Hello lovely people!
When you are planning a trip, – you want it or not – you have expectations. And if you are planning a looong trip, you have a loooot of expectations. Just think about. That expectation doesn’t have to be good or bad. Just a simple fact. For example: Pizza is the best in Italy. Of course, this one is true, but not all of them have to be.
In this post I was thinking to gather things, what we thought before the trip. Expectations what we had while planning. And after more than a month on the road, how we experienced them. Or how we didn’t. Maybe it can help you if you are planning to visit this beautiful area. 🙂
Let's get started!
1. Expectation: Because of the hygiene level in South-East Asia, we are not going to be able to eat on the street food markets.
Reality: False. Hahaha. Stupid us. First day in Singapore, first day in a food market. Since than we are ONLY eating local food from local markets. And they are amazing! We are feeling better than ever, eating lots of different things. Many fruits, many vegetables, so may be even healthier. About hygiene? Honestly, the food is SO SO GOOD I didn’t care that a cat was laying on the table in front of me, or walking up and down in the kitchen. That Immune system is good for something, right? Let’s not pretend that we are better than everyone.
2. Expectation: The cheapest hostel is totally fine, we are gonna stay only overnight!
Reality: False. First of all, we are not staying in the accommodation only overnight. Travelling for months, is just simply not possible. And we do need a good sleep. We really don’t need luxury, but I was not happy when the wind was blowing trough the bungalow and lizards were running all over the room. I couldn’t sleep for days. And trust me, if you want to go for a 20km hike in the jungle, you need to sleep.
3. Expectation: Travelling through 7 countries, we are not going to fly at all!
Reality: YES! It works. I mean, let’s not talk to early, we are in Thailand right now, the third country on the list. How I look at the situation and tickets, we gonna be fine until the end of the journey. That means we travelled 1,160 km-s with bus and boat sofar. (this includes only to get from a city to another). And sooo much more to go. Soon we going to use train too. Maybe sleeping trains as well, if it suits us.
Travelling on land in S-E Asia is really cheap. Probably flights as well, and you can save lots of time, but we are scared hehe.
4. Expectation: It is not possible to fit in a backpack for 5-6 months! (I know, this is what probably beginners like us think)
Reality: Oh yes, it is possible. Ok, if I’m being honest, we exaggerated with the size of the backpack. We have massive ones with us. I’m even ashamed to tell you how big. (85L) I KNOW! But this is our first time backpacking!
It’s extremely hot, it’s very heavy to carry everywhere so we are suddenly losing some stuff here and there. What we are not using, I don’t see the point to carry. Especially that we don’t have branded or expensive stuff. But I still have so much extra clothes what I don’t want to throw away 🙁 … yet.
5. Expectation: Probably we won’t be able to communicate with the locals, as they are not speaking english.
Reality: False. In Singapore and Malaysia we didn’t meet one single person, who couldn’t understand us. Thailand is a bit more difficult, but the locals really try their best to help in any situation. If you are talking slowly and using very simple, everyday words, they will understand somehow. The Activity game is also helpful. The point is, if they want to help (and we haven’t been in any situation when they didn’t want to), they will find a way.
6. Expectation: The people are nice and friendly.
Reality: True. They are simply amazing. Everyone is smiling, everyone looks thankful. They are not in a rush like almost everyone everywhere in Europe. They appreciate the little things. Maybe some of them were never even out of the village, but they look happy. Happy to say hi to you, happy to help you. I’m sure they haven’t got an easy life. It is all about mentality. In my opinion we could learn a lot from them.
7. Expectation: Mosquito spray is good against mosquitos.
Reality: I mean, it was invented for that right? But it is false. 🙁 At the moment I probably have around 30 mosquito bites. It’s getting worse, and it’s not funny 🙁 but I am using the bloody spray, and also some local natural lemongrass whatever, but they still love me. Adam is luckier in this case.
8. Expectation: We need an international driving license to rent a car or a motorbike.
Reality: Well. 😀 it is true. In a way. But if a motorbike rental would give motorbikes for tourists only with an international motorbike driving license would probably go bankrupt. And I think I said everything.
The locals drive crazy. I mean, they are professionals, for sure. We didn’t see any accidents, and I don’t think they are dangerous drivers. But 5 people on one motorbike or 3 people and one dog is a completely normal thing. And no helmets. Only a few tourists wear helmets.
(For your knowledge, without international driving license you are driving illegally, so be careful. Police can stop you, – they like to stop toursits – )
9. Expectation: Visiting these beautiful countries, we need to take out the most of it. We need to see everything, and not spend many days lying on the beach or staying in the hostel. That would be a shame.
Reality: False. Yes it is a shame not to see some stuff, that everyone is talking about, who have been there. And it is a shame, because, probably we won’t go back. (I never say never, but I think this world is way too big to go somewhere two times)
We realised after 3 weeks that to feel good during this journey is a lot more important that to see every touristy stuff. In a few years I’m sure I won’t remember the thousand-years-old malaysian vaze in a fancy museum in Kuala Lumpur. But I may remember the feeling what a karaoke bar gave me on the Love Lane in Penang. So if you are going to travel for long, just take it easy. Learn to appreciate the moment. It is a cliche but it is very important!
10. Expectation: I like spicy food.
Reality: True and false. I like spicy food but if an Asian person tells you it is spicy BELIEVE IT. It is asian-spicy not european-spicy. They can eat it happily but I was literally crying near my spicy papaya salad today.
+1. Expectation: We are together for ages, he never going to propose 😐
Reality: 🙂 🙂