We were just hyping how we started our New Year by booking a bunch of flights for us. So where is our trip gonna continue after New Zealand? During the last months, we have been thinking and thinking where to head next, and making the final decision was quite hard. There are simply too many options and interesting destinations in the world!
We like to live in the moment and not really plan things too much. That’s why making plans for the whole year beforehand is totally impossible for us. Anyhow, now we have clear plans for the first half of the year which is, in our case, a long time.
Our original plan was to travel around New Zealand until the beginning of May. We have also tried to stick on that plan. Even though it was close that we didn’t buy earlier flights back to Asia. After all, we realized that we are here only once and have to take everything out of this country.
Besides that, the only certain thing for us was that we want to be back in Finland by the mid-summer and spend the summer in Finland. Anyhow, Finland is on the other side of the globe so we wanted to use the chance to make a stop-over somewhere in Asia before going back to Europe. After comparing numerous cheap flights, we booked flights to a few Asian destinations and after that to Europe. This means we get to visit many cool places before going back to our home country! All six flights we booked from New Zealand all the way to Finland set us back only 500 euros each. Our travels will continue in the familiar budget style also this year.
Returning to Finland sounds like a distant and weird thought as we will have lived abroad for more than 4 years next summer. During this time, we have only visited Finland on short holidays. The break between our last visit will be almost two years when we go back. Even though we are talking about going back to Finland, we don’t really see ourselves settling down for a long time. But we do dream of spending time with family and friends without a hurry. This is the reason why we want to spend at least the whole summer in Finland. Time will show what happens after that.
Our last travel year as full-time backpackers was incredible but when we look at our current plans, this year doesn’t look bad either! We listed the destinations that we will visit before going to Finland.
We have lived and worked in Auckland already for more than three months but didn’t have time to travel outside Auckland except for our last week’s road trip. In six weeks, when our savings accounts hopefully have enough balance, we will pack our stuff into the car and go explore the most beautiful places in New Zealand. Our aim is to travel around North and South Island and do volunteering as well as possibly work on the way. The travel fever is already hitting us hard but we just have to survive the next weeks with dollar images in our eyes!
We decided to return to South Korea right after New Zealand for three reasons: firstly, we found flights to Seoul for just about 200 euros and secondly we get to meet lots of friends there. Thirdly, we simply fell in love with the country so much that we want to go back! We will for sure have a memorable week in Busan where we spent amazing six weeks one year ago.
Talkin about favorite places, why wouldn’t we return to well-hyped Vietnam after one year? This time we will spend a bit less than two weeks in Ho Chi Minh City that caught us with its hustle and bustle on our last visit. Visiting cheap Southeast Asia doesn’t necessarily make returning to Europe easier but we still couldn’t resist it.
We found super cheap flights from Bangkok back to Europe. Also the flight from Saigon to Bangkok cost ridiculously little, just 35 euros. For this reason, we added two nights in Bangkok to our travel plan. We will indulge ourselves with some luxury accommodation (we haven’t seen any of those on our trip so far) and enjoy the good street food.
Sweden definitely wasn’t a part of our travel plan. Anyhow, when we found a direct flight from Bangkok to Stockholm for 150 euros each we didn’t even need to think twice. It would be easy to take a ferry from Sweden to Finland but nope, we just cannot stop traveling yet. The flights to our next destination cost only 10 euros so we decided to make a quick stop in Eastern and Central Europe. Neither of us has ever really spent time in Stockholm so a small city sightseeing won’t be bad for us either. If we are lucky, we will also meet our friend couple in Stockholm that currently live on the same street with us here in Auckland.
Romania took our hearts on the first visit and we are very eager to explore the country more. We will fly with Wizzair from Stockholm to Cluj-Napoca – a city that we didn’t manage to visit last time. We have heard only good things about this sympathetic city in the middle of Transylvania so our expectations are high!
It’s easy to move from Romania to the neighbor country Hungary where we want to enjoy the atmosphere of our favorite city Budapest after a long break. When we lived in Europe, we visited the city at least every two months so this kind of two-year break is totally unheard-of for us. Budapest is a special city for us already because it’s the place where we originally met each other. Jarkko has also lived in the city and spent a lot of time there. It will be so cool to go back to all our favorite places again!
Before we started traveling, we lived nearly three years in Poland so we just need to see our old hoods in Krakow after a long time! Krakow will be our last stop before flying to Finland. Even though we know almost every corner of the city, we don’t really have pictures from the time we lived there. On this visit, we want to go through all our favorite places with the camera and share our best Krakow tips on the blog!
So this is how our first half of the year will look like! We are so excited about our travel plans that we cannot wait to get on the road. What kind of travel plans do you have for this year?