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Thinking of going again - advice please!

Already been on a rtw trip once which was amazing, thinking of going again...
9 years ago, April 29th 2012 No: 1 Msg: #155451  
Hi all,

Looking for some advice and opinions really on going away again or not on a long trip...!

My partner and I went on an amazing 5 month rtw trip in 2010 (which TB really helped us with!), we returned in Jan 2011 and ever since have both been talking about going again one day for longer. We would have gone for longer then, but he got a sabbatical from his work (finance/banking industry) which was too good to turn down, and since i was giving up my job, it seemed like a safe option (we have a mortgage), so we could return and at least one of us would have a job so bills etc could be paid.

I then got a new job in April 2011 (in retail PR/Marketing, been doing this for 8 yrs) which I have been in for over a year now (he is still at his company (9 yrs)), and in the last year we have had some great 2 week holidays, including Bali, India and recently Thailand, where we have dusted off our backpacks and travelled around for 2 weeks each time, to try and cure our appetite for long term travel and be happy with good jobs, steady incomes, a home and nice holidays. But it isn't enough!

We just keep talking about going away again for longer this time, maybe from Sept/Oct this year, predominantly SE Asia (although we loved what we saw in South America and would like to see more there too), maybe travelling and/or doing a TEFL course and teaching/settling somewhere for a while...we have to come back in June 2013 for 6 weeks for 2 weddings (my best friend and his brother), but then we could always travel again if we felt that 8/9 months still wasn't enough...money isn't too much of a concern, we both have savings, but we just can't come to a decision on whether to go again or not..

Part of us thinks 'you only live once', we have a flat which we could rent out, and we love to travel and we are both still under 30, so why not, but then the sensible side thinks 'you have already been once, think of your futures and giving up your jobs in this economy, getting married' etc.

So ultimately, I would love to hear peoples thoughts and honest opinions on what you would do! Be happy with what we have got, maybe buy a house next year and stick with nice 2 week holidays, or bite the bullet, quit our jobs and have an awesome time travelling again for longer?

Thanks in advance and sorry this turned into an essay! Reply to this

9 years ago, May 6th 2012 No: 2 Msg: #155782  
Hi Victoria and Scott

Reading what you have said I feel you have kinda answered your own question. You clearly want to travel more than the other stuff.

I totally agree with the 'you only live once' philosophy. If you don't do it you will regret it and as famously said you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did.

We started our RTW last Sept after years of saving and dreaming. It was all I thought about and had wanted to do for as long as I remember. Then we finally did it and only 4 months in to our 13 month trip, we came home. For me it just wasn't living up to the dream. Don't get me wrong it was amazing but I stopped enjoying it, so we came home. Of course all I think about now that I have settled back home is how to get away again.

I say I am settled but in actual fact neither of us have jobs yet and we have been back longer than we were away! The climate is baaaaaaaaaad!! I left a good, safe job for the trip but I don't regret it even although it didn't turn out how I thought. If I hadn't gone I would have regretted it forever. Not that I don't plan on going again one day, just not for as long. Its funny, your first trip was too short for you and ours too long.

I think about doing a TEFL thing, I think its a good idea. You mention money isn't an issue, lucky you. If I could say that I would be gone already. A year or so out of your life is nothing. The other things can wait. I guess the only issue I can see is your jobs and thats really down to you. Do you both love your jobs? I think thats what it comes down to really.

Thats my toughts anyway. Reply to this

9 years ago, May 6th 2012 No: 3 Msg: #155794  
I'm with Tina and Rob. Your post answers your own question. 'You only live once'. If getting married and thinking of your futures in an unstable climate is what you want to do - then do it. But don't do that because it is what is 'expected' of you by society. It sounds like you have tried that, but it's not enough. You need to do what makes you happy at the end of the day.

You seem to have thought things through. You say that money is not a problem - if you have some money to come back to, that's a good thing - and you can rent your flat out.

So now, what do you fancy doing? Travelling again or living somewhere? If you both have degrees, then teaching would be an option. You could get jobs in countries like Korea, Taiwan or Japan with no TEFL qualification, or take a CELTA or Trinity course and get a teaching job anywhere in the world - with the option of teaching in different places, should you find that you like it.

That's my thoughts - sat on my window seat in humid Saigon. Reply to this

9 years ago, May 6th 2012 No: 4 Msg: #155815  
Thanks for your advice everyone!

I think we are 90% sure this is what we are going to do, we have been thinking and talking about it non stop and think we have (almost) made our minds up now.

You are both right, we just have to do it if its what we want, and not worry so much. Whilst we both have good jobs both of us are not enjoying them at all and would be looking to leave them in the next few months anyway, so this seems like a good time to go away again.

I think we have decided to spend 7-8 months in Asia, travelling from October this year, then come back for the 2 weddings next June/July, then set off again to Central/South America where we will enroll in a Spanish school, and maybe settle there for a while, maybe teach etc. Its a pretty flexible plan right now.

Regarding the tefl, we are going to do a short weekend course in the next few weeks here, and just see what happens whilst we are away! We don't have degrees but I believe if we decide we want to go down the teaching route we can do a 4 week course and get jobs in some parts of Asia, probably not Korea, China, Japan though as i think you have to have a degree for those countries. So if we hit Thailand/Vietnam and want to stay or an opportunity to teach comes up, that is what we could look at doing. I think it would be a great experience and something to add to the cv! But i think our priority is to travel first.

Tina/Rob, at least you tried it and then found out it wasn't for you, rather than always wondering! And Kris/Kate, i have been following your blog for months and think its amazing you have turned into professional teachers now in Vietnam! When we visit we will let you know!

I think our main concern is coming back and not being able to get as good jobs as we have right now, but if we are not happy in them anyway then why not! Plus, you never know what can happen so think its a case of us living for the moment as well rather than being a bit too sensible...!

Will let you know our plans etc once we know, and of course will be keeping a travel blog again! Thanks again guys xx Reply to this

9 years ago, May 6th 2012 No: 5 Msg: #155822  
Hey Guys,

You've clearly made your decision already but my advice is 'Go'. if you have the means and the motivation, you'll always wonder what it would've been like if you didn't...

One question though? At the end of your second trip, what makes you think you'll be satisfied then?

I'm asking lightheartedly but that's the situation my family and I are in right now... We took a years sabbatical to travel 07-08, had an absolute blast and slipped straight back into normal life as soon as we returned which is easy to do when you have jobs waiting for you. We'd already decided before the first trip had ended that we were leaving again, and even dropping a couple of kids in the interim didn't stop us, so in March 11 we rented out our house, sold off pretty much all our stuff and set off again.

14 months later we have returned back to the dreary, wet and very cold UK. We've been back just over a week and It's taking serious restraint on our part not to book a flight straight back out again. We had the means to carry on, but after 14 months on the road with kids we lacked the motivation so we don't regret coming home when we did , maybe our wanderlust will never be satisfied. 😊

Currently we're living with parents (my in-laws) as we're not sure we want to kick tenants out and move back in to our house when we're not even sure how long we'll be sticking round.

I think what I'm trying to do is just give you a heads up. When you return after the next trip, don't expect to feel any different, embrace the addiction. 😊

Mike. Reply to this

9 years ago, May 7th 2012 No: 6 Msg: #155886  
I agree with many of the comments already posted above. We returned from a 1 year RTW trip in March last year. We were lucky to find decent jobs quickly, but we soon realised this might not be enough any more. Travel has ruined us, hehe! I enjoy my job, but I realise life is just a grind. Part of me really wants to own a house, maybe have a few ankle-biters and generally settle down. I realise this has a lot to do with my age (38) and a nagging voice in my head telling me I should act more grown up and do as others do. But, I dream of beaches, culture, exotic food and the incredible feeling of freedom and adventure that comes with travelling.

I'm very lucky that travel is a choice I can make. So many people don't have the same opportunity. Life IS too short and I think you have a duty to make the most of it. So I am ordering you to travel and have wonderful adventures!!! 😊

As for us, we're off to Asia for 6 months, starting late Sept. Maybe we'll bump into each other, have a few beers and watch the sun set on the beach. Reply to this

9 years ago, May 7th 2012 No: 7 Msg: #155900  
It looks like you have made up your mind and from the sounds of it you have made the right decision.

We planned to go away again from the second we got back from our trip and whilst it's taken a few years longer than we'd hoped, we never once thought we wouldn't make it. However good your job is it will always be better to return to rubbish job being glad you did it than be stuck wishing you'd gone.

Marriage is something you can do any any age.. even whilst you are away 😊 so don't stay just to do that. For us the big thing at the moment is getting 'older'. Both of us are 33 now and weighing heaving on our minds is when will be the right time to have children (child!).. we had thought we could have them & take with us but having heard stories on how hard it is that isn't going to happen so it's hard when all we want to do it be away all the time!

We have booked our next trip already.. I (Sophie) am in a job I particularly dislike so it's nice to have light at the end of the tunnel.. Dale is self employed so can do pretty much what he wants when he wants. What will happen when we get back is another thing but we'll worry about that when the time comes.. we certainly won't be worrying about it while we are away!

Enjoy it while you can would always be our advice.. who could think sitting at a desk 9 - 5 competes with some of life's best experiences! Reply to this

9 years ago, May 7th 2012 No: 8 Msg: #155902  
Hi guys, thanks for all the feedback.

Sophie & Dale, your blog's were a huge inspiration for our first trip and reading your amazing adventures really helped in making our decision first time around.
It's amazing to know that you are going again and it's not just us who feel there is so much more out there. When/Where are you planning to go?

Chris n Lou, we have read all of your blogs over the last few months and it's good to hear you are also going again. The rough plan is to travel Asia from Sept/Oct for 8 months so we will give you a shout when we leave and arrange to have them sunset drinks. It would also be good to pick your brains on China and the experience you had.

Age was a slight concern with our decision I (Scott) will be 30 early next year and was worried I should start doing the sensible things, but it's nice to hear people of a similar age going again.

Our mind's are pretty made up, just the small issue of handing in my 3 months notice and renting out the flat!
Reply to this

9 years ago, May 7th 2012 No: 9 Msg: #155904  
Apologies Mike & Faye, I missed your reply.

Think its great that you are both still following your love of travel with your kids! We have read loads of your blogs and not sure if travel with kids is something we could have adapted to as easily as you guys. A lot of people have said that to us. We have thought 'what if we come back in months/years and it still hasn't fulfilled our travel bug' but its just something we won't know until it happens I guess so will have to see how we feel then!

I think we will always love to travel and experience new places, but perhaps by then we will be looking at buying a house, starting a family and become happy doing just 1-2 trips a year..maybe 😉

We really didn't think that that many people planned another long trip after returning from one so this is so good to hear and makes us realise we are not strange for wanting to do this again! Reply to this

9 years ago, May 7th 2012 No: 10 Msg: #155905  
So glad to be referred to as a 'similar age'. 😊

China rocks, would love to go back. We lost a couple of weeks due to being delayed by the Icelandic volcano. Just ended up doing a highlights tour really. Not nearly enough. Probably won't go back this trip - I think the weather will be against us. We're just going with carry-on packs this time so no room for warm clothing. Would love to do the trans-Siberian one day and stop off in Mongolia. Always more plans!

Also chuffed that someone read our blog! Cheers. I think I'll put more effort in next time.

Where in Asia are you looking at? Reply to this

9 years ago, May 8th 2012 No: 11 Msg: #155921  
Late 20's/late 30's - same same 😊

Our plan is to start in China, then go overland into Vietnam, down Nam, then fly into Thailand, northern Thailand, cross over into Laos, down through Laos into Cambodia, back into Thailand, go south for islands/beached, then into malaysia, then Indo/Philippines - thats the rough plan atm although it could change!

Trans-Siberian looks awesome so perhaps we could incorporate that to get to China first...decisions! Reply to this

9 years ago, May 8th 2012 No: 12 Msg: #155934  

Travel has ruined us, hehe!

Ha ha... We left on our first travels to 'get it out of our system'... after about 4 months into the trip the discussions around what we're going to do when when we get back quickly changed to how long will it be till we leave again?

It was longer than we'd of liked (due to having kids) but in the end it was perfect as it allowed us to save a sizable amount of cash to burn through while on the road, something we're really grateful for now as we didn't have to compromise on things on the trip and now we've returned, especially as it was earlier than planned, we don't desperately need to start working ASAP to cover bills etc...

Trans-Siberian looks awesome so perhaps we could incorporate that to get to China first...

This was one of the highlights of our most recent trip, including the journey to Moscow to start the 'Trans Siberian/Mongolian' part. It's obviously much (much) more expensive to do this than fly directly to Beijing but if you don't think you'll ever have the opportunity to do it again you should seriously consider it! 😊 Reply to this

9 years ago, May 8th 2012 No: 13 Msg: #155953  
ohh your trip looks great when you thinking of going.. trying not to get off topic too much but we're flying out of the Uk on the 2nd January bound for Bangkok for a few days then to the Philippines. My (Sophie's) parents are coming out with us for the first few weeks so we are looking foward to introducing them to their first taste of Asia!

We'll be out in Asia for about 6+ months hopefully taking in Indonesia (Eastern), Philippines & Malaysia and just cannot wait. For us the biggest decision was where to go.. we debated between Africa, Central America South America but decided we'd loved Asia so much and there was so much we didn't see we'd go back there. What we don't want to do though it retrace all the steps we have already taken so we are keen to get out there and discover new places we didn't get to enjoy the first time around..

Hopefully like Chris & Lou say we'll bump into you at some point to enjoy a beer or two in the sunshine! 😊 Reply to this

9 years ago, May 8th 2012 No: 14 Msg: #155956  
Victoria & Scott - apart from Vietnam/Indonesia, you're route is exactly what we did last time.

This time we plan to start in Indonesia, then to Borneo, up to Thailand, over to Vietnam, Xmas on a beach in Thailand (maybe), then Burma and finally Sri Lanka. Might even do the Philippines. Like Sophie & Dale, we love Asia and there were plenty of places we didn't go to last time. We're just going to play it by ear and go where we fancy. Just reading as many blogs as possible to get some inspiration. I fancy India, but Lou's not so keen. A few friends have given mixed reviews. Open to suggestions (being the thread hijacker I am). Reply to this

9 years ago, May 8th 2012 No: 15 Msg: #155959  
It is really nice to travel in Asia right? I an traveling to Bangkok this May and can't explain how excited I am 😊 Reply to this

9 years ago, May 8th 2012 No: 16 Msg: #155966  
Hopefully looking to go end Sept/early October which will come round really quickly! Been looking at the Trans-siberian route all day plus even overlanding from London- Moscow first, so may add that in to the start of the trip, not the cheapest but to get to China from London completely overland would be a great experience!

We are hoping to be in Thailand for Xmas and New Year so would be great to all meet up and share stories if we are all in a similar place in January!!

We too have been debating about going to South/Central America insted of Asia first, but we do love Asia and like you guys there is so much we didn't see before. Hopefully can get our parents out at some point in the trip too as neither sets have been to Asia before. And we plan to go to Central/South America afterwards if we can 😊 My (Vic's) dad lives in Spain so would love to learn Spanish properly first, partly in Spain and then carry on in Columbia perhaps or Peru...some time in mid-late2013!

Chris & Lou - we travelled to India at the end of last year and spent 2 weeks in Goa, Mumbai, Delhi and Agra (blogs to go up soon!). We loved Goa as the beaches were great, the locals were friendly, it was so cheap (even cheaper than Thailand, Laos etc) and the food was amazing. We did a 3 day dance music festival on the beach there which was brilliant and were also there for New Year which was fun - the locals were intrigued by us and kept asking for photos! Mumbai was a bit intimidating at first as it is a huge sprawling city so everything is v spread out and we didn't stay in the best place, but we grew to really like it, again loads of great food on offer and a lot of sights to see. Delhi - we went in open minded after hearing so many negative comments about this city, but really struggled to enjoy it. Its filthy dirty, it smells, it was so cold, the poverty was unbelievable and very obvious, the people are quite hostile to Westerner's, we felt unsafe most of the time and almost got robbed! Plus there isn't that much to see or do. We only really stayed there so we could get the train to Agra to spend a day at the Taj Mahal, which was incredible (I think on par with Angkor Wat), but Agra itself wasn't great and we felt quite uncomfortable at times, with locals staring at us constantly, and not in a curious way, more in a hostile way. This was also at the end of the trip so perhaps left us with mixed feelings of India. We found it a very challenging country to travel and people seemed to be trying to scam us the whole time (more so than anywhere we went in SE Asia or even South America), however we are glad we went and we would like to see more of India one day as on the whole it seems like an amazing country and there is so much more to it than Delhi (which is one place we would never want to go to again)! And the food is great 😊 Reply to this

9 years ago, May 9th 2012 No: 17 Msg: #155986  

But don't do that because it is what is 'expected' of you by society

This is so true. We get this a lot of the time from family...what we are expected to do with our life by society. It's your lives and we are glad to see you have decided to go again!

We can't help with the going back and then travelling again...we have never made it back to the UK since leaving in September 2006. We went back for a brief visit (Neil's brothers wedding) and came right back to Asia after our 2 weeks 'holiday' was up! We originally intended on a 1 year trip, then we loved travelling so much we decided to stay away and keep on with a lifestyle which completely suits us.

We would definitely agree travelling has completely ruined us. We don't think we would fit into a 9-5 UK working life any more or cope with the cold.

We are definitely seen as 'non-conformists' by some and do get questions like 'when are you going to settle down' etc. We have a house in the UK which is rented out and what we are doing is our way of living our life in the way we love. We may one day have to return to the UK to settle forever - you never know what will happen - but at the moment that isn't in our plans.

At the end of the day, life is too short and you have to do what makes you happy, if that's travelling then do it!

Oh and, two of our very close friends (the ones who inspired us to travel in the first place) have been on 3 extended trips away and now have a baby on the way. There is plenty of time for travel and kids if that's what you want - even travelling with kids, as Michael and Faye have ably demonstrated, you can still travel with the little ones!
[Edited: 2012 May 09 08:23 - Donna and Neil:22231 ]
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9 years ago, May 9th 2012 No: 18 Msg: #155995  
I've heard many stories of the extremes of Indian travel. Although I've always wanted to go, I think some of the stories have put me off a little. I suppose we might be lazy travellers who are used to our comforts. Maybe.

I'd also love to go to Japan, but a few weeks there would cost a fair bit. We'll have enough cash to last a year or so away, but only planning for 6 months. At the end of our last trip (11 months) we were pretty weary by the end.

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9 years ago, May 11th 2012 No: 19 Msg: #156057  
Thanks Donna & Neil - think its amazing you guys have been away for so long now!

We are getting so excited now we are just trying to plan where to start etc and the small issue of visa's has come up for Russia (if we do the Transiberian train from Mosco to Beijing) and China! It seems like now for China you have to show proof of flights in and out of the country and all your accommodation whilst there. We can make hotel bookings and then cancel them once the visas are issued as we won't know exactly where we will be and when, but the flights in and out could be annoying if we are not flying in. Although it has been suggested that we can just book cheap Air Asia flights instead for the proof for the visa and not use them. Has anyone experienced this?

Or we could start in Hong Kong and get a visa for China once there...another thing to add to the to do list!

Also, Malaria tablets - did you guys take them on your trips in SEA (and Donna/Neil as you are there long term are you taking them daily?)?. I think we may have taken them on our last trip in Asia but we were only there for around 8 weeks and were being extra safe as newbie travellers 😊 I don't really like the idea of taking them for months on end on this trip! I have checked various websites and aside from jungle places and some border crossings most places are at low risk and anti-malarials are not advised...just wondered on your opinions on this?
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9 years ago, May 11th 2012 No: 20 Msg: #156058  
Regarding China, you do need to have a flight booked out, but there's plenty of cheap flights available (we used low cost Chinese carriers - booked through a website called ctrip). We had to have proof of our first hostel/hotel, but not the rest - might have changed recently. Check with the Chinese embassy. As for the 'in' part, plenty of tourists get the trans-siberian, so must be ok - again check with the embassy (i'm sure you have/will).

As for malaria tablets, we took them in Laos & Cambodia, but not in Thailand, China, Malaysia etc. I bought mine in Thailand for 4 baht a tablet! Maybe you should take them just for the high-risk parts of SE Asia - Laos, Cambodia, and rural parts of Thailand/Vietnam. We took Doxycycline, which was fine for us. Obviously this is a personal call so you should make your own minds up.

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