i had wanted to go on a backpacking trip for a long time, but the timing was never right to do all the things that I had in mind. After defending my MSc thesis, I figured it was as good of a time as any to go out into the world to explore. With that being said, this backpacking trip could have been to anywhere in the world! I soon realized that there was a lot of information available for backpackers in Southeast Asia and because I LOVE Asian cuisine, Southeast Asia was the clear choice for me.
Planning a trip to Southeast Asia was a pretty exciting, yet daunting task. I was going to travel with my partner, Aaron, and he has never been outside of North America. Since I was born in Sri Lanka and had traveled with my family quite a bit, Asia was somewhat familiar territory, but along with Aaron, neither of us had ever done a backpacking trip before. After reading countless travel blogs and books, we decided that 2 months was the perfect amount of time for this trip.
The main draw to this part of the world for us was 1) nice weather, 2) cheap lodging and 3) Asian cuisine (as if I needed to repeat this). A good number of our friends had also recently traveled around Asia, so we had some wonderful people from whom we asked for advice. With just 8 weeks (October 26th-December 20th), we decided that our top choices of countries were : Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia (we never ended up going), and the Philippines. With a pack full of all the necessities, Aaron and I were determined to have the best time possible on our first backpacking adventure together (and without giving too much away, we really did).
Our route through Asia: Thailand -> Laos -> Vietnam -> Philippines.