Announcement: Our Winter 2012 Plans

2012 coming to an end. Our plans have changed.. again. What now?

This time, I won’t beat around the bush. We’ve made winter plans!!.. and it’s not home. But just a quick update: Lately, it’s been a year of announcements, hasn’t it? From quitting our jobs to traveling Australasia and now South America. We are currently in Peru and will be making our way down to Bolivia for a few weeks before heading home.. briefly.


I know it’s weird to say this, but it’s been a dream of mine to travel during the winter season – it’s my favorite time of year. I want to vacation where I can wear warm clothes other than shorts and tank tops. I like layers – scarfs, beanie and gloves – that’s me.

Gerard doesn’t feel the same way about the cold. We’ve always traveled during summer weather because it’s just easier, nicer that way. Plus, it’s much easier to pack summer attire into a carry-on bag than winter coats and boots. But I’ve always wanted a winter wonderland sort of vacation and finally.. I’m going to get to do just that.

That being said…

Gerard and I are heading to Central Europe!


One month split between Prague, Ljubljana, Vienna and Budapest in November.

I am beyond myself that we’re heading to Europe, again – it’s my favorite place to be. And, I’m equally ecstatic to be traveling Europe by train. With all the train traveling we have done lately, from India to China, traveling Europe by train is by far still my favorite. If not for the scenic ride through the countryside alone.

We plan to take things slower in Europe, because after a year of non-stop-on-the-go-halfway-around-the-world type travel, slow travel is just what we need. Which is why we can’t wait to check into our cozy apartments, start living and travelling like a local. As much as I like hosteling around the world, I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy the comforts of my own apartment more, even if it’s just one week at a time.

And for the perfect ending to an incredible year of travel, we’ll pit-stop in New York City before heading home. We look forward to spending the holiday season with new friends we met while in Vietnam, Steph and Fran, in one of the cities we love most.

So there you have it, our winter plans and surprise surprise, it’s not home.


What do you think of our winter plans? Any recommendations or tips for either Prague, Ljubljana, Vienna or Budapest?


Photo collage credits: 1234

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67 Responses to Announcement: Our Winter 2012 Plans

  1. Edna September 24, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    You mean to tell me you’re not planning on stopping by Paris?!

  2. TravelBudgetCouple September 24, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Woohoo!!! That is

  3. Caro_PassportandaToothbrush September 24, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Kudos on apartment living! That’s what Matt and I are doing mostly on our current RTW and it’s definitely a good feeling. Taking it slow as well is a definite must! Aah, so happy for you! : )

    • Kieu - GQ trippin September 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

      I’m so excited for farmer’s market shopping to buy fresh produce and bring it back to the apartment.. Where are you guys now?

  4. KaiRo September 24, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    You should check out the rep. of Georgia! It really is a winter wonderland, but it’s the opposite side of the black sea of your trip plans. That sounds awesome, just make sure you know where or how to be getting wood if you’re going to be staying in apartments outside of city centrals.

    • Kieu - GQ trippin September 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

      Aww, really wish we had more time to go that way. Maybe in the near future. We’re definitely staying in the city center in central Europe.. should be good with heating in our apartments. :)

      • KaiRo September 25, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

        Well if you do make it out to Tbilisi or work it into your plans let me know. I have some awesome friends there- one of whom is married to an American who worked in Nepal and I am pretty sure he actually climbed everest once. If you want cultural excitement my friend would be an awesome guide and if you were wanting to check out the Caucus’s or check out adventure tourism her husband would be more than willing to plan a trip I think.

  5. Anglo Italian September 24, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    That is a great plan! We are currently travelling across Eastern Europe, we stopped in Budapest and we strongly recommend going to the Szimpla if you like very arty and unusual places.. stop by for a drink and have a look at each room. We loved it! :)

    • Kieu - GQ trippin September 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

      Hey.. thanks for the recommendation. You know we’re up for artsy and weird places. :D

  6. Jeremy E. Hahn September 24, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    More travel is never a bad idea :) I esp. loved Ljubljana and Budapest. I wonder what they look like in winter??? In Slovenia i would highly recommend Lake Bled. You should stay a couple nights there. Feels almost like a mountain village. There’s other areas close by for outdoor adventures but it would be too cold at that time. Since you love the train scenery, will you be taking the scenic ride from Slovenia to Vienna through the Julian Alps? Also you should check out the “alternative” Metelkova neighborhood in Ljubljana.

    • Kieu - GQ trippin September 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      Lake Bled is definitely on my list. Thanks for the recommendation. I can’t wait for the scenic ride through the Alps..

  7. Alex September 24, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Sounds incredible! Have a great time!

  8. Jan September 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    That’s exciting!

    If you’re interested in meeting some strangers in NYC for a drink, please let me know. My boyfriend and I are starting to plan our 2013 trip and would love to hear about your experiences!

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin September 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

      We just have a few days. But we can definitely try to make something happen! We get in end of November. =)

  9. Mario Azzopardi September 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    Good onya guys. Looks like there will be no xmas card for a, I wish you both the very best and if you some how end up in Melbourne look us up. Have a safe trip and take care. Mario n Michelle.

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin September 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

      Oh how we miss Halong Bay with you guys. Thanks Mario! If we ever end up back in Melbourne, we’ll be in touch!

  10. Fidel September 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    You’re truly having a round the world experience now. Congrats on the news. Hope you see Munich also because I hear that Bavaria is wonderful that time of year, especially the Christmas markets.

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin September 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      Oh man… Christmas in Bavaria sounds really cool too! Are you going to anywhere else besides Germany during holidays?

  11. Amy & Kieron September 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    That’s awesome guys – keep on traveling for as long as you possibly can! We haven’t been to any of those places (yet!) so will have to let you two pick out the best for us.

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin September 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      We’ll try to take notes! =P Making the most of this before we get back to the workplace!

      • Amy & Kieron September 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

        Very smart choice – once you’re back in the workplace and in career mode, it’s difficult to break free again. Trust me, I know. Haha.

        Thanks! Looking forward to seeing what you and Kieu get up to. :)

  12. Bobbi Lee Hitchon September 24, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Sounds like a great plan!! I’ve been to Budapest, Vienna and Prague-all stunning. I’ve Ljubljana is the “new Prague”, so I think that will be really interesting to visit! Enjoy it all. Oh and I get what you mean about traveling in the Winter, especially in Europe-there’s just something about it.

    • Kieu - GQ trippin September 26, 2012 at 6:36 am #

      Right?! There’s just something about it, makes me smile inside and out. Can’t wait to get there. How’s Thailand treating you?

  13. twoOregonians September 25, 2012 at 12:09 am #

    Ah!! I’m so excited for you guys. That’s such fun news. Can’t wait to follow along :)

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin September 25, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      Yup. We can’t wait to GO! Where are you guys now? Still in Africa?

  14. Leah Travels September 25, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    When will you be in Prague? I’m wondering if we’ll be there at the same time! I’ll be there November 6-9.

    • Kieu - GQ trippin September 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      Hrm.. looks like Gerard will have the opportunity to take pics of us girls after all.. *wink wink* :D

  15. The World of Deej September 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Sounds like another great adventure ahead!

  16. Jani Banani September 26, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    Oh, that sounds great ! – I remember you told us about a maybe Europe Trip while in Pushkar or Agra :-D Let me know whether your are coming to Germany. My brother and I would be happy to meet you both again :-) I could offer cologne, the romantic rhine valley and the “german outbacks” ;-) Hope to see u, Jana

    • Kieu - GQ trippin October 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

      Ahh so tempting. We’d love to make a stop in Germany but we may not have time. German outbacks, aye?

  17. Ana Silva O'Reilly September 26, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    I only went to Prague once.. loved it as it is where I met Mrs. O. I think the places you picked were amazing – and can’t help I am afraid!! Such a shame you are coming so close to us.. will you coincide with Leah and Lola?

    • Kieu - GQ trippin October 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      Funny you ask, we will be in Prague the same time! That should be very interesting.. Haha

  18. Amanda Williams September 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Awesome plans!!! Ljubljana and Budapest are two of my favorite cities in Europe!!

  19. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) September 27, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    While in Prague, I highly recommend a day trip to the nearby city of Kutna Hora… it’s most famous for it’s church where everything within it is made from the bones of plague victims. It’s deliciously creepy and definitely not the kind of thing you see any old place!

    Have fun in Central Europe! I too love layers (Autumn is my favorite season), but your’e right that for long-term travel, summer clothes are easier!

  20. Lazy Travelers September 28, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    g + q + r + w in nyc = YAYAYAYAYAYAYYAY!

  21. amy&andrew September 28, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Wow – exciting plans guys. Look forward to seeing all our stories and pics.

  22. Francesca September 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    So exciting! I bet those cities will be gorgeous in the winter!

  23. CaptainandClark September 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Love it! Sounds like you have quite the winter planned. We can’t wait to follow along on all of your epic adventures!

  24. John September 29, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Ljubljana is the best! It’s like a pocket-sized European capital city – everything you’d expect but in really easy walking distance. Also I ate a ‘mystery’ meat there that I’m pretty sure was horse…

    • Kieu - GQ trippin October 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      Are you suggesting we try mystery meat too? Not sure how I feel about horse though. Lol

    • Jeremy E. Hahn October 9, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

      Haha. I too ate horse in Ljubljana. There’s even a fast food place called Hot Horse that will make it quick and easy. Tastes like cow to me :)

      • Kieu - GQ trippin October 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

        No way?! Not saying I’ll probably eat it, but will definitely check that out! :D

  25. Kim - Wright2Travel September 30, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Awesome news guys!! Prague is beautiful and the rest we didnt get to so cant wait to read about it. Let us know your dates for NYC as we are visiting soon also and would be fantastic to catchup again!!! :)

  26. The World Wanderer September 30, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Yay! Love that you are heading somewhere else! :) I haven’t been to any of these places, but my parents just got back from Ljubljana and they fell in love with it. Love the picture of you two in Peru.

    • Kieu - GQ trippin October 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      Maybe your parents could tell us how to pronounce it.. Lol. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the place. :)

  27. dewtraveller October 1, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    I love travelling in the winter too. I was doing that last winter to Austria and Switzerland. Make sure you bring some warm gloves! Enjoy guys!

    • Kieu - GQ trippin October 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

      I’m guessing carry on wont cut it, aye? Planning to layer up and definitely packing gloves!

  28. craig zabransky October 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    sweet plans. visited both prague and budapest a few years back… both lovely cities. great beer, great architecture, and great people. And even though it’s winter don’t forget to pack your stylin swimsuits… you will definitely want to hit the outdoor baths in Budapest… especially if it snows.

    also, let me know what dates or plans you have for the NYC stopover… be great to meet up in person.

    stay adventurous, Craig

    • Kieu - GQ trippin October 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      weve heard so much about the baths.. Lol. Will bein NYC 30Nov to 5Dec. :)

  29. Ayngelina October 6, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    I`ve never been to Central Europe, looking forward to your stories!

  30. Lauren October 17, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Yaaaaaaaaaaay Ljubljana!

  31. Scott October 22, 2012 at 3:26 am #

    Just catching up, I know I know but your plans for November sound great. We spent a couple weeks in both Ljubljana and Budapest this summer/fall, so hit us up for any tips if you want! One bit of advice for Ljubljana though right now: Pizza Burek (you’ll thank me later).

    • Gerard ~ GQtrippin October 22, 2012 at 7:56 am #

      Pizza Burek. Check! I hear Slovenia is a great place for Italian food since it’s so close to Eataly. :) Do you have Ljubljana and Budapest posts up on your blog?

      • Scott October 25, 2012 at 4:37 am #

        We both do, but I will be honest we have skewed more to the “journal style” blogs than anything actual helpful for traveleres, lol. I think Julia has some stuff on Hungry & Confused actually though …

  32. Debby [MyGateway2Travel] December 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    I am actually planning a trip for a client right now for Munich [Bavaria to see Neuswanstein Castle], Vienna, Salzburg [Sound of Music!], and Prague! Enjoy Central Europe, I loved it in winter best! One of the craziest things to see when in Prague is a daytrip to Kutna Hora, the bone chapel. Check it out! =)

    • Kieu - GQ trippin December 4, 2012 at 5:13 am #

      O, Neuswanstein Castle is absolutely breathtaking. We visited a few years back. Didn’t get to venture outside of Prague this time, unfortunately, it was a bit too cold. But we will definitely be back. It’s one of my favorite city. :)

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