Personal Update: Next 7 Months, Leaving Asia and More Adventures

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Personal Update: 7 More Months of Travel

Celebrating 5 months of solo travel!

This month marks 13 months since I left my job last April and the start of my 5th month of solo travel. I thought by now I’d be tired of travelling and would be on my way home.

The one year anniversary

When I left home last November, I wanted to face my fear of being travelling alone. I wondered if being alone was the same thing as being lonely, and whether our world is really as scary as I imagined it to be.

I thought after a few months of travel, I’d be on my way home, settling into a new apartment and starting a stable job again.

Instead, my last five months of travel through India and Southeast Asia has made want to explore the world more. I was suppose to stay in each country for 2-3 weeks. Instead I averaged almost four weeks per country. By travelling slow, I’ve felt like I was home in most places and travel become just living life.

These past months have been life changing. I discovered how whole I actually feel alone, rediscovered my faith in the world and reminded of how beautiful some of the simplest things are.

Going home just doesn’t feel right, yet.

‘Go-home’ vs ‘travel’ debate

Weeks ago, as my one year “unemployment” anniversary, I was in Malaysia restlessly debating and meditating between the ‘responsible’ path of going home or the more exciting path of continuing to travel.

I wanted to find enough reasons to convince myself to do follow the “responsible” path of going home, even though I knew in my heart I wanted to continue travelling. Interestingly, in entertaining the idea to continue travelling, I also found myself imagining the drama and pain involved in going home to find a new job.

Between going home versus continuing to travel, I wrecked havoc on myself with sleepless nights thinking about the pros and cons of each option.

Then, I had an epiphany.

There will be difficulties no matter what path I choose.

Going home to re-establish myself and look for a job will take energy. Even if I look in my previous field, it takes persistance and time to connect with new and old contacts, and ti find opportunities.

If I continue to travel, I’ll need to find a way to fund my travels or least reduce my expenses so I don’t continue using my personal savings.

But either way, there will be challenges ahead.

The difference is, if I choose what makes me happy, at least I will want to face the difficulties.

I’m going to continue travelling

So, I choose to continue travelling.

After 5 beautiful, life-changing, eye-opening, joyful months in India and Southeast Asia, I’m going to travel for at 7 more months until at least November 22, 2011, to reach the one year mark my travels.

In total, that means I’ll have been away from work for a year and 7 months (holy crap!)

Where to next?

I’m flying to Istanbul, Turkey in 24 hours (!) from Bangkok to start my adventure on a new continent.

The itinerary for the next few months looks like this:

  • Turkey – 3 weeks
  • Greece and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy) – 8 weeks
  • Balkan area (Serbia, Croatia) – 4 weeks
  • Western Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Spain) – 6 weeks

Before the next seven months of travel is up, I also want to visit a country in northern Africa such as Morocco, Tunisia or Egypt to technically make my trip a “round-the-world” trip by being on 3 continents (Asia, Europe and Africa).

Along the way, I want to:

  • Continue blogging and writing
  • Design/build at least one more website
  • Begin thinking about next steps for income before my trip is finished

My sincere gratitude

My friends, it’s been a privilege sharing my journey with you. Your emails and comments on articles have encourage me to keep going on my adventure. Your retweets and Facebook Likes on my blog articles and guest articles on the Toronto Star newspaper’s personal finance website make my days.

Cheers to 7 more great months of travel!

Oh, and stay tuned for a small announcement early next week regarding my Europe travels ;)

Make sure you get this update! Subscribe to email updates, follow me on twitter.com/lilyleung or Facebook.

>> What do you have planned for the next 7 months? Have you had any pivotal points where you chose to follow your heart?

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  • Flipnomad

    wow Lily… you’re an inspiration… ive been travelling outside the Philippines for almost two months now and still scares the sh*t out of me… trying to work online to continue living my dream… wishing you more adventures to come…

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  • To set aside a few months to see this beautiful planet and the amazing feats of humanity is definitely the responsible thing to do.  May you have many more months of happy travels ahead of you! Just read the next post and look forward to following along your wonderful journey. Cheers! -Ray and Nok

    • Hi Ray and Nok,

      “To set aside a few months to see this beautiful planet and the amazing feats of humanity is definitely the responsible thing to do.” <– Well said about the "responsible thing to do" and thanks for your good wishes :) It was great meeting you guys in Bangkok and I look forward to crossing paths again… whether over more food, on a beach, or even… via the dentists' office!

      – Lily

  • Aguselle

    I love your blog! So inspiring. Congratulations on your decision to continue travelling! You only live once :)

    • Thanks for the congrats, Aguselle! It’s been over a month since I made that choice, and I’m really happy travel was the direction I choose :) (Currently, in sunny Turkey and going to see Ephesus/Temple of Artemis one of the 7 ancient world wonders, today!)

      – Lily

  • So exciting Lily! I think you’ve made the right choice – and, as you said, it’s always going to be difficult, no matter what, so you may as well have fun! Can’t wait to read your future adventures.

    • Hi Rebecca,

      It was so great meeting you in Chiang Mai, and over delicious pork and fresh coconut juice no less! I look forward to (hopefully) crossing paths again in the future – in Asia, Australia or elsewhere. I’m following along your blog too :)

      Warmly,
      – Lily

  • It sounds like a wild ride and a fantastic adventure … nothing beats living life.

    Given money doesn’t grow on trees, how do you fund your life style as you go? (the basics like food, shelter, etc.)

    • Hi JD,

      My travels is funded through personal savings with a bit of freelance work as I travel (writing and web design). In areas like Southeast Asia where the dollar has good purchasing power, it’s reasonable to travel for under $30/day, when you can get a meal for under $3 and get a room in a guesthouse for $5 to $20/day depending where you are. Budget travel has surprisingly turned out to be more safe and comfortable than I expected :)

      – Lily

  • Congratulations on deciding to continue travelling – you won’t regret it!

    • Thanks Megan! I’ve been following your round-the-world adventures on your blog. Love your colourful photos and updates. Maybe we’ll can cross paths at some point in our beautiful adventures :)

      – Lily

  • become a perpetual traveller and avoid tax :-)

  • I think that is just awesome that you are choosing to travel. Here’s to more adventures for you on the road =)

    • Thank you, cheers for more adventures, excitement and exploration :)

      – Lily

  • Wow – I’m starting to think that you like traveling. :)

    Enjoy Europe.

    • Thanks Mike :) I’ve always liked travelling, but in the past it was ‘fast’ travel where I tried to do as much as possible because it was only a 2 week trip. Now I’ve found a good pace for ‘slow’ travel where it’s become just like living life, except in different places every few days/weeks. Doesn’t even feel like I’m travelling sometimes! It’s a great feeling.

      – Lily

  • Kim

    Lily, such a brilliant insight. I think you’ve made the right decision. I’m excited to continue following your travels and I’m also excited for your announcement. What could it be?!?!

  • Jeans

    I’m so excited for you and the next part of your adventure! Look forward to hearing about it all! I’m proud of you for going this route!

  • Congratulations Lily, I am so excited to hear about all your new adventures. Hopefully we’ll both find our way back to Toronto at the same time :)

    • Hi Ayngelina,

      Oh, yes, then we can meet up and be happy foodies in Toronto! (Do you like sushi?!) I love days when I’m a tourist right in my city.

      It’s occurred to me recently that there’s so much in Toronto/Ontario/Canada I haven’t explored – I think I may actually pick up a Lonely Planet guide for Canada when I get home ;)

      – Lily

  • Awesome Lily, it was great meeting you and I”m in Greece right now. Santorini to be exact and it’s lovely. May run into you in Bulgaria or Romania!

    • Hi Rob,

      Great meeting you as well. I’m looking forward to visiting Greece. I believe I’ll be in Bulgaria and Romania early/mid-June, and the rest of eastern Europe after that – hopefully we can meet up again sometime, somewhere for more delicious food :)

      – Lily

  • What a wonderful and inspiring journey you are on! I look forward to following your adventures :)

    • Hi James,

      And what a brilliant journey, actually lifestyle, you are have. I’m so happy we met in CM and for being in touch these last few months. :)
      – Lily

  • Looking forward to many more jumping photos in the months to come! :)

    • Yes, I hope there will be a lot more happy jumping photos, as well as portraits of local life, landscapes, architecture, rail travel, panoramas, HDR merges… :) Right?!

      – Lily

      • And maybe even some time lapse for good measure!

  • Lily, You have come so far, it’s been 5 months and you did so much already. I always scared to travel along too, or the thought of going to a new place just scared me too. So I’ll give you a lot props on that and how much experience you’re getting. 7 months in Europe sounds very nice too, will the expense gets more higher? If so, have you think about generating income maybe through ads or blogging? I heard from other blogger that they can generate some income through their blog. I love your blog a lot and I’m sure many too. I hope you the best girl!

    • Hi Sarah,

      These 5 months have gone by so fast, so many beautiful moments in India and Asia. Europe will be more expensive than Asia, especially western and central Europe. But I’m determined to make it work, through more online work and maximizing the value for my budget.

      “I love your blog a lot” <– Thank you, thank you! You just made my last morning in Thailand!

      – Lily

  • You’ve definitely made the right decision Lily – good luck with the next 7 months, we’ll definitely be following you on your journey. :)

    • Hi Amy & Kieron,

      Thanks for your nice wishes – the exact same goes to you! Amazing that we’ve been able to share our journeys with each other and the world :)

      – Lily

    • Hi Amy & Kieron,

      Thanks for your nice wishes – the exact same goes to you! Amazing that we’ve been able to share our journeys with each other and the world :)

      – Lily

    • Hi Amy & Kieron,

      Thanks for your nice wishes – the exact same goes to you! Amazing that we’ve been able to share our journeys with each other and the world :)

      – Lily