scary but it was incredibly exciting, particularly for me, as my travelling had been limited to 3 or 4 months in Greece 30 years ago, weekends in Europe or 2 week holidays in the old Portuguese province in India, Goa (which I am still in love with). Paul, on the other hand travelled over to the UK from Australia in his early 20s, toured the United States for about 8 months and also lived on a Kibbutz in Israel.
Our style of travel is relaxed. We don’t like to rush and on our original trip we never spent less than 5 days anywhere. We often rocked up somewhere and thought “How on earth are we going to spend 5 days here? There’s nothing to do”, and left feeling as if we hadn’t scratched the surface. We would extend a stay if travel commitments permitted which resulted in us spending twice as long in Vietnam and Cambodia as we had planned. Although we were lucky to wangle 3 month visas for China we could spend the rest of our days travelling that incredibly beautiful and diverse country and still not cross everything off the list.
Certain overkill can affect your trip. Onion dome fatigue hit half way across Russia, swiftly following by temple fatigue which is danger of hitting anywhere from eastern Russia throughout the whole of Asia. Our answer to that was to be quite selective about which iconic sights we visited and we were often rewarded when we stumbled across less well known attractions with fewer tourists equally rich in history and architecture. That’s not to say we were going to miss out on Angkor Wat, for example, but we didn’t beat ourselves up if we missed out on a “must see”.
We would like to share our own experiences of travelling across Europe and Russia, through Mongolia and China and finally, south East Asia because although we had vague plans, these were changed as and when we thought necessary and additional destinations were added along the way.
We also stayed far longer than we expected in both Vietnam and Cambodia meaning our rush to enter Australia (to validate my spouse visa) was an eleventh hour bum squeaky event (as eloquently described by the Wooky).
An extended account of our trip can be found on our original blog but we have tried to summarise some useful facts and recommendations for various destinations.