Nine Months in Asia

Map of Northeast Asia
Our itinerary for nine months of travel in Asia: Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Mongolia, South Korea and Japan.

We planned to go to China for our honeymoon. That was over 12 years ago. We’ve traveled in the meantime but only made our first trip to Asia in 2015. We went to Japan. Not due to a special interest in the country, but because we found a deal on flights. And because it’s an easy country for travel. No visas. No health concerns. No long bus rides.

As it turns out, Japan is one of our favorite places. On the plane ride home, we were planning our return. Next time would include a requisite visit to Tokyo. Perhaps the 88 Temple Pilgrimage. Eating more of the most satisfying cuisine in the world would be high priority.

So the impetus for this trip was not China, but rather Japan. But I’m a planner—a habit I hope to break with this long-and-impossible-to-plan trip. In my research, I learned travel to China has changed in the last decade. So now we are in possession of 10-year, multiple-entry visas with 60-day stays allowed. Our intent is extended stays in both Japan and China. We also want to break up the trip with time in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mongolia and South Korea.

Packing for Nine Months of Travel

How do you pack for nine months in Asia? Well, it turns out if you decide to rent out your home for the first time, you don’t worry about packing at all. You’re too busy discarding, moving, cleaning, and organizing everything you own. Take what’s left at the end and put it in a bag.

But this is a blog. So of course you lay it all out for photographing first. (To be honest, a good practice for insurance claims too).

Packing for Nine Months in Asia
Everything for nine months in Asia (minus the toiletries).

You consider that it will not all fit. Then stuff it in anyway.

Packed Bags for Nine Months in Asia

Two backpacks and two daypacks (one daypack is stuffed in front of one backpack) for nine months of travel. Combined pack weight: 53.4 lbs before toiletries.

In case you’re worried I packed too much, I’ve already lost the shoes. Thanks Delta. And we’re off …

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