The destinations have been marked, the dates are set, and the mission accomplished and agreed upon. So what am I talking about? The Next Big Trip.
This trip has been in the planning stages since September of 2010, a solid 7 month’s ago. The trip began as a scattered mind map of every country we wanted to go to, festivals we thought were essential, and adventures that were mandatory. It began with a list of thirteen countries, all concentrated in South East Asia. GOOD THING WE GOT REALISTIC.
There were about a million and a half obstacles to overcome in our planning stages, and at the forefront of all of them: Parents. Yeah, we may be above the age of 18, but having your parents support really mean’s everything. Of course, they worried, begged me to stay home, offer to take me somewhere safer… but we had decided. Determination was on our side as we thought of every possible way to make this trip affordable and as safe as traveling can possibly be.
What’s the Plan?
We started looking into tour operators hoping to find something that catered to exactly what we needed. It’s not that we didn’t want to do it on our own, because we did! Believe me when I say we wanted to get lost on our own. Yet, a tour operator put the parent’s mind’s at ease. So we found Free and Easy Travelers. A company that planned our itinerary, with transportation and accommodation, but left the days free for us to do what ever we wanted. It was perfect.
Where are we Going?
Next biggest question. Where is it that I am going exactly? We took that list of 13 countries, and started ruling them down to what we thought was most important to us. First and foremost, Thailand made the list. This need’s absolutely no explanation why it made the cut, but I will say that my 21st birthday will be occurring somewhere in Thailand, on some mystical beach. Secondly I will mention, that my closest friend’s 21st birthday will be occurring the day after mine in some exotic part of Thailand. A personal invite goes out to all of you who want to come and celebrate.
After Thailand, I had a huge craving to go back to Cambodia. Going to Cambodia on Semester at Sea, was one of the most memorable thing’s that could have happened to me, and I needed to go back and revisit my heart.
Ofcourse, after having already visited Vietnam with Semester at Sea, all I would be missing was Laos. So it made the cut. We still had some time available, and after all the talk I’ve hear about Bali recently, with the best seller book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and movie.It just seemed appropriate that we add Indonesia to the list.
This was the original list, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia, but as luck would have it and as inconvenient as flight patterns are, we made an extra detour into Kuala Lumpur of Malaysia.
Who is ‘WE’?
I keep mentioning ‘we’ other than ‘I’ and I should probably introduce you to my traveling patterns.
The first is Christine Novak. Knowing each other since Grade 7, we have grown up a lot, exploring many things but never growing apart. Christine was part of the planning process since day one. We are both avid travelers and in the past two years we have gone on numerous trips. They first was Prague, Czech Republic then to Miami, Florida. The Following year we met in London, England and did a short hop to Amsterdam, Netherlands. This year we are straying for the usual of Europe, and embarking on a new adventure to Asia.
You can follow her more closely on her blog Secretly Falling.
Originally the trip was just Christine and I, but after a sudden change of events, my other best friend, of 19 years (literally our whole lives), decided she had some free time this summer, some extra cash flow and a craving for adventure. Briana will be joining in on a 25 day adventure through out Indonesia, where she will be celebrating her 20th birthday. Briana and I have traveled to Italy together when we were younger, and then met in Miami in 2010, and then took another trip to Vancouver, British Columbia last summer as well.
When do we Leave?
It’s time to pack your mental brain’s and get ready to embark on our adventure with us starting May 19. It’s going to be a long one, but it’s going to be worth it.