As I write this, I have just over 32 days to go til I board the plane at Birmingham Airport - Destination Thailand! The past few months I have discovered a whole range of emotions that go hand-in-hand with travelling, from anxiety, to excitement, and the realisation that I will be missing family for quite some time. And whilst its a bizarre mix of emotions that only some encounter in such a short space of time, I wouldn't change it for anything.
Pretty much down to the last few things to sort out now. Have sorted all accomodation up until the New Year, apart from my Malaysia tour where I will be meeting up with a girl called Jeni and we shall be ''winging it'' in true travelling fashion!
It sure has been a rollercoaster last few months for me. It seems like a lifetime ago when I booked my flights in January. Since then, I have become a Christian, gave up my links with the football club that I started and left in the capable hands of Nathan, Rob and Ken (I sure will miss you guys), handing in my notice and watching my family come to terms that I will be leaving.
There are two main reasons for travelling... firstly, I want to see what God has created in the world... there are some stunning scenerys to be found in Thailand, Laos and Malaysia where I will be for 10 weeks before I get to Australia. Secondly, travelling brings together a social community like nothing you can experience back at home. Imagine staying in a dorm with 9 other people, scattered from various places all around the world like China, USA, France, Germany, Holland, South Africa, New Zealand etc and thats what it is like on a daily basis! Fellow travellers are not strangers, just friends I haven't met yet!
I have also thought of the dangers and temptations of travelling. I am far too aware that travellers are easy targets and as such I will be keeping a vigilant eye out for anything that I feel is not right. Also, having recently come to faith, I know that the temptations will be plentiful around me.For example, Alcohol is rediculously cheap and whilst I do like a beer or two, I will be making sure I dont get into a foolish state.
I have got involved in a facebook group called SE Asia 2011, where a lot of people who are going on similar routes to me have formed a community online. This has been a blessing, as I have met so many good people from the group. April, the founder, organised a night out in London that was very successful which meant I met some really cool people. There are now about 30 of us meeting up for the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan mid September!!
I pretty much have an itinerary of where I'll be going now...
I fly out from Birmingham on 4th September, arriving in Bangkok a day later with a stop at Dubai in between. Staying in a hotel at Bangkok airport with Sean Priestley, Lucinda Dockar and Katie McWhirter before catching a flight to Krabi! There, we will be meeting others from the SE Asia group such as Alex Bradbeer, April Hook, Bev Webb to name a few. Onto Koh Phangan to meet the rest of the gang before making tracks back upto Bangkok! After, me Sean and Lucinda will be discovering Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya and Pai before a return to Bangkok. I will then be going on a Stray Tour of Laos for 16 days, leaving Lucinda and Sean behind. Upon a return to Bangkok, I will stay for a week and then meeting up with Jeni to travel around Malaysia. And then onto Oz, for which I dont really have any plans... I will go where the wind takes me and see what plans God has for me :)
Thank you for reading this...