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Travel Diary

March – July 2019 Travel Plans

Life sucks. Travel instead. Here are my travel plans for the next 4 months which includes a country I will be visiting for the very first time!

The last post I wrote was a tough one to put together. I really appreciate everyone who read it and even left a few words of support. After hitting publish, a feeling of a weight off my shoulders enveloped me and I can finally get one with things.

Moving on to more positive things, I’m really looking forward to my travel plans for the next 4 months. I’ve been camping out in Colombo, Sri Lanka, since getting back from Bali last January and it is time to hit the road again and experience more stories, views, and eats.

I put together this itinerary fairly recently after I left my full-time job last December and have a much more flexible schedule as a freelancer. The itinerary includes two big trips to Australia (my first time down under!) and the U.S. To accompany those destinations, I’ve padded a few Asian countries around them because why not?

March – july 2019 travel plans

Manila, Philippines ??

Annual family visit! March (7 days)

Boracay, Philippines ??

First time visiting since it reopened following the massive clean up. April (4 days)

Melbourne, Australia ??

My first time down under! April (14 days)

Singapore ??

April (2 days)

Denver, CO, U.S.A ??

May (7 days)

Missoula, MT, U.S.A ??

June (25 days)

Portland, OR, U.S.A ??

June-July (17 days)

Austin, TX, U.S.A ??

July (9 Days)

Seattle, WA, U.S.A ??

July (2 days)

Bangkok, Thailand ??

July (2 days)

TOP 5 things I’m looking forward to

1. Friends & Family

My entire family lives in the Philippines and it is always nice when I come around for my annual visit. We’re also going to the new and improved Boracay island since it reopened following a massive clean up last year. The new look white sandy beaches look exquisite!

Holding a coconut on Boracay Beach
Enjoying a coconut in Boracay (2017) before the clean up

I left a big part of me in the U.S. after I was forced to leave the country in 2015 due to visa issues. I have been back almost every year since then but this visit will be my longest stay. The main focus will be to reconnect with all my friends and spend time in Missoula, MT and Austin, TX, both places I used to live in.

Another thing I’m very excited about is experiencing the Missoula Summer. This will be my first since I left town in 2013 to move to Texas. I have really missed Summers in Missoula – farmers markets, floating in the river, strolling around downtown, etc. It may not be the height of summer temperature wise in June but I’ll still be happy to be there nonetheless.

2. My first time in Australia

Fortuitous luck helped me get a visa to visit Australia for the first time and I will be taking full advantage of it. My girlfriend’s sister lives in Melbourne and we will be spending 2 weeks there exploring the vibrant city and the surrounding area. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Melbourne from friends and I couldn’t be more excited.

This stop will also mark setting foot on my fifth continent with only Europe and Antarctica left to conquer.

City of Melbourne by the river
Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

3. Qatar Airways Qsuite

Qatar Airways launched the undisputed, top-of-class Business Class product in the sky ‘Qsuite‘ back in 2017 and I will be experiencing it for myself for the very first time. I cashed in 70,000 American Airlines miles for a one-way award from Asia to the U.S which includes a Qsuite segment from Doha (DOH) to Chicago (ORD). You can look forward to a review on this blog shortly after.

Double bed on board Qatar Airways Qsuite
Image courtesy of Qatar Airways

4. Craft Beer

I’ve missed craft beer so, so much since leaving the U.S. My waistline is thanking me for not drinking so much beer these days but I still miss having a nice cold Pale Ale or Blonde Ale on a hot day. I should get more than enough at each of my stops in the U.S.

Sorry, not sorry, waistline

5. A Fantastic Hamburger

This one was hard to pick because I’m looking forward to chomping down on so many things. But, the biggest thing I’m craving is a good hamburger. I can recall having only 3 – 4 memorable hamburger experiences in the last few years when it used to be a weekly occurrence back in the states.

If you have hamburger recommendations in any of the places I am visiting, please tell me in the comments below!

1 lb burgers at Naps (Hamilton, MT, USA)
1 lb burgers at Naps (Hamilton, MT, U.S.A.)

It’s time I get to packing. Even though I have been to most of these places before, please send me any and all recommendations for stories, views and eats in the comments below!

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Nico Atienza

Chief Storyteller

An expat remote worker based in Colombo, Sri Lanka with a penchant for window seats on planes, travel, and technology that makes everyone’s lives easier.