Recap of 2013 and my goals for 2014

Tạm Biệt (in Vietnamese, means goodbye) 2013 and Sabaidee (in Laotian, means hello) 2014.

This year has been quiet good and I have experienced some amazing moments in 2013. A short recap of whats happened in 2013 and my goals for 2014.

Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala from Romancing The Planet at Trashi Chhoe Dzong in Thimphu, BhutanWhere have I been every month in 2013
January – Vietnam
February – Vietnam
March – Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, India
April – India, Nepal
May – India
June – India
July – India
August – India
September – India, Singapore
October – Malaysia, India
November – India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Myanmar
December – India

Travel statistics of 2013
Number of days on the road – 112
Countries traveled – 8
Distance traveled – 42,000+ km
Flight taken – 15
Train journeys – 4
Road journeys – 50+
Metro trains taken – 38
Ferries taken – 5
Cable car rides – 2
New beers tasted – 21
Days I felt home sick – 0
Photos taken – 12,329
Average spend per day – 45 USD (food & beverages + accommodation + entrance fees + local transport – airfare – visa charges)

Central Business District - Singapore

Central Business District – Singapore

Favorites of 2013
Country – Vietnam
City – Hong Kong, Singapore
Street – Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong
Nature Spot – Halong Bay in Vietnam
Food – Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)
Beer – Saigon Lager Beer by SABECO
Airlines – Malaysian Airlines & Air Asia
Airport – Changi International Airport, Singapore
Metro Rail – Hong Kong MTR
Hotel – Number 9, Phnom Penh

Highlights of 2013

  • New Year party in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Celebrating Tet (Lunar New Year) in Can Tho
  • Couch Surfing in Da Nang
  • Making tons of local and foreign friends at 75 Bui Vien
  • Me and only me on the empty beaches of Doc Let
  • Hue citadel and DMZ bar with locals
  • Motorbiking on the Hai Van pass
  • Boating in Tam Coc and Trang An
  • Eating bugs and silkworm in Da Lat
  • Visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi
  • Junk boat in and around Halong Bay
  • Trekking and meeting ethnic tribes in Sapa
  • 48 hour bus ride from Hanoi to Luang Prabang
  • Tubing and dirt biking in Vang Vieng
  • Cycling in Vientiane and visiting Pha That Luang
  • Bisket Jatra in Bhakpatur town of Nepal
  • Feeling spirituality in Boudhanath and Swayambhunath in Kathmandu Valley
  • Getting chased by a bear in Chitwan National Park
  • Watching three countries at a time from Singapore Flyer
  • Thrilling experiences on Sentosa Island
  • Meeting a Vietnamese friend in Singapore and having an Indian lunch
  • Wonderfull light and water show at Marina Bay Sands Shopping complex
  • Gastronomic delight in Jalan Alor
  • Free bus rides in Kuala Lumpur
  • Watching the sky and walking to Petronas Twin Tower
  • Part of Malaysia’s KFC’s TV commercial
  • Cable Car ride in Genting Highlands
  • Sleeping in KLIA’s LCC terminal overnights
  • Wandering the non-touristy streets of Kawloon
  • Ferry and tram rides on Hong Kong island
  • Big Buddha at Ngong Ping village in Lantau island
  • Faking profession as a taxi driver to get a Burmese visa
  • People watching at Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Falling in love with the romantic character of Hong Kong
  • Truck taxi and trekking the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda
  • Feeling Buddha’s soul at the Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Chewing beetle nut all day long along with the receptionist
  • Middle block 19th street experience in Yangon
  • and many more

Bucket list of 2014

In 2014, I do not want to go to many places, but rather I would want to live as an expat in a foreign country in South East Asia. Here is my bucket list for 2014 –

  • Go back to Vietnam for the Lunar New Year
  • Live for few months in Singapore or Hong Kong
  • Trek the Mount Everest base camp
  • Buddhist retreat for a month
  • Travel to Indonesia, Brunei and Philippines

Obstacles to overcome in 2014

1. Money – It’s often hard for long term travelers to make money on the go, unless you are exceptionally talented. I have no savings from the past, but I can manage to travel for two more months and then see what happens.

2. Fitness – My fitness levels have gone to the dustbin in the past few months. I have to gain my fitness back and get myself ready for Mount Everest base camp trek.

3. Convince my parents – My parents really worry that I am throwing away my life. I want to do what I love and convince them that everyone have different ambitions and goals in life.

I hope that 2013 had been an amazing year for you all and wishing you best things in 2014.

Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala

Karthik Reddy has been traveling around the world since completing his M.B.A in 2012. He is passionate about photography, trying out new food, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and explore places solo.

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