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!
Rachel Colangelo says
Your life = unreal. You’re inspiring. Much love 😘
Thanks, Rach. Love you!
I have so many suggestions for India and will email / message all of them separately. These plans sound amazing! xx
Awesome!! Thanks so much xx
Jackie Martinez says
I love you! You inspire me.
Thanks Jackie! I love you.
Pretty sick travel plans. Tanzania will be amazing. Blog looks great!
Thank you! I’m so excited to get back on the road.
Hello! I’m the commenter from Running of the Reese’s. Your travel plans sound amazing! I haven’t made it to Asia (yet!) but someday! I’m planning on going to Mongolia in 2018 but we’ll see if that changes between now and then. 🙂
The best option for keeping the price of the safari down is visiting the Tanzanian Tourist Board on Boma Rd in Arusha. There is a message board in there where tours will post vacancies in their groups, usually for one or two people to join an existing group of two or three. You’d need to be a bit flexible on time because you may find a tour leaving the next day… or you may have to wait a few days. If you want to head out to the Serengeti, you’ll want to look at a longer safari (I’d say . The drive time from Arusha to there eats up a good chunk of travel time so it’s really not worth it if you’re looking for a day or two safari. You’re better off hitting up the parks closer to Arusha and doing more game drives. If you do a day safari, you’ll only hit up one park. If you do a multi day safari, you’ll visit some combination of Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara NP, and/or Tarangire NP. My last safari was a 3-day camping safari at those three locations: saw everything except leopards and it was less than $500 pp. (Arusha NP is also nearby, but because it is in the opposite direction, it’s usually only offered for 1 day safaris.)
The thing to keep in mind about walking even just the first day of Kilimanjaro, is that the park fee alone is $7o for that day. I don’t want to discourage you from doing it, I just don’t want you to be shocked when you start hearing quotes for it. Another good hiking option between Arusha and Dar is the Usambara Mts. You could do a couple of different day hikes for the price of 1 day on Kili.
If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up at neverthecoolnerd @ gmail.com 🙂
Thank you SOOO much for the recs! Less than $500 doesn’t sound too terrible for 3 days. One of the bloggers I follow met two Maasai brothers while in Kenya who sneakily took them on a couple game drives in a national park for a great deal, so I’m kind of hoping I stumble upon the same kind of luck in TZ haha. And thanks for the price info about the kili day hike. I’ve kind of been thinking more and more that I should stick to photographing it and try to find a cheaper hike at another location. Thanks again for all of the recs/information and I will definitely be emailing you when I’m in Arusha to meet up for coffee!
THIS. IS. SO. AWESOME. I’m so jealous of these contract positions that allow for so much travel time/cash. Really pigeon-holed myself geographically which this lawyer thing.
SOOOO in the interest of continuing my travels, I’m also looking at doing India in November (I know, I know, I was terrible about making it to Eastern Europe, but that’s because Asia was so damn great!) after a brief trip back home. Are you getting the six month visa and mailing your passport off? Makes me super nervous to book a flight to India and then have to wait for my passport to come back since I’ll only be home for a month max. Otherwise the e-visa only gives you 30 days which is NOT ENOUGH!
I actually met a lawyer the other day in the nail salon and thought of you. When she finished law school she got a job offer, but they didn’t need her for 6 months. They gave her part of her salary for the 6 months (like $15,000) and she used it to go traveling!!
Asia sure is amazing so it’s understandable that it took you a while to leave. SO! I actually can’t get the 6 month visa. The permanent address on my license has changed since my parents’ moved and I can’t prove residency via a utility bill because my company pays for my bills and I don’t receive anything and nothing is in my name. And I can’t go to the DMV to change it since I’m not in Louisiana at the moment! ah!
The mailing address where they will send your passport back to and address on your license/utility bill have to be the same. 30 days is NO WHERE NEAR ENOUGH TIME but you can apply for the e-visa twice. So I plan to use my first full 30 days in India and then head to Nepal for a few days while I apply for a second one.
Or maybe I can try applying for the 6 month one at an embassy once I’m there?! I’ll look into that and let you know!