And so, it begins! Well, technically not yet…but also technically yes it has. You’ll see what I mean. This blog will be a way for me to record the massive life adventure myself and Mollidy are currently on as we spend 53 days on the road, with around 50 of those days on the ground in Indo China, where we’ll be spending 18 days in Thailand, 7 in Cambodia, 17 in Vietnam, and 8 in Laos. So here goes!
As Mollidy and myself wolk up on Tuesday morning for our last days at our respective jobs, we both had the typical feelings one gets from an impending trip away. A mix of nerves, fear, excitement, joy, and a little bit of WTF are we doing! Though like with any roller coaster, you just hang on for the ride, and this was going to be a roller coaster for sure! The day flew by, and dragged in various parts, but all up it did pass by, and at 7pm that night, the journey began, if not a little bit in ernest.
So as we drove up to Auckland, driven by my mate Barry, we soaked up this first hour and a bit and tried to both relax and prepare mentally for the journey ahead. Once we got to our hotel, the Ibis just down from Auckland airport, we unpacked everything and repacked, as it’s amazing what you learn in such a small space of time around the practicality of living out of a suitcase. Once we did that, and did the last minute things to get ready, it was already 11pm, and we had to be up at 2.45am, and thus we went to bed, and day 1 of this 53 day trip was done.
When the alarm finally went off, we were both very tired monkeys, but we got up, packed away the last of our stuff, and caught the 3.30am bus to the airport. Once there we got our bags wrapped, as even though we had locks, and cable ties, we were still a little paranoid about the whole thing. We then checked in, and it was off to the departure lounge, where the time went by pretty quickly. Before we knew it we were on our plane, and on our way. On the plane front, we had booked with Emirates but this first flight was with Qantas, so we just hoped that wasn’t going to be the case the whole way as we had both heard really good things about Emirates.
3 and a half hours later and we were in Sydney, where we had about 1 hour and 20 minutes between flights, which was quickly eaten up by a trip to the loo, going through transfer security, and getting lost trying to find our gate, as the boarding pass didn’t show it, and even the big boards didn’t show our flight. So that was a hectic rush to find the gate, and when we did they had already started boarding. Though as it was our time to hand over our boarding pass, word came through that the entertainment system had broken down and would take 90 minutes to fix.
Most people were pretty upset about this, but we were both relived as it meant we could take a break from all the rushing around, and I could take a proper toilet break, if you know what I mean. But luckily the delay was less that an hour, and we were once on the plane again, and sadly Qantas again, and this time an even shiter plane. Why bother buying tickets for a company you want to fly with only to have the actual company that flys you be one you’d rather not be on? Ohh well!
The flight itself wasn’t too bad, despite the shit little screens and the average seats, and we both managed to get some sleep. It wasn’t the best 9 1/2 hours in the air, but it wasn’t the worst either. When we landed in Bangkok the actual trip had finally begun and we were both pretty excited and nervous all in one. Immigration and baggage pickup went smooth, and we were out in the streets and in the heat, which wasn’t so bad. We got in a metered taxi, and then had a 40 minute drive ahead of us to our inner city hotel. When there, we didn’t realise we had got a hotel on the street of a busy night market which is on every night. So there were westerners everywhere, and we also had a couple hundred meter walk to our hotel with our bags which were still wrapped up, so we had to hold them rather than lug them on our backs.
Once past the thousands of people on the streets and all the noises and sights, we found our hotel, and I was a hot mess, as carrying two backpacks through 30 degrees got the old heart pumping. But, we were there. The room wasn’t exactly what the picture had shown us, and we guessed this might be the first of a few things on this trip that looked good on the net, though not so much in person. But we were never going to let that hold us back from enjoying ourselves. So we settled in, unpacked, showered, and ate some food we had brought along with us, as even though outside was a bustling night market, we were both exhausted and just wanted to chill out, and let the mind, body, and soul rest before we dived into everything else to come.
With us both tucked up in bed, with a few homesick feelings, our main comfort came from the fact we were on this adventure together and we were going to ride this puppy to the end. Though we could hear the revealers outside parting away, it didn’t bother us as it wasn’t too loud, and we were so tired that by 10pm we were out like a light with dreams of Thailand and the travels ahead!