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Pre-Wedding Bucketlist and 2016 Travel Plans

By Kach Umandap January 7th, 2016 Posted in Inspiration and Love Stories, Travel Blog 9 Comments

After 2 years of travelling the world together, Jonathan and I will be getting married this year!

In 2015 we had the ambitious goal of building and growing Two Monkeys Travel from scratch and we made it! We traveled to 13 different countries on this side of the world and even attended a few press trips, so it was amazing year! Now we know that we can set our goals just as high in 2016.

We initially planned to travel around Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Suriname and Guyana during this last 6 months living in Bogota, maybe even to have our massage business running again, but we decided to experience different things after staying for more than a year in Latin America! After our wedding, Jonathan and I are planning to organize tours and retreats to couples who have wanderlust! So this year is our preparation year!

While we know that we will probably continue to travel after marriage, and to some extent, for the rest of our lives, we also know that getting married is another small step in the direction of putting down some roots and thinking more seriously about the long term future – finding somewhere to live, building a home, getting some dogs, and dare I say it…children?! Oh yes, Jonathan wants a boat too! So although we know that none of these things will prevent us from travelling altogether, our lives will change, our priorities will change, and as a consequence, the way we travel will change as well. That’s what makes life so exciting isn’t it, constant change? Because of this, we have given ourselves almost exactly one year to complete what we’re calling ‘The Two Monkeys Travel Pre-Wedding Bucketlist!’ Our bucket list is built around our ideal travel style, which is a blend between adventure, exploration, culture and luxury.

Tell us what should be on the Pre-Wedding Bucket List.

We have a list to start with and some countries we definitely want to visit, but we would like to reach out to the world for suggestions – What do you think we absolutely must do before we get married in December 2016?

If you have a dream trip or amazing experience you’d like to share with us, or you have a company that you believe offers something unique and special, then leave your suggestions in the comments, email us, and contact us at the Two Monkeys Travel Facebook Page!

Below are our travel plans so far for 2016! Some of them have already been arranged and some are still in the planning stages. To be honest, my ultimate dream is still to go to ANTARCTICA, which sadly we weren’t able to fulfill it in 2015, but I know I will be able to do it, maybe this year or after our wedding because Antarctica cruises only run from November to March.

We’re not sure if we’ll be able to do all of this within a year but it’s good to DREAM BIG, right? After all, that’s how we got to where we are in the first place! We have a goal and we plan to make it happen.

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxSOLO TRIP on the East Coast of USA – January 8 to 23 (DONE)

I will be starting the year with a SOLO journey to the East Coast of USA for 15 days. I will be attending the New York Times Travel Show and will then travel to Atlantic City. After that, I will be traveling again by bus to Baltimore, Maryland to meet my Aunt and she said she will be showing me around the area and Washington, DC. Extra side trip was when I visited my godmother in Philadelphia!

Pre-Wedding Bucket List goals – To visit the Big Apple – New York and rediscover solo travel

Articles Update:

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SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxFlorida KEYS – January 24 to January 29 (DONE!)

Two Monkeys Travel - 2016 travel plans 1 2016 Travel Plans – Photo – Max and Dee Bernt

We did an incredible press trip in Florida Keys and published these articles below! Will be updating it!

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxIstanbul, Turkey – February 2 to 8 (DONE)

We will be part of the Speakers Panel for the World Tourism Forum and we’re so happy to be invited to talk about blogging! It’s going to be my 3rd time in Istanbul and Turkey will always hold a special place for us, as it’s where we achieved one of our biggest bucket list items last year – A hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia!

Pre-Wedding Bucket List goals – To be guest speakers in our area

Two Monkeys Travel - Istanbul 152016 Travel Plans – Photo – Two Monkeys Travel

UPDATE: The event was successful, we met amazing travel bloggers and also two of our travel writers! Below are some of the articles we published for the trip!


SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxSkiing in Georgia – February 8 to 16 (DONE!)

We have always wanted to visit Georgia (the country), so since it’s just a short flight away from Istanbul (and it’s cheap), Jonathan and I have decided that this is the year to go skiing! Yes, they have famous slopes and it will be my chance to tick skiing off of my bucket list!

Pre-Wedding Bucket List goals – Travel to Georgia – Learn to Ski for me!

UPDATE: We went skiing in Gudauri, Georgia and of course went around Tbilisi! We also did a quick side trip to Baku, Azerbaijan! Articles to follow!

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2016 Travel Plans – Photo – Ronan Shenhav

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxDesert Camping and Safari in Western Sahara, Morocco – February 16 to 27 (Currently!)

As Jonathan and I are heading to Istanbul, which is much closer to North Africa than we ever usually get, we have decided to fly to Morocco! We have always wanted to camp under the stars in the desert, camel trekking for several days and it’s Jonathan’s dream to ride a BMW Motorbike through the desert. One day, he plans to race in the Dakar Rally!

February 22 Update: We’re currently on an amazing 10-day trip with MuchMorocco!

Pre-Wedding Bucket List goals – Desert Camping – Desert Camel Safari – Desert Motorbike Adventure

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2016 Travel Plans

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxVisit Israel – February 28 to March 7 (Confirmed!)

Our trip to Israel is already confirmed after we received an invitation from PUZZLE ISRAEL together with 6 other Travel bloggers to travel around this beautiful country. We don’t yet know exactly what our itinerary will include, but this is a country we have both wanted to visit for a long time. What we do know is that the trip will focus on areas and activities usually not seen by tourists in Israel, so we’re really excited!

As a Filipino, I can get a FREE visa up to 90 days in the country!

Pre-Wedding Bucket List goals – Mountain biking in the Negev – Campfire cooking – Visit the Gaza Border – Visit Jerusalem and the City of David – Horse Riding – 4 x 4 Adventure – Explore Tel Aviv

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2016 Travel Plans – Photo – amira_a

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxCaribbean Cruise for our Pre-Nuptial Pictorial – Anytime between APRIL (Confirmed – April 10 to 17)

I have been on a cruise before, but Jonathan never has and I’ve wanted to go on a cruise together for a long time. This year, we plan to take an Eastern Caribbean cruise in March or April – between our Mexico and Central America Motorbike Trip – to have a pre-nuptial pictorial, which is very important in Filipino culture!

We haven’t announced this fully yet, but our family already know that Jonathan and I have finally decided to have a destination wedding, instead of a typical Filipino wedding that would cost us an arm and leg (my grandparents also said that I should be practical) So in December 2016 we will be getting married on a cruise ship which will also be a great way to celebrate Christmas with our families. It’s been 3 years now since I saw some of my immediate family, so it’s about time we all got together.

Pre-Wedding Bucket List goals – Caribbean cruise preparation for our Destination Wedding

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2016 Travel Plans – Photo – Roel van Deursen – Spijkenisse / Nissewaard – Nederland

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Motorbike Trip in Central America and a side trip to CUBA

( 3 months APRIL to JUNE- BIG PLAN!!)

Jonathan and I first met because he invited for a day trip on his motorbike in northern Laos, then we became a couple after he took me on a 1 week motorbike trip in the north of Vietnam where we experienced a lot of cool stuff. It was also on this trip that the name Two Monkeys Travel was born, we just didn’t know it yet!

Going on a motorbike trip is a really important part of our relationship, because it’s like going back to the beginning and remembering where it all started, so before our wedding, we’re going to do it all over again – this time from California, through Mexico and all over Central America! We’ve traveled around Costa Rica and Panama before, now we’re planning to start a new journey from California to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and ending in Honduras.

While we’re in Cancun, Mexico we will try to do a side trip to Cuba for 10 days!

Only one question left – Which bike is the right bike for the job?!

Pre-Wedding Bucket List goals – Back to the beginning motorbike trip – Mexico – Central America – Cuba, stay in all-inclusive hotels and see the highlights of Central America

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2016 Travel Plans – Photo – Graham Styles

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Africa Safari Adventure – end of MAY/ JUNE to AUGUST (Planning) 

Did you know that Jonathan grew up in Malawi and Kenya? One of our dreams during this Around the World journey, and one of Jonathan’s greatest goals, is to go back to Africa! 3 months will actually be too short but we’ll definitely return again in the future. We don’t have fixed plans yet, but we have a list of countries that I travel to visa free, plus some that I can easily get a visa for.

Pre-Wedding Bucket List goals – Wild camping safaris; see Victoria Falls, the Great Rift Valley; see gorillas in the wild; more motorbikes; climb Mt Kilamanjaro; return to Malawi and Kenya; balloon over the Serengeti; watch sunrise from Mt Sinai; this list could go on, and probably will…

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2016 Travel Plans – Photo – Jonathan in Africa

As a Filipino passport holder, I will be needing some visa to African countries but I can get FREE visas to the countries below:

  • Burundi – 21 days
  • Cape Verde Islands – 21 days, Visa Free
  • Central African Republic – NR up to 7 days
  • Comoros – 21 days
  • Djibouti – 30 day visa issued on arrival
  • Eritrea – Not required for stay up to 30 days
  • Ethiopia – Free visa can be issued upon arrival if holding proof of residence in Australia, Canada, Japan, Schengen countries, the UK, the US, or other certain countries
  • Gambia – visa issued upon arrival
  • Kenya – 90 days visa issued on arrival
  • Madagascar – 90 days visa issued on arrival
  • Morocco – 90 days, NR
  • Mozambique – 30 days visa issued on arrival ($25)
  • Saint Helena – visa issued upon arrival
  • Seychelles – 30 days, must show sufficient funds & proof of accommodation
  • Tanzania – visa issued on arrival ($50)
  • Togo (Togolese Republic) – 7 days, visa issued on arrival. Requires yellow fever vaccination
  • Uganda – 90 day visa issued on arrival at Entebbe Airport ($50)
  • Zambia – 90 days visa issued on arrival ($50)

I have to apply for South Africa and Malawi

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 px90 day Europe Flash-Packing –  by end of AUGUST to OCTOBER (planning)

SCANDINAVIA is my ultimate place to visit in Europe!! As a Filipino, I will need to get a Schengen visa if I want to visit Europe and another visa for the United Kingdom. Once I get both of these then we’re off to Europe to celebrate both of our birthdays and our 3rd Anniversary!

Our Goal is to visit most if not all the SCHENGEN Countries within 90 days! This is an ambitious goal but what we really plan to do is experience EURAIL/INTERRAIL and visit what countries we can, while going back to the UK to visit Jonathan’s family and organize some documents for our wedding in December.

We plan to do another big trip in Europe in the future, next time with a camper van but that will probably happen after our wedding and with some kids in tow! =)

Pre-Wedding Bucket List goals – Experience a River Cruise; Birthday in Paris; Jonathan’s Birthday in Iceland; Northern lights; Visit the Vatican; See the Fjords in Norway; Stay in an IGLOO in Finland; Take the EURAIL/ INTERRAIL

What else we should include in our Dream Europe trip?

Here’s the list of 26 Schengen Countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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2016 Travel Plans – Photo – Roderick Eime

SM Monkey - Section Dividers 1600 pxUSA Big Chill and a Road Trip – OCTOBER to DECEMBER (Planning)

Since we will be travelling for most of the year, we plan to wrap up our trip in the United States, so that we can relax with some house-sitting, or just stay in California to prepare for our wedding.

We would love to travel to Alaska and maybe take some short trips around the West Coast. Who knows, maybe we’ll even take that 10 day Antarctica Cruise!

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2016 Travel Plans – Photo – Roderick Eime

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The BIG day: Our Destination Wedding Day

December 23 , 2016 

It’s great to have a December wedding, it’s been 3 years in a row that we celebrated Christmas with just the two of us, so for our wedding day it will be awesome to finally celebrate Christmas with the family too!

P.S. We’re very open to attending PRESS / FAM Trips in 2016, we’ve attended a few in 2015 and it they were amazing experiences!

What will happen beyond 2016, we’re not quite sure, and if we were, we wouldn’t be sure for long! But for now here’s a sneaky little idea of what you could find us doing, post 2016:

  • Go back to India for 6 months to practice Yoga and Ayurveda (our honeymoon!)
  • Travel to Greenland
  • Trans European Camper Van trip
  • Road trip from East to West of Canada
  • USA cross country motorcycle road trip
  • Island hopping in Oceania
  • Travel around a Camper Van in Australia
  • Road trip around the islands of the Philippines
  • …Who knows, the world awaits!

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Pre-Wedding Bucketlist and 2016 Travel Plans

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9 thoughts on “Pre-Wedding Bucketlist and 2016 Travel Plans

  1. I’m excited to see that you included Denmark on your travel bucket list. 🙂 We just got back to the Philippines after almost 2 months in Denmark. We explored the northern and western part of the country and it was so much fun. I also asked my husband if I can tour Copenhagen alone because I have long wanted to travel solo and he agreed. He stayed in our house with our baby daughter. I had so much fun and I can’t wait to try it again. Seeing the grave of Hans Christian Andersen as well as revisiting Nyhavn (for the nth time) are all excellent bonuses. Not getting lost was a reward in itself too. I can’t wait to go back next year.

    Keep on traveling and being an inspiration!

  2. I see Italy on your list! Cinque Terre is our top favorite there. We lived in Germany for 3 years and Italy is our go-to place for a long weekend trip. 🙂 I haven’t read all the comments so di ko alam if someone already mentioned that place. Congratulations on your engagement! New follower here and also a Filipina 🙂

  3. Just posted your wedding suggestions in the Keys to my Facebook page. Wonderful ideas, but more than that wishing you the very very best for your wedding!!! Enjoy the travels. My husband and I haven’t been quite as nomadic as you, but we’ve done a few round the world trips.

  4. Your plans for 2016 are indeed exciting!

    I and my friends will be in Georgia next week but will do the skiing at Armenia, then hopefully by Eid holidays we can visit Morocco as well and Maldives.

    Congratulations to you both on your wedding. Excited for your pre-nuptial photos! ❤❤❤

    1. Thank you Pie!! Oh awesome to know that we have almost the same destination plans this year!!! Hope to see you on the road!! =)

  5. OMG..i’m so happy for both of you..been following you since 2014.. 🙂 I hope you post your NYC and DC adventures soon Ms. Kach since those places are two of my most fave places to visit bec of its rich history and culture… Safe travels always Ms. Kach 🙂 x

  6. Wow….I feel overwhelmed just looking at all the plans you guys have got! I’ve always wants to visit Israel, but never really considered it possible. One way to make travel easier is to use apps

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Written by Kach Umandap

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 151 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.