We just hit 200 days of travelling, wow. That’s 6 months of constant moving around with just a couple of stops for some catching up on our blog and working out the next steps.
So what have we seen, what have we learnt and what’s next for MapTrotting? Read on to find out…
Where have we been?
It’s been a fantastic 6 months and a dream come true for me. I’ve always wanted to do this. While Charlie’s done this before when he spent 6 months in Australia, 8 weeks in Central America plus driving an ambulance to Mongolia over 42 days, this is the longest I’ve ever been away.
In 200 days we’ve explored much of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore.
First up was Thailand’s offerings where we fell in love with Bangkok and its floating market. If you are looking for a less touristy food market, head to the Khlong Lat Mayom Floating Market, the food here is gorgeous.
On our second visit to Bangkok, we’ve met some amazing people like the lovely May from Cooper hostel, I wanted her to be my best friend! If you are looking for a place to stay in Silom district, check out the Cooper Bangkok, it’s great and you’ll get to meet May!
We spent 2 days on the slow boat, navigating the beautiful Mekong river in Laos towards the gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang where we had an amazing time. It was here that we discovered the beauty of slow travelling. Top tip for exploring Luang Prabang – visit the amazing Kuang Si Waterfall.
After getting a 3 month visa we roamed Vietnam from north all the way to the south. Even though we have a love-hate relationship with Vietnam, we do think it’s a fascinating country. Living in the coastal town of Hoi An for 1.5 months was bliss. We rented an apartment, shopped in the local market, cycled around the distinctive Old Town and worked hard on our blog.
Cambodia was an absolute gem, we felt so relaxed here after all the hustle and bustle of Vietnam. We were so taken by the Cambodians and their friendliness, smiles all around. With the fierce past and bright future, Cambodia is one place you should really travel to. Oh, and the Angkor temples, they are incredible!
A week in Singapore was as amazing as it was expensive. In one week we spent as much money as we spent in one month in Vietnam! Having said that, it’s a destination not to be missed, but maybe just for a couple of days.
While at first sight it might seem like a soulless business oriented city, at least that’s what I imagined it to be, it really isn’t. The multi-cultural cuisine, exquisite architecture and diverse culture makes this city a vibrant mix of past and future.
We really recommend stepping outside the city centre and rediscovering East Singapore. Admire the stunning Peranakan culture reflected in the pre-war shophouses and explore the two main roads Joo Chiat and East Coast Road for the ultimate experience of the old Singapore.
What we discovered about ourselves?
For some time we tried to figure out what kind of travellers we are. Are we budget backpackers or are we luxury travellers…definitely not luxury… Mid range? It turned out (very clearly) during our travels that we are none of the above. So we are somewhere in between backpacker and mid range, is there a name for that category? Midpacker? Packmidder? Maybe not!
What we really found out is that we will always choose value for money and will not sulk over a couple of British Pounds in exchange for more comfortable accommodation or a better value experience. Being in our mid 30’s, our age is now definitely calling all the shots. And it is substance over style all the way.
What have we achieved in 200 days?
Even though, for some it might feel like it’s a never ending vacation, it really isn’t. Although, admittedly, having the luxury of time to explore new places is absolutely amazing. It’s been 6 months of learning and trying to figure out how to continue doing something that we love.
We grew our social media following significantly on Twitter and Instagram and also started pinning on Pinterest. We are not big fans of Facebook though, we think the platform is too messy and updates get lost, but we keep it updated for our followers.
Whilst social media is important, we both agree that the blog is our most important tool in what we are trying to achieve. During these 6 months we kept it updated with fresh, well researched, helpful and good quality content and aim to continue doing so.
We have also focused on building a wonderful newsletter to update subscribers on recent events, offers, competitions but above all provide some fantastic travel tips and advice. At the moment it’s once a month but we are looking to move towards more regular tips and advice when you sign up with occasional updates from us instead.
Drop your details in the box below and we will keep you in the loop. No spam, just pure travel related goodness, we promise.
And now the really exciting bit! We started guest posting for Goats on the Road, which is awesome. We never thought we will draw the attention of one of the top 50 travel blogs in the industry, let alone write for them. But it happened, thank you Goats!
To sustain our travels, we have some affiliate links on our blog, so please click away. It will not cost you anything, but will help us to keep writing quality content. We are also producing paid travel content and Charlie has recently landed a job online as an English teacher for Vietnamese students.
Almost forgot, we’ve written an eBook! The Ultimate Travel Planning Guide is based on our personal experience. We wanted to share all our mistakes we did when planning our travels so that you don’t have to.
We are planning more eBooks based on the destinations we have visited starting with Vietnam, stay tuned.
Charlie’s interview has recently been featured on the latest Living Unconventionally Podcast with Britany Felix. The interview is available in two parts where Charlie shares travel tips and advice. Listen to 30 minute Part 1 and Part 2 and let us know what you think!
We also appeared in the Lithuanian lifestyle magazine published in London. ‘Londoniete’ (Londoner) magazine has been created specifically for the Lithuanians living in the UK, featuring inspirational and positive stories and we are honored to be included.
For just over a month we’ve been living and working away in our beloved Bangkok. We’ve got just under one month left before we fly back to Europe. Even though we are very excited to see our friends and family, we also know that we will miss the heat and the affordable living in SE Asia.
But for now, we’ve got a little plan. We are flying back to England via Cologne in Germany. We honestly can’t wait for bratwurst and Kölsch (beer), the local speciality. We will be staying in a very cool hostel in the chic Belgian Quarter, stay tuned!
Charlie will spend a month in Britain, researching his home country and continuing to work on the blog and I will be doing the same in my native Lithuania.
In November we are both flying to the jewel of the Mediterranean, Malta, yay! We don’t have the definite plan of how long we will be staying in the country, but once we have everything in place, we will let you know.
So yeah, sign up for updates (wink wink).