Today I have mostly been joining the dots in my latest travel itinerary. And oh my god, for every moment of excitement I feel at the prospect of disappearing for a few months with nothing but a bag and my computer, I feel an equal measure of terror. What if I don’t see everything I’m supposed to see? What if I don’t find “myself” at all? Or what if I do and I realise I totally suck, and I come back defeated with braids and a bintang t-shirt?
It’s actually kind of cool planning such a massive trip, but every time I join two dots, 20 more present themselves. There are just so many blimmin places to go aren’t there!!! I’m a crappy planner too. It’s all on a word doc, like a modern scrap book of random crap that needs to be pasted together with superglue so as not to fall apart and scatter in the wind. I cut and paste something different every five minutes, changing my mind, going “yeeeeaaaah” and then, “ah, naaaaah” and confusing myself completely. I’m getting the feeling that doing something like this, something so open-ended, is probably better when you don’t have a plan at all.
At the moment, I’m doing three weeks in Bali, flying June 8th. This is the part I’m looking forward to most because I’m staying in some lovely, relaxing places (mostly in Ubud), which I’ll be writing about for a travel website. I wanna be all Julia Roberts here and ride a bike and crash into a hunk of man who’ll take me jungle trekking like Tarzan and Jane and introduce me to a world I never knew, a world of nature and spiritualism and little monkeys who sit on your shoulder and weave flowers into your hair and…. the rest. If this doesn’t happen I’ve heard that there are lots of wine bars there now, so it’ll be fine.
One of the places I’ll be staying at is the absolutely gorgeous looking Hanging Gardens, Ubud. How amazing does that look? Soooo excited about that. The relatively new Cinta Inn looks pretty swish, too! I think places like this will more than make up for what’s ahead, when I have to travel with stinky backpackers in Laos, Cambodia and Vietman, and probably sleep in hovels. I like the idea that I’m not over this sort of travelling – that I’ll muck in with the 21 and 22 year olds, sit up all night shouting, belching and snogging people I shouldn’t in between doing bong hits from a plastic bottle. But in reality I know I’ll be in bed by 10pm with earplugs in, crying, wishing they’d shut up and stop cartwheeling round my backpack.
I may have to limit my nights in hostels and opt to sleep on trains between locations, which I’m sure will be far more acceptable. (Oh shut up). Hmmmm…
The good thing is that mummy Wicks is coming to meet me in Bangkok, where we’ll peruse the markets and temples and then head up to Chinag Mai. We’re doing a cooking school there, and going on a tour to see some tribes who wear bangles round their elongated necks. I’m sure there’s a more factual description and purpose for these people, but my blatant ignorance is the reason I’m going. I wish to be enlightened. At what point do you wake up and decide that your neck’s not long enough? Is this something that happens often? Will I want a long bangled neck when I leave Thailand?
When mummy Wicks leaves, my good friend Dacey arrives, and we’re planning to head to Cambodia to see Siem Reap and some other things (can you tell where my research has hit a wall?), and maybe Laos. Though I’ve heard mixed reports about Laos. I’d like some tips if anyone’s been there? A while ago I had a vision from God about Laos. I’m still not sure what to make of it. The most notable “tourist attraction” there that I can find in the travel forums is a river for tubing with bars on either side of it. Bars for drinking in, of course – not metal bars preventing those who get into the river from getting out – that would just be mean.
Yeah… maybe not having a clue what to really do after Bali and Chiang Mai is the best thing, eh? After all, you can’t be sad about a plan not coming together when you don’t have one.