Our Honeymoon Recon trip to Southeast Asia (Thailand and Cambodia)

by | Oct 28, 2017

That’s right! We are now officially a Mr. and MRS. ClimberMonkeys!

I never thought I would ever get married or even feel the desire to do so. Both as a child or as an adult, I had never really seen or experienced a lot of truly balanced and happy relationships. Especially in the Korean culture where men’s and women’s roles are rigidly defined (in a disadvantageous way to women). Even my parents never hassled me about getting married or having children, because they knew I didn’t really care for long term relationships and commitments.

Until I met Ryan. Total game changer.

He proposed to me on our favorite holiday: 4th of July, natch.

We represent the ultimate freedom to each other because we feel like our freest self with each other. I have never felt like I was free to be my truest, honest self with someone else before. Not even myself. He is my freedom in every sense of what that word means.

Since I never thought about getting married, I never thought about what kind of wedding I wanted or what kind of bride I wanted to be. In the end, I was a “stress-free bride.” Meaning, we did it at the Beverly Hills Courthouse on a weekday afternoon earlier this month and only invited a handful of people. Kiki (a nickname my mother-in-law gave my mom) and Cheryl (my mother-in-law) came as well as a couple of my closest friends.

It was small, it was fun, and it cost around $200 for the ceremony and the lunch reception at a Thai restaurant we both like.


It was perfectly “us.” We already knew we wanted to be with each other “till death (or severe diarrhea temporarily) do us part,” so the ceremony/wedding wasn’t important to us. Initially, we were going to just elope and tell everyone after we had gotten married, but we’re really glad we didn’t do that because our moms were ecstatic to have witnessed the exact moment we became legally entitled to half of each other’s assets. 🙂

We are truly excited about what comes AFTER the party: Marriage!

We are also in super-ultra-money-saving mode right now since our departure is just a few months away now (OMG THE DEPARTURE IS JUST A FEW MONTHS AWAY NOW!). There was no way in hell we would spend the “average wedding cost (ahem 35K ahem)” for our nuptials. That’s enough dough to live abroad for a whole year. Yowza.

However! We ARE leaving today on a two week honeymoon recon trip to Thailand and Cambodia.

From everything that we’ve read in other blogs, due to the affordability and digital nomad friendly environment, it seems like there is no way that an aspiring digital nomad can avoid spending some time in Southeast Asia.

When we started talking about transitioning into the digital nomad lifestyle back in January, we realized we couldn’t really picture what it would be like to be there because…well, neither of us had ever been there! So, we thought it might be a good idea to take a quick jaunt over there to do some first-hand research and see what to expect.

We are going to try to figure out the answers to some of the following questions:

  • Which neighborhood would we want to stay in next year when we’re there for a few months?
  • Will they have similar types of OTC meds and products we need at the international market? (ie Zyrtec, Flonase, Benadryl, Burt’s Bees, etc) This is to cut down on packing as much as possible (and to lessen anxiety about leaving Amazon Prime behind).
  • How IS the weather there, really? What can we expect to pack? (how does it really feel to be in 90% humidity in 95 degree weather?)
  • How easy will it be to have access to a good chiropractor? (Due to our back conditions, we see a chiropractor for alignment once or twice a month)
  • Is it really more economical to eat out vs cooking for ourselves?
  • How many English speaking people can we anticipate?
  • How easy will it be to figure out public transportation?

You know, RECON! 😀

The funniest thing about this is that we actually started planning for this two week trip faaaaar before we started talking about getting married. Serendipity!

We are leaving for our honeymoon/recon trip… in 13 hours!

We will be spending about four days in each city: Bangkok -> Chiang Mai -> Krabi -> Phnom Penh. Why Krabi? Because there are some crazy awesome climbing at Railay Beach! I’m pretty sure climbing in Krabi is on every climbers’ bucketlist.

Knowing that we will be heading back to these places for much longer stays in the future definitely makes this trip feel different than some of our other trips. We literally only have one activity planned for each of the cities. Everything else will be left open. If we weren’t going to be returning, we’d be jam packing every day with sightseeing adventures. Instead, we’re just going to relax and experience the culture and city in a “daily life” kind of way.

We even hired a tour guide in Bangkok that seems a bit confused by our requests to “show us where to buy fresh vegetables” and “teach us how to flag down honest tuk tuk drivers.”

Not only will this trip be a good test for the cities (are we going to like Chiang Mai as much as other digital nomads do???), it will be a good test to see how to pack super-light for an extended trip. Plus, we are going to test drive our travel bag of choice: the Tortuga Outbreaker!  (Check out our initial review here)

We will only bring one Tortuga Daybreaker 35L bag, a small duffel for our climbing gear, and a small Tortuga Daybreaker backpack to use as our daypack.

We’ll be back in two weeks with an update on how everything went and what we’re looking forward to the most when we return next year.

With Love,

Army + Ryan