We planned not to plan but then we changed plans

When we started this thing back in January, we planned not to plan too much. Our route mainly consisted of hunches on what would be an interesting new stop. We had some successes and some, well, interesting experiences. We only had two parts in our trip that were set: the family visits in Peru and Vietnam.

How we shaped the rest of our route in South-America was easy, just work our way towards Cartagena and almost anything in between Patagonia and our plane ride to Amsterdam was possible. We definitely enjoyed that freedom.


For Asia, there were even more possibilities, especially since the cheap flights of AirAsia allow for last minute adjustments of plans. On Schiphol airport we said, as we got in line to check in: “We have no idea. We might stay in Southeast-Asia but for all we know, we can end up in Sri Lanka.” Guess where we ended up…

What to do

After our first weeks in Malaysia, some things became clear.
1. We were doing pretty well on the budget side of things.
2. Thomas kind of fell in love with the idea of visiting Japan.
3. I kept hearing and reading amazing things about Malaysian Borneo.
4. We still liked the thought of including Sri Lanka.
5. Our budget was the only limit.

Let’s think this through

The problem? These destinations are not exactly close to eachother. So we went back to the drawing board. What about Myanmar? We really wanted to go there. But to us, the Rohingya crisis was a solid reason not to go. Are the Philippines an option then? Also a no, based on the recent reports about that country and its leader. In both cases we didn’t have to fear for our safety but still, it just didn’t feel right.

So Laos or Cambodia then? To be honest, out of Southeast Asia, these were lowest on the list for us, based on nothing more than a hunch. We looked at each other and went to work. We puzzled, puzzled some more and came to the conclusion that in order to make our crazy desired itinerary work, we had some serious planning to do.

The result

We gave up the possibility of last minute changes, after Thomas’ mom visiting us in Vietnam, for the following travel plan:

  • Vietnam to Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka to Singapore
  • Singapore to Malaysian Borneo
    Maybe visit sultanate Brunei while we’re there
  • Malaysian Borneo to Indonesia
  • Indonesia to Japan
  • Japan to Thailand
  • Thailand to home

Even writing it down makes me think we’ve lost our minds a bit. So far out of this crazy list, we’ve made it to Sri Lanka and we absolutely love it. And even though every next destination also brings us closer to the definitive end of this mega vacation, I can’t wait to visit them all.

♥ Dagmar

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