Before jumping in, I’ll just note that Hong Kong is a great city and we had SO MANY good meals there. Too bad it’s so expensive! We’ll fill you in on more details (and recommend some great restaurants) in the coming weeks.
On to the big news: Leg One is over! A couple months ago we decided that we needed a travel break. Asia has been incredible but we needed a change of scenery and our homesickness really only had one cure. We’ll go back to Asia to visit Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos at the end of the next leg.
We kept our visit home (mostly) a secret and flew 8,165 miles to arrive in the USA on Thanksgiving morning. It was more fun that way, and besides, how often do people get real surprises anymore? My mom and sister were shocked and very happy to see us. After recovering from jetlag in Denver for a few days we flew to New York to visit family and friends. Now we’re in the Chicago area with Eric’s family, planning for the next leg and putting some pounds back on with home-cooked comfort food.
So, how did this happen? Eric was up to his usual mischief with frequent flier miles and found a very good deal for us to fly round-trip from Hong Kong to Denver with a stop in Portugal on the way back, all in business class. Getting a good deal was somewhat complicated this time, but it involved earning 100% bonus miles for sharing them with each other in addition to a 30,000-mile discount. Turns out this visit home really is a trip around the world comprised of nine flights and more than 26,000 miles. Curious what that looks like?
In reserving all of these flights we made a tiny oversight and booked our ticket back to Asia on March 4th instead of February 4th, giving us seven weeks in Europe instead of our intended three. So, ok – twist my arm, I guess we’ll go to Spain too. A month in Spain should cost less than the change fee, right…? Right!
After all that was worked out, we went ahead and booked flights through the summer. Here is the route we’re flying (also in business class!) for a mere $400 and a total of 100,000 frequent flyer miles.
Long story short, our plan for Leg Two is pretty-much set. After Portugal and Spain we’ll head back to Hong Kong for a few days and rest up before moving on to Australia for five weeks. Come April we’ll go to New Zealand for a month and then take a little vacay in Fuji. Then, finally, in June we’ll start exploring Southeast Asia.
Anyone want to visit? Unlike with Leg One, we have some pretty exact dates. It’ll be a change to stay on schedule (and in the countries we actually planned on visiting). But if the last year is any indication, we need to exercise some restraint!
So for now we’re enjoying catching up with family in the States and exploring some sights closer to home. We went to Niagara (my first-ever visit to Canada!), which was freezing but gorgeous and basically deserted.
Hope all of you are having a great holiday season!