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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80 Responses to 6 Months of Travel and Fall 2012 Plans

  1. CeCe June 25, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    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.

    • Kieu - GQ trippin June 26, 2012 at 4:42 am #

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

      • Kamal July 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

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

        K
        kad206@gmail.com

  2. Heather June 25, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    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.

    • Kieu - GQ trippin June 26, 2012 at 4:44 am #

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

  3. Lindsey June 25, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    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!

    • Kieu - GQ trippin June 26, 2012 at 5:15 am #

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

  4. TravelBudgetCouple June 25, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    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!!!!

    • Kieu - GQ trippin June 26, 2012 at 5:15 am #

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

  5. Judy June 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    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…………

    • Kieu - GQ trippin June 26, 2012 at 5:16 am #

      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 June 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

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

  6. Leannah June 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    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 :)

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 26, 2012 at 12:57 am #

      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 June 27, 2012 at 7:29 am #

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

  7. Lauren Nicholl June 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    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!!

    • Kieu - GQ trippin June 26, 2012 at 5:18 am #

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

  8. Chris & Tawny June 25, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    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!

    • Kieu - GQ trippin June 26, 2012 at 5:19 am #

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

  9. Edna June 26, 2012 at 4:06 am #

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

    • Kieu - GQ trippin June 26, 2012 at 5:20 am #

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

      • Edna June 26, 2012 at 5:31 am #

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

  10. Ana Silva O'Reilly June 26, 2012 at 5:41 am #

    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!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 26, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      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!

  11. The World Wanderer June 26, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    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!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      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! =)

  12. Heather's Harmony June 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

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

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

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

  13. Leah Travels June 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    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.

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

      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

  14. purplekat99 June 26, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    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!!

  15. Ayngelina June 27, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    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.

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

      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? :)

  16. Lauren DiMarco June 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

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

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

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

  17. Lazy Travelers June 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    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!!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

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

  18. craig zabransky June 28, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    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

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

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

  19. The World of Deej June 28, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    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:)

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

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

  20. Wright2Travel - Kim June 28, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    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

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

      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!

  21. Travel Rinse Repeat June 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    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.

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

      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!

  22. Laura and Claire June 28, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

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

  23. Technosyncratic June 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

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

  24. travelingted June 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    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.

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin June 28, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

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

  25. Jetting Around June 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

    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. :)

  26. Francesca June 30, 2012 at 11:01 am #

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

    • Kieu - GQ trippin July 2, 2012 at 5:54 am #

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

  27. suzyguese July 1, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    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!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin July 2, 2012 at 9:01 am #

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

  28. TammyOnTheMove July 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    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. :-)

  29. Fidel July 3, 2012 at 4:05 am #

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

    • Kieu - GQ trippin July 3, 2012 at 9:37 am #

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

  30. KellySok July 10, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Awww. Peru! I wish i could tag along!

  31. Christine |Grrrl Traveler July 18, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    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!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin July 18, 2012 at 5:54 am #

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

  32. Antoinette B. July 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    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!!!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin August 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

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

  33. neanyoe July 27, 2012 at 2:00 am #

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

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin August 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

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

  34. Thuy Nghiem August 8, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    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 :)

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin August 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

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

  35. Sasha August 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

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

  36. Alexa Hart August 21, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    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.

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin August 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      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. :)

      • Alexa Hart August 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

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

  37. Bobbi Lee Hitchon September 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    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??????

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin September 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

      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. :)

  38. Barbylucedistelle September 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

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

  39. Louis October 25, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    Really decide to visit Peru after reading your post.

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