Today begins my 80 days around the world with my friend Caleb. I leave Arkansas heading west and return from the east. The plan is to visit 13 countries in Southeast Asia and spend at least five days in each country (See my itinerary here). I will also spend a week in Europe on the way back.
The trip was supposed to begin yesterday, Monday, but I missed my flight to California. I’m now in Little Rock, AR at a friend’s house waiting for a flight leaving at 5:50am. I’m praying the weather cooperates and I can catch my flight to Tokyo that leaves at 3:45pm from LAX.
On the bright side, I have some time to introduce my trip.
Why am I traveling?
Why take the entire summer to travel? The first answer is culture intelligence.
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. -Saint Augustine”
By gaining first-hand experience with different cultures, I can gain a global perspective and connect with people from various cultures. The experience will allow me to consider more holistically the global audience in my personal and professional life.
An another reason why I am traveling this summer is because I don’t think I’ll have another free summer. I begin graduate school in the fall and plan to start a full-time job thereafter. This summer was the best time to take this trip.
How am I paying?
I’m still a poor college student. The key is strategic planning. First, this is no luxury trip. I will be staying at cheap hostels where I know many of my friends would not dare to enter. Transportation includes crammed buses, overnight train rides, and hours on a boat. Second, I am only taking a small backpack with few changes of clothes (see next section). Extra baggage adds costs. Lastly, spending money wisely and saving. I cut spending in certain areas and followed a budget.
What am I taking?
As I said earlier, packing light is key. Without luggage to haul, it is easy for one to find space in a packed train or bus and not have to worry about storing it in a hotel. Here is what I am taking:
- Osprey Talon 22 backpack
- 2 Shirts
- 1 Pants
- 1 Shorts
- 2 Socks
- 2 underwear (special kind)
- Light jacket
- 1 pair of shoes
- Small quick-dry towel
- First Aid pills
*The plan is to wash every night.
Curious how my trip will unfold? Follow my blog! I plan to update my blog once a week with pictures and moments of the trip. Stay tuned.