Sunday, 1 September 2013

I now have around 6 weeks to prepare for my next adventure, a 10 month solo journey through South East Asia, beginning in Thailand.  The process of packing up one’s life and preparing to be out of your home country for nearly a year was quite a big task and there was a lot to organize. 

I am lucky enough to have very good friends in my home town who have helped immensely, without them I’m not sure it would have even been possible to leave for so long and keep everything on track at home.  My family has been very supportive also, it helps to know people at home are looking out for you, being on the road in foreign countries for so long is a large enough task alone without the added pressure of keeping on top of your life and business dealings back home.

Packing for such a trip is not like going on a 2 week holiday to a resort, I need to make sure I remember to take everything I may need for such a long journey.  The upside of Asia though is that most things can be bought cheaply once you get there if you have forgotten something.  The time to leave rolls around and I hope that I have remembered everything, I have invested in a Pacsafe bag for the laptop, camera and all my valuables. 

It is literally a safe, with stainless steel mesh insert so it can’t be cut open, a steel cable with combination lock so that it can be secured to bus seats etc (very handy on long outback trips when you may want to sleep peacefully) and a few other features that have made it a great investment.  I take this bag and my Kathmandu backpack, everything I own and need for the next 10 months packed firmly inside.
The 29th July 2012 marks the start of my journey, I am on the red eye flight as I always take cheaper options on anything I can, and my parents see me off at the airport.  I wave goodbye as I step through the departure gates and it starts to feel real, I am really doing this and have no idea what to expect, a feeling I learn to love after being a creature of habit and thorough planning for so long.

  I still plan a lot now though, mainly to make sure I don’t miss any small out of the way places, but still have a very loose schedule that is prone to change at the drop of a hat or the sound of an opening beer!  I have a dual entry visa for Thailand that will allow me 6 months in total.

  You get 2 entries of 2 months, both of which can be extended for another month at the Jomtien Immigration office for around $60 Australian, but you must exit the country after a 3 month continuous stay.