The beginning of my great adventure to South East Asia


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Today my great adventure to Southeast Asia begins, and my first stop is Bangkok, Thailand. I prepare to go to the airport, my flight leaves at 19:00. I cannot describe the mixture of emotions and feelings that I perceive in me … it is euphoria, it is nervousness, it is happiness, it is fear, it is joy, it is sadness, it is everything and nothing at the same time. My parents come with me to the airport and the only thing certain in all this is that: I have a one-way flight and without return.

It is the first time that I am going to travel on my own, in such a long journey, far from home, from my family, friends and loved ones. That makes me immensely happy because I’m finally going to pursue my dream and make it come true, traveling to Thailand, Cambodia and Southeast Asia; but at the same time, I feel some fear and uncertainty, because I am leaving to an unknown country and culture, with a foreign language and thousands of miles away from home.

It’s time to board the plane, and with tears, I hug my parents as hard as I can, I take my backpack and, I head to aisle to start my journey. I do not know when I’ll see them again, or how long I’ll be away from home. Although I am filled with so much happiness and joy at the beginning of this new adventure, I also perceive my own fear that makes me nervous as I wait for the plane to take off.

It will be a long, multi-stop flight (Mexico> Los Angeles> Taipei> Bangkok), however, there is no rush. When traveling on a tight budget, the cheapest flights are those that cover several stopovers and from my experience, if you have enough time to travel without worrying, I recommend to you that you take in consideration this option and save some money that you can use later during your trip.

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Some pages that I recommend to you, where you can find flights that are very cheap when planning your trip are:

Taking in consideration the above and al the long flight hours to reach my final destination city, I must confess sadly, even if you don’t believe me … The best food (considering it is airplane food) was served on the flights of the Chinese Airlines. All American and Mexican low-cost airlines like Volaris charge extra for those services. Here is a photo of my meals by China Airlines, after that long flight I really appreciate the wonderful food, and you can choose between two options, so it is awesome:

 

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The backpack of a traveler for Southeast Asia


editada-mochila

 

An important part of planning my trip through Southeast Asia is to define the type of backpack that I will be taking with me to this great adventure. What makes my decision a little bit complex is that I do not have clear how long I will be traveling, or what countries I will be visiting during my journey.

I do not have a clear idea of what to bring, so I started researching on the Internet in different webpages and blogs from other travelers who have already been to Southeast Asia and that gave to me a really good idea so I followed their advice.

Nowadays the Internet and social networks are wonderful, we are really well connected and communicated, so that opens for us a huge panorama of options. We can search and learn from the experiences of other world travelers who have already done the same thing we are planning to do and let us be better prepared for our journey.

Based on that idea, and after reading several blogs, I would like to make a special mention to a traveler who I admire a lot, for all the countries she has visited, traveling alone backpacking, and of whom I greatly appreciate been able to take the best advice for my own travel through Southeast Asia. Here I leave the link to her blog (it is in Spanish), especially the entry that helped me choose my own travel backpack: A traveler’s backpack for Southeast Asia.

Taking her example, about what she packed and the type of backpack she decided to take, I share the photo the backpack that I choose for myself it was a very successful decision, especially because of the weight. Each extra kilo in the backpack becomes extremely heavy when you have to walk 2 or 3 kilometers on your own, so the weight becomes extremely important when choosing the model and type. In my case I am not very tall 156 cm, so I was looking for an intermediate size and light weight backpack. My challenge in this trip to Southeast Asia is to travel very light and carry only the essentials.

38L Salomon backpack  with covering included

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An important thing to take into consideration when selecting our backpack is that it has to have a front or side closure/access (in addition to the main opening at the top), so that we can access to our things in a simple way and without having to unpack everything out; for me this model with lateral opening (picture below) is wonderful, I can access to all my things very easily; and it was important for me, that it needed to have several compartments to store things, so I made an excellent choice.

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In addition to your backpack, my recommendation is that you also take with you a small bag (if it is a waterproof bag better), which we will call Life Bag. In this small bag we will always carry with us all our important documents and objects that can’t be left at the hotel / hostel: wallet, passport, tablet, camera, and so on. That way we will not have to carry all the time our big backpack with everything inside. If you do not have a small waterproof bag, and you don’t want to spend more money, you should always bring a plastic bag to cover the one you already have, because in Southeast Asia rains a lot that’s what I did with my small bag / Life Bag).

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Here I put for you the list of all the clothes and things I took for my journey to South East Asia. At the end my backpack weighted 11 Kg, not bad for my first backpacking adventure.

  • Big Hat
  • Cap
  • Slim bed sheet sewed like sleeping bag type (weights less)
  • Light jacket for rain or raincoat
  • 1 Solomon’s storm pants
  • 3 cotton leggins, 1 blue and 2 black (one thick, 2 thin)
  • 3 shorts·  1 beach pareo (to cover ourselves when entering temples)
  • 1 Buff for the walks
  • 3 short sleeve t-shirts
  • 2 bathing suits
  • 1 3/4 sleeve blouse
  • 1 pair of tennis shoes
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 pair of sandals without heel
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 3 sets of underwear
  • 1 microfiber towel
  • 1 waterproof backpack protector
  • 1 bag that works as a handbag (preferably waterproof the life bag)
  • 1 Warm clothing (thick leggin + light jacket)
  • 1 mosquito net

About what type of clothes you should be taking for your travel, it is not necessary to worry that much, nor to carry too much from the beginning, since, the best clothes suitable for warm weather can be purchased there and at a very low price. What you indeed should consider for your trip is the warm clothing, because of the type of weather you found in South East Asia is difficult to get or is too expensive, and it is important that you take that in consideration if you plan to travel to the north or do some trekking and camping in the mountains (the temperature is low at night and in the morning from November to February).

For the travel medicine kit you can read about my advices in this other blog entry.

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Planning my adventure – Part 2


The plan is going very well. I still have a month left before leaving to Thailand. However, there are several things that I have to keep in mind before starting the trip. Later I will be publishing some posts with some links to websites and other interesting blogs from other travelers that were very useful for me while I was planning my trip.

Among all the things left to be done, I had lots of doubts going around in my head and lots of things still remaining to be done, before departure. Somewhat some of the were too difficult to be solved because among my friends, many of them had gone backpacking to Europe, but none of them had go before to Southeast Asia, so I had no one nearby to get my questions solved or ask for opinions.

The questions were as follows:

  • Thai Visa for Mexican
  • Which type of suitcase is most appropriate and what should I pack?
  • How to set up a travel medicine cabinet?
  • How much time will I travel and what budget will I set?

The most important thing is to decide the type of trip you will be doing and the time that you want to be traveling, because the answer to those questions depend on it. I confess that I have no traveling plan defined yet the only thing I know is that I am traveling to Thailand to volunteer there for one month. I do not have planned my schedule yet, or how long I will stay in the country, or whether if I am going to leave the country and then enter again; nor which countries I will be visiting and for how long; so I don’t have any idea of the best route to follow during my trip. That leads you to make lots of mistakes during your trip, but also helps you to learn from them over as time pass by and on the go.

What I did decided was, that I was going on a trip backpacking on my own, and traveling alone through Southeast Asia and that my trip will be starting in Bangkok, the capital and one of the main cities of Thailand. I did not know how much money I will be spending, but I would try to travel in low budget and cheap as possible. That way I can make the money yield as much as I can, with that I can be able to travel around the country and then move to neighboring countries.  The only thing I had in my mind was that in Thailand, at least I would stay for one or two months and that my whole trip through Southeast Asia will be about three to four months.

There are some important considerations specially when traveling for a long time in a foreigner country or if you plan to travel and move also between countries and cities. Before you decide to leave, is important for you to review all the visa requirements and consider this in your budget and travelling plans, it can save you time and headaches.

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Planning my adventure – Part 1


As I mentioned it in the previous post “How everything started?” I bought my flight to Bangkok, one way.tailandia-vuelos

 

 

 

 

The next day I had thousand of doubts about how I will do the trip ? I discovered a web page through a friend called www.worldpackers.com, and I always wanted to do an international volunteering, so I decided to apply to two of the hosts they have in the webpage so I could be able to do it, however, I had a flight ticket to Thailand but no confirmation at all for the volunteering…

I decided to apply for volunteering in Thailand because for me it represented the best way to travel and it will give me the great opportunity to get to know the country, the culture, its people and traditions in a real and genuine way. On the one hand I would volunteer to work for about 4-5 days in a hostel and take the opportunity to get to know the city, and then move to a foundation to give English classes to children, a unique and unforgettable experience in a new country.

After a lot of uncertainty, waiting for two long weeks with back-and-forth mails and messages between the hosts and me, telling them the reasons why I wanted to volunteer with them… Finally, I received the acceptance and confirmation form for my volunteering; and that is how everything started, the beginning of one of my greatest adventures through Southeast Asia, a journey that would change and transform my life forever.

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With these confirmations in my hands there was no turning back… I could not believe it, happiness and joy filled my whole body, the confirmation of my stays in that distant and wonderful country. I’m going to Thailand, my dream came true!!

  1. Volunteering internationally teaching english classes to children.
  2. Go to Thailand and Angkorwat in Cambodia (the neighboring country).

Now, here comes the interesting part of my intenational trip: the suitcase, the travel itinerary, the requirements and documents to be able to travel, anyway … do not miss the next entries where I will tell you a little more about those issues and my own experiences during the process.

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How everything started?


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Ever since I was a little girl, I had in mind that I wanted to volunteer, and that it would be better if it could be an international volunteering, because that will allow me to get to know the local people of the country at destination, as well as their culture and traditions; while I travel for a long period of time outside my country.

They say that every dream begins with an idea; sometimes that idea seems so crazy that we believe it is “impossible” to come true. We fear of what others will say or think, fear of failure, fear of the unknown so we paralyze without acting, neither forward nor backwards, only standing there just watching our life going by without deciding to take part.

Today I want to tell you a little about my experience, how I encouraged myself to face my own fears, to take the reins of my life and finally decided to make my dream come true, go to Thailand and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. All my life I had dreamed of being able to do it, but I could’t find the way. Among my fears and taboos was the thought that “traveling was expensive, almost impossible,” especially when I was looking to be away outside my country for more than a month visiting different countries. I have many friends who have gone backpacking to Europe, but few or none who have done so to Southeast Asia.

After almost five years i finishished college and worked in large corporations, with a stable job, well paid and what anyone would like to have, I felt tired and needed a change. It was then that the unexpected happened and by the end of May of this year 2016 I was without work and with the idea of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, or where to look.

Talking to a great friend of mine, who has always been an inspiration to me, for everything he has achieved professionally and because we share many things in common, both focused on social and environmental issues. One day while we were drinking a glass of wine and talking about life, he said to me: If you have the desire to make that trip, why keep postponing it, especially now that you have what you need “money + time”, it is usually very difficult these two variables are fulfilled at the same time, and life is giving you this great opportunity that you cannot miss. You must do today what you can, you don’t know if tomorrow you will be able to. His words echoed so loudly in my ears and in my head that I promised to him “that night I would go back home and buy my one-way ticket plane to Thailand, no return.

This is how everything started, my adventure of going backpacking and travel to Southeast Asia. I didn’t have clear how my trip and my plans were going to be there, but one thing was for sure, I will do everything in my hands to stay there for a long amount of time: traveling, working, and/or volunteering. Now all I have is a one-way flight to Bangkok, the capital of Thailand but no return ticket.

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A dream come true!


romper esquemas

Quote – “Take the challenge! Do not stay with the desire to know what would happen, get out, live, take the chances, because  if success can be enjoyed, then lessons are learned from mistakes.”

A dream begins as an idea, until we take the first steps to make it come true. It takes time, sometimes more than expected, also frustrations, however, in the end we get invaded by immense joy when we can finally see that dream realized.

I had made a lot of mistakes throughout my life, but I have also acquired great learnings from each of them. Today I can say that I am not the same person I used to be some months ago, and that every situation I face is a challenge that changes me more and more every day. The road is not easy, but it becomes interesting when I try to enjoy every moment and every second.

If you ask me today, I would definitely do some things different, in the end everything is experience & learning; that changed me and transformed me deeply. I am thankful for the opportunity I have, doing what I love the most, what I am most passionate about that brings happiness and joy to my life: traveling, writing and taking photos.

Here in this blog I can share with you about my experiences during the trips I had done , the countries I have traveled, even the most incredible destinations in my own country that I love (Mexico), and the countries that I haven’t visited yet, but are in my great list of “things to do”, talk about my experiences and give travel advices to those who ask for it.

The best thing about all my travels and what I enjoy the most is the people I met and with whom I share every experience, every moment and every adventure, they evoke the deepest and most sincere feelings about the places and countries I visit, transforming them into extraordinary memories .

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High hopes – Kodaline


This is about when we want to keep moving forward but… memories and strong feelings would just keep holding us back… we so called it “HOPE”

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