I'm moving this week... out of my apartment that is.
Our lease agreement ends while I'm in Thailand on vacation next week so I have to move out now. I'm having trouble getting up the motivation to actually get my stuff together, though, so I'm blogging as procrastination.
My plan is to go ahead and pack everything as if I'm actually leaving the country. Since I will come back from Thailand and only be here for another three weeks, I figured I may as well not waste time moving things that I'm not keeping and since many of the things I am keeping won't be coming with me on my big vacation, I might as well shove them into a space bag and suck the life out of them now. Temporarily of course.
So far, I'm planning to ship one bag to Prague with all of my stuff in it. Which means I'm going to be throwing out a lot of stuff. Honesty, I came to Taiwan with way to much stuff in the first place, and in some cases the wrong stuff or not enough of things I couldn't get.
I've decided I'm going to send winter clothes and business clothes to Prague along with a few other essentials. Then I'm going to choose something like two weeks worth of summer clothes (maybe less...) which I plan on taking with me on vacation. I'm seriously planning on dresses, shorts, one pair of super lightweight pants, and a few t-shirts. But I modify this in my head all the time...
Everything else is going in a box to charity (i.e. the dorm) or the trash.
In case you were wondering about my travel plan (like my sister was) I'll just tell you what I told her:
Aug. 2 I'll fly into BKK (Bangkok) exactly a month after my first entrance to Thailand, which is this Friday! However, I'll be spending less than 10 hours in the country and probably won't even bother leaving the airport because the next morning Aug. 3. I'm flying into Saigon, ahem, Ho Chi Minh City.
I will travel up Vietnam to the old demilitarized zone that used to split the north and south, stopping along the way. So far, I'm planning the typical stops — Mekong Delta, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue —but honestly it's hard not to hit up the typical spots considering Vietnam is such a narrow country.
Then I will turn into Central/Southern Laos.
I'm not solid on what's happening in Laos so this is when I'll start to wing it, hopefully I will have found a couple other backpackers who I can get ideas from and maybe travel with. The two things that are certain are: I'm going to go to this super big, really awesome cave (Kong Lo Cave, it's 7.5km long and has ceilings up to 100m tall with amazing stalactites) in central Laos and then heading down to the Laos-Cambodian Border to Si Phan Don (4000 Islands) on the MeKong, where I hope to see an Irrawaddy dolphin and kayak for a day or two.
That might honestly be all I have time for in Laos, but we'll see.
Then I'll cross into Cambodia. At this point it depends on how much time I have left on my hands, but I'm planning to spend about four days in Siem Reap. I figure three days at the Angkor temples and another day just to play in the city will be good. I'm having trouble finding other things of interest along the way to Siem Reap from Laos.
I will fly out of Siem Reap headed for Bali via a short stopover in Kuala Lumpur.
I'll stay in Bali (or at least the general vicinity) for eight days where I plan to simply be a beach bum and possibly climb to the top of a volcano. I'm hoping to take the time to head over to Lombok and the Gili Islands.
Next I fly back to KL on Aug. 31 where I'll hang out for a couple of days. It'll be interesting going from beach bum to this totally metropolitan city but I figured if I'm going to go there anyway I might as well spend a little time there. I'll just do up the regular sights: Petronas Towers, Chinatown and Little India. I plan to eat a lot of street food as a last ditch effort to get all I can out of Asia..
Then I'll get to take a break in London. Well, my brain will take a break from gesturing and trying to remember what language I'm learning that day. Meanwhile, my pocketbook is really going to start feeling it at this point. I will arrive the evening of Sept. 2 and fly out the evening of Sept. 7. It's a really quick trip, but I'm hoping to get to see my friend Dawn. I met her here in Taiwan working at Gloria and she moved back to England a few months ago.
Finally, I will arrive in Prague the night of Sept. 7. I will have a few days to get acquainted with the city before I start training.
Gwen: "That will be the most awesomest relocation ever."
Jimmie: "Yup, six weeks living out of a backpack."
Jimmie: "Yup, six weeks living out of a backpack."
It's weird that it's getting so close now. I'm starting to get nervous. Do you understand how many different languages (all but one of which I don't know) I'm going to be dealing with over the next two and a half months?
Thai, Vietnamese, Laos, Khmer, Malay, Balinese, Bahasa Indonesia, and Czech. Of course, there will be the five days I will spend in a country that speaks English as a first language. That'll be a nice break before diving into learning Czech...
It's going to be really funny starting all over again. When I got here it was all gestures and I couldn't read anything at all. Now, I get to be illiterate all over again...
So it might seem like I've got stuff pretty well figured out, but there is only so much you can learn from a Lonely Planet book and the Internet. If anyone has any suggestions for places I should go or things I should see or do, please let me know. I love getting suggestions.