Where to Start?

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Hello and welcome people!

To say it very briefly, I decided to start this travel blog (which eventually I will turn into a proper site) to document my journey through South East Asia, starting from India this February 2013. No better way to start off a new year!

As you might guess, I’ve done my researches to get properly ready to go, but I decided to start the blog before actually leaving, as everything I read about the preparation was written by someone who had already gone away and done their experience. So, this way, I’ll try to take you through how I am getting prepared to leave my family and friends for 6 months alone.
If you have anything to add or suggest, please don’t hesitate to!

So, where to start?

All I read so far about the leaving bit had a common point – “it’s easy,  just find a place where you really want to go to, or randomly pick one up from a map, and book a flight!”.

Is it really? 

To me, traveling has always been the favorite thing to do in my life. I’ve been lucky as a kid to travel with my family and alone, studied abroad for years in other countries, volunteered in India for a month and so on. I’m even taking a gap year after graduating from uni just for this.
However, it’s not always as simple as they say, you’re surrounded by people that care about you so much that they try everything they can not to let you go, as it is too dangerous. If you’re a girl as I am, even worse.
You meet new friends, get a girl/boyfriend, will the money be enough?!, and everything around you weirdly seems more appealing and the thought of leaving it all less and less ideal.
This has happened to me each and every time, at least.
[However, it will all come clear once you’re actually on the flight, where the most appealing thing around you is that box of peanuts you’re keeping in case of a hunger-emergency, and what will happen next is an exciting new adventure that you and only you will have lived. ]

But not to worry! Keeping you busy from these thoughts there will always be the planning: my guide/bible (which soon I will probably tell you to throw away) for the journey will be Lonely Planet’s “South East Asia on a Shoestring”, which has an interesting timeline for planning, useful to use as a guideline.

12 months before: Calculate a trip budget and start saving;
6 months: pick which countries to visit, when and for how long;
6 to 4 weeks: Get vaccinations and travel insurance;
4 weeks: Start booking flights; make a visa and passport arrangements;
2 weeks: Reserve high-season transport and accommodations for popular destinations, live-aboard dive trips and Borneo trekking tours;
1 week: Book accommodation for international arrival city; start packing.

As I said, this is good to keep in mind as a guideline, but if you tend to be a last minute person as I am, you will probably do it all in the last month (besides saving unfortunately!).
I booked my ticket two days ago to fly out on the 5th February, and my first stop will be Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, India. Why?! Because Maha Kumbh Mela happens to be at the same time I was planning to go to India, and even if it is in the North and not South as I wanted, I just could not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity! I’ll get to the South in some other way… which will hopefully be cheap.

So besides booking the ticket I haven’t done anything else, I guess it will be a busy month.
I’ll keep you updated with all the pre-departure bureaucracy stuff in the next posts, enough for now!

Lots of love

Carolina

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