There was once a time when I was entirely justified in writing a travel blog. In those times, I travelled a lot. It’s what I spent my money on, it’s what I dreamed about, it’s what I enjoyed about my life the most. Then 2020 happened.
The fact that I still have a post on here, not too far back, titled “2020 – Travels Aplenty” just serves to highlight how much the rug was pulled out from under us that year. I’m extremely fortunate that the pandemic served as nothing more than a major inconvenience to me and my family – I know many people weren’t so lucky. But I think I’m allowed to admit; the fact I had to cancel my entire ‘leave London and experience the world for 12+ months’ plan was a bit of a bummer.
Anywho. The last few years have been extremely eventful. I stayed in London. I bought a flat. I got promoted at work. And a bunch of other stuff happened. Fast forward to now and I’m ready once again to pack a bag, board a plane, and f*ck off around the world. For roughly 180 days actually – doesn’t it make for a catchy title?
My thinking has evolved since 2020. This time round, I am going to do my travels within the confines of a 6 month sabbatical from work. This is essentially unpaid leave, with my position at the firm guaranteed for when I return. There are two main benefits to this; one is that upon my return I’ll have a salary from day 1, and the other is that I’m not going to spend the whole time I’m away worrying about what the hell I’m going to do when I get back. That’s what happened last time anyway.
Anyway I think that’s enough preamble. “Where are you going!?” I hear you scream. Let’s get into it.
Flying to Japan in 2023 is spenny, because everyone’s doing it. I realised that flying to Singapore was a lot cheaper. My first stop is Singapore for a few days, followed by Bangkok for a week. After that I will fly to Tokyo. The three one way flights together cost the same as flying straight to Tokyo. But this way I get to spend time in two other awesome cities!
I’m going to spend 90 days travelling Japan. In this time I plan to visit every main island/region, including Hokkaido and Okinawa. Suffice to say I will be covering a lot of ground. To save some space, I’m going to write about this in more detail in another post, so watch out for that.
After I’ve turned over every rock in Japan, I’ll head over to South Korea and Taiwan for 2 – 3 weeks each. I’ve never been to either nation so I’m very excited to go in and learn all about them! Neither are very large geographically speaking, so I should be able to hit up many of the countries’ highlights. Very exciting.
After Taiwan, my plan is to hop over to Canada. While I have set foot in Canada before (3 nights in Vancouver) I can hardly say I’ve seen the country. This time round I want to do it justice. A newfound appreciation for train travel has inspired me to take ‘The Canadian’, a cross country locomotive that runs from Vancouver to Toronto via Jasper and the Canadian Rockies. Then I’ll keep going to check out the cities in the east, like Montreal and Quebec.
The final stage of my trip is a little undecided at the moment. Ideas include visiting New York, Florida, Puerto Rico and/or Costa Rica, before heading back to London in October. It looks like I have some friends interested in linking up with me in some of these places, so some negotiations may need to take place before I get those destinations booked.
It’s obviously a bit trite to write “I’m excited!” but it’s true, and has to be said. I’m setting off on the 4th of April so I still have a bit of time to prepare myself mentally, physically and fiscally. And of course, I shall be writing all about my trip as I go in this here blog. It’ll be great to get things running again. I hope you’ll join me on my next adventure 🙂
Hey man! Super cool your job will let you take 6 mo’s off. I’ll be in NYC in June and would be great to see ya. Whatsapp me if you can link up. –Kurt, Nashville, Couchsurfing, https://www.instagram.com/kurtwayne615/
Good to see you are on your way again Charlie, sounds like a great trip, some great places listed there too, especially South Korea, Taiwan and Japan of course ! Enjoy !