First off, we’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! May 2012 bring peace, love, and happiness to you and your families.
2011 was an incredible year for us. We wrapped up 2 years of living in Korea at the end of August and started this phenomenal backpacking journey that’s already seen us travel through China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and now Thailand.
2012 will be just as amazing, since we’ll be continuing to travel until about April and then we’ll finally be making our return trip home to Toronto, Canada! We’re so excited to be heading home and seeing our family and friends once again, and falling back in love with our city.
But that’s still a few months away…
Back to the holidays. How were they for us? It was both strange and exciting. While this wasn’t our first time spending it away from home (we’ve already spent the past 2 years celebrating in Korea), it was the first time spending the holidays in a warm climate. Now we have a better understanding of how our friends down in Australia do it.
Apart from the decorations, fake looking Christmas trees, and some holiday tunes here and there, it didn’t feel much like the holidays actually. First starters, we were preoccupied learning to scuba dive on Thailand’s Koh Tao Island. But something about being in a bathing suit and swimming in the ocean didn’t quite feel like “Christmas”. But we weren’t complaining.
I had read some blog posts from other travel bloggers and got a great tip from Nathan and Sofia from As We Travel. Last year they celebrated the holidays in Thailand, a far cry from their usual European holidays. While in Thailand they decided to do things they normally wouldn’t do on Christmas and we thought this was a great idea.
So we adopted it for ourselves and planned to spend Christmas on the beach; sun tanning, swimming in the ocean, and eating seafood BBQ for dinner. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t acting in our favour and we only managed to accomplish one of the three, BBQ Christmas dinner. Although we didn’t get the chance to spend the day on the beach, we had an enjoyable day donning our Santa hats, eating a leisurely breakfast at a local café, catching up on some of our favourite TV shows, playing a game of scrabble, and relishing the fact that we were in shorts and t-shirts while doing it all.
Between Christmas and New Years we traveled south to Krabi and met up with two of our friends who’d flown out from Korea for their winter vacation. It was wonderful seeing old friends and being able to talk about Korea and our travels on a more in-depth level. We spent the week taking day trips to Koh Phi Phi, Ao Nang Beach, the Tiger Temple, and kayaking through caves.
New Years was quite subdued, but we were fine with that. Instead of partying hard on Koh Phangan or Bangkok, like many people were doing in Thailand, we decided to have a quiet night; getting Thai massages, enjoying a drink, and watching the fireworks in the street.
Now it’s officially 2012 and our friends have flown back to Korea. So we’re on our own once again. We’re finishing off with Thailand and heading into Malaysia by the end of this week. We’ve got a lot of content we’re pumping out, with a few more posts from Laos (including a video of our experience tubing in Vang Vieng!) and all our stuff from Thailand still to come. There’s so much to share with you!
So once again, Happy New Year! May the best thing that happened to you in 2011 be the worst thing that happens to you in 2012.
Arienne and Tristan