August 2, 2020

Working on Plan B

Our travel plans started out like this – sell everything, buy a one way cruise ship ticket to Australia and travel around overseas from country to country for the next several years. Well that strategy work great until Spring 2020. That’s when the pandemic hit and countries around the world went into lockdown. We could have gotten on a flight and went home to the US but that was just not in our plans. 

Our initial plan this June was to take the train from Hanoi, Vietnam up through China and Mongolia then get on the Trans-Siberian train across Russia into Moscow. We figured it would take us all summer and by late fall we would start heading south again back into Burma or India. We talked about what country we may be spending Christmas in this year so we could make reservations early enough to guarantee us a choice place. Who would have imagined in a million years that a virus out of China would halt travel around the world. We never thought we would have to come up with a Plan B on the spur of a moment. Here we are living in Vientaine, Laos.  We have had many people ask us are you tired of living here or what are your next plans? The simply answer is depends.

Do we like living in Laos – depends on what you consider living. Living in Vientiane is just like living anywhere. You do your weekly shopping ๐Ÿ›’ you go out to dinner ๐Ÿฅ˜ or visit friends ๐Ÿ‘ซ. Maybe go to a movie at the mall or the park for a picnic just like at home. Only difference is your in another country. You still do basically the same stuff more or less. They have golf coursesand ranges if you like to golf. Maybe go watch the local kids play soccer  or have a pizza ๐Ÿ• or tacos ๐ŸŒฎ at one of the many establishments here in town. You can visit the local brewery to see what’s new on tap ๐Ÿบ  Now I’m not saying you can find everything just like in the US. Yes, there are a lot of things just like home but not like home that’s what makes it fun. Like they say here in Asia “Same Same, but Different” ๐Ÿ˜„ As with every country in the world, you make what you want it to be. Since we have been here now for 5 months we have made this our “home”. Everyday we discover new things about the city in which we live. We can still travel around the country too. So far we have been to Vang Vieng and heading to Luang Prabang in the north next week. We have also heard that Pakse in the south is a great place to visit too. 

Party with Lao friends
Night out on the town
Our local fresh market

So many things to choose from!

Just some snacks ๐Ÿ˜‹


Do we want to leave Laos – depends on where else we can go. Every week we watch the news about COVID-19 upsurges in various countries. We want to stay in SE Asia right now if possible. Initial we thought we would go back to Thailand for a few months. But every time we think they will open the country it gets extended another month. Just a few days ago we found out there borders will remain closed another 8 weeks until September 26th. So for now Thailand is just not in the plans. We also thought about going to Cambodia once we left here since that was our original plan. Then we found out that the Cambodian government will let you enter but is requiring that you pay a $3000 US deposit each upfront to cover hospitalization in case you get COVID-19 while there. Nowhere does it say how you get your 3K back if you never get sick and knowing many of these countries you won’t. So we say Cambodia is a no go. That leaves us with the option of Vietnam. They seem to be following the lead of Thailand. They have recently have an increase in COVID cases in the city of Da Nang due to migrant workers returning. We are sure they will lockdown the country again but it has not yet been announced. We also think now about what if we left Laos and went to Vietnam and then got stuck in the middle of a resurgence. We would be there in quarantine without our current support system we have here and would have to start from scratch again.

So we think living our life here is not so bad. It’s a much slower pace and has given us time to think of contingent plans for the future. One of these days we will be able travel again somewhat like before. Until then we are still working on Plan B. 
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