WE are soon to be leaving Chiang Mai, Thailand. Our visas are about to expire. We debated about whether to leave and return, thus extending our stay in Thailand, or to visit the local immigration office to pay to have our visas extended or to travel onwards.
Chiang Mai has grown on us. We've made some good contacts and acquaintances and slowly started to enjoy the lifestyle. The cost of living and availability of fresh, organic produce has been a major plus. We will particularly miss going to Crossfit, the daily coconuts and Jamie has enjoyed getting back into yoga. However, we may yet return again.
However, although we have been travelling for more than two-and-a-half years, Jamie and I both have places we would still like to visit, especially on this side of the world.
For Jamie, Bali has always been on her list. And for me it is Australia.
I've tried to go to Australia before but something has always stopped me - like getting a dream job.
It's now or never - at least it feels that way. And while we are there it would be criminal not to go to New Zealand, where Jamie has lived before and has many friends. Jamie has also been to Oz several times.
Our timing, though, could not be worse. Australia is now an expensive place to stay and I thought that we would just not be able to afford it.
But then an opportunity came our way when one of Jamie's Aussie friends offered us the chance to house-sit in Melbourne while they are away on holiday (in Thailand, ironically).
It was too good to pass up. So we are on our way Down Under, landing in Sydney and then, if we can find a deal, taking an RV (campervan) - which is another dream of ours - to Melbourne. But first will stop in Bali for about a month.