In case you missed my recent stroke of luck – which I seriously doubt seeing as though I’ve not stopped talking about it – my 23-Month New Zealand WHS Visa has been approved! The Land of the Long White Cloud is now a massive part of my planned travel route for 2016-2017.
This is of course pretty awesome news and I can’t wait to get there and explore. The only thing is, I’m now going to have to fit in around 13 other countries in the space of just 6 months.
What’s The Rush
“What!? Why only 6 months?”, I hear you cry.
Well, New Zealand was always a part of the bigger picture. It was going to be the last place I would visit following my extended trip around Southeast Asia. It was also going to be somewhere that I would call “home” for a couple of years.
It still is. It just looks like it’s going to be “home” a little sooner than I’d first realised.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so pumped about it all! But, I still want to experience the best that Southeast Asia has to offer on the way there. I’ve got just under a year to get to NZ and activate my visa so, in the meantime, I need to get cracking on my planned travel route for 2016-2017.
And, in all honesty, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to really get away and see the world.
I’m aiming for touchdown Delhi, India, in the first week of August 2016 and will be making my way through this spiritual, mystical part of the world until February 2017. I’ll then be taking in the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea before NZ.
Now, I know as well as most that plans can change. And they also have a tendency to do so without much notice. This route is my ideal right now but it’s still a flexible one. After all, I may want to spend more time in some places and less in others. Not only that but I never know who I’m going to meet along the way and where I might end up with my new fellow travel buddies.
I’m fully prepared to swap things around.
It’s All Becoming Very Real
What I do know is that I’m so excited to finally be looking into it all in more depth. Having the NZ visa deadline has made it all very real and given me a date to work towards.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt recently, it’s to just go for it! As soon as you get that first date locked down – whether it’s your initial departure date or a visa deadline – everything starts to fall into place.
As cheesy as it sounds, dreams really do become a reality once you take that first step.
But I May Have To Strip Back A Little
Yeah, I want to see the world and I want to see it now. Who doesn’t, right?
If I stick to the above plan then it only gives me around two weeks in each country. Just two weeks! Nowhere near enough time to truly experience and appreciate these cultures.
Maybe it’s best that I revisit my plan and prioritise the countries that are top of my list. By doing that, I can free up some valuable time and really enjoy my travels around Southeast Asia.
I’m going to have to be brutal with it though. I’m going to cut my route down from 14 countries to 7 – including New Zealand – so that I can spend one month exploring each one, dependent on their respective visas of course.
With that in mind, my planned travel route for 2016-2017 will look a little more like this.
Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand.
Not a bad deal after all.
Check out my route maps and let me know what you think. It would be great to hear of any particular places that you might have been to, that I simply cannot miss. Give me a shout with any location tips in the comments section below or feel free to message me on Facebook.
Are you planning a trip but procrastinating on dates?
Just go for it. Book that first flight – apply for that first visa. You will not regret it!