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I’m incredibly lucky to be able to fly around the world in relative comfort courtesy of the miles and points hobby (and a lot of hard work) but sometimes I go through phases where the last thing I want to do is to get on another plane.
When I’m traveling with Joanna I don’t really mind how many flights I’m taking, how many layovers I have or how many airport lounges I have to visit as a trip with Joanna generally means that we’re on a break and, although I still take hundreds of pictures and copious notes for the blog, the whole feel of the trip is one of relaxation.
Recently, more and more of my solo trips have been more about trying out the aircraft and the cabins that I feel I should review rather than about the journey and the destination, and I think that’s been a very big part of the reason why I’ve been feeling a little tired of travel.
I’ve enjoyed the cabins I’ve flown in (I promise to write some reviews soon!) but I’ve also noticed a feeling of “oh no, not another flight” creeping into my thinking of late, so I decided to do something about it.
Places I’ve Long Wanted To Visit
There are a number of places that I’ve never been to that have been on my “must visit” list for a very long time and I never seem to get any closer to checking them out. Either the timing hasn’t been right, the flights have been too expensive or I simply couldn’t justify the time away from home.
Now I’m putting an end to that.
Most (probably all) of my travel for 2019 has been planned and booked but I’m now looking to next year and I’m booking trips based on where I most want to go rather than on what aircraft or hotels I get to review along the way….and I’m excited to travel again.
I’m Heading To Vietnam
Vietnam has been a country that has intrigued me ever since I studied its history at school, and various TV shows featuring the country’s amazing scenery have pushed Vietnam very close to the top of my “must visit” list.
I’ve come close to booking a trip to Vietnam a few times but, for one reason or another, a trip has never materialized…until now.
As things stand I have Qatar Airways Business Class flights booked for travel to Vietnam early next year (click to enlarge)…
…and at SEK 16,382 (~$1,727) I’m getting a very good deal indeed.
The trip won’t be a long one (I still have time constraints I have to deal with) so I’m not going to get to visit Halong Bay or Da Nang, but I’m incredibly excited to visit Ho Chi Minh City and to finally see the Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi tunnels.
I’m doing a lot of research for this trip to (hopefully) help me avoid as many of the tourist traps as possible but, even if I find myself surrounded by people who just want a photo for Instagram without a shred of understanding for where they are, I’m going to have an amazing time.
I’m Going To Visit The #1 Place On My List – Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat has been the sight I’ve most wanted to visit for almost a decade and it looks like I’m finally going to get to go.
I haven’t booked my flights yet as I’m still trying to decide between two sets of dates but there’s little doubt in my mind that this trip is going to happen.
Once again I’m going to make the most of a great Qatar Airways Business Class fare and this time I’m going to fly into Bangkok (roundtrip flights from Oslo are currently on offer from ~$1,531). After a night’s rest in Bangkok, I’m planning to use one of the local low-cost carriers (probably Bangkok Airways) for the 1-hour flight to Siem Reap.
The Park Hyatt and the Le Meridien are the two hotels currently in the running for my business on this trip but where I stay really isn’t a big deal to me…all I care about is finally seeing the amazing temple complexes.
I’m hoping to hire a guide for my time in Siem Reap and, with a bit of luck, I’ll get to visit some of the more remote (and uncluttered by tourists) temples that are still mostly covered by the jungle.
The decision I now have to make is when to fly – the two sets of dates I have in mind both offer pros and cons.
The first set of dates pretty much guarantees me a dry visit to the temples but comes very close to a number of other trips I’ve already got booked (I’m not sure just how much I’ll want to face 8 flights in a week after I’ve taken 8 flights across 26,000 miles in the three weeks leading up to the Angkor Wat trip).
The second set of dates would see me traveling after a few flight-free weeks but puts me very close to when the rains start to fall in Siem Reap (I’d rather not have my visits to the temples hampered by the incredible rain South East Asia can get).
Right now I’m tending towards risking the rain but I was tending towards the other way last night so who knows what I’ll end up booking!
Just thinking about these trips as I type this post has brought a big smile to my face…and that’s what travel should really be all about. I think part of me had forgotten that.
I genuinely can’t wait to start exploring some of the places that I’ve wanted to visit for years and it feels good to be planning trips around the destinations rather than the mode of transport that’s getting me there…I should really do this more often.