Hey, Charlotte here!
In exactly one month we will be getting on an aeroplane and zooming away on our adventure! I’m feeling a mix of excited and terrified to be honest…mostly excited but there are definitely some butterflies swirling around my stomach at the same time. This trip is going to take me further out of my comfort zone than I’ve ever been, so I’m thinking it’s pretty normal to be nervous. It seems to have come round super quickly as well, for so long now it’s been this vague, future exciting thing, and all of a sudden the months have fallen away and it’s really freaking soon.
We’ve been busy planning and preparing over the last few weeks, but there still seems so much to do. On Friday we’re going up to London to sort out our Indian visas which apparently is a whole load of bureaucratic hassle, but luckily most of the other places we’re visiting have other got visa waivers or visas available on arrival. Because we are planning to be in India for around 3 months, we can’t do the easy online 60 day visa, so we have to go for a six month visa instead, but I’m sure it’s definitely going to be worth the effort. I’ve also been out and bought my rucksack – since it’s basically going to be my home for the next year it was a pretty important purchase but I’m really happy with the one I’ve chosen. It seems fitting to give my bag a name since it’ll be my constant companion – it’s big and it’s green so I’ve gone for the obvious choice and christened it The Hulk. David already has his rucksack from previous trips (it’s big and blue so yep, you guessed it – Moby Dick) but he’s made another important purchase, some walking shoes for our trek in Nepal. There seem to be so many bits and bobs that we need to gather together for our packing, and everyone has a recommendation for a particular gadget or item that we just can’t live without. Some of these seem really useful (headtorch – for night time toilet trips!) and others less so (do we really need a portable washing line?)
That’s the tedious, practical side of planning – the endless lists, the times spent aimlessly wandering around Mountain Warehouse…but there are other parts of the planning process that are far more exciting! We think that we’ve nailed down our (vague, totally subject to change) route now, and there are so many amazing looking places on our itinerary. We’ve always known that we want to start in Nepal, and we’ve booked our first couple of nights at a hostel in Kathmandu. Then we’re going to head to Pokhara and get stuck into some trekking. We’re thinking of doing the Annapurna Panorama trek which looks beautiful, and not too demanding at 5 or 6 days long.
After we’ve spent some time in Nepal (trekking and recovering from trekking) we have about three months to spend in India. Our only fixed point is that we know we will be spending Christmas in Goa, as David’s mum is flying out to spend it with us, which will be lovely. I’m really excited to be having a hot Christmas for the first time – it’s going to be really strange! Other than that, we know we want to hit most of the big sights and hopefully some places a little off the beaten trail as well. Any recommendations are welcome! Then our rough plan is to hit Sri-Lanka (for my birthday!), Thailand (for Songkran!) followed by Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and (time permitting) the Philippines. Phew! I think the year is going to go quickly!
In the meantime, I’ve only got three full weeks of work to go and I can’t wait!