South East Asia here I come
Author in Vietnam

Author in Vietnam (Photo: Steve Mullen)

I’m counting down the days–20 to be exact–until I’m finished with work. After giving notice several weeks ago I’ve been scrambling to get my projects tidied up so I can pass the baton to others and follow one of my dreams, to take off and travel, not just for a vacation, but for an extended period of time. Who knows? Maybe it’ll turn into a lifestyle.

Steve and I have a loose plan to travel around SE Asia for several months and I’m anxious to be done with work so I can dive into the guide books and figure out where we want to go for the first month. So far I’ve just carried the first set of guidebooks around from place to place and I’m trying to be patient because I know I’ll have several weeks between the end of work and the start of the trip to peruse the maps.

Here’s the rough itinerary, leaving from SFO:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Vietnam
  3. Laos
  4. Cambodia
  5. Thailand
  6. Malaysia
  7. Australia
  8. New Zealand

On one hand it seems like a lot, but when I look at a globe it’s still such a tiny part of the world. How on earth (literally) am I going to see everything under the sun?

Osprey Porter Travel Pack

Osprey Porter Travel Pack (courtesy of Osprey)

I’ve gotten a head start on luggage after researching all kinds of bags. We like to travel light as independent sojourners and I think I’ve hit upon a good combination for me:

  • Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack-neater and smaller than a pack I’d use on a backpacking expedition, the Osprey Porter will allow us to be flexible and maneuverable, while, hopefully, not looking as sloppy as some of the Backpacking Nation.
  • Northface Recon Day Pack-smaller than other day packs I’ve carried around the world, this one has a nice pouch for my new laptop and enough space for the basics, while preventing me from getting overloaded.

Now the trick will be to see if I can get all the essentials in these two bags, enough to carry me through several months of travel. People are always surprised to see how light we travel, but I was trained by the best, my mom, who is always admonishing me to go even lighter.

Let me know if you have any advice on sights that can’t be missed, or packing tips, and check back to see how I’m progressing.