Day 1

I know the importance of being prepared. You can read blogs and guides until your eyes bleed, but nothing truly will have you ready for the first time you find yourself in a cab with a driver who doesn’t speak or read English or know the way to your hotel.

Each stop on pitch dark roads will be scary, even if you are reasonably sure their intentions are probably just to overcharge the meter and not to relieve you of all your cash. You will curse yourself for not using google translate to print the directions in Thai.

All the words of wisdom about the hucksters and hustlers in the main tourist area will not make the constant calls for your attention any less jarring as you carry your probably over packed backpack down the street trying to find somewhere clean that won’t rip you off.

When in doubt, just remember the words printed in bold on that most ultimate of travel books, the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. DON’T PANIC.

(And if possible find somewhere with good WiFi!)

Today I’ve done all of those things and will report back how they served me. 

what they don’t tell you about travel planning

This is supposed to be a travel blog. So far there have been small trips, but nothing that really would earn it the distinction of being of A Travel Blog.

And lately, it hasn’t been much of a blog at all…

But The Big Trip is now fast approaching, and I have a confession to make.

I. Am. Terrified.

As a first time solo traveler, I have almost pulled out a hundred times already. I can come up with countless reason why NOT to go, even with the ticket purchased. I’m inexperienced. It’s expensive. I don’t speak the Thai, or anything other than English fluently. The list goes on…

I told myself that once it got closer to the departure date, I’d have every detail figured out. This is not true. Partly because I was procrastinating, but also partly because the trip is meant to be minimally planned. Only rough ideas about where exactly to go and where to stay throughout Thailand, Cambodia, and maybe Indonesia.

That may sound insane, but I had plenty of information at my disposal and had been told that no matter how meticulously you plan your trip, once you get on the road and meet new people with good ideas you will change course. Through it all I had maintained the idea that no matter what, I would be coming home to my good job and safe little life.

Over the previous weeks all that has changed and I realize that absolutely nothing is guaranteed. Learning how to make peace with that and still jump into the unknown has been one of the most difficult lessons of my life.

Stay tuned for updates, because this is actually happening.