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Connecting the Dots

Trip 1: Taipei (3-day layover) - Bali - Lombok - Gili Islands - Taipei - Tokyo - Kyoto - Osaka - Seoul - Jeju Island | Break: Home for 5 weeks | Trip 2: New Zealand - Australia - Thailand - Vietnam - Cambodia - Myanmar

“Why are you breaking up the trip into two parts?” “Why go to Taipei twice?” We get asked this a lot. When we planned this multi-country itinerary, we realized we had a few challenges. Firstly, we will cover a variety of climates (remember, we are backpacking). Secondly, I had to plan a wedding and needed to be in person to finalize a few decisions. Thirdly, I wanted to spend my favorite American holiday, Thanksgiving, at home. As a result, we decided to divide the trip into 2 parts: colder climate first, then warmer climate with a break in the States for Thanksgiving.

We wanted to explore a new country in Trip 1 that neither of us have previously visited. Out of the list, we chose Indonesia, more specifically, Bali - the quintessential island notorious for spirituality and truth. We also decided that this was where and how we wanted to start. Typically, time is not on the traveller’s side but in our case, we had all the time in the world (well, technically until my first dress fitting). Why sit on the longest plane ride ever when it’s unnecessary in this circumstance?

I am Taiwanese, born in America. My extended family in Taipei has not met Avery yet so I wanted to make sure we accomplished that and beyond. I really wanted him to shake hands and hug it out with my motherland. As we were looking up flights to Bali, we knew we could layover in Taipei on our way. We could stop by, drop off the cold weather gear, kick it with the fam, and truly enjoy taking the long way to paradise.

On paper, I get that our itinerary appears confusing and odd, but I am the type of person that does everything with a purpose. I never haphazardly make decisions (except a random donut or three. I blame you, Dough NYC). Being spontaneous and being mindless are two very different intentions. This itinerary allows us to pack more comfortably and freely, plus it gives me the opportunity to come home during one of the end-of-the-year-holidays. We both are very close to our families, so to be away from them for both Thanksgiving and Christmas would be too much. Talk about ripping off a band-aid for our sweet mothers. In an effort to be in New Zealand and Australia for their summer, Thanksgiving became the logical choice.

Stay tuned for our first Taipei post! XO

Catherine JoeiComment