Time to go again….

Hi again!

A few days ago I checked the statistics of this blog, which I haven’t updated in a couple of years with more then a couple of posts.. and guess if I was surprised over to see that some travelers out there actually are still reading my blog :) I have about 20-30 visitors per day, that’s very very very fun to see, you are so welcome! :)

So… why have I been so quiet? Well… When I started blogging, it was mainly to have as a diary and to give updates to friends and family while I was traveling. I did this on my 1 year trip to South America during 2013. After that I came back to Sweden with an Argentinian boyfriend who I met during my trip in Mexico and we have started to settle down in our apartment here in Sweden now after 2 years living together and he has just received his permanent residence permit in Sweden :) We are super happy!

We have only been able to do a few short trips during these years due to our economy, so we visited Malta and Spain in 2014 and Portugal and Argentina in 2015. We have actually been in Spain plenty of times since it’s close and I have family there. So the first time was to visit my Spanish family and travel around by car in Spain, then to visit family again, then actually it was my Swedish family that went to Barcelona to celebrate my mother turning into 60 years, and then also this for Christmas to meet up with the whole Spanish family!

Anyhow. We have been planning for a little bit longer trip now soon outside Europe – and it’s not much time left until we leave!! Today we took up our old backpacks from the cellar and started to sew what was broken on them and checked our travel gear to see if we need to update anything (yes we do).

The past few weeks we have been taking vaccinations (going to a new continent = lots of new injections) and applied for visas.

So… I’m happy to inform you that… WE ARE GOING TO ASIA!! Yaaay!
I think nobody is happy about this except for ourselves, but anyways…  (Right mum?;)

I’m leaving for India the 1st of February and I’ll be there for 3 weeks visiting Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Goa. Then I’m flying over to the Philippines where I’m meeting up with Duilio who comes straight from Sweden, and we are spending 7 weeks on beautiful islands doing lots of diving and snorkeling! :)

Sooo… Now I’ve started to write a little bit again, let’s hope I can update something while I’m away, I’ve heard the internet connection is REAALLY bad in the Philippines.. so we’ll see if I manage :)

Byyee, take care!!

 

Doing snorkel in Tulum

Doing snorkel together in Tulum, Mexico, February 2013. Here we had only known each other for 3 weeks!!

Leaving for Mexico!

IT’S TIME!!!!

Mexico

Mexico (Photo credit: robynejay)

So, my future entries will be in english so that both my swedish and spanish friends and family can read about what’s going on on the other side of the world. The only problem is that half of my spanish family doesn’t speak english (Andrea! Tienes que aprender!)…
I have no idea of what type of internet connection I will find overseas, so we’ll also have to see how often I can update. I will buy a mexican phone-card and maybe I’ll be able to surf from the phone, but I won’t be able to upload pics, so I’ll try to go to internet cafés or use my hosts internet now and then, mainly because I need to do a backup of my photos during the trip, in case my camera gets stolen or I drop it in the water or whatever.

Anyhow, if you wish to get a postcard from me (not from every country though!), please write me your address, either on facebook or mail soretnemra@gmail.com. You can always e-mail me if it’s something!

So… Time to go to the airport now. Carro is picking me up at 5. My flight leaves at 7.15 and I have to change flight in London. I’ll arrive in Mexico City 18.20, but it’s mexican time, so it would be around 00.20 Swedish/Spanish time. Mexico is -6 hours of time difference. So if you are thinking about calling me someday, please check the world clock before! :) All the countries I’m going to are 4-7 hours before Swedish/Spanish time.

And please write comments on my updates, it will be much funnier for me to write if I know someones reading :)

Byeeeee! See you soon!

Corto en español:
Teneís que aprender inglés!! He cambiado el idioma de este blog de Sueco a Ingles, para que toda mi familiy tenga la oportunidad de poder entender lo que escribo, pero claro, la mitad de mi familia no hablán ingles! Teneís que aprender!

Si quereís una postal, mandadme vuesta dirección a mi e-mail soretnemra@gmail.com, o en un mensaje del facebook. Intentaré comprarme una tarjeta de móvil en Mexico, así que alomejor tendré internet en el móvil, pero ya veremos. Si no, intentaré connectarme de vez en cuando para daros unas cuantas actualidades. :)

Y porfaa, deja commentarios en los posts que escribo, asi se que alguien los lee! Hasta luego!!!

Love you all!
Byeeeeee. Adiooooos. Hejdååååååå.

Updating you and the travel gear

Helluuu!

For my MacBook Air 11″ (which I looove already), there aren’t many options for hard cases. There are plenty for bigger airs though.  The only good hard case that was available was this one – Hardcandy’s Bubble Sleeve.  I like that it’s water-resistant and also quite shock proof. You have also this red rubber things under the computer – to make it stay in place, the only problem I found is that if you open the case, the backside just falls down. I wanted it to stay tight to the computer screen so I can ”hide” my computer a little bit. So I just sue an elastic rubber tape on it. Now I’m happy!

Bubble sleeve modification

What else… I’ve bought almost all my stuff now, this is the last thing I got home. I’ve read about it on different forums and people say it works really good. Let’s hope so! It’s a multi-purpose soap, so you can use it as shampoo, or wash your clothes, your dishes or other dirty gear. I will mainly use it to wash up my underwear and my dishes when I’m having a lunchbox with me. :)

And I got my last vaccine, the second Dukoral, you drink it at home and it’s against cholera and tourist diarrhea (not so fresh, no). So now I’m ready for everything! Haha.

Wilderness wash

Wilderness wash

 

 

 

Dukoral

Dukoral

 

Oh, and If I haven’t told you yet, I have booked and payed for both the surf lessons and the padi open water-course, and hostels to both places (Puerto Escondido and Cozumel). Since I’ll be busy most of the day with these things it didn’t feel right to Couchsurf really. Also, I’ll see this as some sort of mini-vacation :)

Until next!

Inspiration

Some places I’ll be visiting soon!

Teotihuacan, Mexico

Chichen itza, Mexico

Diving in Cozumel, Mexico

Galapagos islands, Ecuador

Colorful Guayaquil, Ecuador

Volunteering in Eco Truly Park, Peru

Fly over the Nazca Lines, Peru

Walk the inca trail and visit Machu Picchu, Peru

Visit a small rural village, Peru

Visit the amazonas rainforest

Salar de Uyuni, Salt lake, Bolivia

Volunteer at Inti Wara Yassi, wild animal refuge, Bolivia

Igacu falls, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Get your thumb out of your but!

dreams and wishes. 62/365Dear friends, co-workers, family and fellow readers,

Now that I have this 200 days of trip ahead of me a lot of people are saying ”You are so lucky!” and ”I wish I could do that too, but…”.

Believe me, I was one of you thinking, ”Someday, I want to travel around the world”. Well guess what? I only got 5 years older.

And the only thing I actually had to do, was to make up my mind, decide: I AM GOING TO DO THIS NOW! Once that was set, for real, I only had to decide when and where.

Making up your mind and really going for it is the hardest part. I have been saving some money since I was 16 to ”someday travel somewhere”. Of course, that account, was also my saving account, and during the years, I’ve had to use it for other purposes. Like when the car broke or when I had a water leakage in my bathroom so I had to renovate it from scratch.

Even if I’ve been saving for this for almost 9 years, I have the same amount of money today as I had 6 years ago. You will probably never think you have enough of money to travel, and maybe you don’t have enough right now, but once you decide that you are going away in 6 months, 1 year, or even 2 years, you will do everything in your power to save money for that adventure. It’s easier when you have a purpose. Start planning, budgeting, look through your economy to see where you can cut out some expenses.

If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have the same definiteness of saving money, and you will probably go and buy that sweater you saw at the window today that you don’t really need anyways.

Oh, and this applies to everything! Maybe you are thinking ”Someday I would like to be able to play the guitar”. Well, sorry for breaking this to you too, but you won’t just wake up one day and be a talented guitarist. You do have to put some time and effort in becoming one.

Sorry if I sound a little harsh. I just want you to take the first step, as I did. It’s amazing, promise.

So, what’s your dream and when will you do it for real?

What I’m planning on visiting

Hello again!

My mother commented that my grandmother wanted to know my itinerary. So cute!
Maybe it’s interesting for you to know where I’ll be blogging from too.

Since I’ll be away for almost 7 months, this itinerary will probably (and hopefully) change a bit, but this is what I have in mind now:


You can see the full map here.

Mexico:
Mexico city
Oaxaca
Puerto Escondido
San Cristobal De Las Casas
Palenque
Merida
Tulum
Playa del Carmen
Cozumel
Cancun
Isla Mujeres

Ecuador:
Quito
Galapagos islands
Guayaquil

Peru
Lima
Aucallama Huaral
Paracas
Huacachina/Ica
Nazca
Arequipa
Chivai
Cuzco
Puerto Maldonaldo
Puno

Bolivia
Copacabana
La Paz
Uyuni
Villa Tunari

Brazil
Iguacu
Rio de Janeiro
Sao Paolo

My fears and worries

Counting down, 56 days to departure. I’m looking soooo much forward to it. Can’t stop thinking about it. But of course I do have some fears as well. Many of you have also asked me the same questions. So these are my worries and my thoughts about solutions.

vegetarian tempeh lettuce wraps

How am I going to survive over there as a vegetarian? Sweden is a quite good veggie-country, they always have a at least one vegetarian option in restaurants, and people are quite familiar with people being vegetarian (still, it’s quite boring to always have to eat the same vegetarian plate). While traveling I’ve always had problems. Like in Spain, very often I have to eat fried eggs and fries, because that’s the only vegetarian thing they have on the menu. Not even the salads are vegetarian. Now that I’ll be away for a long period, I can’t eat ”bad” food all the time. I will try buy food at the supermarket like all the time, mainly because I can’t afford eating at restaurants everyday, even if they had a veggie-option. Hopefully I will eat at least once in every city, inviting my CouchSurfing-host. I’ll update you about how it is to be a vegetarian in South America.

How am I going to be able to train while traveling? I’ve had problems with my back and with over weight before, and I since I’ll be traveling with my big backpack on the back, going on trekking excursions etc, I need to be in a good shape and be strong. I need to go for training at least 2-3 times a week.. I will try to do this: go out jogging (to see some beautiful sights), swimming (probably inside pool if there is one in that city) and doing strength training only working with my own body (so I can do it at ”home”).

Backpacking

What should I bring? I really don’t want to bring too much, but not to less, it’s always difficult to draw the line. I know I need a sleeping bag in Peru, but should I bring one during the first 2 months of my trip, or should I buy it when I need it, and then throw it away/give it away? I don’t know yet. But I think I’ll be bringing everything I need for 6 months, in ONE backpack. It has to fit in there. I want to be able to travel easily, be able to run to the bus if I need to without everything falling apart, haha. I will pack my bag over and over again before leaving. I’ll update you with a packing list, and later, what have worked and what has not.

Robbery not allowed

What if I get robbed? Surprise! South America isn’t as safe as in Sweden. Here it’s unusual that they even have weapons. I remember a conversation with another CouchSurfer from Argentina,and  he got really surprise that I’ve never been robbed with a weapon before. My camera and my phone has been stolen in different occasions, but by pocket picking, so I didn’t even notice it. I guess I prefer that sort of robbery. So what am I going to do to prevent it? First, I won’t be carrying around a big amount of money, so if there are thieves and they get 20 USD, then, what the heck. Also I have an undercover money belt and security pouches to have under my clothes.The biggest worry for me is to be robbed on my camera and all my pictures. So I’ll be backing up everything on-line as often as possible.  I’m aware of the common sense of traveling, if you aren’t, check this link about safe travel in South America from lonely planet. There are good tips there like try to not look like a tourist, more like a local, or a visitor. Walk with a purpose. Be aware of your surroundings all the times. Muggers look for people who look unaware. Stay alert.

Another big worry is of course, what happens if I get sick during my travel? I do have insurance though, but still I would miss out a lot if I got sick. I’ve taken all the vaccinations I need for the countries I’m visiting, and I recently had chicken pox, so now I don’t have to worry about that, haha. I also just got vaccine against this years flu. I will try to eat good food and eat extra vitamins and I’ll be listening to my body if I’m starting to get sick and need some rest.

sleepy_mk

What if I get tired? I don’t think I’ll get tired of traveling, but I’m worried I get tired of being social and ”on” all the time. I really have no idea of how it is to be on the move for 6 months meeting new people all the time and always have to present the best side of me. What if I need some time for myself to just do nothing? Go to sleep early, lie in a bed reading a book a whole day or sit by the computer uploading pictures and updating this blog. I don’t want to be impolite and I don’t want offend anyone, especially not my hosts from CouchSurfing. Let’s hope I get enough rest during the bus-trips!

I’m also worried about not be able to bring books with me, since I love reading. Maybe I can borrow one from a host while staying there. Oh, and another weird worry is, what if I’m having the time of my life and I don’t want to come back??? It’s very possible I will feel that. Well.. only future can tell!

Now I’ve shared some of my worries. Which are yours?

Actual costs for necessary travel preparations

This post is about the expenses you have to deal with before you even have left your home.

There are some things that is a must, like vaccinations, visa, insurance and the flight tickets. And it costs much more than you think!! I had NOT budgeted this much for vaccinations and insurance!

Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases, and I don’t want to ”challenge” my life because I want to save some money.
I’m taking vaccination to: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Typhoid, Malaria and Travelers diarrhea. I also took a shot for the flu (I don’t want to get the flu just when I’m about to travel, and it was the cheapest vaccination). The Rabies-vaccination isn’t always recommended, but since I’m going to volunteer with wild animals, I didn’t want to be one of the around 55.000 humans that die of rabies every year.
My vaccination costs will be around 750 USD.

A travel insurance is absolutely a must, it’s intended to cover medical expenses, financial default of travel suppliers, and other losses incurred while traveling. My home insurance covers it up to 45 days, but after that I have to pay extra. I can either take it from my regular insurance company or choose another company, which I did, mainly because it was cheaper, and also because they are specialized in just travel insurances. I took it with Gouda, a swedish company. The cost for my planned trip for 6 months is 630 USD.

A visa generally gives non-citizens clearance to enter a country. Some countries do not require a visa, others have visas available at the border, but many countries require travelers to apply for a visa before leaving home. Luckily, I don’t need any for the countries I’m traveling to since I’m staying under 90 days in all the countries. The Galapagos islands does have an entrance fee of 100 USD though.

Flight tickets. I’m sure you have searched the web for the cheapest flight tickets, and maybe you found one really good. But before you purchase, be aware of the airfares and the conditions! The cheapest ones are usually non refundable and nontransferable. Some airlines let’s you reschedule your ticket for a hefty fee. My flight to Mexico is refundable up to the day I depart, but not on my way home from Brazil. Then I can reschedule for a fee of 285 USD, but at least I can do it, instead of buying a new ticket.

There are also different types of tickets, one-way, round trip, open jaw..
Buying a round trip ticket is usually cheaper than booking two one-way tickets. I’ve read that the airlines don’t particularly want travelers to fly one-way, as it upsets airline travel schedules. But if you like me want to fly to one country and home from another, a round trip-ticket isn’t an option. Then you can choose a open-jaw ticket (also called multi-destination), that means that you are arriving at one country or city and departing from another country or city. And they usually have the same prices as a round trip!

If you’re thinking about one-way ticket, have in mind that if you’re a tourist from ex. Europe or North America, when you go to check in for a one way flight you can be told you cannot board the flight unless you fork out for a return ticket.  But there are no problems with Open Jaw-tickets as long as you can prove that you have a return flight from another country!

I only have open-jaw tickets. :)

Selling stuff

I don’t have many big news about the travel planning, I have being busy with work, fencing and in organizing everything about selling my old apartment, selling my car and finding a inherent for my current apartment.

I have more or less decided the route in Mexico. I have decided to skip bambas (a company that does all the bus bookings for you), mostly because they actually raised their prices and because I had time to check all the bus-trips between the cities (at ticketbus.com.mx) and I will save around 2000 SEK (around 280 USD), doing it of my own. It doesn’t seem to difficult to do it either. I also looked up a surfing schools in Puerto Escondido, so hopefully I will learn to surf, yay!

I will soon start to send CouchSurfing requests for Mexico, probably to early now, but in a couple of weeks in the middle of november when it’s less then 2 months left, so I think it should be ok to send a request :)

Hm.. what more. Oh yeah, I’ve come up with a bucket list and it feels great. You can read it here. Why haven’t I started it earlier? It would have saved me lots of… I don’t know really, I think time being depressed and unmotivated. There is so much to do and see. Now I will always have something planned ahead to look forward too. :)

Bucket List word cloud #2

Bucket List word cloud #2 (Photo credit: mccmicb)