So the last few days have been quite chill and relaxed since I have been so busy “planning” my trip. This is all true but the planning extends beyond the January 8th date that I was set to fly out of Sydney back home for. I had decided I would like to travel longer than my original plans entailed. My love affair with New Zealand had grown deeper and I simply did not want to let her go just yet. I was drawn to New Zealand due to the beauty of the land that I grew up watching in the Lord of the Rings movies. The mountains, the lakes, the valleys, the volcanoes, and the rest of the untapped nature of it stuck with me. All I had seen and imagined came true right before my eyes. What really pushed me over the edge were the travelers I had met. So many people, most here for working holidays, would be on these two islands for at least four months and to say that I would only be here for twelve days, I felt as though I were cheating myself out of something more. Eventually, I ran across individuals who had already been to SE Asia or would be heading there soon after New Zealand. I knew that I had always wanted to travel to SE Asia but that eventuality would not come into existence for at least another couple years from now. The wave of the traveling spirit overwhelmed and absorbed me. Why not now? Why not me? I could continue to tell myself I would be there one day in the future but who is to say some future situation may change my path and deny me of that possibility. I knew what I wanted and I needed to act quickly. My departing flight out of Queenstown back to Australia was fast approaching and I needed to make a decision, a decision that I could end up regretting. Thanks entirely to my parents and especially my Mom (God bless her!) on Christmas Eve and Day no less, we managed to come up with a reasonable plan for me to leave Auckland for Cairns on January 14th. From there, I would need to book my own flight to SE Asia with Bangkok probably being the natural gateway to start that sort of adventure. You may be thinking, wow you are so brave to do this, to travel by yourself for so long and especially through Asia. Not so much. I am scared out of my mind and rightly so. After experiencing that feeling going into my Europe Trip, I know that is a natural feeling. I will be away from anything I know for quite awhile. In college, I had a place that I could eventually call home with my parents and all that I knew just hours away. The Europe Trip was a bigger step from college venturing into the unknown but then again I had my dad with me for a couple weeks to bridge that gap and bring that sense of home. Also, Europe had so many English speakers around and the transportation was nearly flawless that I never felt too far away from what I had grown used to. Southeast Asia will test me thoroughly and bring me up against obstacles I probably never knew existed. Will transportation be a mess? Will I get lonely? Will the time away from family and friends begin to tear me apart? Will I meet enough English speakers to get around? Will I get lost? These are all valid questions and hopefully I will be ready when those moments come. Clearly, the main draw of a trip like this is to get a taste for what life is like in a culture that is so literally and figuratively foreign to me. Also, I want to see the remains of some of the most ancient civilizations with my own eyes and taste some bizarre foods that no one could possibly find in America, plus I hear it is extremely cheap to travel in. But mostly, this trip represents that latest challenge in my own personal growth. What better way to learn about myself and how I tick than on a journey like this? I pray that I will make it out alive. This trip promises unique experiences and wilder stories and I look forward to fully reliving them with all of you back home. I will try to continue to blog while I am away but as you can probably expect Internet/wifi service won’t be easily accessible. I haven’t quite decided just yet when I will be coming back home but I plan to be back in the States sometime in June or July after seeing the likes of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, and possibly Myanmar, Burma, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Nepal, or wherever the road may take me. Wish me luck and I can’t wait to see you all once more.
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