1 Year (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
Well it’s finally arrived, the 1 year mark of my world travels. Some days it feels like I just started traveling, other days it feels like it’s been years. I’ve had lots of highs and lows and am grateful for all of them. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way and still do with annoying frequency, but travel is as much a learning experience as life itself. I’ve tried many different types of budgeting which has sometimes meant sacrificing things I wanted to do and other times splurging (usually with alcohol involved). If I could redo the year I would do a few things differently but I wouldn’t say I regret those decisions as they are part of the experience.
The last 45 days have really thrown me back into travel, possibly too hard and fast which has brought about my indecisive mood as of late. The problem started with me booking far too little time between landing in Thailand and visiting Malaysia while I was buying my tickets in India months ago. I’ve since planned far into the future so those tickets were not going to be changed. But it has been far too much of a rush through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia and I will 100% need to come back to experience many missed opportunities. I’m hoping it’s this that has put me in a bit of a “travel funk”. I have an entire week in Kuala Lumpur and another week in Singapore coming up which I think will give me much more time to balance exploring and relaxing. If I took away only one thing from this mistake it’s that I clearly don’t like traveling too fast, which I already knew but now I have up and close experience with the beast.
Now to get to what I’ve been up to and what’s in the future. Since my last post in Thailand I went on through Laos and Vietnam to arrive in Cambodia before I fly to Malaysia on March 6th. I sadly took barely any pictures in the last little while, partly because of being lazy and partly I didn’t want to carry my camera to areas were I would be swimming or with high crime which was a lot of the areas I went recently. From Ko Phi Phi I went back up to Bangkok for a day before going to my last stop in Thailand called Chiang Mai. I actually found it to be a pretty boring city, there was things you could sign up to do outside the city and there was a few things to see within the city but in general I wasn’t impressed. Then I took a 2 day boat up to Luang Prabang in Laos. I didn’t think it was a very interesting stop either except for the waterfall outside the city which was pretty fun as I got to swing on a big rope swing. I went through Laos pretty fast, stopping in Vang Vieng and Vientiane for only a few days each. I didn’t do the tubing in Vang Vieng for a few reasons but if I ever go back I will give it a try. After Laos I went to Hanoi in Vietnam for a few days before flying to Ho Chi Minh City in the South of Vietnam. I’ve actually been rather underwhelmed with Laos and Vietnam which may have been because I had to travel so fast but I think it’s a lot of the same stuff you see in Thailand which may be party why I am not as impressed by yet another waterfall or temple. I will be going to Angkor Wat tomorrow and will have some good pictures for my next post from there.
My future travels are locked in for the most part with a bit of improvising in Japan. The itinerary until April 30th is Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Australia. I’m hoping for a change of pace with my future destinations as I will have more time and hopefully they will be a little less backpacker centered travel destinations as I need a break from the 1-3 month party backpacker types. I could do an entire post on the different kinds of backpacker/travelers I have met but there is no way to make it not sound negative so I will just say it’s been a mixed bag of stereotypes that I am sure I fall into somewhere with my own flaws and annoyances. I know Japan will be a different experience and it’s been high on my list of places to go see for a very long time. As far as Australia, I have changed my mind about how I intend to travel it, I have decided that my first destination of Perth is where I will stay and attempt to find work. All the Australians I have talked to tell me the pay is better on the West and I have liked what I have read about Perth as a city. Assuming I find a job, the plan will be 6 months in Perth before making my way to the East of Australia, doing sightseeing along the way.
I would quickly like to mention a few past posts I did back in February 2011. The first post I ever did on this blog was about my travel gear which has changed many times in the past year. I recently took a new picture of the gear I am carrying which I put beside this paragraph so you can see what I have now. I have gone through many clothes changes and subsequently given the clothes away along the way. Even after taking this picture a week ago I have had my shower sponge and a pair of underwear stolen. Although in the opinion of the hostel owner they were lost or misplaced but I am certain she stole them as she is a bitter kleptomaniac who should not be running a hostel or even be near people. The other post is the one I did about my future travel itinerary in which I tried to predict my year to come and where I was going to go. One quote from that post is relevant now as it goes “it will be fun to read this in a year and see how it’s all going and possibly how crazy I was to have had such a lofty goal”. After reading the post myself I see that I wasn’t that crazy at all and actually did more than I even predicted I would. It’s surprisingly accurate seeing as how I forgot about this post weeks after starting my trip and didn’t try to follow it at any point. The only real changes were cutting the UK a bit short and spending more time in Eastern Europe.
Thanks everyone who has been following my blog for the past year and I hope to have exciting posts for a long time to come as my trip is nowhere near over and the money I hope to get in Australia will give my funds a complete reboot. Also in case everyone is wondering why this post is on March 1st and not March 2nd when I left, it’s because this year is a leap year so March 1st is 365 days.