T-minus 13 days

Hopefully, this is the first of many posts. I’ll be spending 7 weeks traveling this winter and I thought I’d give writing a chance and see what happens. I’ve always thought I was a good story teller, but have struggled to get things down on paper. Who knows, maybe this will suck and you’ll all click away. If not, I hope you’ll enjoy following along.

Last Winter I had a few weeks off and I hooked up with a GAP Adventures trip through Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It was a blast and was a great way to travel. I met some great people and GAP’s role was limited to helping us get from place to place and then giving us the lowdown on each location. Not too structured and quite helpful – especially for a single traveler.

Single traveler – that’s me. I’m 34, single, live in Saint Paul, Minnesota and don’t know anyone who can take the kind of time off I can to travel. Frankly, I’m not even sure if I can handle two months away, but have been dreaming about it for so long and there’s really only one way to find out.

I used to consider myself well traveled, until I showed up last year in Guatemala. Besides one other woman, who was 22, I was the least traveled person in the group. I traveled some when I was younger, but it had been quite a few years since I had done anything serious. By the end of the trip I was in the N stage of travel fever. Took me months to knuckle down at work, and truthfully, I’ve had this year’s trip on my mind ever since.

This year’s trip will be to Southeast Asia. I’ve always wanted to spend time there and since learning to scuba dive last year I’ve heard it has some of the best diving in the world. I wasn’t able to find a GAP trip that worked with my schedule, but did find one with Intrepid Travel. They run a similar program, but are based in Southeast Asia instead of Central America.

While there were a few others to choose from, I’ve chosen their Great Indochina Loop trip. This trip offers a pretty laid back trip through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and then I can head South and scout out dive sites.

This will be my route for the first month:

It was a little more expensive than I wanted, but I think taking some of those local flights will be nicer than taking overnight buses or trains and it will certainly save some time. That’s one of the things I would have changed about last year’s trips was all the time in transit. I understand and like traveling with and like locals, but it can be a bit draining.

The next step is figuring out where to dive. For the last few weeks I’ve been struggling to decide where to go. I would like to dive both the Gulf side around Koh Tao and on the Andaman Sea. I’ve been reading the Lonely Planet’s guide book and have been constantly searching for travel and dive blogs. I have to admit that the more I read, the more confused I am. I’ve decided to heed the advice of a good friend; Read the guidebooks and then leave them at home.

I guess I’ll be handing this one off to the Gods and see what they come up with for me. No matter what happens, I’m travelling for 2 months. Can’t shake a stick at that!!!