6 Months of Travel and Fall 2012 Plans

6 months in travel. On coming home and plans for the future.

How do I put this into words? It’s been NUTS! 6 months, 9 countries and 40+ cities later: we’ve been on camels, trains and planes. Slept in deserts, boats and plenty of couches. Sipped tea in China, slurped noodles in Japan. Avoided Delhi belly in India, suffered from food poisoning in Thailand. The list.. goes on.

Today marks a milestone in travel for us. Exactly six months since we left California. Crazy how time flies when you’re having fun. We had every intention to recap our adventures month by month – where we’ve been, what we did, things we ate, expenses – that sort of stuff.. but you know, life just got in the way.

Six Months in Travel

I assure you the recaps are coming but on hold for now partly because I’m just as afraid to see the numbers as you are curious to see how much we’ve spent. For now, a few highlights. We have:

  • spent the night in jail in New Zealand.
  • wrestled a sacred cow in India.
  • met unforgettable people through Couchsurfing and the travel blogging community.
  • checked off items on our 30 before 30 bucket list.
  • bathed in the nude with locals in Japan.
  • watched the Avengers in Seoul, Korea.

collage

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Right now, we’re sipping tra da (iced tea) on An Bang beach in Hoi An, Vietnam, recapping our time in China (which happened almost two months ago!), thinking of home and daydreaming about the near future.

cha-da-hoi-an

It feels great to be in Vietnam again! Nice to finally understand and speak a language we know other than English. We’ll spend the next two weeks exploring Nha Trang, Da Lat and end in Ho Chi Minh City where we’ll meet up with friends and of course family.

Next we’ll cross the border by bus to Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat then down to Indonesia for some much overdue snorkeling and possible diving before…

HEADING HOME.

That’s right. We just booked our return tickets to California, but not without an extended layover in Hawaii. It was always in the plans for us to go to Hawaii in August for a wedding. Looking forward to reuniting with our friends in paradise. Not a bad place to go before heading home, right?

waikiki

Future Plans

Clearly we caused a commotion on our Facebook page when we said we had an announcement to make. So, I want to clear things up and eliminate any false hope.

GERARD AND I ARE NOT ENGAGED. 

Our original plans was to fly home after Hawaii and start looking for work. I know, sounds like a drag to me too. The former still stands, we are going home. But if there’s anything six months of travel has taught us, it’s that life is short and the world is big.

We’re not ready to go home.

But we sort of have to. I mean, the tickets are already booked. We fly home to San Jose, California on August 16, 2012. 

So what now? We’ve talked about maybe doing smaller trips here and there when we get home to quench our wanderlust thirst. To be completely honest, while I’d love to continue traveling indefinitely, I have responsibilities I need to get back to. My funds are running low and I’ve got bills to pay. I was more keen on returning home and resuming life with work.

But then we were presented with an opportunity. Thanks to Gerard’s former employer for sending him on numerous cross-country assignments, he has racked up enough United Miles to fly us almost anywhere in the world.

And since we are not restricted to the 9-5 routine or the short two-week holiday, we’re seizing this opportunity. Again. There’s a catch? The miles expire this November.

I guess what I’m trying to say is..

*drum roll please*

Machu_Picchu

 

PERU HERE WE COME!

We leave early September to spend six weeks in Peru and Bolivia.

I can’t tell you how excited we are to be heading to South America again. Gerard hasn’t stop talking about visiting Peru some day and well, that day is now concrete. We are stoked!

peru-bolivia-map

This much we know for now: Machu Picchu, maybe sandboarding in Huacachina with visits to the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca. A stop in Salar de Uyuni and Sucre. And heaps of ceviche. mMm..

As you can see, we haven’t quite figured it out but we’re hoping you can help. Have you been to either countries?

What tips or suggestions do you have on what to see/eat/do in Peru and Bolivia?

 

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  • http://little-victories.net CeCe

    How exciting! I have been to Peru and Bolivia and adore both places.

    In Peru try cuy (guinea pig), pisco sours and Inca Kola’s. In Bolivia, you can stay in a salt hotel in the middle of nowhere while in Salar de Uyuni.

    I’m sure you will be having tons of coca tea to help with the altitude in both places. Can’t wait to hear about your adventures.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      I’m looking forward to trying cuy for sure so long as I don’t have to look them in the eye. ;)

      • Kamal

        I have never been to there but I am sure I will enjoy going there. Happy for you!

        K
        kad206@gmail.com

  • Heather

    Great news! I’m glad you have more travels to look forward to, in addition to the wedding in Hawaii :-) Happy 6 month anniversary! I hope the next 6 months bring lots of wonderful things your way.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks so much Heather! It’s been great thus far – we too are looking forward to the next six months.

  • http://www.wanderingunstuck.com/ Lindsey

    Ahh, Peru! And Bolivia! I can’t wait to read about your travels there! As for the next 6 months .. the best plans are to have no (or at least flexible) plans. I hope the next 6 months are as amazing as the last – and congratulations on your 6 month travelersary!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks Lindsey! You’re so right – the best plan is to have “flexible” plans. We’ll keep that in mind for S. America. Excited!

  • http://twitter.com/TravelBCouple TravelBudgetCouple

    In Peru, stay a couple of days in Ollytantambo after Machu Picchu. Great place to catch your breath and see the Sacred Valley in all its glory. Roll thru North Peru and check out the Sun and Moon Temple (Pre-Incan -ish). In Lima, check out the Gastronomy Museum. Other than that enjoy!!!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      YOU KNOW we’ll need to get together during our short stint home. ;)

  • Judy

    I have been to Peru and it was great,so much history and beautiful sites to behold. I know a great Peruvian tour guide in case you are interested…………

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      oOo yes please! We’ll need all the help we can get. I like a good tour guide every now and then especially when there is so much history to unfold. Thanks Judy!

      • Judy

        Let me check with my friend the tour guide in Peru and send you his contact information via facebook.

  • Leannah

    Get engaged already jeeez! That’s awesome you guys are going to Peru & Bolivia! I definitely want to see that area of the world (S America). Thanks for introducing me my first time! opened my EYES. Love you guys and would love to see you soon. Let me know if you want to explore southern utah, I’ll be your tour guide :)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Awww Nana.. I think of Bom dia now! We’d love to visit someday! We hear Utah has their own salt flats too. Have you been yet?

      • Leannah

        I haven’t been. Maybe I’ll save it for your visit ;)

  • http://twitter.com/WanderLoz Lauren Nicholl

    Yay!! As you know, I will be in Peru Oct 8-18. Would LOVE to meet up with you guys. I’m still doing my research too, but have been getting a lot of great tips from fellow travelers. We should get together as soon as you get back to Cali and compare itineraries! :) Safe travels you two! Say aloha to Hawaii for me. See you soon!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Yes! I think our dates overlap. Definitely need to get together during our short stint home. See you soon!

  • http://twitter.com/CaptainandClark Chris & Tawny

    AHHHH! You’re going to have so much fun. Bolivia is one of my favorite countries in the world! I have TOO many suggestions. Let’s chat soon. Congrats to the both of you on your new adventure!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks guys! You know we’re all ears. Will there be costumes involved? ;)

  • http://expatedna.com/ Edna

    Totally disappointing announcement. Way to get my hopes up, guys — I thought you were going to come visit me in Paris! :P

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      LOL, E! The year is young and we still have Thanksgiving and Christmas open. ;)

      • http://expatedna.com/ Edna

        Don’t know that’ll be an option…I’ve got a big announcement of my own coming up!

  • http://twitter.com/mrsoaroundworld Ana Silva O’Reilly

    wow, respect respect respect! I don’t think I could ever be away for 6 months – but maybe I could ;) who knows? tell you what, coming home will also be special.. and you can always start planning your next adventure!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      You’d be surprised to find out what you’re capable of! Just gotta put your mind to it! We are looking forward to coming back home… But good thing it won’t be too long before we head back out!

  • http://twitter.com/TheWrldWanderer The World Wanderer

    Peru and Bolivia!! How exciting! Sounds like you had an amazing adventure! I am a little jealous that you are in Vietnam – I completely fell in love with the country last July and would do anything to go back there, but like you said, the world is big, and to be honest, I have so many places to still visit! :) Can’t wait to hear about the adventures to come!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Vietnam is an amazing country. We’re lucky to have family here that makes the experience even more special… Such as taking us to the truly local eats! =)

  • Heather’s Harmony

    Congratulations! Looking forward to hearing so much more about your 6 months of travel & thrilled you’ve already got another exciting trip planned!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks! It’s a bit overwhelming.. I don’t think we’re mentally prepared for the 2nd part of our trip.

  • http://twitter.com/L_e_a_h Leah Travels

    First off, JAIL in New Zealand? I can’t wait to know more about that. And next, South America! YAY! Good for you and great for me. I get to keep on trippin’ with y’all.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks for trippin’ along! Can’t wait for South America and someday we’ll get to writing about our special night one day… That means we’re only 5 months behind on the blog. now. =P

  • purplekat99

    Yay Peru! I went last summer and have spent the last year writing about it, so awesome! My only recc is if you guys want to do the hike, look into it NOW because dates book up fast. So exciting!!

  • http://twitter.com/Ayngelina Ayngelina

    You absolutely must go to Northern Peru, it is my biggest tip for South America. There are lots of Peruvians tourists there but no international ones and you can see so many things that are completely unspoiled by tourism.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      I was always wondering why northern Peru isn’t talked about much. We’ll look into it! I’m guessing they have good food too? :)

  • http://twitter.com/LolaDiMarco Lauren DiMarco

    i think i LOVE you two. i wanna travel with you!! Peru is on my someday list for sure.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Peru has been on our someday list for a long time. We’re ecstatic that it’s soon becoming a reality!

  • http://twitter.com/lazytravelers Lazy Travelers

    i mean, we just need to know about your night in jail in new zealand. we’re also dying to go to peru, so excited for you two!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      The jail time experience will come… SO MUCH to catch on the blog!

  • http://www.stayadventurous.com/ craig zabransky

    That’s an incredible 6 months… and i know there is more to come. Once you know travel, you can’t stop. Good luck and I’ll be following.
    stay adventurous, Craig

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Craig! You’re right… Travel is like popping a can of Pringles.. =)

  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com The World of Deej

    I have enjoyed tagging along with you guys from the beginning, and look forward to your Peruvian adventure:) As someone who never has been a full time traveler, I can tell you it does work. I have to plan something about once a month, because if I go more than that without checking into a hotel I go crazy, but it does work. At least for me… Hopefully the same will go for you as well:)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      We have the same problem about getting antsy when we spend too much time in one spot. Thanks for trippin’ along!

  • Wright2Travel – Kim

    Awesome!!! Going home will be an amazing adventure in itself – you will see things differently, appreciate new things and change other things – it will be great!! And Peru & Bolivia will both be so beautiful – we get to South America end October so might even cross paths? That would be too cool. Keep on Trippin guys xo

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      So glad we got to meet up in Penang… Not sure if S. America will work since our time ends there late October. =( Hope you’re enjoying your RTW!

  • http://twitter.com/TravelRinseRept Travel Rinse Repeat

    Amazing! I’m sure you guys are going to have an awesome time. I’ve heard Bolivia is amazing…when I was in Chile, several of my friends continued on into Uyuni, salt flats, etc.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      The main reason we’re visiting Bolivia is in fact to see the salt flats. But it turns out there’s much more and we can’t wait to explore!

  • http://two4travel.net/ Laura and Claire

    Wow, awesome plans! You guys will have a blast :)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks girls! Hope we do too. :)

  • http://technosyncratic.com Technosyncratic

    Machu Picchu!!!! Dang, I want to visit there someday. And, uhm, can we hear the story about when you spent a night in jail??

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yes. The night in jail story will come… one of these days… :)

  • travelingted

    How awesome that you have something else to look forward to after traveling to all the places you have and will be going to. Life is good for the GQ trippers.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      We always have another place to look forward too. :) Still no cure for our travel bug. :) Thanks for trippin’ by!

  • http://twitter.com/jettingaround Jetting Around

    Have a wonderful time, guys! And remember – even when you have a regular job, like me and many other travels bloggers do, it is not the end. Once a traveler, always a traveler, there will be more adventures to come. :)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Agreed. I have to say our travel itch will ALWAYS be there.

  • http://twitter.com/WorkMomTravels Francesca

    Oh my goodness, PERU!!! Can you tell I’m so excited for you?!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha.. yes! I’m equally excited. September can’t come soon enough. :D

  • suzyguese

    Sounds like an exciting next few months! And I can’t wait to hear about the jail incident in New Zealand. Way to leave us on a cliffhanger!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Wow. Now I wish we wrote about our jail time experience beforehand.. haha.

  • TammyOnTheMove

    What an amazing journey you had so far. It is great that you get the chance to go to South America next, and I am saying that from a selfish point of view, as I want to continue reading about your trips. :-)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Awww.. Thanks for trippin’ along Tammy!

  • http://www.scenewithahart.com/ Fidel

    Great news! The fun seems to never end. When are you going to be in Indonesia?

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Neither is it for you – I saw your upcoming trips! ;) We’ll be in Indo from the 12th to 30th of July.

  • KellySok

    Awww. Peru! I wish i could tag along!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Do it Kelly! The ceviche there is calling you…

  • Christine |Grrrl Traveler

    I love that you’re turning around and going back out again. ha ha… Give me a holler when you get into Hawaii. I might still be here!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      For sure! We’ll holler when my friend’s wedding festivities die down. :)

  • http://www.loveantoinette.com/ Antoinette B.

    Wow, 6 months definitely flies by sooo fast! I can actually still remember reading your posts on your preparations for your RTW trips! So excited for you guys to head over to Peru after all of this is over! I’m heading back to Peru for the 3rd time in late October! Although I mostly stay in Lima for medical mission work in a children’s hospital there, I can totally recommend some wonderful restaurants there. Peruvian cuisine has ultimately become one of my favorites! Enjoy the rest of your SE Asia and Hawaii trip!!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      We love Peruvian food! AND will be making our way back to Lima in late October too =)

  • neanyoe

    I say save south america for 2014 and the world cup Brazil! This November? Spain.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      We know… We were at the World Cup in Munich in 2006. It’s so tempting… There’s still time. You never know!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502661065 Thuy Nghiem

    HOW EXCITING!!!! It’s nice to have something else to look forward to after coming back b/c i’m sure the travel itch will commence soon after. I’ve been wanting to visit south america– thinking I’m gonna save that for 2014 to watch the world cup :)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      OMG. World Cup will be nuts. We know because we’ve been there in 2006. Be prepared for insanity if you go!

  • Sasha

    Yay, how exciting! I’m going to Peru in November so you’re gonna have to tell me about all the hot spots :)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Lol, will do. I’m getting excited!

  • http://atlassliced.com Alexa Hart

    Wow! I lived in Cusco, Peru for 4 months. I loved it! You guys are going to have so much fun. Might be worth seeing Lake Titicaca on both the Peruvian and Bolivian side. Also, you probably already know this (maybe not), the visa fee for Bolivia for Americans is $135. Make sure you drink authentic chicha in Peru. Some chicha places look super shady (and might be), but it tastes so good! Of course, try guinea pig and alpaca. I hated guinea pig but liked alpaca.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      I heard about the Visa fee… Good lord that’s alotta money! Thanks for the tips! Still debating if Copacabana is worth it, but we’ll just see how it goes. :)

      • http://atlassliced.com Alexa Hart

        If you do end up staying in Copacabana, I recommend Hotel La Cupula.

  • http://www.heelsandwheelsonline.com/ Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    Yesss!! Great to read you guys won’t be sitting still for too long. Enjoy the upcoming adventure. Oh and when did you spend the night in jail in NZ??????

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      It was during our last stop in NZ which was in Christchurch. There’s a special hostel there, pretty popular.. Google it and you’ll know what we’re talking about. We have another NZ post coming out this week. Stay tuned. :)

  • http://lifethruamoka.com/ Barbylucedistelle

    Peru is on our travel to-do list too. Enjoy!

  • Louis

    Really decide to visit Peru after reading your post.

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