Stowaway Connections — Readers, I Need Your Help!

Hello, dearest fellow travelers! As Tuesday’s post announced, I have made plans official by putting down money on an airplane ticket. This is very exciting for a couple reasons: 1) I’m actually doing this, and 2) it means more planning. Even a cursory glance at this blog will show that I love planning. Some people get anxious when planning, and I feel for them, but I find the anticipation part of the fun of the whole travel experience. Which is all to say: will you help me plan?

Who do you know?
It seems every time I mention to someone that I’m going on this trip, they know at least one person living abroad. Often, they’ll offer to put me in touch with this friend abroad, which I greatly appreciate. One of the main reasons I want to go on this trip is to meet people everywhere I go, see how they live, make friends (as opposed to just meeting fellow travelers in hostels; that has its own charm but is often a more fleeting personal connection and no geographic connection at all).

A couch to crash on, or just a friendly face in a new place
So do you know someone living on my route? I would especially appreciate a place to stay (no more than three nights! I know the Benjamin Franklin quote: “Fish and visitors stink after three days.”). But not everyone is able to or wants to accommodate guests, and I totally understand that. If the friend abroad could have coffee or a meal with me, or even just give me pointers via email if they’ll be too busy to meet up, I’d appreciate it. All connections are helpful.

Below is a rough outline of my route and about when I expect to be in each place (so your friend can know when to expect a call). I’m putting down the names of cities I expect to visit, but I certainly won’t confine myself to just cities, so if your friend wants to make a pitch for their particular corner of the world, go for it! I love planning, but I know that half of all travel plans fall apart and flexibility is key.

The Suggestion Box
Drop by The Suggestion Box and add in some advice on where I should go, or have your friend abroad do it. I’d especially love to have the Google Map updated with restaurants, sights to see, cafes, bars, etc. from people who live there or who’ve been there (that may be you!). Do it this weekend before you forget all those places you went last time you were on the other side of the world.

Come join me!
Also, now that you can see where I’m going and when, you can plan your own vacation to come visit me. I am serious about this–if you have vacation time and some money, give it some thought. We’d have great fun.

Leave a comment or send me an email/Facebook message if you have a connection you’d like to share. Thanks so much!

Lisa’s World Trip, Part 1*
Oceania & Asia, September 2012-August/September 2013

  • USA — Honolulu, Hilo — 2 weeks 9/3-9/17
  • Australia — Sydney, Alice Springs (for Uluru), Cairns (for Great Barrier Reef), Byron Bay, maybe Melbourne? — 6 weeks 9/17-10/31
  • New Zealand — Auckland, Christchurch, maybe Dunedin — 6 weeks 10/31-12/12
  • Indonesia — Jakarta, Bali — 3 weeks 12/12-1/2
  • Singapore — 1 week 1/2-1/9 (too expensive for much more time!)
  • Thailand — Bangkok, Chiang Mai — 4-5 weeks 1/9-2/13
  • Laos — Luang Prabang — 3 weeks 2/13-3/6
  • Cambodia — Siem Reap, Phnom Penh — 2 weeks 3/6-3/20
  • Vietnam — Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Hanoi — 4 weeks 3/20-4/17
  • Japan — Tokyo, Kyoto — 3 weeks 4/17-5/8 (to see the cherry blossoms, but if this is too expensive from Vietnam I might make it the last point on the trip)
  • China — Guiyang, Shanghai, Beijing — 4-5 weeks 5/8-6/12
  • Korea — Seoul — 3 weeks 6/12-7/3

You’ll notice that the timing lands me back in the states in early July, but I’m planning to return mid-August or September. That’s because this is my general idea before I leave; I just know that I’ll stay longer in some places and shorter in others, or that I’ll find a cool volunteer program that requires me to stay in one place longer than originally expected. So consider that flexibility built in.

* Parts 2 and 3 will include Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, India, and Latin America. So if your connections are in that part of the world, rest assured I will need your help in 2013-2014!

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3 thoughts on “Stowaway Connections — Readers, I Need Your Help!

  1. Skip Auckland and hit Wellington instead (I lived there for two years). Melbourne is a must-see if you’re in Australia. You don’t need to go all the way to Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef — I went to The Town of 1770 (yes, its real name) and went to the southernmost tip of the Reef, which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  2. Also, I know people in:
    ~Honolulu
    ~Alice Springs
    ~Auckland
    ~Wellington (cuz you’ll go there, right?)
    ~Singapore
    ~Tokyo
    ~Shanghai
    ~Hong Kong (in case you go there)

    and, if I look through my CouchSurfing contacts, I may know people in your other cities as well. Never forget that no matter where you are in the world, there’s probably a fellow CouchSurfer to meet up with!

    • Thanks, Theresa! Knew I could count on you for good connections.

      And I’m sure hoping to use CouchSurfing for meeting up with people as well as finding places to stay.

      Sure, I’ll go to Wellington. Since my knowledge of New Zealand mostly amounts to “most beautiful place on earth, and also sheep,” I’m happy to see the country with the guidance of others who know it much better than I.

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