*****Updated with our final plans as of March 13, 2018!*****
Our travel plans may change, and there will be down time spent at home in Denver during the first six months between road trips, but this is our abbreviated itinerary (for now).
The driving forces behind our destinations and durations?
- Spending time in nature
- Spending time with each other
- Spending time with family and friends
- Time to really immerse ourselves in the culture or the environment
Sabbatical Part I: North America
May through October 2017
May: We figure we better hit Utah before it gets too hot, so we’ll be spending a week in Southern Utah hopping from Arches and Canyonlands to Zion and Bryce Canyon. We will follow that up with a trip to Mount Princeton with my in-laws for a few days! Hot springs here we come!
Update: We missed Canyonlands, but loved Zion, so we plan to go back to Utah for round two sometime this summer (maybe August?)! Also, we were so close to Vegas that we added it on to the end of the trip!
June: First off, a trip to Texas for a family cruise to Mexico in celebration of my nephew’s high school graduation! We also plan to float the Guadalupe River while we are there. Followed by southwestern Colorado and the Four Corners (Durango, Ouray, Telluride) with my other set of in-laws.
July: Massive road trip! Yellowstone (WY), Glacier National Park (MT), Banff National Park(Alberta), Jasper National Park (Alberta), Mount Rushmore and possibly the Badlands National Park (SD).
Update: We missed our puppies so we cut our Canadian camping short and headed back to Denver a few days early. That meant missing Jasper National Park in Alberta and the Badlands in SD. But we did spend an amazing few days in the Black Hills of South Dakota where we saw Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse.
August: August is pretty unstructured, but we’ll likely do some camping trips with friends and family around Colorado.
Update: We stuck close to home for August, hiking in the foothills of Denver and camping within a two hour drive. Trent also took a quick trip to Vegas (that’s trip number two!).
September: I’ll first be flying to L.A. to hang out with a good friend and get some girl time. Trent will drive out with the dogs and the camper a week later and we will hit some national parks in California. Maybe the Redwood Forest and Yosemite. We had planned originally to do a cross country Amtrak trip to see friends up and down the east coast but we decided we wanted more time with the dogs before we leave them for six months and head to Thailand.
Update: Due to terrible fires out west, we cut our California trip short and instead headed to Texas to visit family briefly and to support the relief efforts in Houston. We were able to stay with a good friend and her family. We raised $1,000 to purchase much needed clothing, diapers and supplies for those who suffered losses from Hurricane Harvey.
On the way to Texas from California, we stopped at the Grand Canyon for our final camping trip in the Freedom Machine.
October: Prepping for Thailand and Texas to spend some more time with family before departing the country.
Update: I also made an unexpected trip to NYC with a good friend. Check out the post on all my celebrity sightings in my blog! Texas was excellent. We spent time on the farm with family in West Texas and in the city with our nieces and nephew while their parents had a much needed vacation of their own. Read all about our attempts at parenting. Pretty funny stuff!
Sabbatical Part II: Thailand and Southeast Asia and Australia!
November 2017 through April 2018
We have a multi-entry visa for six months in Thailand, which means we can stay here for six months as long as we leave the country every 60 days. So we will use Thailand as our base to explore other parts of Southeast Asia as well.
- November 7-13: Bangkok, Thailand
- November 13-December 11: Chiang Mai, Thailand (Bamboo rafting the Mae Ping River, Thai Farm Cooking School, Elephant Nature Park, many wats, many massages, and much shopping)
- December 11-December 30: Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Da Nang/Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and some stops in between)
- December 31: Bangkok
- January 1-February 7: Beach and Island hopping in southern Thailand
- January 1-11 Koh Lanta in Krabi Province
- January 11-18: Koh Yao Noi
- January 18-24: Phuket (Patong Beach)
- January 24-February 7: Koh Samui
- February-7-21: Yoga retreating in Chiang Mai at Freedom Yoga
- February 21-23: Pai, Thailand
- February 23-27: Chiang Rai, Thailand and the Golden Triangle for a visa run
- February 27-March 11: A friend of ours from Denver will be visiting, so we will have a travel companion!
- February 27-March 2: Bangkok
- March 2-6: Krabi Town, Railay Beach, Ao Nang Beach, Thailand (plus a day trip to the Phi Phi Islands)
- March 6-11: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- March 11-14: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- March 14-19: Singapore
- March 19-April 11: Australia’s east coast from Sydney to Cairns in a camper van (not exactly Southeast Asia but we figured why not!)
- April 11-13: Bangkok for the Thai New Year and Water Festival
- April 13-14: overnight bus from Bangkok to Laos
- April 14-16: Vientiane, Laos
- April 16-20: Luang Prabang, Laos
- April 20-28: Koh Tao, Thailand
- April 28-30: Bangkok
- April 30: Fly to Dallas, Texas, USA
- May something or other: drive home to Denver, Colorado with our dogs
This is our final itinerary unless something unexpected occurs. We can’t believe it’s all locked in at this point!