After a rough first year of our marriage we figured we needed a break from work, our home, Shanghai, and our routine. We decided to go on a short trial run of 40 days backpacking to see if we really wanted to commit our minds to doing a year long trip. We also didn’t realize how much we would enjoy the trip. We had a fair share of arguing and negotiating. We didn’t know each other’s travel style and didn’t know how we would feel about traveling for so long. The summer vacation was a perfect way to see if we really wanted to turn 40 days into 365.We didn’t realize how much you could do on a steady pace of travel over 40 days.
We flew from Shanghai to Cambodia with a stop in Guangzhou and did our first couchsurf together. The next day went around the city and ate at an amazing Cantonese restaurant.
The next stop was Siem Reap where we would run through the temples over a couple days. Toured Tonle Sap which was a bit fishy and seemed more like a tourist trap.
A 2 hour ferry ride the next day and we were on a pretty secluded island the same size as Hong Kong but with few occupants. There was only electricity for a few hours a night running on generators and gorgeous beaches but some people complain about the sand flies.
After beaching we had to go to the airport for our flight back to southwest China where we would start exploring the stunning provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan. We hiked rice terraces, did our first multi-day hike in the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, rode on a Chinese sleeper train for 24 hours, rock-climbed, rode bikes through Guilin, saw glaciers on Tibetan mountains, and went through ancient cobbled streets in Dali and Lijiang. We did our laundry by hand, took public transportation, ate locally, and had the experience of a lifetime. We we’re set and excited for what was to come on our long-awaited year long trip that would only happen 3 years later. The wait was worth it. Before our official honeymoon we would continue to travel Asia during our holidays including trips to Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, the Philippines, and other parts of Asia. The trip provided refreshment from our first year as a married couple and reaffirmed our desire to travel more. These were some of pre-365traveldates days.