Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Two Months Into Travelling New Zealand and South East Asia

Two Months Into Travelling New Zealand and South East Asia

First of all, hello! It’s been so long since I’ve sat down to do some proper writing, mainly because I’ve been making sure I’ve been enjoying every bit of each place we’ve visited that I simply haven’t had the time to do anything! This was especially the case in New Zealand as we were driving around most days, and in the evenings we only had time to eat, plan our next leg of the journey and then sleep…but you will hear a lot more about this in upcoming posts. 

Even now after being in Asia for a just over a month, we’ve found that it’s not been as relaxing as we thought it would be (not yet at least). For instance, the amount of time we’ve actually spent on a beach is not a lot. As we’re travelling through the seasons, we’ve found that the weather has not always been on our side- for instance, one day on the beach in Lombok was completely overcast, while the previous day had been extremely hot. 

We’ve also been struck by the dreaded ‘Bali belly’. Without giving TMI, I spent a week sticking to water, bread and rice to ease me through; not great when there are so many amazing foods to try! When you’re doubled over with stomach cramps, you don’t really feel like doing anything, let alone try and think of what to write. 

While writing this I’m currently on a 3-hour boat ride to Langkawi, Malaysia. Times when I have been travelling has definitely given me time to relax and crack on with some content- for instance, I just put up the vlog of our first week in New Zealand which you can see here. As you can imagine, the WIFI isn’t as fast and reliable as it is at home, so just uploading photos to Facebook as sometimes taken days! 

One of the strangest things I’ve discovered while travelling around is the small things I miss about home. Dairy Milk is not the same as back home, especially in New Zealand as it’s made in Dunedin instead of imported. It got to the point where I asked my parents to save some Mini Eggs and Cream Eggs for when I’m back! Also, I’m really craving a good old British cup of tea, as in Asia they use a creamer instead of milk. This has led us to switch completely to black coffee, but I just can’t bring myself to drinking black tea just yet. 

Also to be completely frank, money has played a major factor in what we’ve done. New Zealand ended up costing a lot more than we thought, mainly because petrol was quite expensive (similar prices to the UK). As we were driving sometimes hundreds of miles in one day, we were filling up our tank every few days. Also, losing my two beloved cameras to a freak surge wave on the Ninety Mile Beach (more on that in my new video), I’ve had to spend money shipping them back to the UK and insuring the replacement camera I bought in New Zealand. Luckily I was able to get a loan from home to cover the cost of my new Canon 750D, but I still lost out in the long run. 

Less money has meant fewer places inevitably. We sadly came to the decision that we would be cutting out the Philippines as we discovered it was a lot more expensive than we originally thought, especially the cost of boats to each island. Cutting them out has freed up more money, allowing us to spend a couple of days in Singapore (something we never thought we’d be able to do) and longer in other places. In my eyes, as long as I have enough money for a plane ticket home, I’m happy. 

Living on a budget has been harder than I thought. For a self-confessed shopaholic, walking past spending opportunities has been hard. But one item could cost a night’s accommodation somewhere or a meal. Thinking this practically has been a challenge that I’m slowly accomplishing. I will definitely be doing some more content on budgeting a trip like this and will do an overview of how much our entire trip cost when I’m back home. But for now, I’m counting the pennies. By doing this, we’re able to look ahead at expensive things we really want to do and can budget them into our spending in the present. The less money we spend right now could pay for our ticket to Universal Studios in Singapore!

The main thing is, we’re safe and having fun. It may sound like we’re scrounging, but we have got up to a lot and I can’t wait to show you everything we’ve seen! This is probably one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I’m loving every minute- all the lows as well as the highs. So stay tuned to keep up with how we’re getting on!

I’d love to know if you’ve been travelling/backpacking, or where you’ve visited in the world! And if you’ve been to New Zealand or SE Asia, I would love to know how you got on and what you thought.

Gx

2 comments:

  1. We went to nearly the same places! Yeh NZ is SUPER expensive but so beautiful. The only place I regret not visiting is Bali. Backpacking is one of the best decisions I ever made too!
    www.thewongblog.com

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    1. That is so cool!! Bali is worth a visit but I would recommend Lombok and the Gili Islands more!!

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