I’m writing this piece in the sticks in Ireland - surrounded by fields, without a wifi connection and bloody miles from the nearest shop. In some ways it reminds me of Lisu Lodge where we spent the first night on our three day/two night Lisu Lodge and Khum Lanna Soft Adventure tour. The big difference between here and there – apart from the temperature and number of massages on offer – is at the lodge we had transport.
When we met up with my sister in Chiang Mai and she told us all the things she had done and was going to do in Thailand, Deirdre and I looked at each other and realised we had done sod all here.
We have twice passed by Kuala Lumpur on the bus and once changed planes at the airport so once we had made our plans to fly to the UK from Singapore we decided that this time we would invest a little time in getting to know this city.
We ended Thailand very much how we began it with a pleasant place to stay. It is often overlooked how where we spend the night influences our opinion of a town, city, or the whole country.
Whether we have a good stay or a bad stay at a hotel, there will be opposing emotions when it comes to arriving and leaving. Hate the place and disappointment will reign on first walking through the door and relief when it comes time to go. Like the place and the opposite will be true.
Myanmar was the place that drew us back to Southeast Asia after a ten year absence. This is supposed to be a cheap trip centred on settling in in the sun somewhere but we probably would have gone to another part of the world - somewhere new - had Myanmar not sounded so enticing.
I almost never use a traditional wardrobe and I suspect many other long term travellers also prefer the more linear way to store both clothing and the detritus that accumulate over a few days’ stay in a room.
We haven’t taken an organised press trip but we have had some success with our own more informal approach of negotiating accommodation and tours in exchange for advertising space on our websites.
If rumours of the gap year’s demise are true then this post will go mostly unread as students instead forego a break between A levels and university to avoid the rise in tuition fees. Plenty though will either worry about the financial hangover later or consider a year out a worthwhile investment in their future.
Once we crossed over the Tigris in to Turkey we were on the final leg home. Though we knew it is a beautiful country Turkey surprised us. We have lived here for four years but, having only seen the Aegean coast, a few towns in the west of the country and Istanbul, we didn’t understand quite how varied the landscape can be.