South East Asia 2010
About this blog
Lauren traveled for six months within 2003, before throwing herself into her Graphic Design degree course. This was mostly centred around Australia and New Zealand, her return journey broken up with a month in Thailand. Having loved the parts of Thailand she spent time in, Lauren has been keen ever since to discover other gems in SE Asia.
Ross has never been outside of Europe, and ever since graduating from university in 2004 has been desperate to explore the world. In 2006 he was about to fulfil his dream, finishing off a short-term contract to earn some more money for the trip, when he was introduced to a daughter of one of his colleagues. Ross immediately hit it off with Lauren. Declarations of love ensued over the hot summer, and he just couldn't bring himself to book the ticket alone. They promised each other that they would venture overseas as soon as some extra money was saved for a joint venture, both taking temporary jobs.
A couple of years later, Time had got ahead of itself, and Opportunity had never knocked. 2009 came around, bringing less than a few prospects with it; it was time to take the reality bull by the horns and just make the decision to go; do something exciting, challenging, for the sake of sanity. By the summer, both had enrolled on a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course, and later in the year fate gave the final push with Ross (very happily) being made redundant from his (wearing) institutional client relationship role at a City investments firm.
So here we are! Departing the UK in April 2010, this initial period of travel will last around six months (owing to the cash we have saved, or lack thereof), and to follow that we have a few rough ideas about working to earn cash to carry on; flitting here and there for months at a time. That said, our ultimate hope is to find longer-term jobs in this side of the world (such as trying our hands at teaching English, or graphic design for Lauren, and Ross anything that might finally make him content), and in finding those we would deliberately let fate take its, and our, course. Reckless, no; traveling on recommendation, on opportunities, unhurried and unimpeded, yes. Though, with all these fairly grandiose ideas, we sober ourselves with the thought that we might hate endless bowls of rice, or won't stand the heat (or the cultures, maybe?), and be back in time for Xmas!
The rough plan is therefore informed by little else other than a map and a desire to travel overland or by water as much as possible. So, as of April 2010, our 'traveling' is to be: acclimatising in Singapore, then traveling northwards up through Malaysia; across the border into southern Thailand, visiting some of the numerous islands we had heard great things about, then venturing to the historical northern provinces; a circle of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in one order or another; flight across to Manila in the Philippines, then island-hopping south; reaching Malaysian Borneo to experience the rain forest and wildlife, and test ourselves against Mt. Kinabalu.
Thereafter, who knows? It could be teaching in Korea, financing in Hong Kong, designing in Shanghai, or sheep-shearing in the Australian Outback... So, please do watch this space!