What’s the big plan?

People that know us have heard that we have a big trip coming up. Many have heard something about a boat, as we tossed around the idea of buying a sailboat when we first began to concoct our plans. But we settled on traveling through Southeast Asia, and spending some time chartering a catamaran. Our current plan is purposefully sparse and ever-changing. Right now, it looks something like this:

We will leave Alaska at the end of October and will return at the beginning of April. We fly in to Thailand and will charter a sailboat for a month over Christmas and New Years. We also hope to explore some in Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, and/or Malaysia. We are already several weeks into homeschooling all three boys in order to get a jump start on their schooling, so that we are able to be more flexible while we are traveling.


For a slightly more detailed description, continue on:

California – End of October
The boys and I will fly into San Francisco at the end of October.  We’ll ride some crazy roller coasters at Six Flags, see some big redwoods, get ourselves spooked at Alcatraz, and visit some long-lost friends. Eric will join us somewhere along the way, as soon as he is able to extract himself from work. At the beginning of November, we will hop on board the Amtrak and ride it down to LA to catch our flight to Bangkok.

Bangkok – A few days at the beginning of November
After a grueling 30 hours of travel, we have a hotel room reserved for the first few days that I got free by using the points from a Starwood credit card.  I thought a hotel with a pool and a pool table might help to ease some of the initial culture shock that the boys will be sure to endure and allow us to rest and adjust to the jetlag. If the political situation (read here, here, and here) warrants, we may forgo Bangkok altogether, and head directly to Chiang Mai. We’ve been watching that rather intently, and at this point don’t think it necessary.

Chiang Mai – A couple weeks in November
After a few days in Bangkok, we’ll take a night train to Chiang Mai.  I’m really intrigued by this place, as it is a hot bed for digital nomads, an idea that I’ve always been drawn too. It looks like this may diminish some, as the visa rules are stiffened up, but I’m still curious to take take a look around. It is also the urban center of the many surrounding outdoor activities that will be right up our alley. Mountain biking, meeting elephants, sticky waterfalls… How could we go wrong?

Koh Samui – A week or so at the end of November / Beginning of December
Eric knows someone who owns a resort in Koh Samui, so we plan to stop in to visit on the way down to our sailboat charter in Phuket.  This is probably around Thanksgiving time, so we’ll find some creative way to hold Thanksgiving for the kids. I can’t say what that’ll be until we are there, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted. Koh Samui is very close to Koh Tao, where scuba diving lessons abound. As we’ve have heard some interest from one of the older boys, we may stop by for some lessons.

Sailboat on the Andaman Sea – December : Christmas and New Years
Our sailboat charter is with Siam Sailing, and will be for about a month, through Christmas and New Years. We are able to take the boat anywhere along the west coast of Thailand, in the Andaman Sea. We have the time to explore the area relatively thoroughly, but don’t have specific location plans yet. We will write a bit more about the specific places we plan to visit on the boat soon.

Thailand Beach

January through March
We don’t know yet!  We know that the initial entry of our multiple-entry visa will run out shortly after we get off the boat. It is likely that we will take an adventure to one of the neighboring countries at this point, and then re-enter with our next entry later.  There has been some change in how Thailand is enforcing visas rules recently, so I’ll need to read up a bit more to make sure we are all set to go. We’ve talked about whether or not we want to stay in one place for a longer time by renting an apartment for these months and then taking shorter trips from there, or if want to travel from place to place.  We’ll probably make this decision after seeing how the first month goes.