And so the countdown nears an end...
Trip Start Oct 17, 2009
54Trip End Oct 16, 2010
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Where I stayed
The Brosley Safe Haven
It feels exceptionally strange as the day finally nears and the past few weeks in particular have bought about various waves of nerves and excitement (sometimes both at the same time) which have left me in no doubt that I just need to get there now and begin the experience. In all honesty, the nerves have been jangling so fervently at times that I've been SERIOUSLY annoying myself. This is far from ideal as me and myself have got to spend a lot of time in each other's company over the coming year and it would be preferable if we remain on good terms! EDIT: luckily it seems that excitement is prevailing now though!
I have actually been ridiculously organised by my admitedly low standards and already packed much of my stuff in to my brand new (and rather sexy) backpack
The preparation has been more demanding and ultimately expensive that I had envisaged and there have been a few seemingly big decisons to make; decisions which might not actually prove to be that big at all when I'm out there. I eventually decided to somewhat "wee in to the wind" and just take a "sleeping liner" rather than the more substantial, but bulky, sleeping bag. A liner provides little warmth but will at least separate me from the bed bugs which can be a problem in some hostels by all accounts. I managed to get a silk one too so I will be sleeping rather regally and it packs down to the size of a shoe. Whether I regret not taking a more substantial bag when my nipples pierce the silk in the chilly climate of the Vietnamese highlands remains to be seen...
I've not previously been much of a beach bum either so I've had to buy virtually a whole summer wardrobe including several pairs of shorts to allow me to bring the wonders of my pasty legs to a wider, non-European audience for the first time (I wonder if the "wolf whistle" exists in Asia) as well as a good pack down waterproof to guard against non-seasonal downpours and a thin fleece for the colder nights. Then there was the travel injections - 14 in total but luckily only three for which I had to pay.
So with the bag packed, insurance sorted (one hundred and seventy blooming quid), all Visas safely approved (following a quick dash to the Thai Embassy last week) and my jabs pulsing through my veins, I am lighter financially but more peaceful of mind. I've had a brilliant summer full of festivals, weekends away, great nights out with friends, as well as the odd trip to the coast. After the various traumas encountered at the back end of 2008 and beginning of this year, it has been a jolly and fitting send off.
With that, the waffles end for now. I do have good intentions to update this log where and when possible so if you want to know what I've been up to or how Sir Gary Brilliant is; or merely want to keep a guage of my hair loss (sob), then please keep reading. I will miss everyone hugely so it will be good to maintain a cyber link with home. I'll be on Facebook as well for less weighty updates of course, as is the way with all us young, modern and funky types these days.
Next stop Bangkok!