I did something spontaneous a couple of weeks ago. I booked a trip to Thailand! It’s a bit unlike me to make such significant plans so suddenly, without months of meticulous vacation preparation and budget obsession. But the stars seem to be in alignment, pointing me towards taking time for myself to experience a new part of the world. Here’s a glimpse:
- It’s been over two years since I’ve taken a big, international trip (safari and climbing in East Africa. AMAZING.)
- I’ve never been to Asia. This will be my sixth continent (I’ve got my eye on you, Antarctica).
- My workplace closes for a week around the holidays, so I only have to take four vacation days to cover the two-week trip.
- Speaking of work, there was a shake-up at the studio last month where a significant number of employees got laid off. I survived these cuts and feel that my position is relatively secure this year.
- I have the money in my savings, as well as a nice stock-pile of unused travel rewards points.
- I found a tour company that specializes in trips for single people. Their itinerary falls at the ideal time to a place I’ve been wanting to visit. Strangely perfect.
- As a single person, I’ve learned over the past 15 years that when a travel opportunity arises, take it. Especially if it’s with a friend, but even if it’s going solo. I won’t be on earth long enough to see everything, but I might as well take a stab at it.
In addition to simply enjoying the exploration of a new land, I have other personal goals for this trip:
Renewed appreciation for my awesome life
- When it comes down to it, I lead a life of privilege and excess. It often doesn’t feel like it, but compared to most other people in the world, I am rich and have an excessive amount of personal freedom. Travel helps me remember that.
Do not stress about spending
- As a reader of this blog, you surely realize by now that I’m pretty damn anal about my finances. On past vacations, I’ve found myself getting anxious about money and how much I’m spending, particularly in the final days as the tab rises and the reality of returning home sets in. When similar thoughts creep in on this trip, I will remind myself that the experience is priceless and invaluable towards my personal growth. I am worth every penny. I will make more money, but I will never get this time back.
- Carry-on only, baby! The weather will be hot and humid. I’ll be taking a capsule wardrobe of items that can all be worn in different combinations while still looking fab. I’ll break down my packing strategy in my next post.
Journal every day
- I usually do this when on vacation, but not in real life. I like taking time each evening to reflect on what I experienced that day. There’s no way I can remember all the details and having them documented for later recollection is priceless.
Eat whatever I want
- Two words: Fish. Sauce.
(Image: Jared Kelly)