We’re officially less than 6 months out from departure (173 days to be exact)!! It’s just close enough so that pretty much every second of every day, we are thinking about our trip — but it’s just far away enough so that it’s still kind of depressing.
Over the past month we’ve done a few things, big and small, to prepare for departure. The most important change is that we’ve switched our flights! We’re departing 3 days later than planned and instead of starting our trip in Bangkok, we’ll be starting in Singapore. There are a number of reasons why we chose to do this (better flight itinerary — United BusinessFirst seats! 2 flights instead of 3, cutting down total trip time from 30 hours to 24 hours), but the main reason is that Singapore is just easier than Bangkok. We’ve been to both cities, love them both, but Singapore was our first introduction to SE Asia when we went there in 2009 and it will always have a special place in our hearts.
Simply put, Singapore is the softest landing one can have in Asia. They speak English. It’s clean. The trains run on time. It’s small and manageable. And the food, my GOD, the food. Laksa, fish head curry, chicken rice, amazing Indian food. It’s just a great place to start and we’re excited about it.
Given our start in Singapore, we’ve started to plan the next steps of our itinerary. We’ll likely spend 4-5 days in Singapore and then take a bus or train to Kuala Lampur in Malaysia, spend a few days there and then head to Penang before moving on to Thailand where we’ll likely spend a significant amount of time — maybe 6 weeks.
Both Mrs. Banh Mi and I have bought some gear for the trip as well. It’s a bit early but it’s hard not to be excited and buying stuff we know we’ll need makes everything somehow seem more real. In a few months we’ll have a detailed post with all the stuff we’re packing and how it will all fit in our bags. Anyone who is planning a RTW trip will tell you — looking at all the packing porn blogs is one of the most fun parts of preparing for a trip like this.
Because we’ve been buying things for the trip, we both find ourselves skimping on everything else. Before we buy ANYTHING we ask “Will I be able to use this on the trip?” If the answer is no, it typically doesn’t get purchased. Just a waste of money and one more thing to move and store. We’ve started downsizing as well. We each donated a full garbage bag of clothing we no longer wear and we donated probably 200 books as well. And with all that, somehow the house doesn’t feel any less cluttered at all.
So that’s where we’re at. We’ll try to be better about updating more frequently, but right now there’s not a lot going on. As most of Europe will tell you, austerity is pretty dull.