Here I find myself 15 days from departure day, and I feel a situation report is needed to see just how prepared I am for this adventure. There are a lot of things that I “plan” to do, but, very little is set in stone. Those are the only real plans I have.
Where am I travelling?
Well at this point in time i can confirm that I will be starting in Australia, before catching a flight over to Indonesia where I will visit 6 islands in total (East / West Nusa Ternegga, Lombock, Gili Islands, Bali and Java). From Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, I will catch a flight to Singapore, before heading on, which at this point looks certain to be Malaysia.
Is that it?
No, not at all. I admit, the list isn’t very long right now, however my initial plan of “arranging the entire trip before I leave” turned out to be incredibly ambitious! So at this point three weeks before I leave, I’ve only properly arranged up to Singapore.
However from there the plan is to spend some time in Malaysia before heading into Thailand and the rest of South East Asia.
How long will I travel for?
That is the hardest question of all and I couldn’t even give you a rough answer to it. I really don’t know.
To consider that when I originally thought of travelling I thought I could do the entire trip in 6 months no problem, which now obviously I see as ridiculous. Up until this point, I will be in Singapore on February the 24th, meaning essentially I guaranteed have 3 months on my trip, only spent in 3 countries.
As well as that, I am currently in contact with 3 different volunteering opportunities in Malaysia, and due to their very generous visa’s, I could potentially spend 3 months ONLY in Malaysia.
AND it’s a question of how long will my cash last! As soon as that’s finished, I have to come home, or if not find some way of earning it! Meaning essentially I have absolutely no clue how long this trip will last, only that it will be a minimum of 3 months
So what do you actually know for sure?
Well I know I have a flight to Melbourne, and from there a 3 week tour of the East Coast. I also know that I have a flight from Darwin to Bali, and a few days later a flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo. I have one last flight booked from Jakarta to Singapore.
Volunteering-wise I have 2 arranged, both on the Island of Java for first half of February and that I have a minimum of a 3 month trip…and that’s basically all I know for sure.
Shouldn’t you of arranged the whole trip before leaving?
That was the original plan, however now that appears highly unrealistic. At this point I have only planned my trip up until Singapore, which would be 3 countries in total. This doesn’t sound a lot at all considering I’m supposed to get myself all the way back to Wales, but I have arranged it all the way up until March next year.
Now the problem that I’ve caused myself is that I’ll be arranging this trip too soon.
This causes a problem in buying plane tickets. These I want to buy as soon as I can to get the cheapest price, but certain plane tickets won’t be available that soon. As well as that, I don’t know where I’ll be yet or when, or even if I need a flight!
Another problem is that a great deal of this trip is planned around the volunteering I will do. Those dates that I arrange with the hosts will be (along with flight) set dates in my calendar. The problem now is that I’m contacting volunteering opportunities in Malaysia for March, when it’s simply too early. I’ve had positive replies but they’ve informed me that’s it’s a bit too early to arrange placements right now, and for me to let them know closer to the time. To be fair I am currently asking these people 4 months in advance. Therefore at the moment my planning is held back by the fact that I’m doing too much too soon.
In retrospect, this probably is a good thing, I shouldn’t plan too much. It’s all very well and good saying “I’ll spend 3 months here, I’ll do that, this and that”, but several things could change along the way. First and foremost would be cash; what’s the point arranging to volunteer in central Europe next year when I will have run out of money before I’ve left Asia? Or what if I want to change the route?
For now, my trip is planned all the way up until March, meaning for now there is no pressure to arrange anything. In the end it seems its best that I plan as I go along.