General, Travel

To Malaysia. And Beyond!

I’m not sure I have mentioned this enough yet, but I am going travelling around the world soon. In fact, I fly seven weeks yesterday. Now as it is August, I can say I fly next month. It’s so exciting, I literally can’t wait. I thought it was about time to think about packing and getting all my documents together. Probably a good thing right? I also decided, along with my travel partner, what the next leg of the journey should consist of.

We’ve already booked a (expensive) tour that takes us right through Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos, and allows us to completely travel the North of Thailand, and see Bangkok. We have an orientation in Bangkok sorted for a few days, and then we have our teaching places all sorted (as much as they can be at this stage) until March. Then nothing. Meeting my parents in July in Florida has been in place as the final element of the journey for a while, but what we plan to do in between had remained unknown.

That’s all changed. On Wednesday, we flicked through the travel brochure and found the ideal tour that should take around a month. We want to travel through the south of Thailand, and get to see some of the islands, so we found a tour that allows us to island hop on our own time. This should let my friend complete her diving course, and allow us both the experience a Thai full moon party. Upon leaving the islands, we travel further south in Malaysia. It’s not a country I have thought much about visiting, but the guy who we saw the other day at the travel agent sold it well, and we couldn’t resist. We are travelling to a little place 1.500m above sea-level called Cameron Highlands; it’s in the rainforest and is known for it’s tea plantations, it’s definitely going to be a new kind of place to visit. And then down to Kuala-Lumpa, before heading to Singapore. I wasn’t expecting to be able to afford to do all these places, so it is a really nice bonus. I will be able to put even more pins in my map when I get home.

On top of that, we also booked out flights from Singapore to Australia, Perth to be exact, so Australia is now officially on our itinerary. My friend’s brother emigrated to Perth a year ago, so going was always the plan. by the time we get there, she won’t have seen him for 18 months. It should be great, plus it gives us time to relax and recover after all the teaching and travelling. We are hoping to arrive there early April. Her brother’s and his fiancé’s birthdays are both mid-April, so we will get to be out there with them to celebrate. An extra, unexpected and pleasant surprise.

The only problem with all this is the cost. I am now really poor, I have next to nothing to my name. And I need to sort all the essential documentation that I haven’t done yet. I need to apply and pay for a Vietnamese visa, a criminal check, a Thai visa, 10 passport photos (minimum), and email all my details to the various tour companies. I better get started!

I also need to think about what I am going to be taking with me. I have been slowly buying things over the past 6 months and have ended up acquiring a lot more than I thought I had (surprise surprise) We’re flying with Qatar, so we know we have a baggage allowance that will be sufficient, it’s just getting everything I want to take into the rucksacks that make the travelling in country much easier. I think I need to do a test pack next week so I can see how much space I do/don’t have, and start assessing what is essential and luxury. I need to somehow fit a sleeping bag in with my stuff too. I will just have to make it work. My work and teaching clothes have to take priority, followed by shoes and essential toiletries, before I can even think about luxuries and clothing choice. It should be a laugh making all this fit. And I thought car jenga coming home from Uni was difficult.

On a completely different not, I got a new bed today, it’s all assembled, and has given me extra room and storage space in my room. Both much needed. I am really pleased with it.

I also saw The Guardian’s of the Galaxy. What a film. Marvel outdo themselves with every release. I knew next to nothing about the characters/worlds/plot, and have to say, I was blown away. The new world’s they have created are visually stunning, the CGI and special effects are absolutely mind-blowing. The colours and depth of the galaxies and planets is unbelievable, but pales in comparison to the animation of both Rocket and Groot, whose life-like movement and appearance blur perceptions of what is real and not. As close to perfection as I have seen! I am really pleased they took a chance on these characters, it’s nice to have a new set to root for and to get to know. Chris Pratt is funny, but the Rocket/Groot partnership undoubtedly steals the show. I am so pleased they are going to do a sequel. It’s just a shame they didn’t have a good post-credits scene. They could have given us a taste of The Avenger’s 2!

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