Big News!!!

In a previous post, I had mentioned my travel plans for 2018. At least the ones that I currently have planned. But first, let me start by saying that this past year was one of incredible things. 2017 will be missed. I have completed one full year on my new job. I traveled to Iceland, Las Vegas, Arizona and Martha’s Vineyard. I started dating a great and amazing guy. We are preparing to celebrate our one year anniversary. He is sweet and supportive and balances me out in a way that I could never have imagined. If 2017 was this great, I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds.
With that being said, I wanted to take you on my journey as I research, plan, budget and save up for what I hope will be one of the greatest adventures of my life. My journey to Asia. It is my hope to visit Thailand, Cambodia, Bali and Japan. I would like to to fly in to Bangkok, spend a few days in Bangkok, take a bus to Chiang Mai and spend a few days there before returning to Bangkok. Then I plan to fly to Cambodia and spend a few days in the capital of Phnom Penh. From there, I would then like to travel to Vietnam and spend a few days in Vietnam before heading to Japan for a few days and then flying back.
As it currently stands, I am looking at spending 5 days in Bangkok, 4 days in Chiang Mai, 2 more in Bangkok, 3 days in Cambodia, 3 days in Vietnam and 4 days in Japan.  That is a total of 21 days. Or slightly over 2 weeks. I am looking at going in July as a 29th birthday present to myself. I also would like to maximize the use of the 4th of July holiday that I get off from work and would still be getting paid for anyways. I am looking to travel from July 3rd through July 26th.
I found a Delta Airlines flight for $617 flying out of Boston and heading to Bangkok. I found a Cathay Pacific flight from Tokyo back to the United States for $906.00. Between the two flights, I am looking at spending approximately $1,523.00. That is certainly far more than I anticipated, but it is probably because Japan is much further away. Below is a further breakdown of what I imagine I might budget and spend between flights, hostels, activities. Honestly, the flight will probably be the most expensive part of this entire journey.
Flight to Bangkok: $620.00
Flight from Japan: $910.00
Bus from Connecticut to Boston (RT): $40.00
Thailand Bangkok to Chiang Mai Round trip Bus: $50.00
Bangkok to Cambodia Flight: $150.00
Cambodia to Vietnam Flight: $200.00
Vietnam to Japan Flight: $350.00
Hostel in Bangkok: $12.00/night (6 nights)
Hostel in Chiang Mai: $13.00/night (3 nights)
Hostel in Cambodia: $6.26/night (2 nights)
Hostel in Vietnam: $8.00/night (2 nights)
Hostel in Japan: $20.00/night (2 nights)
Vietnam Visa: $40.00
Travel/Transportation (Buses, Taxi’s, etc.): $100.00
Food: $300.00
Buffer: $100.00
Total Cost of Trip: $2,969
Current amount towards trip: $200.00
From what I have heard and read, these countries, minus Japan, especially the city of Tokyo, of course, are relatively inexpensive to travel around. And to think, at one point, I considered just going with Gate 1 again, to Thailand. The cost of that trip would be $2,000. Yes, as I mentioned in a previous post, traveling with a travel agency saves you a lot of time, money and stress, and prevents a lot of hair on your head from turning grey, but I figured, after a lot of thought and consideration, that putting myself into the unknown, on my own, now that is the way to go. At least for now. In order to save for a vacation like this, there are some things that I might have to give up. Like a dinner here and there.
My goal is to put $300.00 of my next 6 pay checks towards this trip. And of course, I will use my good old taxes during tax season to help this sabbatical. Something that I have also been playing around with, an idea, is using part of this trip as an opportunity to do a WorkAway. I have always wanted the opportunity to do a volunteer abroad program. There are just so many opportunities out there in the world to do and experience things like this.
I will keep you posted on my progress and planning and details as I move forward.
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