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Travel-Stained Monthly Recap: August 2015

I have a confession. I’m always behind on this blog. The truth is that I’m an incredibly slow writer, and it takes me a really long time to put together a single post. As a consequence, often, the things I write about are not very timely. They’ve happened months or even years ago.

And it’s a real shame. Because there are so many things I’d like to share with you, that simply just get missed. Because, you know. I’m always behind.

graphic

Sooo, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to write monthly recap posts. I’ve been wanting to do them for quite awhile now, but somehow, each month seems to get away from me without a single word being written. At this moment, I’m even having trouble comprehending that it’s already September, and that 2015 is just a few months from being over. Time really seems to be accelerating! Does it feel that way for you too?

In any case, here’s the first of what I hope will be a continuing series of monthly recaps (Fingers crossed).

AUGUST TRAVEL
August is usually when we take off for a few weeks, and this year was no exception. We started off the month fulfilling one of our biggest travel wishes, by visiting the Maldives for our babymoon. Originally, we’d planned to travel to and stay on a few different islands, but the thought of long speedboat or ferry rides, while 6 months pregnant, ultimately deterred us, and we ended up parking ourselves on the local island of Maafushi, for 12 intoxicating days.

I didn’t think it was possible to get tired of the beach, especially when it’s as stunning as the one we were on, but by the end, I was definitely suffering from a bit of beach fatigue, and ready to move onto a destination with a little more action.

 
We got that and more at our next stops in Bangkok, Thailand and Melaka, Malaysia. After one week of visiting friends, getting massages, and basically just eating our way through both cities, this pregnant girl, was fully cooked and ready to head for home.

It wasn’t our last trip of the month however, because we couldn’t resist the beach 1 last time. Last weekend, we headed out to Korea’s East Coast to explore Naksan and Anmok beaches and bid the summer adieu.

Gorgeous Anmok Beach on Korea's East Coast

Gorgeous Anmok Beach on Korea’s East Coast

EXPAT LIFE
Though we were only in Seoul for a few weeks of the month, it seems like a lot of big stuff happened.

After years of relying on public transit, taxis and Agri’s scooter to get us around (I’d even let my drivers license expire!), we finally caved and bought a car. With a baby on the way, it seemed like the right time to make the investment. It arrived a few days after we returned from our babymoon, and since then we’ve been busy trying to decipher our owner’s manual (which is all in Korean) and navigating Seoul’s streets.

Brand new wheels

Brand new wheels

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you probably already know that we like to eat, and that food is a big, big part of our travels. Well, this month, when our friend Louis met and made friends with the restaurant’s pastry chef, we unexpectedly had the opportunity to eat a meal at Pierre Gagnaire ร  Sรฉoul. The best part? We got a serious discount, met the 3 Michelin starred Chef himself, and scored extra desserts. Five of them to be exact! Talk about food coma.

AUGUST ON THE BLOG
We hit a major milestone on the blog this month, by reaching 1,000 followers! I’m still slightly amazed when anyone likes our blog enough to click “FOLLOW,” so seeing those numbers cross from 3 to 4 digits one day was a truly lovely surprise.

We truly appreciate all of you that take time out of your day, to read, comment and connect with us. For us, it’s really one of the most rewarding aspects of this whole blogging thing. So, thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€


 
I still haven’t mastered the skill of blogging properly while on the road, so this month was a little light in the blog posting department. We still managed to get a few up about our time in Kuala Lumpur and the Maldives, as well as 1 about the Take 6 Trips in Korea Challenge, we started at the beginning of the year. There was even a post written by my better half – definitely a rare occurrence! ๐Ÿ™‚

Frogs and More: Kuala Lumpur’s Famous Food Street, Jalan Alor
One Lump or Two: High Tea at Kuala Lumpurโ€™s Majestic Hotel
A Magical Maldives Sunset: A Good Day (and Night)
#Take6Trips in Korea Challenge: Jeongdongjin Beach

MOST POPULAR POST
Despite spring being many, many months away, our 2015 blog about Where to See the Cherry Blossoms in Korea, was the most viewed post by far. Pretty surprising, but I guess people are already planning their springtime vacations to see these magical pink blooms.

graphic

INSTAGRAM
When we’re on the road, we do a whole lot more posting on Instagram than usual, and August was no exception. I have kind of a love-hate relationship with IG, but in the Maldives, taking pictures to upload was a real pleasure. Here’s a few of my favourites:

 

 
The most popular pic of the month was from a day trip we took to one of the 5 star resort islands in the Maldives.

An #allinclusive day trip to a #vadoo #resort island was kinda a bust. Not too much value there, with all-inclusive drinks not even including 1 tropical choice or coffee or tea. Lunch was ok and maybe the whole experience woulda been much better if we hasn't been rained out half the day and the resort had a back-up plan. They didn't. ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜• Waste of money imho and much better #value to be found on #local #Maldives islands like #Maafushi. Will have a blog post about #tourism in the Maldives soon. ๐Ÿ˜Š #travel #travelblog #travelblogger #travelgram #traveltheworld #igdaily #instamood #instabeauty #instatravel #instapassport #wanderlust #travilin #asia #luxurytravel #explore #globetrotter #greatesttravels #holiday

A post shared by Shelley and Naia (@travelstained) on

 
COMING UP IN SEPTEMBER
This week, I’ll officially be 30 weeks pregnant. I can’t believe that in just 10 short weeks, we’ll be welcoming our little girl into the world. It’s definitely time to stay at home, relax and start preparing for the huge change that’s about to hit us. Speaking of which, if any of you have stroller or car seat recommendations, I’m all ears. (I’m dead serious – let me know in the comments pretty please.)

And while we don’t have any travels planned for the month, we do have a lot of visitors coming to Seoul in September, so we’ll be playing tour guide and showing off the best of our city.

Probably one of the best sunsets I've ever seen in Seoul

Probably one of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen in Seoul

The absolute beauty of the Maldives is undeniable, and coming up on the blog this month, we’ll have posts about our tropical babymoon, including a “Breakdown” of costs, travel tips, and exactly how we did our trip.

Something I found incredibly interesting about the Maldives, was the transition the country seems to be going through, tourism-wise. With local islands able to host tourists since 2009, semi-budget travel is now possible, and it seemed to me, that the resort islands might be feeling the pinch. This month, I’ll have a post comparing both experiences, and you can decide for yourself.

I also hope to get down more recollections from the RTW trip we did in 2012, with continuing travelogues about our safari in the Serengeti and travel around Tanzania.

And finally this month, in the Korea department, I’ll have posts about our completely gluttonous 5 star dining experience at Pierre Gagnaire ร  Sรฉoul, as well as one about what it’s like to be a “high-risk” pregnancy, in a country where you only kind of speak the language, during an infectious disease (MERS) outbreak, where your hospital is shut down and quarantined. Boy, that was fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What did you get up to in August? Big plans for September? Is there anything you’re curious about? Ask away! We’d love to hear from you!

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32 Comments Post a comment
  1. I understand how you feel. It takes me forever to write too and totally behind.

    September 4, 2015
    • It’s a never-ending battle. I currently have 95 drafts on my computer, and of course, life goes on and more ideas magically appear! It’s better than having nothing to write about, I guess… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      September 5, 2015
  2. So much travels within a month! I’m jealous. ๐Ÿ™‚

    September 4, 2015
    • Haha, we snuck in as much as we could, since there won’t be too much traveling in the near foreseeable future, I think. ๐Ÿ™‚

      September 5, 2015
  3. Sounds fantastic ๐Ÿ™‚ I am jealous of the tropical vacations. Back home in Canada now and readjusting to life here. We miss the travel and more social aspects of life as an expat. That is the hardest part so far of coming home.

    September 5, 2015
    • Have you experienced any feeling of reverse culture shock? I know that every time we’re back in Canada, everything feels so slow, inefficient and kind of boring, though the space and peace is definitely appreciated.

      September 5, 2015
      • Yes I feel the changes for sure. It is hard to explain, but almost feels like a sense of loss. We miss friends, the differences and the more social aspect of life abroad. We have changed and things here are the same… not that it is bad, but different. Now that we are home for good people haven’t made time for us the same way they did when we were home a few weeks. We understand people are busy, but again feels less social. Coming home was the right choice after 5 years away. My health was suffering, but I feel I need that adventure and greatly miss the friendships and connections I made. To combat the changes I decided to come out west while I wait on my job (hiring was put on hold a few months and they asked if I could wait, which I luckily can). I needed to get away from home while I settle back in to Canada and still have opportunity for a little adventure.

        September 6, 2015
        • If your health was suffering, it’s definitely the right choice to take a little breather to recover! But I agree that living abroad really does change you, especially when it’s in Asia, because things move so fast here. It can really feel like nothing is happening in Canada! So, you’re hanging out in the west for awhile? Such a beautiful part of the country… ๐Ÿ™‚

          September 6, 2015
          • Yes it is beautiful here. I have only had a few short visits to Calgary before, so to spend more time is nice. We have been able to hike the trails in Lake Louise every weekend. The scenery, pine scented air and exercise has all done well for me. All the work, pollution etc took its toll, so it is nice to unwind a little.
            How much longer for you until the little one arrives?

            September 7, 2015
            • Our due date is some time in mid-November, so coming up fast! Honestly cannot believe how fast 30 weeks have gone by, and now starting to panic a bit about everything we need to get done before she arrives!!

              September 7, 2015
  4. Love the recap! Luckily I rarely have wiring troubles but it’s different when traveling. Here in China I just have too much todo so I don’t find any time so far to even think what I should post next…

    September 5, 2015
    • Lol, you are the same as my husband. He can tap out a full post, within 10 minutes (then, of course, it takes me hours to edit it and put in photos!). It’s really amazing to me, because it literally takes me days to write something. In China now, eh? Did you manage to convince the wife to take a trip somewhere? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      September 5, 2015
      • Well, we won’t be going outside of China and currently I have no clue whether we even visit anything outside the city ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        September 5, 2015
        • Oh no! So no Bali or Jeju or anywhere? I feel for you…but at least the air should be somewhat better in China this time of year. ๐Ÿ™‚

          September 6, 2015
          • No Bali no nothing ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
            But yes, at least the air isn’t that bad at the moment and I see actually blue sky most of the days ๐Ÿ™‚

            September 7, 2015
  5. Hi! I just across your blog an hour ago to read Korea’s Cherry Blossom Festival and then booked a ticket right away for April next year. Thank you so much for your post. I will surely come back for more reads.

    I & friends were in Ho Chi Minh & Pnom Penh this month of August and not a thing yet is shared in my blog. I am not yet even done with my birthday travel tales for the July. I am just praying I am going to post them one at a time before next year comes. lol!

    Cheers to your upcoming baby. Wishing you a safe delivery.

    September 6, 2015
    • Hi Lene, I’m glad that the Cherry Blossom post was helpful to you! They really are a thing of beauty, and I look forward to them every single year. Is it your first trip to Seoul? I hope you have a wonderful time here. I totally commiserate with you about delayed posting problems. Lol. Hopefully we will both catch up one day…. :p

      September 6, 2015
  6. Babymoon….wow, it’s an awesome feeling. We headed to Rajasthan, India when I was approx 3 months preggers. Life changes so much I must say
    …All the very best…And yeah beautiful pics u got there

    September 9, 2015
    • Rajasthan for your babymoon must’ve been fantastic! We spent about a month traveling through there in 2012, and it was so beautiful. We especially liked Jaisalmer and Udaipur…def hope to get back one day. Maybe with baby!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      September 10, 2015
      • Ohh really, that’s awesome. Yes we too loved Jaisalmer and Udaipur……particularly desert safari in Jaisalmer so much that I dedicated entire post only to Desert Safari ๐Ÿ™‚

        September 11, 2015
  7. Looks like a fantastic month and now it’s definitely time to relax a little before baby arrives ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy the next few weeks!

    September 9, 2015
    • It WAS pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself, but definitely ready to relax now. I was getting pretty tired by the end there. And now, I’m totally feeling that nesting instinct. It’s really time to prepare AND get lots of sleep before she arrives! :p

      September 10, 2015
  8. Thank you so much for liking my post about Korea’s Beautiful Countrysides! It is a remarkable country and I miss it terribly!
    …and don’t worry about posting things years after they’ve happened…it’s taken me 11 years to post about my time in Korea but I’m still getting a good response from my readership!

    September 10, 2015
    • Hi Stacey! Wow…11 years. Lol, okay now I don’t feel so bad. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your photos are gorgeous…and it’s so nice to see some that are shot on film. They really look different than smartphone photos. Do you ever plan on coming back to Korea for a visit? I think you’d be shocked by how much it has changed!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      September 11, 2015
  9. Sha #

    Awesome idea to do recaps, yours look way more exciting and colorful than my August..haha…:)

    September 19, 2015
    • Lol, I just hope I can keep it up! I’m already getting freaked out cuz the end of September is quickly approaching and I have to write the next recap. :p August was pretty amazing, if I do say so myself…but definitely not a typical month for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

      September 20, 2015
      • Sha #

        Haha, it’s OK..I always tell myself it’s OK if I had missed a week of posting or a few weeks as long as I keep at it..it means we have not given up yet! Haha..๐Ÿ˜† and I might just borrow this post idea for my blog too… if I ever get time to do up one, haha..๐Ÿ˜†

        September 23, 2015
        • Yes! as long as we continue to post, no matter how long in between, we have not given up! ๐Ÿ˜€ Please borrow the post idea. I did. Lol. I think it’s a good place to write about stuff that doesn’t necessarily warrant an entire post…

          September 23, 2015
          • Sha #

            Gonna give it a try soon, hopefully it works out for me…haha…:)

            September 28, 2015

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  1. Travel-Stained Monthly Recap: September 2015 | Travel-Stained
  2. Goodbye September, HELLO October! | Lifetomyfullest

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