Friday

Five.


I have less than eight weeks before I trade in my secure, if not monotonous, job. My easy life living at home, where my mum cooks my meals, does my washing and ironing and wakes me up if I don't hear the alarm. The convenience of having my own car to drive to work in, taxi the brother around in and pop to Lakeside in when I've run out of clothes to wear. The knowledge that if I'm a drunken mess sat on a strangers wall, sobbing to a policeman in the early hours of the morning about how my boyfriend's broken up with me to get back with his ex (oh, it happened) my Dad's just around the corner to rescue me. The life I have always known. Well, not the drunken mess part... I have less than eight weeks before I swap it all for a life without a steady job, perhaps no job at all actually. No definite accommodation, after the first three nights in Bangkok. A life spent relying on public transport (sleeper trains and ferries anyone?) but ultimately a life of sun, sea and sex on the beach (the cocktail of course. Sand, there? No thank you..). And I am beyond unprepared.

I've been talking about it for so long, it just seems like a dream. A dream that was once six months away but is rather rapidly becoming reality.

In preparation for the trip, I have so far sorted out my insurance (a pretty important thing right?), had a few necessary jabs (nobody wants Rabies), bought an array of bikinis (equally as important as the insurance surely?) and, erm, that's it. I have a rough idea of where I'm going to go. A very rough idea. Land in Bangkok, stay there for three nights then go up to Chiang Mai. Maybe.

You see, I have spent my entire life planning everything, worrying about everything, only going to places or doing things within my comfort zone which, in all honesty, has led me to lead a pretty boring, uneventful life. Until now that is.

I know that, whatever happens, on the 23rd of January, I am flying from Singapore to Sydney at 8-something-pm which means I have seven weeks from landing in Thailand to work out how to get down to Singapore. Thousands of people go travelling every year and if it was really that difficult to navigate your way through a country, surely people wouldn’t keep doing it? I’ve got a pretty good sense of direction so I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’ve got a little large checklist of the things I want to see and do so as long as I can tick each of these activities/places off, I’ll be happy.

Why don’t I plan it more? I want to be a little bit scared. I want to do things on the spur of the moment. I want to be able to go off with friends I’ve just made because where their headed sounds amazing. I want the feeling of 'OMG WHAT AM I DOING?!' as I'm riding an elephant, stroking a tiger, searching for Nemo. I want to be able to look back on my life and think 'remember that time I went here and did that with those people' (I'm well aware that, to the dirty minded among us-myself included- sounds a little sexual. It isn't, promise). I want to have exciting stories to tell the grandchildren. Well, I'm not even sure I want children so perhaps the grandparents...Anyway, if I plan everything down to the last little detail of what underwear I'm going to be wearing on New Year’s Eve, I won't enjoy myself. I'll be far too concerned with what the plan says I should be doing. And making sure that particular set is washed and dried in time. My plan is to get off the plane and go from there. Good plan? I'll let you know.



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