Thursday, October 11, 2012

Certain uncertainty

This post is going to make me look way more Type A than I think I am... It seems to be in my nature (no matter how much I fight it) to plan and organize and itinerize, but with this trip especially, I have really tried not to do that, and yet... if you saw the spreadsheets and maps I've created, I'm fooling no one...

That said! I really want to stay flexible, and be open to veering in unexpected directions, because that's where the adventure is. It's never as memorable when things go exactly according to plan. It's what you can't anticipate that's the fun part. Though I'm sure it won't be fun when we miss our bus/train, or when that bus/train breaks down somewhere, or can't find a hotel... but that's what we'll remember the most after the fact.

However, to figure out what vaccinations and prescriptions we need, and to apply for visas, we need to figure out the where, when, and roughly how long for each country. Also, to get certain visas on arrival, you have to show proof of onward travel, usual a plane ticket, but we're hoping to travel overland for a lot of the trip, so again, it feels as though we're being forced into an itinerary.

There are a few countries which need to be figured out ahead of time, and will be anchor points around which we can be flexible. Bhutan needs to be booked ahead of time, and that's where we'll be headed after Indonesia. My parents are meeting up with us in Cambodia (beyond exciting, I can't even express how awesome this is!) so that will be fixed so they can book their flights.

So, with all of that said, I've made a map to show the first chunk of the trip. We fly into Bangkok, and from there head north, looping around through Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and back to Bangkok. Then southern Thailand, and down through Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. It all looks like a nice, convenient loop, but I have no idea how it will go once we hit the ground. But from the comfort of this arm chair, it looks like a nice route. I'll let you know how "nice" it is when we get refused at some border crossing for not having the right paperwork and have to make an unscheduled detour. The fun part, right?

But can I just stop all this "plan" talk and say how ridiculous it feels to talk about this? As if! As if I'm going to do this? Go here? Whaaa? Dreams are going to actually be realized? Ba-nay-nays. It's still so surreal, and I can't believe this is happening.

There's still a lot do to over the next 42 days... visa applications to muddle through, final vaccinations to get, malaria prescriptions to fill, key phrases to learn... Gulp! I'm so excited I could cry, but feeling a bit overwhelmed too...

"The suspense is terrible. I hope it lasts."   — Oscar Wilde

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