A trip is just a trip until you do it. Sitting at home waiting for a trip to start, as I have discovered, is a journey much unto it own. Since my decision to leave I have been planning a 2 month visit to India that has cumulated into a 6 month expedition across 6 different countries including China, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. “Because if your going to fly over there, you might as well get your money’s worth.”
Trip planning is like being back at school in terms of cost and time commitment. It seems like every waking moment I’m thinking about the trip or I’m bleeding money to make it happen. My nose is on the grindstone, selling my soul in order to fund the project. The difficulty comes in all the little pieces that make it work. The allocation of visas for India, China and Vietnam, health insurance for a kid with a heart condition, flight itineraries, immunizations, passports, shopping, research, scheduling, budgeting, rationing, worrying, pleading, waiting on hold and talking about it with everyone that I meet.
Talking about it is the best part… most of the time. Sometimes though, that outsider’s perspective makes me instantly aware that I am a very white boy travelling through communist, third world, and war stricken countries full of people who don’t speak my language. I’m not going to see my girlfriend for more than two months, and I’ll be away from home for more than six! Most terrifying and thrilling though, is that after that time, we will never see the world the same way again.
The only thing keeping me from internally combusting through all of this is the disaster prevention efforts I am assembling to make it run as smoothly as it can. Having the objective of my impending departure has given my everyday life purpose and direction. Even after 3 days of waiting on hold to try and book our flights, or negotiating with an emotionless robot lady at the Vietnamese Embassy, in the end I come out tired but impassioned.
People ask me what I’m going to do when I get back, and I have to admit that I don’t know. I have had to accept that, like many things to do with this trip, my life beyond this week, let alone the end of my trip, is still a mystery to me. Sometimes it feels like the trip is a procrastination of joining real life, and in some ways, that’s probably the truth. I don’t know exactly what I want to do with my life, and this is just an attempt to do some self exploration and adventuring to bolster my instincts. Even though I haven’t left yet, it’s already the greatest decision of my life.
Thanks for listening.