My Road Less Traveled

Traveler. Teacher. Food lover. Happiness seeker.

Do you call this a 3 month vacation?

Since embarking in my journey I have felt a lot of emotions, but there is one thing that gets me every time. I absolutely CANNOT STAND when people, FRIENDS, from home tell me that I’m on a 3 month vacation. I’m not sure what they think I’m doing out here, but “vacation” is definitely not the word to describe it. I think they picture me taking 3.5 months to sit at resorts and be waited on hand and foot at every hour of the day. Well, news flash, backpacking and vacationing are at pretty opposite ends of the spectrum. Of course my trip does have its moments. I mean, I am in some of the most beautiful places in the world, doing incredible things, seeing amazing sights and not working; but it all comes at a cost that I don’t think most people I know would be willing to pay (and I’m not talking about money). So I’m going to use this post to set the record straight for all those people back home who think I’m living the life of luxury over here on Asia.

So far in this trip I have…
Had two 24-hour travel days
I’ve taken one overnight bus and one overnight van (during which the driver was falling asleep and we all thought we were going to die)
I was in a taxi that wouldn’t take me where I wanted to go and I was at his mercy
I puked from eating bad food
I’ve been sick and had to go to a doctor – an Indian man whose accent was particularly hard to decipher
I’ve had 4 hot showers in 23 days
I found a (huge!) cockroach in my bag
I slept in a bed that had little ants crawling in it
I slept outside a hotel on a random sofa
I saw a mouse scurry across the floor in my room
I’ve used toilets that are flushed by pouring water into the toilet bowl
Walked around for an hour in 42C heat (107F) for an hour in the wrong direction carrying at 13 kilo backpack
Spent 28 out of 48 hours in a non air-conditioned van
Been covered in mosquito bites
…and the list goes on and on.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a vacation to me. I, however, not only don’t mind it, but it’s all part of the adventure. Knowing that I can get through these things, can not only survive, but thrive, makes me know that I can tackle anything. I also do it for one reason – because I want to see the world, and experience it. I want to see these incredible temples, beautiful beaches, active volcanoes, animals, skyscrapers, and everything else in between – and I want to meet the other people who want to do it too. So yes, I might have some incredible stories…

So far this trip I have…
Seen countless temples

Been to a volcano at sunrise

Been to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world
Went all you can drink cliff jumping (3 times!)
Been island hopping in beautiful El Nido
Eaten hawker food in Singapore

Biked through rice paddies in Bali
Met hundreds of incredible people
Partied like a 21 year old (maybe a little too much)
Done nothing (or close to it) for far to many days
…and the list goes on and on.

…but it all comes at a price. So ask yourself: is it a price you’re willing to pay? But either way, “vacation” in the traditional sense of the word is it not, but amazing? It definitely is.

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