I know I know, I am just writing about my past summer break just now when it is almost the end of 2017, crazy. Why would I do that? ehhhh I thought now is a good time to take a look at what has happened this year so far. Maybe it was a reminiscing moment kind of thing? We need that sometimes, right? Heck yeah!
I will be posting the blogs based on their dates, scroll down all the way back to June and my Traveling Marathon blog series will be posted at that time period.
Earlier this year, I had been clocking in and out of work every week not even realizing about the amount of paid time off I had. I gave it a quick peek back in April and I was surprised to see that I had that much PTO hours accrued in my bank. It got me thinking, hmmmm it’s just sitting there in the bank. Why not use all of it? I did not want to cash it out. I thought it was pointless to cash it out. If I use my PTO, basically I’d still get my usual paycheck while out traveling internationally. It sounded good to me Ha.
Anyways, I wanted to use all my PTO hours, but I did not think that my boss would let me use all of them. I tried anyhow. After several emails and phone calls here and there, to make things short, my paid time off request was approved (very fortunate to have a very cool and awesome boss ha) Boooyeah!
That solved the first step of vacation planning. I think we have all gone through this hurdle, right? Nervously asking your boss for a vacation whether he/she will approve it or not….So here is how I see it; fifty percent chance your boss will not approve of your request, twenty-five percent chance your boss will flat out say yes to your request and maybe another twenty-five percent chance that your boss did not hear your request. What do you think of my vacation request probability chart, accurate? Ha.
After going through all that, the next question was…. where to go for my vacation? That was the time Google was my friend. After getting my request approved, I honestly did not know where to go, had been primarily traveling around the Asian continent the past few years. Perhaps I should just stick to Asian countries for now. I will gone for five or so weeks, and travelling the Asian countries is not too heavy on the budget. I thought that was not a bad start. In the past travels that I have gone on to so far, I noticed that I had have a thing for hiking/outdoors/food/culture/meeting local people kind of scene. I tend to avoid a lot of the touristy stuff, planned things out on my own, did not use any travel agency or those tour guided ones. I wanted to have the freedom of going wherever I want at any given time. Looking for people to travel with, nahh that was out of the question. I do not have a lot of friends and the few friends I have usually do not have the same schedule flexibility that I have…so that is probably why I have been traveling solo and independently planning things. So, for my past summer vacation I did extensive researching online about Asian countries. I went to Barnes and Nobles often and read about Asian countries on those travel guide books written by other travelers. After reading all those local travel guides and what not. I decided to go to these countries last summer break: Indonesia, New Guinea Papua, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. At some point, my brother mentioned about going to Iceland at the end of July. I had so much vacation time, and luckily, I was able to squeezed it in. I decided to meet up with my brother in Iceland sometime in July. So, here goes the countries that made my list in the following order: Chicago = > Indonesia => New Guinea Papua => Japan => South Korea => Taiwan => Macau => Hong Kong => Iceland.
Stay tuned for the next coming blogs. I will be writing about my experiences in each of those countries!