Our Gap Year Travel Story

In October 2018 we went on a gap-year. It turned out to be the biggest adventure we have ever done in our lives!

We traveled through Central and Southeast Asia and this trip has changed our minds completely! Not only about traveling but about the world.

Now, after 10 months abroad, its time to resume everything. We are super excited to share your experiences with you.

Should we take a gap-year?

In the beginning we spoke about our plans after we would have finished university. Fortunately, we had the same prospect! We wanted to explore the world before we start our careers.

Our parents weren´t really happy when they heard about our plans. To go traveling instead of the next degree or finding a job was not what they expected from us.

But after some time they also got confident with the idea of a gap-year, lucky us we have such supportive families.

Our motivation for taking a gap-year

Our motivation to travel was less the indecisiveness, but more the fear to miss a great opportunity to explore the world!

Well, we fixed our plan to leave Germany, after we would have finished our Bachelor’s degree at university.

But where should we go? The idea of traveling to Asia began with Anni´s big dream to travel to the Philippines to encounter a whale shark. Timo has been hooked right away (who doesn´t want to swim with a whale shark?!).

How we planned our gap-year

After we thought about going to the Philippines for a while, we decided to add a few places while we’re at it!

Thus decided to visit all countries surrounding the Philippines to get to experience as many cultures, religions, landscapes and seas as possible! We ended up to take a gap-year in Southeast Asia, including India and Sri Lanka.

The month before our start we organized everything to be prepared for the trip. New passports, visits at doctors, medications and vaccinations and backpacking gear.

Our route through Southeast Asia

After the first countries, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, we changed plans. Instead of going to Myanmar and Laos, we went to Cambodia and Vietnam first.

In Vietnam Anni got extremely sick, so we almost decided to go back to Germany. Fortunately, she got well soon and we decided to travel directly to the Philippines.

After two amazing months in the Philippines, we went on to Indonesia.

Singapore and Malaysia were the last countries for us in Southeast Asia, as we decided to go back home to Germany on July 2019.

Traveling as a couple

Some people might wonder if we have never had doubts about traveling as a couple for such a long time.

The answer is easy: No! Not at all!

Couple sitting on a handrail with beautful landscape in the background
Us sitting on a handrail in the North of Thailand.

Before we left Germany, we have spent nearly every single day together, so this was already familiar to us. Of course, being together 24/7 for one year is still something different. But we have always been convinced, that we will get along well with each other!

Free and unlimited

It may seem like this plan has been very spontaneous and not really well thought out, but this was exactly what we wanted: to be independent and unlimited in our choices and decisions for the first time in our lives!

For example, in the beginning of our trip, we just had the departure date, the first destination in India and a hotel for the first night. But throughout the entire trip, we have always decided on the go and never planned a lot in advance.

How we financed our trip

Both of us have been working for a couple of years and therefore have saved some money. Additionally, our parents supported us in realizing our dreams and are giving us a little financial subvention while we took our gap-year.

Time vs. money!

Although we had our savings and a supporting sponsoring of our parents, it still has been the issue of time vs. money.

For us, it was clear: the cheaper we travel, the longer our journey will be! This was the biggest motivation to stay as cheap as possible and also one reason why we decided to travel to relatively cheap countries which are close to each other.

Southeast Asia is a budget-travelers paradise for a good reason!

Can traveling be cheap?

Oh yes, it can!

All in all, we have spent less money, than we initially calculated.

This was possible, because for several reasons: we ate local food, drank no alcohol and stayed mostly in cheap apartments or hotels. Additionally, we got several complimentary nights in hotels because of our Instagram account and our old blog.

Was our gap-Year a good idea?

Definitely yes.

Can traveling change your mind?

This gap-year gave us freedom which caused a lot in our heads and we guess we achieved a better state of mind.

It´s a super cliche that traveling changes mind, but we can´t deny this happened to us. In these 10 months, we were able to think and act independently to different opinions, social habits, and other people´s needs.

What are the benefits of our gap-year?

During traveling we were able to figure out our personal values. Due to these values, we made big changes and decisions, which will determine our future life for sure.

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