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MoonBatz

Part honeymoon part sabbatical adventure

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Welcome to Kristy and Zach's MoonBatz!

Part honeymoon part sabbatical adventure

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Hidden Treasures of Tokyo, Japan

Similar to Australia, Japan was not originally on our list of places to visit.  Zach found an awesome business class flight on points back to SF from Narita Airport so we figured, why not stop in Tokyo for a week.  We visited Kyoto and Tokyo 5 years ago in 2018 when I was on a work trip to learn all about mitochondria.  We absolutely fell in love with Japan and felt like this was the perfect time to pay it another visit.  We stayed in 3 different parts of Tokyo which all had a unique vibe.  Enjoy reading about the last leg of our international journey!

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Doooo you want to go to Australia? Perth, Melbourne and Sydney

Australia was not originally in our travel plans when we flew out to Thailand. As we meandered across SE Asia we figured we were so close so, why not? We had a glorious time exploring 3 different Australian cities. Although the cities felt completely different, the Australian attitude towards life and work was consistent across the continent. You could tell that people in Australia really work to live rather than live to work. Everyone in Australia from the airport security guards to the staff at the beautiful vineyards we visited were soooo laid back and we absolutely loved it. An added bonus about this segment of our trip was that Zach’s friend from business school, Jeanette joined us for our cross continent exploration and I got to reconnect with a friend from grad school who lives in Melbourne. We did so many activities in Australia that it was hard to keep track of everything! We hope you enjoy reading about some of our most memorable moments.

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Kuala Lumpur: A Hidden Gem

We had a short but glorious stop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I don't know anyone who has traveled to Kuala Lumpur (KL) so I didn’t really know what to expect. This was a city that I was pleasantly surprised by. KL is rapidly growing and is home to the second tallest building in the world. There are great places to eat/drink and everyone is super friendly. Plus, the accommodations and food/coffee are super affordable compared to other large cities. KL is definitely on the top of my list of places to visit again. This post might convince you to travel there too!

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Laos Explorations: Tuk Tuk?…Waterfall?…Boat Tour?

Sabaidee! After spending a few weeks in Vietnam we were excited to head to the next country on our journey, Laos.  We stopped in the capital, Vientiane for a few days and then hopped on a short 45 min flight north to Luang Prabang.  Laos had some of the best food and coffee that we have tasted so far on our trip.  Our visit also included learning a bit more about Buddist culture as well as experiencing some of the natural beauty that Laos has to offer.

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Moonbatz Moments

Moonbatz Moments: Are you a Tourist?

Moonbatz moments are quick thoughts not attached to specific destinations. Simple musings that might be worth writing down... or just annoying ramblings :)

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Dragons plus More Motorbikes and Cats in Danang, Vietnam

After a few relaxing days on the beach we were ready to head back to city life in Danang. Tet celebrations were winding down so we got to experience the city in its fully on mode which meant a lot more motorbikes (beep beep) plus tasty food.

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Vietnam Coast: Life can sometimes be a beach

With any extended international travel there are going to be a few unpleasant experiences along the way.  Hoi An, a small coastal city in Vietnam definitely had a few low points for us including rain, cold weather, and food poisoning.  In contrast, we had an absolutely amazing time on the sunny beach in Danang with beautiful beach views, swimming and live music.  It is definitely true that sometimes you need the downsides to appreciate the upsides.  Enjoy reading about our highs and lows on the Vietnam Coast along with some random flashbacks to my time as a postdoc in Beaverton, Oregon ?.

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Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City

Motorbikes, colonial boulevards, friends, war tunnels, great food, cocktails, more motorbikes, and of course...motorbikes...beep beep

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Moonbatz Planning - Part 1, No plan is also a plan

This is going to be a long multi-part post about planning this big travel experience including a lot of details about our planning process, itinerary, and using travel points and awards. Part 1 will be all about our thoughts on the trip itself, how we planned (or didn’t plan) the pieces and a high level summary of the whole thing. Part 2 will be more focused on how we are optimizing for using travel points/miles to cover the majority of the flights and hotels including the "value" saved by using points vs booking the same thing (or an equivalent) for cash. "Points" and "Travel Awards" may make a lot of people (like Kristy) want to throw up a little bit, but if you are like me you might love it and in the end it's just a great way for me to write down all the stuff in my head and scattered around in emails and notes.

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