Preparing for Southeast Asia

Posted on February 15, 2013

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With only 10 days to go until departure it’s time for me to break the silence and leave a quick note.

Over the past few days I’ve felt rather odd. I think the idea of me actually leaving hasn’t really sunk in yet. Something that has been a vague and distant dream is suddenly becoming reality with the speed of a freight train and I have mixed feelings about the whole ordeal.

I’m excited, I can’t wait to experience all those beautiful places, people and especially food, all first hand.

Ready for take off. Image: Alan Vernon.

Ready for take off. Image: Alan Vernon.

But there is also fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being lonely, lost or sick. I know these things will inevitably happen, but how do you prepare for something that has always been nothing more than a concept to you?

I’m about to leave everyone I love behind. My roommate, whom I’ve never spent more than a week apart from in the last 6 years. My family, who’s always behind me and right there when I need them. And my boyfriend, who has been a constant source of love and support for the past year. The thought of being apart from him for so long terrifies me.

I’m not here to whine though, I don’t feel sorry for myself. All of this has been my own decision and it won’t keep me from taking the leap and boarding that flight. But this has been an important part of preparing for the months to come and these but are some of the thoughts that have occupied my mind.

Barcelona From The SkyOf course there were the practical things that had to be taken care of as well.

Over the past month I :

– Had my passport renewed

– Booked a flight out of Thailand for the end of March, to get a 30 day visa free stay

– Got my vaccinations for Hepatitis A&B and typhoid. Thankfully I already received a DTP shot in 2008. I really don’t like shots…

– Got the right amount of malaria pills

– Booked accommodation for the first 3 nights.

– Picked up some fresh and crispy dollars to hide in my luggage, as an emergency fund.

The Plan

The best plan is no plan. Nothing is set in stone and for the next few months I will be absolutely free to do anything. My itinerary ideas keep changing from day-to-day so there’s no saying where I will be 4 weeks from now. Right now, it’s looking like this:

I’ll arrive in Bangkok, where I will stay a few nights to get acclimatized. I might take a day trip to Koh Larn to soak up a few rays. I’m thinking of moving up, towards Ayutthaya, then on to Khao Yai National Park to do a jungle trek. I’m planning on crossing the Chong Jom/ O Smach border to Cambodia, after which I will visit Siem Reap. If it’s possible I’d like to take a boat down to Battambang and hit Sihanoukville after. From Phnom Penh I will fly over to Singapore to see my friend Sam, and cruise on to Malaysia to visit the Batu Caves and some islands.

That’s it so far. Let’s wait and see what happens next…

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Posted in: Travel Plans