Asia is Getting Put on Hold and Here’s Why

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CHANGING TRAVEL PLANS

I have some big news for y’all.  It’s going to come as a major shock and some might think it’s a great thing and some might think I’m an idiot.

Asia is being put on hold.  Yep, the place I have been planning on going for the past year, that I’ve been talking about and saving for is not happening in November now.

HOWEVER, we are doing something just as epic.  We are buying an RV (a smaller one) and will be doing one helluva United States and Canada Road Trip.  There are a few reasons for this very big change of plans:

1.  The dog.  We had someone who was going to watch Maximus while were gone, but that fell through recently and we then made the decision that we would re-home so we can continue our plans and fulfill our dreams.  But, everytime we spoke of it or as each day passed that it got closer, we would both tear up and get very emotionally upset.

This was Kaleb’s dog to begin with, but I had fallen madly in love with him.  He is the spitting image (personality wise) of my American Bulldog, Maverick, who I had to put down just 6 months ago.  I still cry over Maverick on a regular basis.  I didn’t know if I could put myself through that again.  I also didn’t know if, while Kaleb said he would be fine, I could ask him to get rid of his dog.  I knew whether he thought he would or not, that he would grow to relate that incident to me and resent me.

So, you’d have me emotional from losing practically a 2nd Maverick and him resenting me because it was all my plans to begin with.

Maximus walking the trails in Murfreesboro

Maximus walking the trails in Murfreesboro

2.  Kaleb and his brother are starting a company together – a moving company.  It will be up and running before we leave and Kaleb doesn’t have to be on the ground.  He can do his part remotely from anywhere.  However, it will be much easier to do within the US & Canada.  If he needs to fly home for an emergency with it, he can easily.  If he needs to be gotten ahold of by phone immediately, he can easily.  It could be done from Asia, but there would be a lot more headaches involved.  We decided for the beginning of the company, he needed to be closer.

This company will also be providing us a passive income while we travel and for all future travels so putting the extra time into it now is going to pay off for us in the long term as far as pursuing our traveling passions.

So, where are we going now???

I’ll be posting a complete itinerary soon, but here’s a quick rundown.

We will be visiting his family in Michigan so he can see his brother and nieces some before we leave, but we will officially be leaving from Chicago.

From Chicago, we will be following the old Historic Route 66 to Los Angeles and taking our time with the route, stopping at all the random roadside attractions and exploring the backroads.

Route 66, Ash Fork, Arizona

Then we will be heading over to Death Valley National Park, Zion National Park, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and back over to California to head up to Big Sur.  I plan on stopping in Big Sur for a week or two because it’s just so damn gorgeous looking.

Friends, Fun, and Finally...a Waterfall

Then we will head up to San Francisco and explore the city (Alcatraz!) and the outdoors (Muir Woods) there and maybe spend Christmas here depending on if the timing is right.

San Francisco

Then we will head up the coast of California (Redwoods!), up the coast of Oregon and then into the heart of Oregon and up the coast of Washington before heading towards Seattle and up to Bellingham.

Multnomah Falls

From Bellingham, we’ll take the ferry to Alaska and spend most likely a month or two in Alaska exploring before driving the Alaska Highway into British Columbia.

Shooting over the hill near Goose Lake at the ceremonial start of the 37th Iditarod sled dog race, Anchorage, Alaska

From here, we’ll explore British Columbia, Alberta, Glacier National Park and depending on time, hopefully more of Canada.

Wenkchemna Peaks and Moraine Lake, Valley of the Ten Peaks, Banff National Park, Alberta

 

I need your help!

Do you know of any amazing, quirky, weird roadside attractions?  Any must see places, must eats, must do places along our route?   Let me know in the comments or email me at asoutherngypsy1@gmail.com

Have you ever changed major travel plans?  Did you feel almost guilty from doing so?

Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.

26 Comments

  1. Christie

    August 3, 2014 at 1:51 AM

    Wow what an unexpected change! But also very exciting! I don’t think you are an idiot for your change of plans, things always have their little way of working out the way they should. I can relate – without writing a novel of a comment, I had planned on long-term travel through Europe last year, when at home I randomly met my now-partner and my whole life flipped on its head and I completely and utterly changed my course. I’m SO THANKFUL I went with the flow instead of rigidly sticking to my plans! Good on you for doing what makes you and your partner happy 🙂

  2. Sammi Wanderlustin'

    August 3, 2014 at 4:02 AM

    This sounds like the most incredible road trip! I completely understand your reasons, as I’m having a similar sort of Life Crisis at the moment. Dogs make life so hard! I love mine, but making decisions I think I’ll regret based on him kill me.

  3. Maria

    August 3, 2014 at 4:36 AM

    Sometimes you just have to change plans. We had to postpone our trip by a year because my dad fell ill – you do what you have to do! In the meantime, you’ve got a pretty cool road-trip coming up – it’s so easy to forget how amazing your own country is, you’ll have a blast!

  4. Katie @ The World on my Necklace

    August 3, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    Yay so glad you decided to choose the road trip first – it will be an epic adventure! I have so many tips for BC, Alberta and West Coast – I will put together a list and email you 🙂

  5. Stephanie Mayo

    August 3, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    I’m so happy for you! I think all too often when we think of travel we think of travel outside our own beautiful country. I can’t wait to read all about your visits to these natural wonders!

  6. Lauren

    August 3, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    You know, sometimes plans can change and I think that you are smart for listening to your gut feeling and going with what you feel is right. You’ll still be able to see some incredible places on this journey, and going to Asia is never out of the question. If you do end up stopping by the Toronto area, let me know, I’d love to meet up or show you some places!

  7. Ashley and Alex

    August 3, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    If you will be driving up the 101 north of San Francisco we actually live that way. If you want any specific recommendations or wine tasting tips we will be happy to share! Also we are always happy to meet up and swap travel stories!

  8. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    August 3, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    I would say that leaving a cherished pet behind was the hardest part of moving overseas for many of my friends. I think you are wise to go with your gut and opt for something closer to home instead. Being nearby when your guy’s business launches is also a very valid point. Asia will be there in the future. And look at your itinerary! It sounds really incredible to me. I can’t wait to follow along.

  9. antonette - we12travel

    August 4, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    Since I’m not much of an Asia fan I can only applaud for your choice to make this road trip instead! I’m envious for you guys being able to travel to Alaska for 2 months! I’ve been there a couple of times (altogether probably about 2 months, too) but wouldn’t mind returning. Be careful about the bears though! 🙂

  10. Annette

    August 4, 2014 at 1:21 AM

    totally get your reasons for changing up your plans. Sometimes unexpected things happens. It sounds like you are going to get a pretty good road trip though. I have always wanted to do the road trip across US. Looking forward to follow your travels 🙂

  11. The Guy

    August 4, 2014 at 1:34 AM

    All perfectly good reasons to postpone your trip to Asia. I know I’d be heartbroken to give up a dog. Shame no one else can dog sit for that length of time.

    The idea of an RV trip sounds fabulous and I’d love to be able to have a drive holiday like that. And San Fran for Christmas sounds fabulous.

    Have you considered Mt Rushmore for your trip? The perfect setting to drive to with some wonderful scenery. But then again why not drive through Utah, that place always takes my breath away.

  12. Brittany @ Paws for Beer

    August 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    I have often thought about traveling long term overseas but I also have dog. I agree with your decision as I could never leave my dog behind while I gallivanted around the world without him!

    Can’t wait to read about your new plans and see where you end up going. I recommend hitting up South Dakota – The Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Needles Highway… I love it there!

  13. Adelina | PackMeTo

    August 4, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Wow massive big change! Let me know when you get to Vancouver 😀 Would love to finally meet you in person. I’m going to be doing a road trip down the coast of Oregon soon so will have lots of tips for your shortly!

  14. Angie @ Newton's Travels

    August 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Big change! But I think it will be fabulous. We were recently in Carmel, CA and I totally fell in love with it. The beach is dog friendly as is the town. Loved the Bed & Breakfast we stayed at, Monte Verde Inn.

    Alcatraz was AWESOME and I loved Fisherman’s Wharf in SF too.

  15. Raphael Alexander Zoren

    August 5, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Wait, who’s Kaleb? I feel like I missed a few chapters of the story hahaha

    BTW are you still coming to TBEX Athens? 😀

  16. Amanda

    August 5, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    You sound just as excited about this trip as your Asia one, so it definitely seems to be the right decision for you!

    As for roadtripping through the US… I did the Route 66 things a couple years ago! I would definitely recommend St. Louis; Oklahoma City (the bombing memorial/museum there is actually really fantastic); Amarillo, TX (eat at the Big Texan and go spraypaint cars at the Cadillac Ranch), and Santa Fe.

    In Arizona/Utah – got to Monument Valley!!! It was one of the highlights of my road trip. Antelope Canyon (in the town of Page) is also really cool, but I think you might be going there at the wrong time of year to see the light beams in the canyon.

  17. Angela Travels

    August 6, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    I hope you contact me if you are passing through Seattle! If not, I understand since you probably still have lots of friends to visit out here. However, I highly recommend the sand dunes in Oregon (though I haven’t been but have been meaning to). If you get sick of the coast, then Bend, OR has some great places to explore and camp!

    I can also recommend some places in BC if you are heading up through there, along with Banff (though I was there in the winter). I hope you get to Glacier NP as well. I just got back and had a wonderful time!

  18. Jill

    August 6, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Great new plan! It almost looks like you plan to go to Alaska in the winter and then drive south to Canada. I’d like to point out that here in Canada…we have regular snow falls until late March, I’ve seen a blizzard in June. The roads in Northern Canada are very crappy in the winter. Winter here is also very bleak and depressing. Maybe that’s just me though, maybe I’ve just lived here too long.

    I don’t want to discourage your route planning, but honestly, unless you’re looking for ski hills (they’re open until Mid May here), or snowshoeing, or ice skating, Canada isn’t the best place to visit in the winter. That pretty lake picture you’ve shown of Canada…well, you won’t see sights like that until June because the lakes will be frozen until May 🙁

    If I’ve got it wrong, you’ll be traveling through here spring/summer, just ignore everything I previously wrote. I can give you tons of places to see and things to do. I recommend Jasper instead of Banff. Hwy.93 between Jasper and Lake Louise is beautiful. The Calgary Stampede is something everyone should do atleast once, it’s a glorified rodeo/exhibition/craft sale/everything is deep fried/everyone’s a cowboy kind of festivity. Waterton and Glacier NP are must see’s as well. If you go further west, Kelowna is beautiful, I love it there. Go houseboating on the lake! <–tons of info if you google it.

    I'm only in Calgary until March/April but if I'm here when you're here, it'd be great to meet up! Don't hesitate to ask any questions about Alberta/BC, I know them well 🙂

  19. Kristen Bor (Bearfoot Theory)

    August 6, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    Ashley – Good for you to do what your heart is telling you. The west is so awesome and I’d love to meet up with you when you get out here. I can also give you tips about Zion and Las Vegas! Can’t wait to see your new camper van. I’m jealous!

  20. Chris Boothman

    August 6, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    I am sure this was an incredibly difficult decision to make especially after you had made so many plans for your Asian trip. But at least you are just putting this on temporary hold and still plan to do this next year. Meanwhile you will get to experience an amazing road trip and take in many incredible spots along the way. Looking forward to following you in your RV and see where the road trip takes you.

  21. Syd

    August 9, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    I’m going to be honest, my original reaction to this title was one of slight disappointment (I hope you’ll forgive me for that). I feel like I see a lot of people back out of their dreams, and justify it to themselves for a variety of reasons, and I would hate to see that happen to you (even though I don’t know you in real life). But then I actually read the rest of the post, and I can see where you’re coming from — also, living out of an RV and traveling IS equally as epic, just in a different way. The point is you’re changing your life and taking control and that is AWESOME. It doesn’t really matter where you go. Personally, I’ve been leaning towards van/RV travel strongly recently. I guess I want that small sense of home that a traveling bed offers. And I really want to explore more of the US/Canada. I love love love North America. I’m currently vanning it in Whistler and it is amaze-balls. Definitely try to make it up to BC! Also, I’m SO stoked for you that you have found someone to travel with — this is not always easy! A good travel partner/love is a special things, indeed. Also, since we’re both going to be living on the road, let’s meet up one of these days!

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  23. Kate O'Malley

    August 16, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    I think it looks like an amazing trip. I would struggle to leave the hound behind as well. Asia will still be there and now you will have another amazing adventure under your belt. Look forward to following it.

  24. Margherita @The Crowded Planet

    September 2, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Wow Ashley, I leave for a few weeks and… big news! In any case, I’m sure you made the right choice, Asia will be there for you if you decide to visit in the future.

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