Have no fear, The Shoestring Trekkers are back!
It was looking like the page was going to fall into the abyss of the interwebs, but fear not! Honestly, as soon as we got home everything just sort of fell back into place like we never left. I can’t tell you how many blogs I read that all said the same thing : you may come home much different from when you left, but what you left behind will be the exact same. It really is so true. If I didn’t have 14 months worth of memories crammed in my head, I would think I never left.
So our original plan was to be home for about two months, fly back to Hanoi to get our CELTA certifications, then settle down and teach (preferably) in the Hoi An/Da Nang area of Vietnam. If you have been keeping up with our adventures you’ll know we love Hoi An, and it’s the runaway winner in terms of where we want to settle down. Unfortunately, the market for English teachers is tiny compared to the big cities, but we’re willing to give it a shot and see what happens. You don’t know if you don’t try!
While the plan I outlined above is still happening, it’s just not happening in our original timeframe. For one, we’re still in the USA, and we’ll be here till the first week of the new year. Within a week of being home, we knew we made a mistake and wouldn’t get everything we wanted done in two months. At first we figured we’ll stay another month, which would put us leaving around the beginning of September. This sounds great, but Breada was planning on flying back for one of her best friend’s wedding in October, so it wouldn’t make sense to leave in September just to fly back a month later. So then we said ok, we’ll stay through the wedding, but that would put us around the beginning of November. At that point we decided if we’re going to stay till November we might as well stay through Thanksgiving, and if we’re going to stay till Thanksgiving we should just stay the little bit extra and be here for Christmas!
See how that snowballed fast?
Honestly, it’s for the best. As much as I would like to be back right now, it’s been nice having the extra time at home. Had we left when originally planned, we would already be back in Hanoi and halfway through with our CELTA course. I still have a laundry list of things I need to do, so in the end this was the smart move. Plus. we have new travels to plan for!
My last big update in this post is a little trip that literally fell into our laps, and I couldn’t be more excited for it.
WE’RE GOING TO SOUTH AFRICA!
Yup that’s right! The stars just aligned in our favor and everything fell into place. We caught a mistake fare on Qatar Airways , which was practically giving away tickets. The deal was only working out of Vietnam, so it was perfect for our situation. We wanted to take a small trip after our CELTA course and before signing contracts to teach anyway, and South Africa was high up on our list of destination, so we booked it!
It all happened so fast. From the time we found out about the deal to when we booked was only five or six minutes. With mistake fares you have to act quick or they’ll disappear. It was the same when we booked our $100 tickets to London in 2015. Worst case scenario you book it and it gets cancelled. Best case is you get a dirt cheap ticket somewhere.
Speaking of cheap, I haven’t said how much we paid! Ready?
$550 each roundtrip … in business class! The flight normally prices out around $5,000 roundtrip, so I’d say we got a good deal 🙂 The miles we’ll each earn on the flight will be worth about $500 each, so this was an amazing value. Plus, South Africa is a mecca for low category Marriott hotels, so just about every night we’re there is covered on points !
Based on my itinerary and budget i’ve drawn up, we should each spend under $1000 on the trip, flights not included. That’s not bad considered almost every night is in a hotel, we’ll have a rental car for the entire trip, and we’re going to two different national parks for safari trips. I’ll have a more detailed breakdown of our trip in the near future, and what you can do to travel South Africa on the cheap yourself!
So that’s that! Be on the lookout for more info on South Africa, and some of the local trips we’ll be taking in the fall.
Where are you going this fall?
If you were moving to Asia to teach, which city would you want to live in and why?
Comment below with your answers!