After I finally was able to move to Texas thanks to my K1 visa, Simon and I decided to go on a weekend away from Austin to escape from all the paperwork still ahead of us and reconnect with our love of discovering new places.
We knew Japan would be expensive so we initially had a budget of $95 per day. We quickly decided that we didn’t want our trip to be entirely dictated by a budget so we kept it loose, without going crazy either. We were able to more or less stick to it, spending close to $110 per day (or $55 per person). We were surprised to notice that we spent almost the same as in Hawaii, where we flew from, but without restricting ourselves as much.
Since we’re travelling as a couple, the averages described below are for two people per day and are actually rounded up.
During our long-term journey last year, Thailand was one of the destinations that we were looking forward to the most. After Hawaii, Japan, Hong Kong and Vietnam, we spent an entire month there in July and August, which is the rainy season. We never experienced really bad weather and were always able to do what we wanted.
We stayed in cities but we chose to spend most of our time in the Thai islands, which was still a great mix and allowed us to discover the culture of the country.
After living in France and travelling through Asia together, the new chapter of our lives includes marriage and settling in Texas but first, long visa procedures… We had been engaged for over 2 years and we were planning on getting married in Texas so we decided that I should get a K1 or fiance visa. Although it leads to a green card application, the K1 visa is considered a non-immigrant visa and allows you to get married within 90 days after entering the US.
Kyoto was the first city that we visited in Japan and it became our favourite too. We were lucky enough to arrive just before the end of the cherry blossom season which gives the town some magical tone. We were also especially struck by how kind people were with us. It happened more than once that locals came to help us when we were lost (in public transportation among others!) although they didn’t speak a word of English.
Japan is famous for Buddhism and tofu but it’s definitely not the best destination for vegetarians. When we arrived in the country, I very quickly felt frustrated that I was missing out on Japanese specialties. It happened several times that my lunch ended up being a slice of cake because that was the only thing without meat on the menu and I might surprise you but even I, sometimes, need more than sweets!
Ever since the moment we met in Paris five years ago, Simon and I travelled quite a lot. When we were leaving apart in different countries, we would visit each other, we went on holidays together and more recently, we spent six months backpacking through Asia. Even though you don’t pack the same way for a week of holidays or a long-term backpacking trip, we have developed some habits and there are a few things that we can’t travel without anymore.