Our Grand Vacation

So I keep talking about this trip we are taking… It’s a BIG deal. We are traveling ACROSS the world, literally. I have been super excited to leave, I am looking forward to what could be considered a once in a lifetime experience.. I am looking forward to experiencing a whole other culture and all that comes along with that. I have waited to share this with you because I wanted to wait until everything was finalized and booked. We’ve been up in the air for several weeks trying to figure out exactly WHERE to go while we are over on that side of the world and finally, last week, every last thing was booked… So where are we going!? 

SINGAPORE, CAMBODIA, & THAILAND 

Now you may have one of two reactions… 1. SUPER COOL! 2. HUH? Why there? This opportunity opened up for us to visit because one of my husband’s friends from college is living over there right now. Both my husband and I figured we may as well may the trek over there while we know of someone living there, who has traveled there, and could give us some help into planning our trip. We will be traveling to Singapore first and then from there, we will be going to Cambodia and Thailand. We looked into soooo many different places around Singapore to travel to. Since you really only make it to that area of the world once in a lifetime, it was hard to choose. There is Vietnam, there is Indonesia, there are a ton of amazing tropical islands in Malaysia. Based upon some of our research as well as recommendations from our friends, we ended up choosing Cambodia, Siem Reap to be exact AND Phuket (pronounced poo-ket, there’s been some major confusion!) which is in southern Thailand. We really wanted to go to Bangkok as we’ve heard it’s amazing to visit the city. But due to political unrest in the area, our travel agent and some others advised that travel in the city core is tough. Plus, it was tough to predict what would be happening in a month. So, kind of a bummer about that, but Phuket looks pretty awesome! 

So first of all Singapore… 

Singapore

Apparently Singapore is an area that is 1. extremely wealthy and 2. extremely expensive which makes sense as Singapore holds the third highest income per capita in the world. According to Wikipedia, “Singapore is one of the world’s leading commercial hubs, with the fourth-biggest financial centre and one of the five busiest ports.” To be honest, up until we had looked into visiting, I didn’t even really know where Singapore is! Singapore is in basically located in Malaysia or in South Eastern Asia. 

Outside of business, Singapore houses quite a bit to see and do. There are parts of the city known as Little India and Chinatown. Singapore is very diverse when it comes to languages, cultures, and religions so that provides a colorful mixture of different parts of the city. There is supposed to be a pretty awesome zoo that hosts a Night Safari as well as an amazing Botanical Gardens which is home to thousands of varieties of orchid! Outside of all that, the city skyline is pretty amazing. There is the Sands Resort and Casino which is one of the most well known buildings. It even houses an infinity pool 50+ stories up. It looks pretty impressive. We will be spending most of our weekends and some weekdays between trips in Singapore with our friends. We are looking forward to seeing them, spending time with them, and getting to experience Singapore and all that it has to offer. There is a rumor too that we may have a native from Singapore show us how to cook a traditional dish! That is RIGHT up my alley! 

The first outing we will be taking is to Cambodia…

Angkor_Wat

We were looking into Indonesia pretty heavily as everyone talks all about Bali. But our friends suggested looking into Cambodia. We had NO idea that Cambodia was such a destination for people to visit. Aside from it’s gruesome history under the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia is home to some AMAZING temples. Think Laura Croft in Tomb Raider, apparently the temples featured in the movie are in Cambodia. If you have the chance, look up Angkor Wat. It’s one of the most famous temples and from what we have heard, visiting there is something you will never forget. We will be staying in Siem Reap which has a ton of places to eat, drink, and stay. It looks pretty exciting. We’ve researched a couple restaurants to check out and there are all sorts of markets, even at night. During one of our tours, if weather is permitting, we may possibly be visiting a floating city out on the river. 

We have also heard that the coastline and some of the beaches in Cambodia are literally right out of the movies, I don’t think we will be venturing out that far. But we’ve read several travel blogs talking about how Cambodia was one of the places these travel gurus would go back to in a heart beat. We shall see how Cambodia fares for us. I am really looking forward to visiting here as it is somewhere I wouldn’t have ever really thought of visiting in my lifetime. 

Our final outing will be to Phuket, Thailand… 

Phuket

 

Phuket is your typical island paradise. It is an island located on one of the southern provinces of Thailand. To give you a comparison, Phuket is a bit smaller than the size of Singapore but is the largest island in Thailand. The island originally was located on one of the major trading routes between India and China and welcomed traders from Portugal, France, and England. Now the island derives most of its income from tourism. This will be our relax on the beach and enjoy life part of the trip. After all the tours we will be taking in Cambodia and Singapore, we needed a day or two to just enjoy the scenery. We will be taking a one day tour out into the bay, checking out what is known as the James Bond Island as well as some other caves and beautiful scenery. We will also be stopping at another floating village. Phuket is known for it’s tourist attractions, outside of the resorts there is, from what we understand, some pretty lively night life. Anything from Thai boxing to Cabarets and Theater, you can find plenty to do in Phuket. 

So in a nutshell, that is our trip! We are both VERY excited and a little nervous. We will be enjoying 17 days away from home and getting to experience a part of the world some people never have the opportunity to see. I’ve been researching tips and tricks on how to make our flight over there BEARABLE. It is an intensely long flight, our leg from Chicago to Singapore is 22 HOURS. Yes, you read that right, 22 HOURS. We will be losing two days when we travel on the way there. Pretty crazy. It is awesome that we will fly over the top of the world though. I plan to pack plenty to do, some sleeping aids to hopefully help me out to get some sleep, as well as some beauty products to ensure I can at least feel good while I am on the plane for that long. I’ve watched a couple great YouTube videos talking about how to make it through a long flight and have been preparing all I can! This weekend marks our LAST weekend here so I plan to pack and prepare for next week when we leave. 

When I return I will have GOBS and GOBS of videos, photos, and stories to share. I am unsure how well I will do blogging while I am there. Some areas wi-fi is questionable. But I will do my best to check in with you all, share photos, and maybe hopefully be able to write a few thoughts! If you are on Instagram, be sure to follow me at PrairieCalifornian as I will probably be most diligent about sharing my photos on there. 

Have you ever traveled to any of the places we are visiting? What’s a must see, must eat, or must do!? What about a long flight? How did you make it through? Please share, share, share! I will need all the help I can get to make it through those 22 hours! 

ONE WEEK LEFT!! AHHH!! Bon voyage my friends! And if you could, pray for safe travels for us, thank you! 

 

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13 Comments

  1. March 5, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    When we fly back and forth to Australia, I wait until after the meal and then pop a sleeping pill AND a melatonin. Knocks me out for a solid 9 hours. So you might have to do it twice after two big meals to make it work!

    Walk around every once in a while and do calf raises and leg exercises on the plane. Being on a plane that long causes swelling in your legs and feet. If you take your shoes off during the flight, don’t be surprised if they are difficult to put on towards the end of the flight. Drink LOTS of water during the flight, that will help with swelling (the swelling isn’t painful, just inconvenient).

    Good luck!
    Buzzard recently posted…Wordless Wednesday: My First Photo with Added Text!My Profile

    • March 5, 2014 / 9:07 pm

      THANK YOU!! What kind of sleeping pill are you taking? The Dr. recommended I just look into melatonin. Which I tried pre-trip in case of weird nightmares I have heard some people experience.

      I am worried about swelling as my feet swell when I am on planes. It hasn’t been as bad since I’ve been exercising regularly as well as drinking 10+ cups of water a day. But it is something I still worry about. I appreciate all the suggestions!!

  2. March 5, 2014 / 9:19 pm

    How EXCITING! What a great education! I can’t wait to see your pics! Wishing the 2 of you the best on your travels!
    Erica Brown recently posted…Catch the Moment Week #8My Profile

    • March 5, 2014 / 9:50 pm

      Thanks so much!! It should be a total learning experience! 🙂

  3. March 5, 2014 / 9:42 pm

    There is a fantasically large department store/fabric store/grocery store/restaurant in Singapore called Mustafa. It’s in Little India and was amazing to see – especially the grocery part!

    The Night Safari was definitely worth it, and the Botanical Gardens were pretty awesome.

    Bring an umbrella – Singapore gets frequent, though short, rain storms. Being drenched and humid is no fun.

    The food in Singapore is amazing and varied – I ate Indian, Turkish, and French food there. Don’t shy away from the hawker centers either. I don’t remember the name of the “big” one but there’s one highly recommended in travel books.

    Singapore is next to Malaysia. We took a small boat across the border to an island where we road bikes through the mango groves. That was an awesome adventure.

    Have fun!

    • March 5, 2014 / 9:50 pm

      Awesome!! Thank you SO much for all the tips!! We are getting excited!!

  4. March 5, 2014 / 10:06 pm

    Wow, this sounds amazing, Jenny! I have never had any desires to travel that far…… but now after you have broken down some of the places, it sounds tempting!

    That last picture you posted……….. oh MY GOSH. Enjoy the rest and relaxation.. and maybe when you’re on the tropical island, unplug for a few days. It will do the body and mind good!

    Have a wonderful time!! Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂
    Kelly Whiteman Snipes recently posted…A World Without AgricultureMy Profile

    • March 5, 2014 / 10:08 pm

      Thanks Kelly!! I will be sure to blog about our adventure getting there! I KNOW it will be an adventure! 😉 I told Mark today I am very much looking forward to unplugging and not being concerned with day to day social media. I LOVE social media and I LOVE the people I know through it but sometimes it gets overwhelming. A break allows you to appreciate those things way more than if you didn’t step back from it every now and then!

  5. March 5, 2014 / 11:54 pm

    Enjoy your trip! It will be amazing, & I can’t wait to see your photography skills at work! Your pictures are always beautiful 🙂

  6. March 6, 2014 / 3:55 am

    This is absolutely amazing!! You will have the time of your life. What an incredible opportunity to visit these locations. Places I will never have a chance to visit, I do know that. I am so excited for you and look forward to seeing all of your photos! Especially can’t wait to read all about it upon your return. Best wishes for packing. That sounds like a nightmare in itself. And 22 hours on a plane? Holy hell. I’ve got nothing. Hahaha. Good luck! Sleeping aids sound like a perfect idea. And books!
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  7. Alice W.
    March 13, 2014 / 6:46 am

    Jenny, Guess I am too late to say much and have never been on a very long trip like that; you don’t have any layovers during those 22 hours? that’s a very long time if you don’t. The fartherest I have ever traveled non stop was from Denver, Colorado to Alaska and think that was 18 hrs. which seemed a long time to me . So the advice I would suggest is just what the others are telling you. My recommendation for sleep is Tylenol PM, or the generic is called Acetomenophen (sp) PM. I take it every night as I have a lot of joint pain that keeps me from sleeping. Happy & good travels, lots of fun and as the others said i’m looking forward to looking at lots of pictures. The reason I have not been on here for awhile is because I have been watching Mom & Dad Eagles tidy up their nest(old), mate, lay eggs and hatch them

  8. Alice W.
    March 13, 2014 / 7:05 am

    Jenny, Guess I am too late to say much and have never been on a very long trip like that; you don’t have any layovers during those 22 hours? that’s a very long time if you don’t. The fartherest I have ever traveled non stop was from Denver, Colorado to Alaska and think that was 18 hrs. which seemed a long time to me . So the advice I would suggest is just what the others are telling you. My recommendation for sleep is Tylenol PM, or the generic is called Acetomenophen (sp) PM. I take it every night as I have a lot of joint pain that keeps me from sleeping. Happy & good travels, lots of fun and as the others said i’m looking forward to looking at lots of pictures. The reason I have not been on here for awhile is because I have been watching Mom & Dad Eagles tidy up their nest(old), mate, lay eggs, set them, hatch them; she had 2 eggs but only hatched 1 Eaglet at the Berry College nest. I am watching 2 sites which consumes a lot of my time along with other things I have to do. I will give you the links to the 3 I am watching in case you are interested. It will be up and running 24/7 for quiet awhile yet. 1- Berry College Eagle Cam.com, This one is in Rome, GA. 2–MNbound Eagle Cam. com, this site has laid 2 egs and should hatch around the 15-17th. of April. This one is in Minnisotta.(sp) don’t know what town or city it is near but is in the mountains of west Minnisotta. Well again a nice safe trip and post lots of pictures.

  9. March 14, 2014 / 4:02 am

    Enjoy your trip to Singapore. I can say that I’ve been to Singapore (and Hong Kong), but I took a boat there, (aircraft carrier), which was about a month to get there, so good luck with the plane ride. That was 22 years ago, and I remember it being hot and humid there, with lots of people and very expensive. Lotz to do and see.
    Enjoy your trip!