My SEA (Southeast Asia) Plans!

My itinerary is still VERY in flux, but so far my plans are:

Thailand


Image via Xin Li 88
Image via brongaeh

I will fly into Bangkok and spend probably about a week, initially, to do my typical tourist sightseeing and jump in to haggling, street food, tuk-tuks, and traveling solo!

After Bangkok, I will journey down to Southern Thailand and hit up the Andaman Coast. I might end up going to the Gulf coast as well, but so far none of the islands sound appealing to me personally. I’m not exactly sure yet which islands I will explore, but I will probably use Krabi as a base and will likely go to Koh Lanta and Railay, as well as others, depending on how long the smoothie and beach bumming lifestyle appeals to me! I won’t be doing a ton of touristy sightseeing, mostly just relaxing, but I do hope to learn how to ride a motorbike when I am on one of these islands.

As of right now, I don’t think I will have enough time to swing Northern Thailand. That disappoints me… but who knows what will happen?

Laos 

Image via trippinlarry

As time is of the essence, I will likely fly from Thailand to Laos and explore the beautiful cities of Luang Prabang and Vientiane, learning more about the Lao culture and history. I will likely skip the backpacker favorite Vang Vieng, a town where you inner-tube down a river from bar to bar, as I’m not greatly into the “party scene.” But I may end up meeting some friends who convince me otherwise!

Cambodia 

Image via Stuck in Customs

This is the one part of my route that is most up in the air now but will end up being the most planned out, as I am meeting one of my favorite travel partners, my father!

That’s Pop!

He and I will likely meet in Siem Reap and spend about four days exploring the temples of Angkor before heading to visit some other cities. We are still talking about which ones, but perhaps Phnom Penh and Kep? No matter what, I’m looking forward to experiencing this country with him, particularly as I will be able to scrub off a month and a half of hostels and stay in nice resorts!

Vietnam 

Image via ccdoh1

I will bus from Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, in southern Vietnam (probably with my father, who will fly out after a few days there). I’m glad I will be able to jump into the craziness that is Vietnam with someone else! I plan to journey up the coast of Vietnam, hitting places like Mui Ne, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Hue before ending in Hanoi towards the beginning to the middle of April. Then back to BKK!
After that, it’s back to Virginia to celebrate the weddings of two very good friends… and then MYSTERY. 
If you have any tips about good places to visit or how to best swing all of this, I would be happy to hear!
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Taking the First Step

As you probably know, I’ve always been the gal with the plan and the carefully constructed timeline. Clearly college follows high school, so senior year is application year. After college? Grad school, naturally! Another application year. After grad school? Hello, job!

Whoops.

We all know what happened next, since I’m currently living it. And when I took the job, I had a tentative thought that grew into an avalanche: since I’ll be unemployed in winter – high season for the next region on my list, Southeast Asia – what a perfect time to travel!

Yes, I decided. This is happening. I bought the books, I started the plans, I mapped out the route. I told my parents, my close friends, and then the ENTIRE WORLD. This is guaranteed to happen.

Except… for that pesky first step. You know. Buying the plane ticket.¬†

For some reason, this has been the hardest thing for me to accomplish, because it makes it real. After I’ve dropped all that dough on a plane ticket, no backing out (or more accurately, chickening out).

And so I kept putting it off. My reluctance to buy that darn ticket was at first justifiable (at least to me): Clearly, I couldn’t buy it BEFORE I started my job, in case I had some random thing to do after the program ends December 9. Then once I started my job, I wanted to dive into it and just figure out my current transition before working on the next step.

But I’ve just celebrated my one-month anniversary (AWW), and my excuses are running pretty thin. In the past few days, I realized that I WANTED to start looking at my next steps. I spend every second of my day thinking of other people, keeping intricate details and to-do lists in mind for work, and I want to think about ME! Preferably me relaxing on a beach in Thailand.

So I took the first mini step: I decided that I would buy the tickets on Tuesday, September 18. (Why that date? No idea. I think it’s because I heard once that plane tickets are cheapest on Tuesdays and decided It Must Be True). Then, I told my parents that this was happening. The thing that pushed me over the line and got my feet (and my credit card) moving? An email from my dad that started, “As you make your reservations tomorrow…” Not if. This was going to happen.

And happen it did. Friends? It’s official. Flying into Bangkok on January 23. Flying out on April 16.

The in-between stuff? All in good time.

ALSO: I’ve been shockingly lax with my cat photos, so here’s one of bathtime. RRRR