As you read this, Shawna and I are diligently working on getting our blog up to date (we promise). She has tons of information to pass on to you about her time with Carly & Marissa… all I can say is that she stayed out of Thai prison. Barely.
And I have to catch you up on my time at the Buddhist Meditation Retreat (sounds exciting already doesn’t it?), and what else I got up to travelling solo in Thailand.
But first, we wanted to bring you up to speed on a real-time decision that we just made!
We dropped Carly & Marissa off at the Bangkok airport yesterday after an incredible 7 week adventure through South East Asia, and now we were left with the next big decision:
Where do we go next?
Truthfully, the playing field was wide open. More so than at any other time on our trip so far. We couldn’t even figure out what continent we should head to! Here were the contenders:
1) Australia: I had been there before, and am very interested in returning to a place that holds so many memories. (blurred memories still count as memories, right?) But it is going to come at a price. Literally. Australia is very expensive to travel these days. Especially compared to some of our other options.
2) India: This was on Shawna’s list of must-sees even before we left home. We suspect it is one of the most intense countries we could ever hope to visit. But we seem to be heading there at a time of year which would either have us drowning in a monsoon or having the skin melting off our bones in the 50 degree heat.
3) Nepal: A new addition to the list, especially after I had met another couple who had just recently trekked to Everest Base Camp. This seems like a natural fit for us, but there is a wee amount of concern that this time of year has a tendency to be quite cloudy….maybe not ideal weather conditions to see the mighty Everest.
4) Myanmar: Travelling and tourism is in its infancy here. What better time to head across the border and visit what is supposed to be an incredibly friendly and inviting nation. But we have spent the last three months in South East Asia, and to be honest we are getting itchy feet. I think we are looking for a more dramatic change.
5) Argentina: Yes, a massive flight is involved but this is another country we have wanted to visit since the beginning. Great wine, tasty meat, and the mountains of Patagonia… But are we sure we are done with the rest of the world and ready to head back to the massive land mass known as the Americas?
So yesterday, after a many hours of debate and deliberation, we finally booked our ticket for….
For us, Latin America was the region of the world that we were the most excited about pre-trip. The music, the food, the dancing, the language… we both felt that we wanted to be sure we spent enough time in South and Central America before going home (yes, this will happen eventually) that it didn’t feel rushed or like an afterthought. Of course Argentina fits into this criteria as well, and honestly most of the day was spent trying to find the cheapest flights and best language schools in Buenos Aires. Guatemala didn’t even come into the picture until very last minute (about 30 minutes before booking the ticket). We always saw ourselves landing in South America and working our way up.
In the end we chose Guatemala for the following reasons:
- This was our original “first destination” before we left. We had full intentions of beginning our journey in Guatemala. For various reasons we did end up starting in England, but had done enough research already to be excited about this little Central American nation.
- We saved almost $1,000 flying into Guatemala as opposed to the cheapest flight we could find to Argentina. We realize we will still have to find a way to get down to Argentina if we make it there, but we are hoping we can do it for less than that.
- The Cooperativa Spanish School in San Pedro, Guatemala was a Spanish school we had sought out ages ago, based on recommendations from our friends Shawn and Nichole. We passed this on to fellow Saskatchewanites Mike and Ashley, and they had nothing but good to say about it either. In truth we couldn’t find a Spanish school that we found more appealing (or affordable). Hopefully we will be there for 4-5 weeks, learning as much Spanish as we can over that time period.
And so yes, on the morning of April 28th we will leave the mega-city of Bangkok and head across the water, on our way to Central America! What is really cool is that our flight path actually has us in New York for the evening of the 28th, before heading south the next morning. We are pretty excited about out brief visit to the Big Apple. Any recommendations?
In the meantime we will both be slaving away behind the laptop, doing everything possible to catch up on our blog (thanks for your patience). And when we are not doing that we will be saying goodbye to Bangkok and everything it has to offer…. buddhist temples, banana pancakes, and ladyboys – woo hoo!