I wanted to write a post to all of the people who have written to me recently saying they are dying to take a trip like the one I am currently planning, but the timing isn’t right for them. That is a legitimate reason not to pull the trigger… yet!
I previously posted that this is a trip that I have casually talked about for a looooong time. It wouldn’t have been responsible for me to take this trip two years ago. Some people would say it still isn’t, but when they start talking I just smile, nod, and imagine myself riding an elephant in a pointy hat and it doesn’t bother me anymore. My point is, that just because you aren’t booking plane tickets today doesn’t mean you won’t. Make up your mind that someday you are going to “click confirm”. Write it down. Commit part of your heart to it… when the right moment comes along, you will know. And when it does… don’t look back.
The last 15 days have been a whirlwind of internet searches, price comparisons, last minute purchases, vaccinations, insurance headaches, and phone calls to recordings that are followed by terrible songs while I wait to talk to a “real” person. I wish I was writing to say “and now it’s all taken care of!” but I’m not! Hey, I still have 4.5 days… so there is no reason to panic. (ahhhhh!)
As I have been trying to get all of this taken care of, while still giving my company the 100% it deserves from 8-5, (let me tell you how hard it is not to google “things to do in Vietnam” while you are sitting at a desk with three computers!) I have realized that there will never be a “perfect time” to head off to the other side of the world. So while you are waiting for that “moment” to tell you the time is right…. don’t expect that moment will mean it’s going to be easy. Your moment probably won’t come as a visit from the vaccination fairy, telling you not to worry about malaria. You’re also probably not going to have some travel apparition telling you that your trip won’t interfere with anything at home.
You are never going to be completely “ready.” Now, is 19 days enough time to prepare for what has become an 8-week trek through Asia and Australia? Probably not. But sometimes you just have to commit to a dream and trust that if you work hard enough you can pull it off. For me, this time, it meant I had 19 days. My point is that no matter how long you have to prepare, when the moment comes, you aren’t going to feel 100% ready. Click. Confirm. Anyway.
Am I kicking myself for buying a round-trip ticket when it turns out I won’t be using the return? YES! But if I had waited to know my entire itinerary… I would still be planning, not going. Do I wish I had bought lightweight hiking clothes in the summer rather than in January? YES! Will it be inconvenient to carry a cooler around so that my Typhoid vaccine can stay refrigerated because I didn’t give myself enough time to take the full cycle before I leave the states? YES! But I’m gonna do it. Because I’m doing it. The moment came. And I clicked confirm.
In 2013, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. After four months of backpacking I returned to the States and fell in love with a guy whose job sent us straight back to Asia. Nothing has gone according to plan... and it's been absolutely magical.