Once you’ve decided you’re going, there’s a ton of decisions to make. Where are you going? When are you starting? Which favorite books are you going to pack? (I kid, of course. With a Kindle, you can bring them all!)
I actually started out thinking that I might try to do some long-term volunteering, maybe the standard Teaching English route, or maybe some exotic ‘travel the world to take photos for a non-profit’ option (this actually does exist, surprisingly). After doing my research, I realized that I wanted to really travel, not stay in one place or move around on another parties schedule. Plus, it turns out that ‘voluntourism’ actually isn’t all that great. So I decided that this was going to be my trip, planned (or not) the way I wanted.
For the past several years, I’ve really wanted to visit Thailand. I can’t pinpoint one specific reason – I love the food, it’s a beautiful country, and there are lots of things to see and do. Plus, a trip like this is an opportunity to go places that are far away, since I don’t have a set timeline. So there was my starting point! As I started doing more research, it became clear that other countries in the area – Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos – are also amazing places to visit, so they got added onto the itinerary. Roughly speaking, my plan is to spend 8-10 weeks in Southeast Asia.
After that, I figure I’m already halfway around the world, so why not mosey on down to Australia and New Zealand. The scenery is incredible, and I feel reasonably confident in my ability to avoid drop bears. Having watched Lord of the Rings more times than I care to admit, New Zealand is definitely a place I want to experience.
Finally, the plan is to head to Europe. I’ll see some amazing architecture, meet up with family, and have a good time. Still have some planning to do on this part of the trip.
For the most part, I’ll be traveling without any set timelines. I like have a general route mapped out, so that I don’t need to make too many decisions on the road – but very little will be booked in advance, so if I decide to change my plans, I can!