Do you constantly day dream about breaking away from your cubicle and exploring the world for months at a time? While there are many excuses and reasons people don’t travel long term, if you can manage it traveling for several months at a time is an incredible experience. The best trips usually involve multiple stops, multiple environments and multiple experiences, ideally over a longer period of time than the traditional 2 week vacation. We are also major advocates of slow travel, truly getting to know the culture of your host country allows you to develop a greater appreciation for it. Plus, slow travel means fewer planes, trains, and cars which equate to less of a negative impact on the environment. Whether you’re ready to start planning for a 6 month trip or a 3 week trip, we’re here to help! Not quite sure where to start? Here are a few tips to help begin the planning process.
AirTreks Official Planning Timeline offers a comprehensive look at how to go about preparing for a trip starting at one year out up until the day you leave. One of the main reasons people don’t travel more is money, though it doesn’t have to be. A year plus may seem like it’s way too early to start planning for a trip but if you are serious about your long term travel plans this is when you need to start saving. Jason Demant and Sharon Duckworth, writers for the travel blog Life after Cubes wrote a post about how they saved $50,000 to travel for a year. In their post you can find a very useful savings spreadsheet that should help you budget for your trip and determine how much you need to save. The key to their savings strategy was automation. Commit to saving some money from each paycheck by having it automatically taken from your account.
Our new Travel Specialist, Michelle Barth, spent 2 months traveling throughout Southeast Asia. In her last blog, she described her Chiang Rai sustainable biking tour. Continue on the journey with her as she recalls some of her favorite meals from Ubud, Bali.
Before my travels to Bali a few key travel words come to mind: surf, temples, monkeys, ex-patriots, rice fields, and massage.
Living in San Diego, there is no shortage of international food options. With an abundance of Thai and Vietnamese, I figured the cuisine of Bali would be similar featuring a variety of noodle and rice dishes. Yes, there are plenty of rice and noodle dishes to indulge in but I was taken back by the intricate layers of flavor I was exposed to. Ubud has no shortage of traditional restaurants and an array of creative fusion restaurants that are worth a taste.
Traveling Southeast Asia for two months, I figured having a salad was out of the picture. I was going to have to stick to eating cooked and steamed vegetables; I was wrong. There is a range of creative fusion restaurants featuring local organic food, produce, meats, and baked goods with a touch of traditional flare, scattered throughout Ubud. Two weeks into my travels, salad less, I stumbled upon Bali Buddha. This locally owned restaurant and food store has been serving up healthy dishes since 1994. Located just off the main road, it is a great way to start your day. Sit back in this open air restaurant, relax to the soft kirtan music, sip on a green super food smoothie and watch the local kids play in the street below. It is a great way to start your morning or enjoy the afternoon. If staying on the main roads is more your style or you want to enjoy some great health food after going to Monkey Forrest, Kafe or Clear Cafe are also great lunch options.
On a recent trip to the islands of Hawaii, I spent several days in Kauai, enjoying the views of the lush valleys, tropical rainforest, and sharp cliffs leading to bright blue water. Unlike most of the surrounding islands Kauai, often referred to as the Garden Isle, still maintains the feel of a small island, largely undeveloped by mass tourism. The laid back atmosphere, small towns, and one-lane bridges make for a unique, rich culture. I spent my time on the North Shore in Princeville near Hanalei. To me, this is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Though the weather was not ideal, party cloudy with a drizzle of rain most of the time, it was still around 80 degrees and did not prevent any of our planned activities.
Global Basecamps welcomes our new Travel Specialist Michelle Barth! Below she recounts her travels throughout Northern Thailand.
Chiang Rai: Sustainable Biking Tour
Leaving the bustling Chiang Mai, we found ourselves wanting to slow down and take in the sights of Chiang Rai. Wanting to bypass the standard “same, same, but different” tours exploring the hilltribes, elephant rides, and river tours, we wanted to experience the authenticity of Thai Culture. To get off the beaten path, we decided on a family owned and operated biking tour, which offered a variety of sustainable day and multi-day biking tours.
Colombia is making a come back. After years of civil unrest, Colombia is now safe for travelers to visit. The country’s diversity offers terrain and experiences to please any type of traveler. One of the major appeals of Colombia is the beaches, as mentioned in our recent blog post on Cartagena and the Caribbean Coast. Colombia has some of the best beaches in South America, especially on the Caribbean coastline and islands. Here I’ll highlight some of the best beaches the country has to offer.
Providencia Island is one of the few remaining Caribbean Islands that is untouched by mass tourism. The pristine beaches are largely uncrowded making it the perfect place for a relaxing vacation. The native language is Creole, though most locals speak English. With the world’s third largest barrier reef Providencia is a scuba divers dream. Also, the crystal clear, calm waters make the island excellent for snorkeling. Lying midway between Costa Rica and Jamaica, the island culture is similar to the laidback lifestyle in Jamaica. With a friendly population of just 5,000, few hotels, and beautifully undeveloped landscape Colombia’s Providencia offers a unique experience not found on most other Caribbean Islands.