As Amber and I countdown to Thursday’s (April 21st 2011) departure I’ve heard a worrying amount of clichés come out of my own mouth. This has multiplied quite significantly in the last week as we spend all our spare time (quite a large amount of time – now that we’re both ‘gainfully’ unemployed) catching up and spending quality time with friends/family and we’ve gone through the rigmarole of goodbyes. It makes you realise you don’t spend enough time with certain people and, unfortunately, it’s a sad fact we all take for granted the access to good company at times. It also means you say things like “It still doesn’t feel real” too many times.
But, on a lighter note, the fact we’ve had so many awesome people to say “see you next year” to has re-enforced the fact that New Zealand will forever be our home and, regardless of how much fun there is to be had tubing in Laos, bartering in Thailand, camping in the desert in Qatar, shopping up a proverbial sandstorm in Dubai, downing pints of bitter in London, sailing in Croatia or drinking wine in France, Spain and Italy… our hearts will remain in Aotearoa.
The itinerary (roughly) for our upcoming adventure is (drum roll please):
Thursday 21st April – Depart AKL and arrive Brisbane – jump on the train down to the Coast of the Gold variety and spend one night with our awesome friends the “Twedawkes” (Pete & Anushka). Hopefully ‘Nush hasn’t popped by then and we can all marvel at a small woman (in stature only!) with a pot belly. Then onto the “olds” place in Banora Point where I imagine many a beverage will be drunk and a few sweet, sweet “Mangeres” will be planted in the backyard pool.
Monday 25th April (ANZAC Day) – This is where the adventure will really begin as we depart familiar territory for Singapore! The small island off the south coast of Malaysia will inevitably bring new sights and sounds. We will then journey up Peninsular Malaysia (thus far we plan on checking our Malacca/Melaka and possibly the island of Langkawi). We will then have to board yet-to-be-booked flights from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, Thailand (At this point it’s all starting to sound like an episode of The Amazing Race).
Sunday 8th May – From Bangkok we depart on a Stray “Tom Yum” Tour up through the Northern highlands of Thailand and into Laos. I’ve heard fantastic things about Laos and I’m pretty excited at the prospect of floating down a river in a tyre tube drinking beer! We spend quite some time on this hop-on/hop-off bus tour before heading back to Bangkok on an over-night train.
Wednesday 25th May – Fly from Bangkok to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We spend a night or two in the fair Kingdom’s capital before making our way to Siem Reap where we do a 4-day Intrepid tour through Angkor Wat. I’m particularly excited about this trip.
Thursday 2nd June – After returning to Bangkok for a night we fly out to Dubai and then onto Doha, Qatar where we’ll stay with our friends Mon(ique) and Liam. Apparently we won’t see much of Liam due to his last accounting exam taking up precious time BUT we’ll try our darndest to have fun without him. He’ll redeem himself later when we all invade Dubai for 4 nights of celebrating Liam’s final exam. This could be dangerous…
Sunday 12th June – Provided we’ve made it through to this part of the trip in one piece, we’ll land in London town! Boom. From here we’ll stay with Amber’s Aunty and see the sights of what most Kiwis see as the landing point of their “OE’s”.
June 26th (ish) – Off on a Busabout tour of Europe!! This will have to be a separate blog/s.
August 6th – Sail Croatia from Split to Dubrovnik with our good friend Claire.
After that we may we’ll be in huge debt or (if not) w emay just chill out in Dubrovnik and/or see more of Europe.