Things are looking a little different around here! Thanks to the wonderful Erin and Lisette, this little blog got a much needed makeover. I’m so happy with the way everything turned out, and highly recommend working with them both. My new URL is http://www.nolatoeverywhere.com, but the old link should redirect you to the new site if you happen to click on it somehow.
Some other exciting news? My tickets for my next long term backpacking trip are booked! I purchased the tickets a little while ago but I wanted to wait to share the news with you all on the new, prettier space. I’ll be leaving at the end of September, the day after my contract ends. So where am I headed?
I’m going to Tanzania!
I’ve been dreaming about going to Eastern Africa for years, but for some reason I always thought that it would be more of a “someday” trip. I guess this is because everyone I know that has been to Eastern Africa dropped thousands and thousands of dollars on safaris and other activities. In preparation for this trip, I’ve been voraciously reading any blogs I can find with information about backpacking in Africa on a shoestring and now I’m pretty confident that I will be able to travel in Tanzania while sticking to my usual backpacker’s budget. I’ll splurge for a short safari if I need to–I can’t very well go to Tanzania, home of the Serengeti, and NOT experience the wildlife–but I would much rather meet some locals who are going on a game drive and pay them to tag along than shell out major cash to the tour companies. We’ll see!
I’ll be in the country for a month, starting in Dar Es Salaam. It seems that a lot of travelers breeze through Dar on their way to either Zanzibar or the northern safari circuit. The city seems charming to me in that crazy, hectic way and I’ll be couchsurfing here for 5 days. After Dar I’m going to play it by ear but the Serengeti, Moshi, and Arusha are all on my to-see list. Speaking of Moshi, I will not be summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro but a day hike to the first camp on the mountain will hopefully happen. After spending time in the North, I’ll bus & ferry it or fly to the island of Zanzibar to meet up with one of my BFFs, Allison! Our time in Zanzibar will likely include lots of beach time, snorkeling, shopping, and eating. After Zanzibar?
Back to Southeast Asia
Just thinking about being back in this region makes my heart swell. Southeast Asia was where my love of long term backpacking was born and cultivated so it’s very special to me. I’ll land in Bangkok towards the end of October, from where I will immediately head to chilled out Pai in the north, a place that I wasn’t able to make it to last time. I have no real plans for Pai other than eating a lot of Thai food, chilling with cool people, and maybe getting that bamboo tattoo I chickened out on last time I was in Thailand. Myanmar will be the next stop after Pai. I’ll only have a week or so here which means that I’ll have to stick to Yangon and the surrounding country side. I’ll definitely be taking a ride on the circle train!
India + Nepal
From Yangon, I will be flying to Mumbai to meet back up with Allison, who will be in South Africa while I’m in Thailand and Myanmar. I’ve been waiting to have someone to travel India with (although it can be done as a solo female, I feel much more comfortable about being with a friend), so when Allison told me that she booked tickets to India, I immediately jumped on board. We’ll be in the subcontinent for about 6 weeks, with a mini jaunt to Nepal as well. I know, I know, only six weeks in India? India is one of those places where one can easily spend traveling for a year or more. Allison has to make it back to the U.S. for the holidays and I want to make sure I have time for other destinations afterwards. It is what it is. We start our Indian route in Mumbai, making our way through Rajasthan and on to New Delhi, Dharamsala, Rishkesh, and Varanasi before flying down to the states of Kerala and Goa.
My heart is so full thinking about traipsing through India and Nepal with one of my very best friends. I have not yet been able to travel with any of my friends from home and it’s something that I wasn’t sure was going to happen anytime soon as they have work constraints. Allison is a travel nurse too so we have similar freedom to travel more than the standard two weeks per year vacation that most Americans have. And..this will be Allison’s first backpacking trip! She’s already trying to pack too much, but I think I can whip her into shape 🙂
After the subcontinent?
I don’t have a ticket home! I will book one eventually, but not until I’m on the road. I have no idea who I will meet or where I may want to go after India so I don’t want to commit to anything. This isn’t an open-ended trip, but I have to say that the freedom of not having a return ticket to the states right now feels pretty darn good.
Now, it’s time to start getting everything ready! I have some documents to prepare for the Indian visa and I need to look for a laptop because I will be blogging, or at least trying to, from the road this time. I simply cannot afford to get my Macbook Pro lost or stolen so I’ll be looking for an inexpensive (less than $250) option. I have some contenders, but if you have any recommendations please let me know.
Do you have any travel tips for these destinations? Will you be in any of these places at the same time I am? If so, let’s meet up!