Travel Update: Where I am, Where I’ve been, Where I’m going!
It’s been far too long since I updated anybody on where I am and what I’m doing.
Even my mum and sister didn’t realise I was back in the UK before I tricked her into meeting me at a cafe where I scared the crap out of her.
I’m going to start including in the emails I send out my current location and something I’ve done that week to keep you guys in the know of where exactly I am and what’s happening.
For a quick progress update for those who haven’t been following too closely, I left my job in the middle of September and left the country on September 25th, 2017. In that time I’ve hit a few locations, and I’m keeping a running total as I travel.
I’ll start updating these monthly so you guys can get a feel for the pace I’m travelling at and how much it costs to live in different places.
Current time away: 63 Days
Countries visited: 5
Cities visited: 10
Total spend: £2,321.48
Where I Am Currently
Right now, I’m sat in a Starbucks (goddamn corporations) in Bristol, at the time of writing this post it’s Monday 30th November. Come Friday 8tth December, and when this post is aired, I will already be in Bangkok, Thailand.
The last few week’s have been lots of fun as i’ve been preparing and planning to go to Thailand and it gave me a chance to see friend’s and family before I leave for what will potentially be the last time for at least a year.
I’ve had the delights of hitting up Birmingham for an awesome party at my old housemates for her birthday. I’ve been all the way up to Hull to grab myself a 60-day visa for Thailand. Back down to Shrewsbury to visit the family and back down to Bristol again staying with Sahar until my flight.
I’ve had pretty manic few weeks back in the UK, mainly because I’ve started my first paid freelancing job. The first week was definitely tight as I had multiple writing jobs to get through.
Having written on my blog before it was a little intimidating and harder because I was writing about topics I knew nothing about. For some context here are the first few articles I wrote for The Hoth:
- What to expect during your puppy’s first vet visit
- 10 Onsite SEO Hacks You Need to Try
- And one of my favourites – How to Fly Solo, Any Bar, Anywhere: 3 Steps to Going to a Bar Alone
The good news is I know in 6 months time I’m going to probably be the most useful team member to a pub quiz team you’ve ever seen! I hope that by the end of December I’ll be making enough money from writing that I won’t have to use any more of my savings!
Where I’ve Been
You might remember back at the start of September I told you all my travel plans. I’m going to get around to writing a full update on each location I’ve been to give you a complete rundown but so much happened in the time I was in each city the blog posts I was writing were ridiculously long!
So I’ll give you a quick overview in this post of everywhere I’ve been so far…
First week – Germany / Austria Road Trip – 6 days
Total spend – £301.23
The first week of the trip was incredible; I got to spend so much time with some of my closest friend’s and experience some of the most beautiful places I’d ever seen in my life.
We traveled from Stuttgart, Germany to the Lake of Constance, then on to Munich, Germany for the Oktoberfest Festival. If you haven’t been, the German music culture for travelers is incredible! Once we left Munich, we headed over the border to Austria and Salzburg.
We then drove through the Austrian countryside and saw some incredible views on the way to Innsbruck, Austria. After a brief penthouse stay in Innsbruck, we drove through more countryside and headed back to Stuttgart for the Sunday.
That last day involved a lot of chilling out, swinging in hammocks and a great roast dinner… home made of course!
Week two – Split / Hvar, Croatia – 14 days
Total spend – £415.15
The second week of my trip was when I’d really start to feel like I was beginning to travel. Split was beautiful in October, and you wouldn’t have even known the weather was cold back home, with the sun shining it felt like the middle of summer.
The great thing about Split was it was so relaxed; everybody seemed to take their day at their own pace without any rush. Some of the highlights of Split included seeing the Dalmatian palace which occupies most of the city.
The back streets wind and turn and feel like something more fitting to a scene of The Italian Job than a sleepy Croatian town. With Gelato on every corner and hours of sunlight, I’d recommend Split in an instant to anyone wanting a very relaxing few weeks away.
The reason Split was so cheap was due to them just coming into the off-season. That meant hardly any nightlife in the week, but everywhere was a lot cheaper to compensate and I still had a fantastic time. You have plenty of bars open, just don’t expect anything to be open past 1 am.
I took the ferry from Split to Hvar for 50 Kuna / £6, Hvar renowned for it’s incredible party scene in the summer had turned into a beautiful secluded island town in October. I spent three days in Hvar in total over the weekend and although a few clubs where open it was relatively quiet.
The highlight for Hvar was the fantastic castle overlooking the whole city, and generally how beautiful it was at nearly every single time of day. Having the freedom to just walk around at my leisure, pick a sweet spot to work from and just relax was incredible.
I loved how relaxed everybody in Croatia was, I spent a few days in Hvar working on the balcony of a 4-star hotel overlooking the bay. I asked the bartender if it was ok if I worked and they were absolutely okay with it.
That meant comfortable sofas, free fast internet and all for the price of a cappuccino. It was the best £2 I’d ever spent.
Week four – New York, USA – Toronto/Niagara Falls, Canada – 29 days
Total spend – £1,112.42
Now, this was the big one. New York was incredible but the big question on everybody’s lips?
How the hell as a backpacker have you just flown 5000 miles to New York, I thought you where living cheaply?
An excellent question, luckily for me a few years of partying every few months in Budapest Party Hostels had landed me quite a few friends from different regions of the globe. When I mentioned on Facebook that I would be visiting New York, these amazing people I met were jumping at the chance to host me.
In fact, in the 29 days I stayed in New York I only paid for a room for one night, and that was an AirBnB just because it was more convenient. That cost £45, however, I didn’t even pay for that, I used my AirBnB referral credit.
If you didn’t know about it already, you can sign up for Airbnb and receive £25 free credit just for knowing me… awesome!
In that time I managed to go to a whole host of remarkable events:
The Wrap Party for the Show ‘Happy!’
That included an open bar, free food and a free friend to party with and stop from puking at the end of the night!
(Thanks, Ruky, it was a blast!)
Access to the ‘Public’ Hotel, Nightclub and Bar
We somehow managed to get onto someone else’s drinking tab for free! (Awesome night Dak!)
Free lift to Niagara Falls and Canada
I got to see not only some amazing views of the falls but to see some old friend’s in Toronto and eat tasty Raman.
Watched the Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics continued their unbeaten record against the Brooklyn Nets at the Brooklyn Barclays Centre where main man Kyrie Irving dominated the game wearing a mask. We also helped ourselves to some ‘upgraded’ court-side seats which rocked!
West End Show – Parady Edition
Saw an incredible Parody of Hocus Pocus performed at the West End Lounge which was not only hilarious but also included an open bar for $20, six gin and tonics and a load of tequilas later, we had a ball!
Overall I made some incredible memories and somehow managed to stay within budget for the duration of the trip averaging around just under £40 per day which I was thrilled with considering some of the big nights out we fit into that budget.
I’ve got to at this point shout out to some of the incredible people who hosted me during the New York trip, without you wondrous people my trip wouldn’t have been half as fun or half as cheap! Dak, Ruky, Priya, Sabrina, Staysee Anne, Maw, Jacob and the amazing Jessica.
You guys rock, and you’ve always got somewhere to sleep… when I eventually stop moving around and have anywhere for you to relax, stay tuned for that update!
Where I’m going!
The next part of the trip is where it’s really going to start happening! Tuesday 5th December I land in Bangkok at around 9 am, and It looks like I’m going to be staying in Thailand for at least 60 days with the option to extend another 30 days.
From what I can gather from my plans I’ve made in my mind in the last few days I will spend a week exploring Bangkok. Then I’ll head south towards Phuket, and explore some of the islands around there for a couple of weeks.
When it comes to Christmas I will look at heading to Ko Tao, a small island above Ko Pha Ngan; I hear the pub crawls are incredible at Christmas. Then I’ll head to Ko Pha Ngan for New Year’s Eve, apparently, it’s one of the largest full moon party / New Years Eve party’s in the world!
Once I’ve recovered from that I’ll make my way back up north to Chiang Mai, and probably see Pai while I’m up in that direction too. Come to the start of February I’ll need to decide to extend or visit somewhere different, so I’ll keep you guys updated on my progress from there.
That’s the next 2-3 months planned out!
Let me know in the comments any thoughts you have, I’d love to hear what you think about budgets, what to expect from Thailand and I’m dying for recommendations of what to do in Thailand and South East Asia, let me know!
I’ll look to get a full blog post done for each location as soon as I can starting with the road trip around Germany which seems set to be the longest blog post I’ve finished to date, but luckily I haven’t spared you any of the details.