I have been thinking about this trip for a while now and I thought I had a pretty good idea of where I was headed and what I was going to see/do. That is, until I had appointment with the travel clinic nurse a couple of months ago to discuss what vaccinations or medications I might need to take. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Will I need to take anti-malarial pills for Southeast Asia?*
Her: It depends on your travel plans. If you're only going to be in main cities you should be fine, but if you're going to be heading into rural areas you should probably take them. What is your itinerary? Will you be in any rural areas while you are away?
Me: Umm... maybe? Should I take them just in case?
Her: Well, like I said, it really depends on your itinerary and what you'll be doing exactly.
Me: Oh, right, hmm, well, I don't really know yet..?
Although I felt a bit silly during the appointment, there is no way I could have known at that point what exactly I wanted my trip to look like. Heck, I still don't! Southeast Asia is a region totally foreign to me and I honestly have no idea if I'll want to just stay in urban centers or venture out to more rural places.
While I don't have all the details figured out, I do have a tentative itinerary for this trip:
October 4-7, 2012: Stopover in Seoul, South Korea.
October 7, 2012: Arrive in Cambodia.
October-November-December 2012: Volunteer in Siem Reap, Cambodia for roughly two months.
January-February-March 2013: Travel around Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Indonesia.
April 2013: Head to Australia with a work visa. Work there for roughly six months (although a work visa is valid for one year).
September 2013: Head to Fiji for one last hourrah.
September/October 2013: Return back home.
Again, this is how I envision the trip going but I am 100% aware it very well may turn out nothing like this. Maybe I'll hate it and want to come home after two weeks, or maybe I'll love it and never come home at all! The point is you never know what might happen, and I'm okay with not knowing. I just want to go with the flow and take things as they come.
*For the record I decided against taking anti-malarial pills. They are expensive, can have very unpleasant side-effects and I shouldn't be in rural areas very often, if at all. I am relying on my mosquito net and lots of DEET to protect me!