First Steps and Budgets

My day job (while it lasts) is accounting, or auditing to be specific. I don’t mind playing with numbers, which is a good thing when you’re planning a trip like I am. Budgeting is so important, and not only when you have limited funds. For me, I’ve learned that budgeting is just a facet of planning. It helps focus your trip when your time is limited and the region you’ve set for yourself is larger. From wheels down to wheels up in Bangkok, I’ve got 66 days to cover 8 countries.

8 countries: Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, East Timor and Brunei.  As my planning progresses, this itinerary will probably change and continue changing even when I’m on the ground. Prioritizing what destinations and activities are most important me… it’s not easy. I’ve learned that for me, having a solid structure in place works better for me, at least at the outset.

I’m willing to sign off on two steps of the “adventure” process. One step is the easiest and the other, one of the hardest.

First step: buying guide books. As easy as turning on Amazon’s “1-click”, you can take the first step of your trip. All dreams need fuel and inspiration to grow, mine included. But it’s safe– there’s no commitment required. That’s where step two comes in.

Second step: buy the ticket! This is toughie, not only because finding the best deal can be challenging, but “confirm purchase” of a four-figure plane ticket that will take you somewhere you’ve never been. Somewhere your friends and family have never been or even dreamed of going (most likely). A place where your most basic identity, your nationality, will make you a minority, a person apart. I sat on the perfect deal for a day, waiting, worrying, torn between excitement and nausea. As much as I am looking forward to the highs of this trip, it doesn’t mean that I am ignorant to the lows.

But I believe in myself. And my friends and my family believe in me. I know I can do this.

And that’s the kind of thinking you need to finally buy that seat. 🙂

If at first you don’t achieve…

I’m going back to Southeast Asia!

As you know, my first voyage didn’t exactly turned out as planned—predictably, because I had no plans. Living in Phuket for three months was by no means a mistake or a failure, but it wasn’t how I thought my time would be spent. This time, however, I am using taking the same approach I used when planning my first backpacking excursion into Western Europe (with the understanding that an Southeast Asian bus does not run with the same accuracy and comfort as a Eurail train). I am pouring over the guidebooks, making plans, iteneraries, etc. I can be flexible in case of cancellation or exciting new opportunities, but there has to be an initial plan, at least.

These improvements also include diligence when it comes to my blog. This will be my third attempt at trying to maintain an active blog space to help record my travels. Visually based, I tell myself, so more pictures and less words, which makes things easier for me and you. Shorter summaries, not detailed notes on each and every movement. I’ll try to write about my planning here as well, since I like reading about other blogger’s posts about the same.

Wish me luck—Here I go!