Asia, Travel & Lifestyle

Backpacking Life, 8 Weeks In!

6th November 2017

Today marks me being exactly 8 weeks into my year long backpacking adventure! To say it’s been a rollercoaster would be an understatement!

8 weeks.

56 days.

12 flights.

5 countries.

3 trains.

1 nightbus.

19 banana milkshakes.

Countless tuk tuks and taxis.

I’ve met some amazing people, seen incredible things, and had brilliant experiences. Ranging from swimming with sea turtles and going on a snazzy surf and yoga retreat to lying on picturesque beaches and being upgraded on my flight, sleeping in a jungle tree house and volunteering at a dog sanctuary, there has been a lot of great things happening! But I have also been mugged and there was a death in the family back home. Both of which affected me and I really lost my mojo for a little while. It’s safe to say it’s been a mad 8 weeks!

To get an upgrade one day was on my bucket list … well and truly ticked off now thanks to Cathay Pacific! Still no idea why they did it!

Have I Found Myself Yet?

People go off travelling to ‘find themselves’, I assumed somewhere along the line I would too. I think what I am ‘finding’ about myself is that I know myself quite well. Travelling Renners is (so far) the exact same as back home Renners. Although, possibly a bit shorter after crushing my spine with my backpack.

  • I have a compulsive shopping habit. Even when I’m sending parcels of clothes back home that don’t fit in my backpack I am somehow justifying buying pineapple print dresses and giant surf posters. Seeing Topshop in Ho Chi Minh was like a mirage to me.
  • I like to shower twice a day. Sorry, not very eco friendly, but I just enjoy being clean.
  • I am still impatient. I just like to get shit done. I can handle slow internet and constant traffic if I have to, but taking 6 hours, 7 police stations and 3 visits to the Embassy to file a police report is not efficient and doesn’t sit well with me! (Sort it out Cambodia!)
  • Beaches and palm trees relax me, not yoga and meditation.
  • People are surprised when I am nice. Contrary to my resting bitch face I’m friendly and actually not giving you all dirty looks.
  • Family and friends mean the world to me. I’m still in constant contact with everyone and don’t want to be cut off while I am doing my own thing.
Things I am Missing:
  • Family and friends, goes without saying really!
  • Cooking! Eating out is a treat in the real world but when you have no other means of eating the novelty can wear off! However today I went to a Makro AND a farmers market. I am staying somewhere with a kitchen and I have 5 or 6 days of cooking exactly what I want and exactly how I like it!
  • Food … veggie sausages, baked beans and hummus are three things I haven’t had in 8 weeks. (Actually I had hummus on day 3 of the trip … so it’s a little white lie, but it’s still been 7 weeks and 4 days). I have managed to find baked beans during my shopping trip this morning so lunch today was beans on toast. So basic but so happy!
  • Wearing jeans. Sounds stupid, because I love being in the sun in my denim shorts. But there is something so nice about being able to wear my jeans and Reebok Classics to go about my day. Flip flop life = filthy feet!
  • My camera that was stolen. I think this was a big part of my mojo loss. I have a new one, but a different make and model so it’s taking us a while to bond. Materialistic, yes, but no one is perfect and my Olympus Pen was my pride and joy!
  • Getting paid. I am rubbish with money, budgeting isn’t in my nature whereas treating myself is. I’m working on this as part of my personal development plan.
  • 4g internet. You don’t realise how much you rely on your phone until you can only use it when you’re connected to wifi.
  • ITV Player, if anyone knows how to watch it from over here please let me know. Sometimes a girl just needs to watch TOWIE and The Jonathan Ross Show.
What’s Next?

I’m currently in Thailand, at Bon Jardin Dog Rescue. It is run by a friend of mine who relocated from the UK in February 2017. He and his small team are on a mission to help with the street dog problems in Thailand. I’m going to blog more about Bon Jardin and their amazing work in a separate post very soon, but have a little look on their website if you have a heart and are interested. There is a link to donate if you have a spare penny or two, everything is massively appreciated and I am seeing first hand that it is ALL put back into care and rehabilitation for these gorgeous dogs.

In my element at Bon Jardin Dog Rescue. On the left of the picture sat smiling at me is my new shadow, Kola. My dad is lucky he is a permanent farm dog here so I can’t try and send him home to wait for me there!

After a week here, where I can empty out the backpack, cook for myself, hang out with a load of gorgeous dogs and generally reset myself I will be back on the road. Over the next 8 weeks I plan on exploring some new places. Northern Thailand, then Myanmar, Laos if I have time and then my gal Jen is flying out to meet me for Christmas in Vietnam.

There is a lot to look forward to and I honestly feel very lucky to be in the position I am in right now. Yes, some things have been a bit crap and I have felt a long way from family at a time when nothing would normally keep me away. I’ve seriously doubted if I am doing the right thing and considered going back home. But I am making the most of my oppertunity and going to see as much of the world as I possibly can.

Fingers crossed the next 8 weeks are slightly less eventful!

Have a look at my ULTIMATE BUCKET LIST. Hopefully I will be able to tick some of these off sooner rather than later!

If you’re planning a trip to Asia any time soon you might be interested in my post 7 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELLING TO ASIA.

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