FINALLY we’ve left Newcastle and we’re on our way to Singapore! It’s been a long time coming and I’m very pleased to be writing from my plane seat my first proper travelling blog post all about the trip preparation.
How did we come to setting off on this trip? Zoe and I both graduated from University in July 2017 and have been working ever since in our hometown of Newcastle. Taking a few months to go travelling has always been a bucket list dream for both of us and when summer came around it became apparent that we were both desperate to go. January 2019 seemed the perfect time to go and the preparation commenced to jet off!
Let me give you a few details of our route… Zoe and I will be taking 13 flights in total over the next 6 months which will take us around the South Pacific, Indonesia and South East Asia. We can’t wait to explore what the great countries we plan to visit in these areas have to offer. We booked our flights through STA and have the option to change the dates of our flights if we wish, so we can flex the length of time in any of the countries we have in our plan. STA have been really great at helping us plan and organise our trip – I would definitely recommend speaking to an agent there if you are planning a trip and want any help and advice. In Bali we are being joined by Ryan, my boyfriend, for a couple of weeks and I couldn’t be more excited to see him already! We may have a couple more additions to our travels but this is yet to be confirmed so watch this space.
As soon as we started sharing details of our flight the recommendations from family and friends, who have done similar trips, started flooding in – thank you! Following everyone’s advice we’ve booked an island hopping trip in Fiji, the Kiwi experience in (you guessed it!) New Zealand and we’ve booked a campervan to drive up the East coast of Australia. More planning is needed for the countries that follow but we’ll do that along the way.
(Please note, this picture is not of the campervan we’ll be driving)
The last few weeks I’ve been super busy preparing. Of course packing created all sorts of stress – I would consider myself an ‘over-packer’ so packing for 6 months into a backpack seemed impossible. The first ‘travelpack’ (they are referred to as travel packs when they’re bigger sizes) I ordered had to be sent back for a bigger size, it just looked so small! I had read many reviews and recommendations about which size is best for the duration of my trip and so that you’re able to carry them on your back. In the end I ignored the advice and convinced myself ‘I’m stronger than I look’ and went for the bigger size – I don’t regret it yet!
Next, it was the problem of what clothes do I take? I literally bought every (very limited) summer item ASOS has to offer and I sent almost all of the contents back! This was a process I went through for a few days until I found what I wanted.
Eventually and unbelievably I have managed to pack as many t-shirts, shorts, undies, swimming cozzies, pretty little dresses (a must-have obviously), as well as a load of other crap to keep me going for the next 6 months into my small (but not teeny tiny) backpack. One tip I would definitely suggest is buying a few packing cubes to keep your clothes organised and separated, you can squeeze a lot into them too – trust me!
As you can tell, a lot has been leading up to this day and it isn’t hard to imagine that my emotions were all over the place. Preparing for this trip has been very exciting but it’s also been quite difficult. Coming to terms with the fact that I won’t be seeing any of my family or my boyfriend for the coming months was really hard. It’s fair to say the goodbyes at Newcastle airport were not my most attractive moment (I’m an ugly crier – shoot me). I did however get a picture of Zoe and I laughing before we left, so it wasn’t all tears!
Zoes dad, Neil, kindly paid for us to go into the Aspire lounge at the departure gates where we had a few glasses of Prosecco which I definitely needed to get over the tears. The wait wasn’t long and before we knew it we were on the plane and heading to Dubai.
We had a short stopover in Dubai where we treated ourselves to a McDonalds. Next stop is Singapore for around 24 hours. We will try to see as much as possible and my next post will be all about what we got up to.
Thanks for reading!