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We have only a few weeks left here in China! I don’t know how this is even possible. It feels like we just celebrated Christmas. In 26 days (but who’s counting?!) we will be hoisting our backpacks over our backs and heading back out where we belong: on the road.

We have absolutely loved our experience here in China. It has been very fulfilling, enlightening and enjoyable. However, it’s time to move on. These goats need to be on the road!

backpacking
Nick picking up his new backpack in Shanghai…we need to be on the road!

This next trip will be taking us through Mongolia, Russia, Central Asia and Iran. There aren’t many off-the-beaten-path places left on our earth but fortunately this region still retains its culture and charm. It won’t be long before the western influence makes its way to this part of the world.

We’ve slowly but surely been checking things off of our To-Do List. The biggest hassle about travelling to destinations not frequented by many tourists is the bureaucracy. In many parts of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, we just showed up at the border and obtained our visas on arrival. Either that, or we just applied for it easily in the country we were currently in.

visas for travel
We’re used to just showing up at the border and getting our visa on arrival…not for this trip!

That’s definitely not the case with these countries. Last month we went to Shanghai to apply for our Mongolian visa. that was fairly straightforward but we had to travel to another city to apply. It was a success and we have our Mongolia visa stuck in our passport!

We just went to Shanghai again this weekend to apply for our Russian visa and it was a success! (More about applying for a Russian Visa to follow.) We were also in Shanghai to pick up Nick’s new backpack (an Osprey Farpoint 55) and to have one last hurrah with some great friends we made in Yangzhou, Jen & Steve.

applying for a russian visa
Nick waiting in line at the Russian Embassy in Shanghai

We are heading to Shanghai again this weekend to pick up our passports with our Russian visa and drop our passports off at the Kazakhstan embassy…fingers crossed!

On top of getting our visas, we’ve been planning and buying loads of stuff for this journey. We’re constantly shopping online (there aren’t any outdoor shops here in Yangzhou) and emailing with different agencies about sorting out our Letters Of Invitation and transportation.

applying for a russian visa
Thank God for Standy! He’s been calling embassies in Shanghai for us – we don’t speak Russian, but they speak Chinese so he’s been sorting out what we need to bring

Needless to say, we’ve been busy!

We also need to think about moving out of our apartment. We are slowly packing up our stuff and sending it home in boxes. We’re downsizing an purging more things and only sending home what we think we can’t part with.

Our apartment contract is up on July 2nd, but we work here in Yangzhou until July 12th. Since we didn’t plan in advance, we will be homeless! Thankfully, our generous friend, Jhonny has offered to let us stay with him and his girlfriend in their apartment until we leave. Where would we be without great friends?

living in china
Colleen, Nick, Rosemary, Jhonny and Simon…where would we be without great friends?

Everything seems very surreal right now and we are trying to take in Yangzhou as much as we can. Whenever we’re walking down a particular street, going to a market or eating at a restaurant, we always say “take it all in, this may be the last time we do this”. We’re going to miss our great friends, both expat and local, this wonderful city and teaching English to our adorable students.

However, that’s the life of a backpacker! We’re always on the move and are always ready for new experiences and challenges. Stay tuned for more updates on our pre-travel planning!

Which country are you the most interested in hearing about? Would you travel to this part of the world? Leave a comment below!

PLANNING OUR TREK IN MONGOLIA

PRESSURES OF THE PLANNING PROCESS

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Counting Down The Days Until Departure!

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9 thoughts on “Counting Down The Days Until Departure!

    1. Thanks a lot Cam!

      We’re really stoked to explore Central Asia, hopefully it will be as off-the-beaten-path as we’re expecting, but you never know!

      Hope to have you guys along for the ride 🙂

      Cheers!

  1. Hello
    I think what you two are doing is so awesome. I always look forward to the next post from you. Good luck on your next journey.
    Sincerely Karina from DK

  2. Great news guys. I bet China will miss you a lot. Mongolia sounds great and we hope you will have a time of your life. What a coincidence. We are leaving China in 26 days as well. I’m heading back to Europe for a month and Cez is going to Japan for a cycling adventure. Good luuuuck!

  3. Hey Nick

    Just spent this morning getting caught up on recent posts. Haven’t logged on for a while and can’t believe how this site has developed. No wonder you’re getting the hits you do. Can’t wait to follow you on your upcoming adventure.

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