Diggin' Mandi

Where I am traveling

So here’s the game plan!

When I began researching my trip that would take me around the world I had specific places I wanted to visit and experience. These locations included Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Egypt, Greece, Spain, Scotland and Ireland. I had my reasons for visiting these spots – visit friends in Australia, volunteer at an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia, experience the culture and visit the family of a good friend of mine in Nepal, and see the archaeological wonder that Egypt has to offer – but of course, like every long term traveler knows, plans change. As of today my itinerary is the following: Fiji, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Nepal, Turkey, Greece, Switzerland, England, Scotland, Ireland, and then lastly, Norway. My list has obviously grown; however, my budget did not (Eek!).

So why, and how, did I change my plans? Well, you know the old saying – if there is a will there is a way. Actually, I figured out how to save money by not having flight costs. Essentially, I loaded up on bonus flight miles so I could fly to the large distance locations for free. By large distance I mean Nepal to Egypt. That jaunt would cost me, easily, $400 (USD) one way! From Egypt to Turkey it would be an additional $200 (USD) one way. Six hundred dollars can buy me months in Southeast Asia. I acquired all these bonus miles by obtaining a United Airlines credit card that had a promotional reward of 50,000 flight miles (by default it is usually 30,000 flight miles). These miles will give me two flights, easily, and save me money. The reason I chose United Airlines was for two reasons: 1) They provide 0% international transaction fees, and 2) They offer flights that are international. I have two additional cards with tons of points on them, but they are American domestic flight companies – obviously these cards will not help me outside of the States. So far I am really pleased with the card. And that is the skinny on how. Why I chose the additional countries is easy…I have always wanted to visit them all. I’m a travel nut, remember!! Also, train and bus travel throughout Southeast Asia is very inexpensive. Since most of my extended travel takes place in Southeast Asia it will prove to be the most gentle on the wallet.

So now you got the short and sweet version of my plans. I know this post isn’t a very exciting one, but I wanted to share with you my future plans so you are in the know. Also, now that it is known where I plan to visit I would love some ideas and insight on things to see and where to go, as well as some of the ins-and-outs of these places. Thanks a bunch in advance!

One thought on “Where I am traveling

  1. Daniel Schindler

    Sounds like a hell of a time you’ve got planned. I’m so jealous. Can’t really tell you much that you don’t know… except maybe about Turkey and Norway. I spent 9 days in Ankara about 5 years ago for work, but I managed a little sightseeing while I was there. There’s some pretty cool marketplaces as long as you avoid the ridiculous tourist traps. I’d also recommend a meal at Atakule tower. The food is good, if a bit pricey, but the view from the revolving restaurant at the top is worth it.

    Norway was a highlight of my last trip. Absolutely beautiful country. Downside is that it’s also the most expensive of the 18 countries I visited. If you’re saving it till last, you may not be able to stay long. I stayed mostly in Tyssedal with an old family friend. It was a favorite vacation spot of the Nazi officers back when they controlled the area. And those guys had great taste. 😉 There’s a ton of great hiking in the mountains there around Hardanger Fjord. There’s the Buer Glacier, Trolltunga, and some pretty nice rock climbing. If you wouldn’t mind some pushy religious conversation, I’m pretty sure that I could get you a free place to stay if you’re interested. On my way out, I stopped for a day in Bergen and was really impressed by the fish market. Tons of variety and really good food.

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