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Before it Begins - Packing in a Cyclone of Thoughts

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 17 March 2013 | Views [741]

I can't sleep. Not so odd for me, but for a change, tonight's insomnia has a genuine reason. Right now I only have two more nights in my comfy bed, in the flat I have lived in for over 4 years, before I run off overseas for a crazy adventure in many countries where I don't speak the local language, just me, my backpack and I. My mind is a cyclone of things to be done, papers to print, items to pack, numbers to take, all while trying to get my head around the fact that I'm actually going.

About 6 weeks ago now, on a Friday night, I sat at home alone, drinking a nice red wine and watching a movie. So I know it sounds like a pathetic lonely night, but really it was exactly what I needed. The movie I watched was Babel. For those who haven't seen it I won't give away the plot, but suffice to say it is one of those movies that has several randomly intertwined stories, showing people from various different countries and highlighting how differently they each experience the world. Or at least that's what I got from it. I suddenly realised I needed to get out of my comfort zone, escape from a rather comfortable rut, and go off and actually SEE and EXPERIENCE the world. See how other people live, meet strangers and experience other cultures. I've been jealous for years of friends going off on long (and short) term travels, telling myself I couldn't do it because I had other priorities. But now, in my slightly red-wine affected head, the idea of going off to travel seemed like the sanest and most logical thing to do. The only person who was saying I couldn't go was me - until that night.

So over a few days the idea brewed, it bubbled and fermented and became a solid conclusion that I was indeed going to run off overseas. How long for though? Two months didn't seem worthwhile for all the upheaval it would create, six months seemed too long, so a happy medium of four months became the plan. Four months, exploring Central and South America and also some of South East Asia. After a few people telling me it was ridiculous to try that much in 4 months though Asia was ditched with the thought that it is close enough to jet off for a few weeks at a time, whereas the Americas - not so easy.

Within a week of watching Babel the flights were booked - First stop Mexico City (via Dallas Airport), several months later a trip through Peru, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and then 6 weeks after that a flight home to Sydney from Santiago in Chile.  What happens in between those milestones though hasn’t really been planned. I have a vague itinerary of course, with the countries I intend to visit, the things I want to see and do in said countries etc... but I have every intention of abandoning plans if it seems right, and wandering off in a different direction if the mood takes me.

Right now I’m excited, scared, overwhelmed and wide awake. 


Tags: adventure, central america, exciting, last minute, mexico, packing, solo travel

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