Four month update
London feels like a lifetime ago and it seems forever since we said goodbye to the UK and began this adventure, but apparently it’s only been four months.
We’ve seen and done so much and there are so many wonderful memories already. The once in a lifetime ones like hearing gibbons as we drove through the breathtaking Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, diving for the first time and seeing six foot plus sharks and grand old turtles and the simple ones, like having the most delicious wantan mee at a streetside stall.
Eleven flights, four countries and within those nine islands, one hire car, one lost wedding ring, two bouts of food poisoning (both me), one boat faceplant, one broken toe (yes both me again), one sat on pair of glasses (not me), one embassy visit, countless ice creams, one new backpack, four new flip flops, several amazing new friends, three cat rescues, one sneaky trip back to the UK to see my mum and cat. Thankfully we’re not even a quarter of the way through our adventure, and yes I know how lucky I am.
If your dream is travelling, South East Asia really can be done on a shoe string, we have an accommodation budget of £20 a night which we stick to more or less and have stayed in some pretty fabulous places within the budget, as well as some super basic ones, none of them have been remotely gross. You can find a lot of way way cheaper accommodation (£2-5 a night) if you’re ok with it being basic. We’ve also found the longer you stay in a place the better deal you can get. Transport is generally cheaper than in the West, as is food. We can enjoy a delicious large meal with drinks for £1-2.50 each in most places we’ve visited, we love local street food and it makes sense to eat where the locals eat if you want to try the best of it. This is obviously not true everywhere, certain countries or areas are more expensive, so we try not to stay too long in those.
My one bit of advice if you plan to travel would be to bring as little as possible with you, the essentials and little else. Of course I heard this advice and ignored it, idiot. We’ve now sent back or given away over half of the clothes and things we brought over to begin with. Most everything you will want to take is cheaper in SEA and the less you are lugging around the happier you are likely to be.
We have just finished our PADI advanced open water dive certification in Indonesia, something I never even dreamed we’d do, incredible! We’ve had our first trickle of visitors from back home and have a few scheduled in moving forward and we’re here, really doing this, and the smile on my face is pretty ingrained at this point.
Of course it’s not always smiles, being sick anywhere is no fun but without the comforts of home it seems much worse. When you are with someone twenty four seven there are bound to be times you need a break from each other. For the most part, sickness and frustrations are but fleeting and the smiles return and we get back to enjoying each other and this incredible experience soon enough.
Four months in and I am not the same person who left, I like me more and I like the world more as a result.
If you’ve ever wanted to do this (or whatever it is you’ve always dreamed of doing) DO IT! Do whatever you need to make it happen. Believe in you and in your dream coming true. There are all sorts of disclaimers I want to add but I’m going to let your common sense prevail. For me a happy life is not about what you have, if anything it’s about what you do with your very short precious time here. Me, I want to live with laughter and JHubz and swim with the fishes Xx
ps Apologies if you’re one of my subscribers and some of this is a repeat, grr argh.