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Our feelings after traveling for a 6 months sabbatical in Asia: what we learned and what we missed

Updated: Feb 9

Hi everyone, this is Trixi and Èric and we have enjoyed writing this blog during our 6 months sabbatical, so that you could also travel with us during this time. We hope that this blog will be useful for some people planning trips in Asia in the near future. Or maybe, that it may serve you as a motivation for enjoying some long time off, since it has been an unforgettable experience that will remain in our thoughts forever.

Being half a year abroad is quite something. Six months feels like a lot of time when you plan the trip and when you decide to take them. It also feels like a lot of time after having been 6 months traveling and remembering when we first started in Singapore that it feels as if it was more than a year ago. However, at the same time, time traveling goes faster than time doing anything else. So it is a mixture of feelings that makes you somewhat understand that time is indeed relative. Let's now deep dive into our feelings after travelling for 6 months in Asia.

The 3-4 months moment

During this trip, we have met a few people that were doing a long trip or a sabbatical for a couple of months and many of them shared this feeling after a 3-4 months period. Even Trixi, who already did a 4 and a half months sabbatical in Oceania felt that back then.

It’s difficult to describe the feeling but it’s a bit like a soft indifference towards seeing new things. Somehow, after 3 to 4 months you get a little bit used to seeing new things and miss a little bit to relax and spend some time without doing much. We were doing that from time to time at the beginning of the trip, just taking a day to relax, write, play or read. But the more time you travel, the more you feel like doing that and the less important it becomes to see everything.

After the 3-4 months moment

The rest of the time during the trip feels more like an extra life in a game. You basically start getting used to living traveling. It’s not the same feeling as when you travel like a tourist. Instead, you don’t give so much importance to seeing “everything you must see because Instagram or some guide tells you” and you start just living your day in another country, while enjoying the little moments and differences in cultures, landscapes, food and nature. 

In fact, in the last two countries (Malaysia and the Philippines), we were asked a couple of times whether we were living in the country. So, somewhat, the people also felt that we were not tourists anymore and rather long-time travelers.

Everything worked as expected

We have had a long trip and we have enjoyed every bit of it. We were also very lucky to not have been robbed or have lost anything on the way. We were impressed and proud at the same time that we could plan 6 months ahead of time, with all flights and hotels and with a really perfect route without wishing to have changed plans. This allowed us to save about 50 to 60% of our costs in flights and in hotels in comparison to having booked a day before or even one week in advance. You can check this post explaining how to save when you plan a trip.

What have we learned

It taught us a lot of things on how to live and what to prioritize. We had time to learn new things that didn’t require a routine and we even got used to not having a routine. We learned things, while traveling such as cooking, painting, doing art works, culture, languages, differences in way of working and spontaneous vs planning. 

But we also had enough free time to learn things while being in transport such as planes, buses, taxis, etc. For example, we’ve been learning how to write a blog, how to start a YouTube channel, how to bring people to your websites and how to make that our blog is the first thing that appears on google when you search “two travelling” or even “two traveling” (SEO optimization). We have also learned how to write about our travels online and also on paper. And we have also had enough time to read a book every month and to catch up with a couple of series. 

Things we missed

I wouldn’t call it “things” since what we have missed the most is mainly people, our families and our friends. 

Surprisingly, we didn’t miss much food during the trip. We thought we would have missed nice cheese. We missed some drinks like a good cold “Apfelschörle '' in hot weather as well as a nice glass of wine. 

We also missed a little bit of having a routine. Although we got used to not having a routine, we missed having a repetitive thing every week.

How many places have we visited

During these 6 months, we have been to the following countries. You can deep dive in any of these countries, as we have organized our blog posts per country. The last country on the list is where we're spending our latest 3 weeks but we will only have some updates on that country on the Youtube channel.