The count down app on my phone has running since November, it now reads 10 days. Next Wednesday the 18th April, my long awaited trip begins. The trip has been a two year dream in the making and it is finally upon me. It has changed over time, originally it was meant to be a minimum of a 6 month adventure and then following life events earlier this year I altered it to 8 weeks and booked a return flight home. Now once again following recent events I am considering changing this to a longer stretch of time, but I’ll see how things unfold while I am away – I might get homesick, I might just want to continue.
So my trip starts of in Sri Lanka, a 3 week tour covering the south east cost and the cultural triangle, then flying on to Thailand for 2 weeks to explore the mainland and 2 weeks to relax on the islands followed by a few days in Singapore before I’m meant to fly home. That’s unless Malaysia and Indonesia call my name…
I’ve read every backpacking travel blog going on what the “Must have items” are for long term travel and Amazon have done me proud on delivering all my new gadgets to me! My new, clean Osprey Fairview 70L backpack is ready to be packed, my 70-300 lens is ready to be tested on Safari at the Yala National Park, my new gold MacBook is ready to receive my daily photos, I’ve had my dose of vaccines and I’ve splurged on Victoria Secret bikinis. I quite honestly couldn’t be more prepared for my trip ahead.
On the other hand I feel totally unready for what lies ahead; will I manage to get on the correct bus at the busy Kandy bus station, will I catch the right train, is my mobile phone really unlocked to accept a foreign sim card; quite frankly do I really know what I am doing? I am undertaking the trip by myself, yet I’ve only ever been on a few European city breaks solo, but 8 weeks is ahead of me, can I do it? Most peoples reaction when they hear I am going at it alone is one of, “you’re brave, I couldn’t do that”, which to be totally honest isn’t exactly comforting. I’m not afraid of being alone, I like my own company, however it’s when it comes down to trusting your own judgement and not having anyone to bounce the ideas of that a travel partner would be handy, not to mention someone that can rescue you from the huge spider that will inevitably appear on the bedroom wall at some point during the trip.
Then comes the subject of hostels; so now is the time to admit that I’ve never actually stayed in one before and as any of my friends would tell you I can be quite a snob when it come to luxuries and home comforts. So right now the thought of shared toilets and showers is actually a little scary. That will be a whole new experience right there on its own…
Back to packing, I’ve made my lists, I’ve got my neat piles, my “Sea to Summit” dry bags to help me organise my clothes, but what about toiletries, how do I actually fit them all in? The thought of winging it and buying my shampoo and conditioner out there is an even scarier thought than shared washing facilities, a girl needs to wash her hair when she wants!
Apart from the slight anxiety surrounding the unknowns, I am obviously extremely excited to embark on this journey and it really couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. I need this trip to escape everyday life, lose myself in new cultures and enjoy new experiences and challenges. I am sure once I zip up my backpack and board my plane in 10 days time all my little fears will disappear and the excitement of this long awaited trip will take over; and when I do get a little homesick (which I know I will) my friends and family are luckily only ever a WhatsApp call away.