Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Preparations Begin Now!

     I am currently planning for one of the most epic and much needed adventures of my life. I have traveled to quite a few places during my life-time but most of them haven’t been by “choice” if you will. Thus, I am excited to be making this journey by myself and completely on my own accord. Although, I have to admit, it is pretty scary and I am very nervous. That being said, I have much to prepare for! Here are some frequently asked questions I'm sure you are thinking and I have been asking myself before I leave. 

What will I pack?

     After learning from my previous trips and consulting some of my adventurer friends and trusted travel blogs I have settled upon this short list: 

     Passport size photos, and copies of all of my documents. Having photos on hand is useful when obtaining new visas in all of the new areas that I may visit. And should I lose anything it’s always good to have copies. I have to make sure to store them in separate areas and make sure to keep the originals secure.

     Toiletries and Bug spray. Most places will have shampoo and toothpaste I can buy, but just in case its always a good idea to keep small quantities of these available. Also, bug spray, hand sanitizer and “field wipes” (from my military days) are a must; as well as plenty of Imodium.

     My multi-tool and knife.

     Minimal clothes. I’ll be bringing flip flops, a pair of boots shorts and t-shirts and a pair of cargo pants or two. There is no need to bring jeans as they will only make my legs sticky and hot and I can always buy clothes for pretty cheap over there. Plus I don’t want to weigh down my backpack with unnecessary items.

     Since I will be buying a new backpack I’ll have to consider how big I want it. Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to traveling with a backpack. Keeping the pack smaller will prevent me from over-packing. I’ll have to keep myself from going to my military roots and trying to pack as much stuff into the largest pack I can because I’m a soldier and keep the pack to about 60 liters.

What will I eat?

     Everything! The local food over there is delicious and its always cheaper than buying western food. Why spend more money than you should on a dry disgusting hamburger when you can eat delicious local street food for about $7 or $10 a day? I don’t drink as much alcohol as I used to (college years) so I will be saving a lot of money in that area, seeing as how alcohol is usually where tourists spend the most money. However, I will be trying all of the tasty cold beers that the different regions have to offer.

Where will I sleep?

     Finding accommodations in South East Asia is fairly simple and cheap with most places ranging from $3-14 USD a day. This is the price range throughout Asia with some places like Thailand being more expensive than Laos or Cambodia. I won’t be bringing a sleeping bag or linens as most of these places offer them already or you can rent them for a minimal fee.

How will I get around?

     Motorbikes, buses, boats, and by walking of course. These are all pretty cheap and it’s not necessary to book travel so far in advance. However, I’ll have to be well prepared for delays and long trips. I’ll have my trusty Kindle and camera to help pass the time.

How will I have fun?

     I plan on doing everything and anything I can. I am a huge surfer and would love to do some surfing in Bali or Thailand (there are some gnarly surf spots there). I also plan on visiting the temples at Angkor Wat, and trekking through the jungles of Laos and Malaysia. Of course attending the Full Moon Party on the island of Ko Phangan, Thailand is a must! Yoga in Bali and tubing in Vang Vieng are both on the list as well as sailing in Halong Bay Vietnam. There will be no shortage of things to do out there and I plan on doing as much as I can.

     I am beyond excited for this trip and for the next few months will be working and planning like a mad-man! I am notorious for forgetting things so if there is anything on this short list that you may think I have forgotten please feel free to let me know! I almost forgot , wherever I travel I always bring with me a picture of home. No I don’t carry around a picture of America or a Bald Eagle or anything, home to me is a representation of safety and comfort. Home to me is where my heart is. I don’t pack this item away; I always keep it close to my heart…

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