since the COVID-19 outbreak started off, most of the ordinary businesses for the tourist industry were forced to disrupt its activities, now after three months of such a pandemic outbreak, each Country of the globe is considering to re-open some activities by categorizing it into a number of phases, however so far nobody knows whether the corona virus will be defeated any time soon.
Let’s assume we will get soon over the ‘COVID-19‘ tunnel, for our future travelling challenges we may want to consider a new pattern of exploring journey which puts us out of the so-called ‘comfort-zone’ 🙂 For instance: during one of my past travels I met a Swedish guy “Tariq” who ventured to travel all the way from Sweden to Malaysia by a cross-trail bicycle, it took him approximately nine months to get through by taking several stops in many Countries in-between, even it may sound extreme this is a great example of an ECO-friendly and riveting globe trotting 😉 of course this choice does not fit everybody, it involves us to have a strong mind-set as well as a very-flexible attitude.
In this regard, we can identify three categories of travelers out of the comfort zone:
- Temporary traveller
- Medium-long term traveller
- Permanent traveler
Let’s pick up the first category which is likely the one concerning most of us:
First of all I would classify as a temporary traveller whoever travels for 30 days maximum, here since we perceive the time-pressure, we are supposed to know what we want get from our short ‘adventure’ by excluding any unnecessary thing as much as possible.
In order to achieve this, we need to set up a structure which helps us to decide what it is for and where we can do this and that, e.g. if we are in for the outdoor sports, then we would be focusing on where and when you could get the most of it, we would be neglecting unrelated activities such as nightlife. Short-term travel might look like over-planned because of the narrow time frame, however if we carefully focus our attention on few activities we can still have a room for some creativity, perhaps some of us may be asking, how can we?
In this regard, I am glad to share with you a draft plan that I prepared before travelling to Vietnam earlier on 2019, I used to make such an itinerary plan for 15 days, so it falls under category 1. (use the bottom horizontal scroll bar to display all the other days)
|DAY/Stages||Fri 26th Apr.||Saturday 27th Apr||Sunday 28 Apr||Mon 29 Apr.||Tue 30 Apr.||Wed 1 May||Thu 2 May||Fri 3 May||Sat 4 May||Sun 5 May||Mon 6 May||Tue 7 May||Wed 8 May||Thu 9 May||Fri 10 May||Sat 11 May||Sun 12 May|
|1||Regiojet bus Bratislava —-> Vienna airport||Flight Bangkok —> Ha Noi 7:45am – 9:35am|
by Thai Airways
|Check-out at the hostel and morning photo-tour (free improvisation)||If Sapa, then the challenge will hopefully be: http://sapaochau.org/sapa-trekking-and-homestay/sapa-trek-and-tour/trekking-tours/off-the-beaten-track-2-day/||Off-beten trekking tour part 2||Morning arrival at Ha Noi: Stay at Ha Noi or further bus to Cat Ba island?||Fulld-day Jungle trekking tour in CatBa||Full-day of kayaking around Lan Ha Bay by exploring the floating villages||Bus back to Ha Noi, transfer to Hai Pong?|
Or 1 more day by chilling in CatBa island?
|Back in Ha Noi with a booked accommodation||Booked plan to visit Hoi An:|
VietJet Internal flight Ha Noi – Da Nang
|Full-dive tour around Hoi An, and/or visit to the nearby islands?||Ck-out from the Hoi An resort and transfer to the Da Nang airport||Ha Noi city life||As previous day||Final good-bye day||Arrival of inbound flight scheduled at 7:35am Vienna airport|
|2||Flight Vienna – Bangkok 2:35pm – 5:35am (+1day)|
by Thai Airways
|ETA for Ha Noi: around 11:00am||2pm: Bus to Sapa? Or to Cat Ba island? http://greensapabus.com|
|1st full day of off-beaten trekking path tour||Ending time: 5pm||If CatBa, then estimated arrival after 11am and check for a last-minute accommodation.||Ref. https://www.asiaoutdoors.com.vn/kayak.html||Improvised soft tours/chilling|
time prior to the forthcoming planned flight transfer to middle-Vietnam
|Ck-in at a booked resort with pool||Photo-walking, small shopping, chilling at the resort and more.||Fly back to Ha Noi. Booked accommodation for the next 3 nihts||Photo-walking, small shopping, wellness, chilling time, etc.||As previous day||As previous day|
PS: need to by a suitcase to carry extra new gadgets bought over the last 3days?
|3||Ck-in at the booked hostel||No accommodation is booked||as above||Night bus back to Ha Noi||Afternoon time in CatBa:|
check and book for jungle trekking tour and for a kayaking trip for the two upcoming days Ref. https://www.asiaoutdoors.com.vn
|Trekking ends by 5pm.||Kayaking ends by 5pm||Overview approaching visit at the city centre of Hoi An UNESCO heritage, full of colorful lights, traditional shops and Cafes.||Afternoon time: start of grand-finale with pure improvisation what-to-do and where to go||If so, there are still few hours till 5:30pm to do so 🙂|
|4||Ha Noi overview sightseeing||*For Sapa accommodation might be provided by the tour agent http://sapaochau.org||as above||Sleep on the bus||Chlling/sleeping time to get back in a shape||Evening time: (Post-)Sunset photoshooting?||One more sunset shooting session?||Sunset shooting session in|
|Photoshooting session by the sunset as well as at night||5:30pm: deadline to transfet to Ha Noi international airport.|
|5||Get to Sapa O’Chau branch to know details about the off-beaten trek in Sapa||Evening stroll in Sapa to check the poor ppl villages||Sleeping at the planned homestay by the tour agent at half-way of the tour||If stay in Ha Noi, then chilling time and decide what and where-to next||Trekking day||Kayaking and evening chil-out around CatBa town||Chill-out/motorbike tour|
|Photo-walking/chill-out||Thai Airways flight to Bangkok scheduled at 8:45pm|
|treno 4/g a sett)|
|Bratislava –> Vienna airport||Ha Noi||HA Noi –> Sapa? Cat Ba island?||Sapa O Chau||Sapa -> Ha Noi||Ha Noi? -> CatBa island?||CatBa island||CatBa Island||Cataba//HaI Pong/Ha Noi||Ha Noi||Ha Noi -> Hoi An||Hoi An/Islands|
|Hoi An -> Ha Noi||Ha Noi||Ha Noi||Ha Noi (final day) – departure back to EU|
|Ha Noi -> Bangkok -> Vienna|
It might look cumbersome, however it isn’t 🙂
From this practical example, you might notice several activities which are related to the place you want to explore, i.e. Sapa area is mostly for hiking and trekking, alternatively the town of Sapa offers SPA and other chilling activities, in both cases you may want to include the photography as a hobby 🙂 Besides that, you can break each single single day into sateges, maximum 6 stages would be enough for not making it too cumbersome; some of those stage can be left as a ‘jolly’ so that you would be deciding on the spot about what to go for 🙂
When it comes to the ‘medium-long’ term journey the things are different, we do not need for such an accurate itinerary plan, however we still need to know where we want to go and what we want to do as basic, in this regard I would pick up as example the 37-days journey which I experienced in 2018; here, since my core focus was to enjoy the nature, I came to the decision to dedicate a full month travelling around Indonesia, after that I spent the last 7 days in Kuala Lumpur and then in Singapore, yes just seven days were worthy since the city life was the second concern of my journey 🙂
To be fair, this is a kind of journey which requires some time to make our own research and possibly get inspirations by some locals we meet by chance in our living country, it will help us a lot, for instance, before travelling to Indonesia, I had a chance to meet two indonesian women in my living town, I mentioned them about my travel plan and since I wanted to travel first to Java for 14 days and then move to Sumbawa for just 3 days and finally to Flores for 11 days, they nicely managed to persuade me to cut out 3 days for Sumbawa and I spent three more days in Flores instead.
As a result, I got more than enough time to enjoy a motorbike tour across Flores, if you wish to read more just refer to this article: https://pathsunbeaten.wordpress.com/2018/05/31/flores-the-conservative-face-of-indonesia-with-surprising-people-on-the-way/
One hint I want to give you is that if you are travelling in a not-so-developed country, you will benefit a lot from renting a motorbike because you will have more space for the improvisation and more chance to discover some unbeaten spots 🙂 For your convenience I have embedded a screenshot about what was the motorbike tour I did on the way to the east (I could just fit 10 stops on it, in fact I did more)
Finally, the permanent journey is something which we know when we start but we don’t know whether or if ever ends, honestly in this kind of journey I can’t be helpful because so far in my life I haven’t experienced one, however my guess is that all we need is just answer the following questions:
- What is your mission?
- How do you want to be globetrotting?
- How do you want to live?
- What are your expectations out of it?
If you are able to answer these questions above, it likely means that you are ready to take the challenge! Based on my personal experience with the temporary and medium-long term travel, I venture to say that such a journey should be experienced as a backpacker (at least as you start on it), secondly you shouldn’t plan anything in advance but you’d rather go on the spur of the moment which mean pure improvisation, it should be journey which often (if not always) put ourselves out of the ‘comfort-zone’.
Perhaps before taking such a challenge, it could be advisable to experience a one or two-months journey, however each of us in the world have a different life attitude, so even the one who never traveled in his/her life and is going for the first time might succeed his/her mission and have something meaningful to teach or share with other humans 🙂
Having said that that, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments on such three patterns of journey as well as feel free to suggest your ideas 🙂