The meaning behind the word ‘wild’ varies for different people; depends on who you ask. There’s the crazy partying, beer chugging, not knowing where you woke up the next morning kind of wild. There’s also the jungle swinging, mountain climbing, dirty rustic exploration adventure kind. I consider myself the latter (But occasionally I like to dab in the other kind too). 🙂
Hello everyone! I’m back and set to go an another, what’s sure to be a wildly amazing adventure this summer. The random destination of choice this time: Southeast Asia! I plan on getting down and dirty with some Asian culture, exploring the many surrounding countries in the area: Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, you go ahead and name it. Southeast Asia is known as the backpacker’s paradise because everything is insanely cheap and flights between neighboring countries are pennies. I’m gonna be keeping my agenda as open as possible because I have no idea who I’ll meet, where I’ll end up, or what activities I’ll partake in. I’ve read that there are so many cool things to do there: mountain hikes, historic festivals, deep-sea diving, bathing with elephants, learning how to cook Thai cuisine, the list goes on and on. You know one of the sweetest things about this region, in my opinion? There are loads of ancient temples and jungles for me to explore and sneak into. There has to be all sorts of lost relics and aging skeletal remains I might find! I definitely am going to chime into my childhood idol, Indiana Jones. His wild adventures have always been an inspiration for me to see the world. And I don’t care what anyone else says, The Temple of Doom was his best escapade yet! Now if only I had a whip…
Most importantly as usual, I will be volunteering over there within the customs of the locals. As of now, all I know is that I will begin my trip by teaching English somewhere in a place called Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh, formally known as Saigon, is in the south of Vietnam and is the largest and most populated city in the country. I think I will be living in a volunteer house in or near the city. This is destined to be one heck of an amazing summer and just like last time before I left to Africa, the most exciting part is not knowing exactly what lies ahead. Speaking of which, I have been in contact with my volunteer agency and there has been a bit of controversy involving the original organization I was supposed to be teaching with in Vietnam. The volunteers who signed up to arrive after May 1st will be partnering with a new agency in an unspecified area of Ho Chi Minh. So pretty much, I will be part of a group of “test subject” volunteers. I’m down for whatever though! I haven’t the slightest clue what to expect, but not knowing is one of the many great aspects of a solid adventure. This is the stuff I love.
One thing is for certain though, unlike my trips in the past, this particular one was a bit difficult to plan out because it’s not just one or two countries I will be living in; it’s more like eight or nine (maybe). Many different currencies, weird exchange rates, numerous visas, lots of trains, planes, boats, and buses, and different languages and customs to follow. I had a hard time figuring out how to pack for this. I’m going to be moving around all over the place so I don’t want to haul too much, you know? After much tinkering and debating, I decided to quit planning and just wing it and pack light. After all, the unplanned adventures are always the best stories to share.
Another MAJOR difference this time around is…for the first time EVER, I will be traveling with friends I met prior to the trip. I’m pretty excited and I’ll admit, just a smidge nervous about how things will play out. You see, I have become very adept to traveling solo on my own watch for years, able to do what I want, when I want, however I want…up until now. I have it mastered down to a science. But I’m optimistic that everything will be just fine, especially with the down-to-earth crew I am making this journey with. We will be just fine. My friends and family at home think I’m absolutely nuts for always traveling by myself. I always tell them, I’m never truly alone. Whatever country I’m in, I meet a whole slew of interesting and unique new people and volunteers who I end up becoming pretty great friends with. As a matter of fact, the ones who will be accompanying me this time, I met at some point during my previous travels. I will formally introduce you to them on a later post. One of them is even a fellow blogger and we have some pretty big plans in store which I will tell you all about soon.
I don’t leave yet until mid June and I try to avoid leaving long gaps between posts. By the way, if there ever is an extremely long gap without warning, it probably means I’m in some kind of trouble abroad! So until the big day, what shall I write about to keep my readers thirsts quenched? Well, since I returned home from Africa last September, I haven’t just been sitting around. Besides hitting the books and working, over the past few months since then, I have made several small trips to visit past volunteers I met on previous outings, mainly ones I met in South America and in Africa.
For those that have been keeping up with my blogs and travels, there are some familiar faces and a few surprises that will pop up.
So let’s pick things up from where we left off shall we?