As I’ve alluded to in a few previous posts, I’m about to travel. On Wednesday morning, I’ll get a plane, via a layover in Doha, to Bangkok.
I plan to blog about it a bit here, but I don’t want to turn this into a travel blog because, to be honest, I usually kind of loathe them. Don’t get me wrong, if it’s a personal thing (like a diary/journal/etc), or one that’s basically just for friends/family, that’s totally cool in my book. However, I get the feeling that with a lot of them, it’s someone who’s having great experiences and really, really wants you to be excited for them too. But…at the end of the day traveling is basically a thing that only the person doing it is experiencing, so it’s kind of lame to expect others to be as into it as they are. People trying to make it as actual travel bloggers for a living are often kind of the worst. I mean, I’m not gonna lie: on some level it’s definitely envy I have for them, and if they can pull it off, well, good for them I guess. But it does feel very self indulgent of them, and the market (of people wanting to essentially get paid to travel and write about it) is obviously so saturated that it seems like they often get a sleazy/annoying vibe.
Anyway, I’ll be starting in Bangkok. A lot of people have asked if I have an itinerary yet, to which I’ve told them that I have a “list”, but not a day to day itinerary. Everything I’ve read online has told me to stay flexible because you’ll meet people and discover things to do while there, and it’s easy to change plans there. That said, I have a bunch of places in Thailand I’d like to go, and I’ll almost certainly go to Cambodia and Laos for a bit. Vietnam is a bit of a stretch (being farther away and needing a visa in advance), but I’ve been told not to miss it. Depending on how I’m feeling too, flights to the Philippines and Indonesia are cheap as shit, so I could take a few days there to check them out. A friend who’s traveled extensively in the area said Myanmar is one of his very top favorites…yeah, probably not gonna go there anytime soon.
Saying goodbye to everyone was really sad, since I’ve had such great times with the crew we had built up in Providence. Then again, I’m positive I’ll end up seeing probably everyone again, and who knows, we might even live in the same place again someday? Still, it’s still pretty awful and I’m guessing it hasn’t sunken in yet, since I saw them only a few hours ago. Saying goodbye to Providence itself was really surreal. My office in particular… I can’t explain just how many hours I spent in that awful windowless room over the past six years, and now it’s just a place I’ll never go to again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not missing it, but it does feel a little like having dated someone for years, and now just never speaking to them again after you break up. I worked insane hours, ate so many meals there, learned a ton of things, and now it’s just another place. Saying goodbye to Brown (the school now, not just my building) was weird too. Even though I defended on Sept. 15, and was technically not a student after Sept. 1 or something, I still felt decently “part of Brown”, because I was still working on stuff there and my card still worked in the buildings and gym, and my office was still totally there. But, having finished, clearing out my stuff, my card will stop working starting Jan. 1, and I’ll really no longer be a part of it when I come back to visit. As an aside, it’s funny to me that the new science building, right next to the one I lived in (Barus and Holley), opened up to the public like the fucking week I left. It’s gorgeous, pretty much the opposite of awful ol’ Barus and Holley.
The actual time of the year to travel during is good and bad. Good because it’s kind of off season, and it’s the end of the monsoon season, so I should mostly avoid that. Additionally, I really didn’t want to do another New England winter, and now I’m dodging it. On the flip side, these ~2 months are chock full of big days I’m gonna regret missing: halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, new year, and several friends’ birthdays.
Packing-wise, ugh. All this preparation and then I shit the bed with such obvious things? I apparently forgot my DSLR’s extra CF cards, one extra battery, USB mini cord, and the battery charger. Fortunately, there but for the grace of Amazon Prime go I, and I was able to order them to a friend’s house here before I leave, so I should be able to charge my battery and transfer the pics. I’ll still be relying on one CF card, which means I’ll have to empty it more often and really hope it doesn’t get corrupted or something, but still better. The other thing is that I’m flying Qatar Airways there, and it seems like they have a 7kg limit for the carry on baggage (I don’t plan on checking anything, because that adds complications and I can fit everything in this one bag). However, mine is currently coming in at about 8.5kg, so we’ll see. I’ll probably wear several layers of clothes and stuff the densest/smallest stuff in my pockets until we board, and hope that makes the difference. There are mixed reports online about them being strict with that rule. If they just charge some feel per kg over, okay, not too bad. But it would suck to find out they make you check it/throw stuff away if it’s overweight.
Anyway, I’ll update soon with actual info. Off I go!