“So what are you looking for?” asked Sharon, some time well after midnight on my last night in Wellington (NZ) last week.
“I’m not sure” I replied, “but I think I’ll find it. Being completely free from the routine of normality, I reckon I’ll work out what I really want out of life.” And even if I don’t, it’ll be a hell of a trip…
We were referring to my travel plans for later this year, which have crystallised in recent months and which will be the realisation of several long-held dreams. Sharon is my step-sister-in-law, and Joel and I stayed with her and Stephen (my step-brother) during a fantastic visit to NZ recently to see family and friends. The end of that trip marks the end of my hibernation over the last six months… though it’s been great and definitely helpful for me to hunker down for a while after the traumas of last year, I know I dragged it out longer than necessary. And with what’s coming up soon, I definitely need to get back into the swing of things now if I’m going to make the most of the trips!
So what’s ahead? In September I head off with my best friend for three weeks in South America, flying into Santiago for a while and then to Buenos Aires and Montevideo before finishing back in Chile. The airlines were falling over themselves to offer ridiculously cheap airfares some months ago, and with return airfares at just $1006 each including taxes we figured it’d be a crime not to go!
But South America is just the appetiser. After that I’m back to work for a month in October, then off again for a whole FIVE MONTHS. Woo hoo! This is the dream I’ve been nurturing for years: having the time to wander without needing to stick to a schedule, or even caring that much about what comes next. In November I fly to Singapore and have ten days to get to Kuala Lumpur, then I fly to Vientiane in Laos. After that I’ve got three and a half months to get back to Singapore, via Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, China and who knows where else. It’s possible I will get the travel bug out of my system with this trip… or it may burrow so deeply that I’ll never be rid of it. Only one way to find out 😀
Oh, and sandwiched in between both journeys is a little thing called the New York Marathon. Against the odds I gained entry to this year’s race via the lottery, so I’m going! This is another dream that I honestly did not think could be realised until 2011, but I’m seizing the chance while I can. Thanks again to super-cheap airfares I’ll have a week in Gotham at the end of October to take part in the most famous running race of all. By all accounts it’ll be an amazing experience, and it will also ensure I am super-fit for the big trip through Asia.
Work has been fabulously accomodating, even though my absence will cause great disruption. They know that this is something I need to do. And after a long silence I will also be blogging every trip, promise!