Mr. Banh Mi and I are both floundering a little. With our trip far away, we both are in full-on daydreaming mode and not doing the best job of embracing our current situations. Work remains busy, even if we daydream about Thai street food. The gym remains open and necessary, but we both wish we were hauling our backpacks around and not lifting weights. The only constant is a tight budget and reading endless blog posts from new about packing lists, how maybe I don’t want to be in India for Holi and how to stay fit on the road.
This apathy isn’t doing us any favors. We still have friends here in DC we love and want to spend more time with before we leave. We still have a DC Bucket list we need to tackle (more on that one later). and more importantly, we still have 7 months of hardcore saving to do. So we also have to be creative about our time left here. It’s hard to want to see friends but also not be going out much. It’s hard to see things “one last time” when you still have 200+ days to go. At what point have we stopped staying and started leaving?
So there is an alternate timeline, a timeline of milestones that we can look forward to that will help us really mark the passing of time when we need it to speed up. That is, providing it slows down a bunch too once we depart!
April – 7 months to go
Mr. Banh Mi’s raise
Mrs. Banh Mi’s 30th birthday
May – 6 months to go
Friend returns from overseas
Mrs Banh Mi’s brother’s wedding
Boys trip for Mr. Banh Mi
June – 5 months to go
big work event for Mrs. Banh Mi
Big family party
July – 4 months to go
4th of July weekend
Freebie vacation with Mrs. Banh Mi’s parents at the Jersey Shore
August – 3 months to go
sigh…. here’s where it gets hard
September – 2 months to go
Friends depart overseas 😦
the arrival of our friends’ baby girl
Mrs. Banh Mi giving her notice
October – 1 month to go
Big work event for Mrs. Banh Mi
Mr. Banh Mi giving his notice
Mr. Banh Mi’s last day
November – departure month!!!!
Mrs. Banh Mi’s last day
Election night (you can take us out of DC but you can’t take DC out of us)
Mrs. Banh Mi and I recently held a meeting to discuss our trip. I don’t know why it had to be a formal meeting, but it was. Somehow we felt that labeling it as such would make it feel more substantial than the standard idle daydreaming chatter that is our usual conversation style when discussing our trip. But, honestly, have you ever been at a meeting where something actually got accomplished?
At this “meeting” we developed a very loose itinerary. As we get closer to leaving and the daily grind here in DC gets ever more tiresome, the proposed length of “the dream” gets longer and longer. It started at 3-4 months and somehow has morphed to 6-8 months or even longer if we’re still enjoying ourselves and still have money left.
I think Mrs. Banh Mi and I agree that what will make our trip fun is not having a structured itinerary where we HAVE to be certain places at certain times. We like being free to stay somewhere longer if we like it, and being able to get the hell out of some hell hole if we hate it. It leaves us open to making new friends and creating open-ended adventures. So, take the below itinerary with a grain of salt. I’m sure it’ll all fall to crap within 48 hours of our arrival in Bangkok. We will be adopting Napoleon’s battle plan for our trip: first we show up, then we see what happens.
The more research we do, the more ambitious we get. What about Nepal!? Mrs. Banh Mi recently read that Bhutan is awesome! And CHINA? WHAT ABOUT CHINA? Well, we do have to try to set SOME limits and boundaries. Those places aren’t out of the question, but we wanted to try our hand at being realistic for once, so that above list is our first attempt.
The item that sparked the most debate was whether to go to Cambodia. Mrs. Banh Mi and I spent 5 horrific days in Cambodia in the Summer of 2009 and as we crossed over the border to Vietnam (where I was momentarily detained by Vietnamese border officials) we all breathed a collective sigh of relief and swore we’d never ever go back to Cambodia. Well, we’re gonna give Cambodge another go. We’ll follow-up with a post soon about why we hated Cambodia so much and why we’re going back.
And it won’t take another 2 months for a new post. Promise.