Upcoming Travel Plans

by Brenna Holeman

Brenna in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand

If you’ve read this blog for a little while, you may know that I used to travel a lot – I visited every continent but Antarctica at least once in the last four years, including long stints of backpacking around Asia and Central/South America. When I moved to London about two years ago, I didn’t really plan to slow down… and for the first year, I didn’t, not at all. Last year, despite having a job and a full-time master’s degree, I visited fourteen countries on three continents.

This year, however, was probably the slowest year of travel for me in the past decade. I don’t even really know how it happened, but with work and the final stages of the degree taking over, plus an undying love of London, I realised I had to – and wanted to – focus on a few more things in life. That doesn’t mean I didn’t go away; this year I’ve visited Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Canada, and the USA, as well as lots of fun trips around the UK.

But I was a fool to think this wanderlust wouldn’t get the better of me eventually.

I’ve been hinting at my upcoming travel plans for a while now, but now that they’re all finalised – the flights are booked, the guesthouses are arranged, and a tour is paid for – I am so excited to talk about my upcoming plans, ones that will see me through to the new year. For those confused about my latest post about living in London… London is still going to be my home base. You can’t get rid of me that easily…

Koh Lanta Beach

Koh Lanta, Thailand

First up, I’m going on short trips to both Bergamo, Italy, and Paris in October. The first has come about through Bergamo’s tourism board, while the trip to Paris is to revisit one of my favourite cities in Europe and to see some dear friends. I’m then back in London for WTM, one of the world’s largest travel trade shows. It’s always a fun time to be here, as lots of travel bloggers and travel industry people pass through… which means a lot of parties and a lot of fun (oh, and lots of business opportunities, right, that too).

And as soon as WTM is over… I’m going back to Asia! I am SO excited I can barely stand it. I can’t believe that it has been four years since I was last in Southeast Asia, and two and half years since I was on the continent (I was in the Middle East in 2013). For a chunk of November and December, I have some really amazing travel plans.


Brenna in Bangkok 3

Bangkok, Thailand

I fly on my own into Bangkok, a city I have always enjoyed. I’ll be staying in one of my favourite hostels near Khao San Road, just because I only have two days there and I may as well relive some of the craziness I experienced my first few times to the city. It’s also near my very favourite vegetarian café in the world. I even wrote a few of you postcards from that café all those years ago.

From Bangkok I fly down to Krabi, where I’ll take the ferry to Koh Lanta. I spent a beautiful week there four years ago, and I’m so happy to be returning. Even better, I’ll be there at the same time as Kate from Adventurous Kate, so I’m envisioning some fun dance parties on the beach with her. I plan to just take it easy, relaxing in the sun while still getting some work done (including some final edits on my manuscript). I also hope to do a bit of scuba diving if possible.

Koh Lanta Beach 2

On the beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand

After Koh Lanta I head to Krabi/Ao Nang, which will be a first for me. I spent so much time in Thailand in 2011 but I never made it to Railay Beach, so I’m quite excited to visit! I’ll be on my own there, but I’m sure I’ll meet some other cool travellers. It’s hard not to in Thailand.

I fly from Krabi up to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. I’ll meet up with my mum there, who will be in Cambodia on her own adventure before that. It has been my dream to see Yi Peng, the famous Thai Lantern Festival, for just about as long as I’ve known about it, and I am over the moon that our visit coincides with the festival. I’m also really excited to hang out with my friend Alana from Paper Planes while there.

Brenna in Nepal

Bhaktapur (near Kathmandu), Nepal

After Chiang Mai, my mum and I fly to Kathmandu. I can’t tell you how special this city is to me, and I am so happy I get to show my mum around for a few days there (it will be her first time). I found out about my grandmother’s passing while I was in Kathmandu, and so I am eager to see it with different eyes. I am also very eager to write about the city and to show that we as tourists should still visit and support its tourism industry – after the horrible tragedy they suffered earlier this year, it’s the least that we can do.

Nepal Guidebook

Breakfast in Kathmandu, Nepal

And then – my travel dreams are coming true. My entire life, there has been one country that has always been at the top of my list, the place I could only imagine one day visiting. It has always seemed so magical to me, so peaceful and so enchanting. I really can’t believe that I will finally be seeing it. And so after Kathmandu, my mum and I are flying to… Bhutan.

Bhutan Guidebook

We have eight days in the country, eight incredible days filled with temples and markets and mountains. I don’t even know how to write about how much this trip means to me, and I have no idea how I’ll put it into words upon my return. As there isn’t much written about Bhutan online, at least not from a blogger’s perspective, I hope to share how to make this dream a reality.

I am so excited to share these adventures with you  – I plan to take lots of photos and videos while I’m away, and I hope that I can do these beautiful places at least a bit of justice in the posts I’ll write when I get back to London.

Oh yeah, but when I get back to London, I’m headed off again… but those plans revealed another day.

Brenna in Bangkok 2

Pretty happy in Bangkok, Thailand

Have you been to any of the places I’ll be visiting this autumn: Bangkok, Koh Lanta, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Kathmandu, or Bhutan? I’d love to hear any tips you have!

You may also like


Béatrice October 2, 2015 - 1:52 am

I loved Krabi! Go rock climbing!???? your travels sound amazing. ????

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:53 pm

Thank you so much!

Steve October 2, 2015 - 3:34 am

I like reading your blog and Facebook. Interesting to read about your next adventure, I know the feeling when ur stuck with work or something and you feel you’re not a traveler any more

I’m off to Nepal and India for December still planning it all.

I was in Thailand Cambodia, Viet nam etc last summer it’s delightful, when in Bangkok visit the Jim Thompson house, and come back at night for dinner. Bkk is great for boats, when ur tired of walking just take a trip down the river or around the klongs, I loved it,


Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:54 pm

Yes, I loved taking the boats in Bangkok! Have an amazing time in Nepal and India…

Siobhan October 2, 2015 - 4:24 am

Those plans all sound incredible – I’m more than a little envious!! It will be so interesting to read about your time in Bhutan – I’ve had a guidebook on my shelf for as long as I can remember (over a decade…) but have never made it happen. Have amazing trips!

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:54 pm

Thank you so much! I will hopefully be writing about Bhutan a lot…

Kristina October 3, 2015 - 4:54 pm

Yes please do- in nauseating detail! It has been near the top of my bucket list along with Myanmar and Nepal for decades and I’m not even sure why I haven’t made it there yet…looking fwd to hearing about Nepal and Bhutan – will live vicariously thru u for a bit till I make it.
Safe and fun travels B

Katie October 2, 2015 - 6:10 am

Wow Bhutan will be amazing!! I would love to go there but the $200+ per day you have to pay for a guide has put me off so far although I will definitely visit at some point

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:53 pm

The $200 covers the guide, yes, but it also covers your visa, transportation, food, and accommodation. When you think about it that way, it’s not that much more than travelling through some European countries (or even Canada or America) and staying in hotels!

Isabel October 2, 2015 - 7:02 am

Brenna!! This is so exciting…I am so happy for you and know it will be truly amazing. You wrote in a postcard to me that Bhutan was at the top of your list so I’m really happy you’re making that dream a reality. Fun fact (you may already know this): 60% of the country is forest, and has to remain forested by law! So I imagine you will see a lot of natural beauty.

Isabel xx

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:51 pm

Yes, I’m so excited for all of that nature! I have been reading a lot about it and it really sounds like heaven. Thank you so much for your support! 🙂

Michelle Schroeder October 2, 2015 - 7:48 am

I’ve never been to any of these places. Sounds amazing!

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:50 pm

Thanks, Michelle!

Elena October 2, 2015 - 9:27 am

Every continent? Antarctica too?

great plans! Will be in Oceania the whole Winter, then Asia.. maybe our paths will cross : )

Brenna Holeman October 2, 2015 - 8:13 pm

Whoops – no, I don’t know why I wrote that! I have been to every continent except Antarctica at least once in the past four years, I’ve amended the post. Thanks! Your trip sounds amazing…

Elena October 2, 2015 - 9:34 am

ps – Say hi to Kate .. she’s a cool chick )

Emy October 2, 2015 - 9:41 am

Oh my god Bhutan!! It’s been on the top of my list forever and I’m dying to visit, I’m so excited for you and cannot wait to read about your time there! really!
and if you have some free time in Paris and would care for a tea or a little walk, I’d love to meet you!
Meeting Kerri was so lovely, I’m thinking it would be just as lovely with you! 🙂
so happy that you’re having all these travel plans, that sounds marvellous!

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:49 pm

Aw, that would be so great! I’ll definitely let you know if I can make the trip work, I’ve already looked into the train and places to stay. I just have to make sure that I have enough money for all of it! It would be so lovely to meet you. 🙂

Leah October 2, 2015 - 10:28 am

How exciting Brenna! Bhutan seems so mystical and untouched. How amazing to be able to discover somewhere so exciting, and with your mum too!

Also, as I have grown older I tend to find so much satisfaction in revisiting countries. I used to want to tick off as many countries as possible, but I think revisiting somewhere can be so rewarding.Thailand and Nepal will be amazing.

On another note, I am doing a tour of Morocco at the end of the month for 2 weeks. I love your “what to wear” posts. If you’re thinking of doing one soon, I would love to read one about Morocco! 😀

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:48 pm

Yes, I agree with you about revisiting countries… I’m so excited to be back in both Thailand and Nepal.

Ooo… I have been thinking of doing one on Morocco… let’s see if I can get it together in the next couple of weeks!

Leah October 4, 2015 - 9:44 pm

That would be amazing, thanks!

Roma October 2, 2015 - 10:33 am

Love the enthusiasm in your writing Brenna. It made me smile and brightened my day. Looking forward to hearing from you on the road. 🙂

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:47 pm

Thank you so much, Roma! 🙂

Anca | Globaloud October 2, 2015 - 12:03 pm

This post was an eye opener. I actually forgot Bhutan exists. I can’t wait to read your posts about it, as it seems like a very magical place to be from a few photos I saw on the internet.

Also, while staying in Krabi, you should consider visiting Koh Kradan. It’s my favorite Thai island. You can read a bit about it in my recent posts.

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:47 pm

That’s awesome, thank you for the tip Anca!

Alanna October 2, 2015 - 3:30 pm

This all sounds amazing! Sadly, I have been to none of these places, but planning some serious time in SE Asia next year after a stint in NZ and Australia (also, first times!).

I will certainly check out your blog for advice on things to do out there!

Happy travels 🙂

Alanna x

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:47 pm

That’s great, thanks Alanna! I’ll try to write more about Thailand on this blog…

Jacquie October 2, 2015 - 6:03 pm

YAY! Your plans so so exciting and awesome, especially since you get to see your Mama!! I REALLY want to go to Nepal now after watching Everest. Actually there’s this British show called Scrotal Recall and one of the guys has it on his to-do list to “Climb NEAR Everest” which I thought was hilarious, and is now a goal of my own. He says he wants to wander around nearby and see what the fuss is about, but not actually climb it because people die doing that. Check out that show on Netflix if you get a chance 🙂

I know what you mean about hardly being able to stand the excitement! My trip is in 5 sleeps so people keep asking if I’m excited, and obviously I am but if I start thinking too much about hiking in Seoul, Korean fried chicken, Tokyo Disney, all the ramen I can eat, and seeing one of my very best friends, I just can’t even function because I’m too psyched – and I still have a few days of work to finish up 😛

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:46 pm

Yes, I have no intention of ever climbing Everest! I doubt I’ll ever even do Base Camp, though who knows. I flew over it in 2011 and that was enough for me!

I’m sure you’re going to have an amazing time… I still dream of the ramen in Japan!

Lara October 2, 2015 - 7:47 pm

I have been to Bergamo and I loved my time there…enjoy your travels

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:45 pm

Oh nice – I’m excited to be there!

Ashley October 2, 2015 - 8:11 pm

Ahh these are such exciting travel plans, Brenna! Bhutan is one of my dream destinations as well, so I can’t wait to read about your experience! I’ve also been dying to go to Yi Peng – every photo I’ve seen looks so incredible, so I can only imagine what it would be like in person! And Railay is one of the most stunningly beautiful beaches Ive ever seen – I’m sure you’ll love it 🙂

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:45 pm

Thank you so much, Ashley! I plan on taking lots and lots of photos. 🙂

Christine October 2, 2015 - 9:20 pm

Incredible! Bhutan is on my list! I’ve been reading about it and it’s a very fascinating country.

Brenna Holeman October 3, 2015 - 12:44 pm

It is indeed! I can’t wait to be there.

Paige October 4, 2015 - 2:25 am

So excited for you! And especially excited to hear about Bhutan! Am also looking forward to hearing about the places you will be re-visiting. I always find it fascinating to return to places and like, reflect and re-experience!

Helen October 4, 2015 - 9:30 am

So excited for you!!! Can’t wait to properly catch up and hear all about them! 🙂 xx

veena October 5, 2015 - 8:29 am

Totally agree on the importance of supporting Nepal while they rebuild from the earthquake. It’s such a wonderful country, and I would love to return and spend some more time there soon. And I am super jealous that you are visiting Bhutan! Can’t wait to see photos and read your stories! xx

Brenna Holeman October 5, 2015 - 3:32 pm

Thank you so much, Veena! I’ll be talking to a local business in Kathmandu for an article on how they’re doing after the earthquake, so looking forward to sharing their stories.

Katie @ Domestiphobia October 6, 2015 - 1:24 pm

Sounds like some amazing plans! I met Kate at the Women in Travel Summit in Boston earlier this year — she’s great! I’m sure you will have a blast.

Brenna Holeman October 6, 2015 - 5:46 pm

Yeah, she’s super cool! And thanks for the well wishes 🙂

Steph October 7, 2015 - 12:09 pm

I spent a few days in Krabi – it was a paradise. I’m going to Beijing for work next week and will be able to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing hopefully. And I’m so looking forward to my week-long trip in Cambodia!

Brenna Holeman October 7, 2015 - 1:04 pm

Oh great, that trip sounds amazing! And glad to hear you loved Krabi…

Ella October 8, 2015 - 1:51 am

I have such amazing memories of travelling SE Asia with you. This post tugged at my heart. I’m thrilled for you but desperately wishing I could be by your side!! xx

Brenna Holeman October 8, 2015 - 1:55 am

I wish that, too! It just won’t be the same without you. xx

De'Jav Speller October 8, 2015 - 2:39 am

I’m so jealous of your trip. Definitely understand how work and life can slow down the travel and how we will still have the bug ingrained in us.

Brenna Holeman October 8, 2015 - 9:38 am

Yes, I don’t think that that wanderlust bug ever really goes away!

Kelsey October 11, 2015 - 5:12 am

I am really interested in going to Thailand, as is one of my cousins (separately at the moment, but we’ll see if that changes). My aunt has a coworker from Thailand who told her to discourage my cousin from going because she would be kidnapped and raped in Bangkok. Your posts demonstrate otherwise, and I’m quite doubtful of this happening, but it does make me wonder just how safe Bangkok is. I know of the basic female safety tips (trust your intuition being huge), but is there any scams that people should be aware of?

As well, can and do people tent in Thailand, or is it cheap enough that you may as well get a hostel?

Wishing you all the best on your travels. I cannot wait to see all the wonderful things you post.

Brenna Holeman October 11, 2015 - 12:52 pm

Having been to Thailand many times – I think I’ve stayed in Bangkok four times already – I can assure you that it is quite safe for tourists, even solo females. I have never heard of anyone I know being assaulted or hurt while in Thailand, though a few friends have had things stolen off of night buses (when they’ve fallen asleep and/or not been as careful with their belongings). The other scams I can think of are taxis or tuk-tuks who overcharge tourists, but that can be avoided if you arrange a ride through your hotel, airport, etc. Other than that, I would say use the same basic safety tips as you would in any major city… I certainly feel much safer in Thailand than I do in parts of large North American cities, for example.

As for camping, I don’t know anyone who has camped in Thailand, as yes, hostels are extremely cheap. You can even get fairly nice cabanas and guesthouses for a reasonable price when on the beach.

Thailand is one of my favourite countries and I know that many, many other travellers love it, too. There are literally thousands of travel blogs that cover the country, and you’ll note that almost all of them say that Thailand is a safe, beautiful, friendly, and fun country. I hope that you’ll get to visit soon, and that you won’t let naysayers stop you from going.

Zalie October 22, 2015 - 1:12 am

I am so happy for you that you are getting that chance to return to your beloved Asia as well as visit your dream country. You and mom are going to have such a wonderful time together…I hope that we can have a trip of our own soon too 🙂

Brenna Holeman October 22, 2015 - 6:31 pm

Thank you so much, Zalie! I hope so, too… let’s start planning something amazing for 2016. 🙂 xo

Zalie October 24, 2015 - 10:37 pm


Jessica October 30, 2015 - 2:53 pm

I’ve just left Nepal after a month of trekking and chilling in Kathmandu. It’s utterly stunning, as you know, and you’re going to have the best time!!!
Extremely jealous of your trip to Bhutan! It’s high on my list also, but I just couldn’t quite afford it this time around. I’ll just have to live vicariously through your posts until I get there myself. Enjoy!

My 2016 Travel Goals - This Battered Suitcase November 3, 2015 - 10:13 pm

[…] and am happy to have at least a couple more years of exploring England’s capital. I also have an upcoming trip to Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan, and a Christmas in Canada, so it’s not like I can complain, not even for a […]

Finding Paradise on Koh Lanta - This Battered Suitcase November 23, 2015 - 12:05 pm

[…] I started to plan the trip with my mum to see Chiang Mai, Nepal, and Bhutan (I’m currently in Chiang Mai), I knew that I wanted a solid week on the beach before meeting […]


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.