A quick update for our loyal readership (popularity of the blog has exploded! I believe we may need two hands to count our readers now!) 9 weeks from today Mrs. Banh Mi and I will depart for Singapore. NINE WEEKS.
It used to seem like this trip would never happen. It was just so far away. A nice thing to daydream about, but it wasn’t REAL. Well, it’s starting to seem real now. Mrs. Banh Mi formally handed in her letter of resignation at her job. I’m going to give my notice next week. The reality of just how much STUFF we have in our house to get rid of is setting in. All those fears and doubts that we never had before about this major life change are starting to insidiously creep into the back of our heads. Are we REALLY going to move half a world away and have no income, no home, and NO REAL PLAN?
Well, to my old friends Fear and Doubt, I say “Yep. We’re doing it. So y’all can S my D.” As much as we’re nervous and scared about this idea, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I know in my heart that years from now the one thing that I will NEVER say is “Man, I regret taking that backpacking adventure across Asia all those years ago.” The fear is there, but I have never been more confident that this is the right thing for us.
SO — WHAT’S NEXT? As you know, we’re flying into Singapore. We’ve both been to Singapore before and loved it, but I feel like it’s a bit like Las Vegas. You get in, and it’s glitzy and amazing and the food is great and you think to yourself “I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE THIS PLACE.” Unfortunately, that wears off after a few days and then you think “This place is expensive and there’s nothing to do. I NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE.”
So, we’ll be staying Singapore for four days, which I think is a perfect amount of time to eat all the things we want and to recover from jet lag. Finding budget accommodation in Singapore is difficult. When we were in Singapore in 2009, we stayed at a hostel where we had a private room and a shared bathroom. The hostel was fine…basic and moooostly clean and in a decent enough location. This cost us approximately $30 per person. This, I found, was pretty much the basement price. If you want a private room with its own bathroom, you’re going to pay minimum $90 USD per night and it won’t be in a great location. We don’t mind having a shared bathroom (though we have drawn the line a dorm rooms), but I was frustrated in our lack of options on our budget.
Travel hacking to the rescue! Mrs. Banh Mi travels so much for work that not only are we able to pay for our airfare on points, we also have a fair number of points saved up for Starwood Hotels (paying for our wedding, held in a Starwood property, on a Starwood American Express Card didn’t hurt either). So, rough and tumble backpackers we are, we’re going to slum it by cashing in some points at the Singapore Sheraton. We plan on using our points in places that are expensive or every few months just to treat ourselves to clean sheets and a hot shower.
But where will we go after we’re doing stuffing our faces with curry puff and laksa in Singapore? Next stop: BALI, INDONESIA. We’ve already booked our tickets from Singapore to Bali and we’re VERY EXCITED. As for what we’re going to do there — well, I’ll leave that up to Mrs. Banh Mi to tell you, simple reason being that I don’t know. I can’t even tell you how long we’ll be there. Mrs. Banh Mi is going to be in charge of our itinerary, although I know already that our trip is going to include a trip to the Gili Islands, which are a small group of islands nearby Bali (Best part — you take a speedboat to get there!)
The next few weeks will be filled with job-quittings, weddings (two in November!), Craigslist adventures, and freakouts. More as this story develops…