100 Days of Non-Stop Travel & Adventure

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100 Days of Non-Stop Travel & Adventure

Wow! I cant believe we are already 100 days into our epic adventure around eastern Asia.

Feels like just yesterday that we were getting ready to board the flight to our first stop in Japan.

It’s been an amazing adventure so far though. We have had the opportunity to visit beautiful places, meet locals, learn about their culture and country as well as make some great friends along the way. 

Here’s a quick look back at the last 100 days:

Travel by the numbers:

Days spent on the road: 100

Countries traveled to: 7 (Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia (Bali and Gili islands), Singapore, northern Thailand, Laos, Vietnam)

Countries left: 3 at least (Cambodia, southern Thailand, India, Nepal – maybe Myanmar, Bhutan, Sri Lanka)

Cities/Towns visited: 33

Total money spent on travel (excluding flights): $10,048.72

Total money spent on all flights: $570.4 – thanks to travel hacking

Costliest country: Japan at $261/day for both of us

Cheapest country: Thailand & Laos tied at $70/day for both of us

Number of flights: 7

 Number of train rides: 9

Overland border crossings: 1 (Thailand – Laos)

Nights slept at airport: 1 (Singapore Changi airport)

Hotels slept in: 35

Mangosteen fruit eaten: >5 kilos

Scuba dives done (Manyu): 11

Cheapest beer: Bia Hoi freshly brewed beer in Vietnam (20 cents)

Most expensive beer: Chang Beer at Sky Bar, Bangkok ($13)

 

Category Total Spent 100-day average % of budget
Accommodation 2,722.00 27.22 27.09%
Food & drinks 2,943.23 29.43 29.29%
Activity 1,968.72 19.69 19.59%
Transportation 2,028.64 20.29 20.19%
Misc 386.13 3.86 3.84%
Total 10,048.72 100.49 -

 

Average travel cost per day: $100.49/day for both of us together or ~$50/day/person

Food has been our biggest expense over the trip but given how much we love food, this is completely understandable :) And while we didn’t splurge on luxury accommodation, we still stayed at great places that didn’t break the bank.

Our rule for life is “Spend on experiences, not things”, so it’s no surprise that our activity budget came out at 20% of the total. We splurged for a good experience because it’s worth it – especially scuba diving for me in Bali ;)

On the whole though, travel has been cheap. It could have been cheaper if we wanted but that was not our aim.

Just for comparison,  we spent $100/day traveling around Asia while just our rent in Boston was $53.33/day.

 

You don’t have to be a millionaire or a lottery winner to travel long term!

 

Favorite Country: tough one here – tied between Thailand & Indonesia (Manyu), cheaty 3-way tie between Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam (Staci)

 

Favorite Place: Chiang Mai & Bali (Manyu), mountains of northern Vietnam  (Staci)

 

Top 10 travel experiences so far (in no particular order):

  • 7-day motorcycling trip around northern Vietnam (Manyu and Staci)
Motorcycling through the beautiful country of Vietnam

Motorcycling through the beautiful country of Vietnam

 

  • Diving in a ball of jackeye fish in Bali (Manyu)
Exploring Bali's amazing underwater diversity

Exploring Bali’s amazing underwater diversity

 

  • Kayaking to then swimming through a secret cave in Phang Na National Park, Vietnam lit only by our headlamps  yikes! (Manyu and Staci)
Swimming through Dark cave in Phong Nha National Park, Vietnam

Swimming through Dark cave in Phong Nha National Park, Vietnam

 

  • Spending a day with elephants at the Elephant Nature Camp, Chiang Mai, Thailand (Manyu and Staci)
Staci feeding an elephant at the Elephant Nature Park

Staci feeding an elephant at the Elephant Nature Park

 

  • Watching the lantern release at the Loy Krathong/ Yee Peng festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand (Manyu and Staci)
Lantern release at the Loy Krathong/ Yee Peng festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Lantern release at the Loy Krathong/ Yee Peng festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand

 

  • Watching a sumo tournament in Tokyo, Japan (Manyu and Staci)
Sumo wrestling in Tokyo, Japan

Sumo wrestling in Tokyo, Japan

 

  • Riding dirt bikes in rural Laos…only laid it down once in some soft thorny bushes :) (Manyu and Staci)
Staci riding a dirtbike in Vang Vieng, Laos

Staci riding a dirtbike in Vang Vieng, Laos

 

  • Watching sunsets…we’ve seen some amazing ones in almost every country.  Bali sunsets and sunsets over the Mekong probably take the cake. (Manyu and Staci)
Beautiful sunset in Lovina, Bali

Beautiful sunset in Lovina, Bali

 

  • Dim Sum in Hong Kong…insanely delicious :) (Manyu and Staci)
Mmmm...... dim sum in Hong Kong

Mmmm…… dim sum in Hong Kong

 

 

  • Learning to cook Thai food in a cooking class at an organic farm in northern Thailand (Staci)
Making curry paste at the cooking class in Thailand

Making curry paste at the cooking class in Thailand

 

 It’s been the adventure of a lifetime and we have had so much fun along the way! 

 

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And so it comes to an end…..

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Our travels are ending early and we fly back to Chicago on March 7th after nearly 6 months of travel.

No trips around India or Nepal this time around but we have had the time of our lives and honestly, I can’t wait to travel some more.

That will have to wait for now.We gotta get back to see our puppy. We miss him too much!

Sorry for being such a crappy blogger and not giving too many updates but I was just having too much fun to sit down and write :) There will be lots of great photos and stories in the months to come.

For now though, we are thankful for all we got to experience over the past few months and are looking forward to seeing our family and friends!

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Getting Up Close & Personal with Elephants at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai

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Getting Up Close & Personal with Elephants at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai

When we told people that we were heading to Chiang Mai, the first thing they told us was that we had to go to the Elephant Nature Park to see the amazing work that they are doing with rescued elephants.

Being animal-lovers, we knew we had to go check it out. Since our friend Jag was going to be there with us, we dragged him along.

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Sleeping at Singapore’s Changi Airport

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Sleeping at Singapore’s Changi Airport

Yup, we slept a night at Singapore’s Changi airport…….and it was good.

Now now. We aren’t running short on money or anything. We just chose to sleep at the airport :)

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Japan in Photos: Part V – 2 Free Nights at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Piss Alley & Kabukicho

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Japan in Photos: Part V – 2 Free Nights at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Piss Alley & Kabukicho

I can see Mount Fuji from my room!

As a wedding gift to ourselves, we wanted to stay at a nice hotel in Japan for a couple of nights before we started our backpacking trip across Asia.

We had heard some amazing things about the Park Hyatt in Tokyo but spending $600/night on a room there was out of the question. Thankfully, we were able to travel hack our way into two nights at the Park Hyatt (best hotel in Tokyo)…… for free! 

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Japan in Photos: Part IV Amazing Nikko

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Japan in Photos: Part IV Amazing Nikko

After a nice time in Kyoto & Nara, it was time to move on to our next destination.

Nikko was the perfect choice!

We had originally planned to visit the Hakone area and enjoy the hot springs there but it seemed like too much of a tourist trap and after 4 days of doing touristy stuff, we wanted to go somewhere a little off the beaten path. Luckily, we came across the town of Nikko while searching travel forums.

A quiet town, a hour north of Tokyo, with a national park as well as a UNESCO world heritage site sounded like a good place to go.

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Japan in Photos: Part III – Nara’s Beautiful Temples and Crazy Deer

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Japan in Photos: Part III – Nara’s Beautiful Temples and Crazy Deer

After spending a day in Kyoto, we felt like we had seen everything that we were planning on. Kyoto is also such a big and busy city that we just wanted to get away from the crowds.

Nara, a small city that had served as Japan’s first capital, was a 30 minute train ride from Kyoto and seemed like a good option. So, after a quick breakfast at Kyoto station, we used our Japan Rail passes and hopped onto the local train that ran between Kyoto and Nara. Although the local train wasn’t fancy like the Shinkansen bullet trains, it still made our journey easy and fun.

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Japan in Photos – Part II: Walking Around Kyoto

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Japan in Photos – Part II: Walking Around Kyoto

After a great start to our Japan trip, it was time to get our dose of Japanese culture and heritage in our next stop, Kyoto.

The amazingly convenient Japanese railway system made it a breeze to get from Tokyo to Kyoto. Plus, it was our first time riding the Shinkansen “Bullet Train” and we made the 228 mile journey in less than 3 hours. It was definitely a good idea to get the 7-day Japan Rail Pass.

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Japan in Photos – Part 1: Delicious Sushi & Sumo Wrestling in Tokyo

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Japan in Photos – Part 1: Delicious Sushi & Sumo Wrestling in Tokyo

Our trip around the world started off with a bang!

Amazing sushi at Sushi Dai restaurant followed by watching the Grand Sumo tournament in Tokyo.

Not bad for day 1…

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Flying to Tokyo in First Class for $5 – It’s a hard life!

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Flying to Tokyo in First Class for $5 – It’s a hard life!

How about starting off a 8-month backpacking trip by flying first class? For five bucks each?

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