If you were stranded on a deserted island and could take only the belongings you could fit into a 75 litre backpack, what would you take? I may or may not be going to a deserted island in the foreseeable future but that’s the near impossible question I face as I stare at my backpack on the bedroom floor. It’s surrounded by a growing pile of clothes and personal belongings which include most of the things I normally consider “essentials”. However, these items have been sacrificed to make way for the diarrhoea tablets (regulation issue for travellers to Asia), a snorkel, raincoat (at mum’s insistence) and a brick-sized guide book. My vanity has also been tested because to my dismay it’s come down to a choice between the hair dryer and the straightener. What is a girl (hoping to meet “Mr Right” in a foreign land) to do?
I’m packing because tomorrow I’m setting out from my hometown of Griffith with only my backpack, a one way ticket to London and my self-declared “wingman” (my brother is tagging along for the first six weeks of my trip). Against my dad’s sound judgment, I quit my job and am taking the money I probably should be spending on a house deposit to blow on one big overseas adventure. If things go to plan, I’ll spend four months travelling through South East Asia, starting in Malaysia. I intend to work my way north through Thailand, then east to Laos, down to Cambodia and Vietnam. When I’ve had enough island hopping and temple touring I’ll head up to the United Kingdom and use it as a jumping off point to the rest of Europe. Having only booked one night of accommodation for the whole trip my rough itinerary is likely to be completely irrelevant by next week but I’m happy to part with it in favour of spontaneity and advice from friendly fellow travellers.
The famous British author, Samuel Johnson wrote that “the use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” When I came across this quote I thought it was a fitting explanation for what I hope to get out of this trip. I’ve wasted many precious hours recently perusing travel websites, viewing slideshows of destinations I’ve always dreamed about visiting and stalking jet setting friends on Facebook. Now it’s my turn to get out and experience the world outside of the pages of glossy travel magazines and friend’s photo albums. I’ve set up this blog as a way to share some of my experiences so I hope you’ll read my future posts and enjoy my insights into the amazing places I go!