Preparation and Anticipation

Cardiff Travel Blog

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So here I am, just over two weeks before I am due to fly out, AND I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

First, I'm going to a town/city called Vadodara (aka Baroda) in India to do a hospital placement so I'm praying that I'll get the weekends off to explore the local areas, maybe make it to the beach, to Rajasthan, and some of the other bigger cities.
Singapore is mostly just a short break and a springboard to the rest of SE Asia. Having been there before as a green 18yr old, the plan this time is to really explore the culture and everyday life rather than all the touristy stuff I didn last time. that's not to say that a bit of shopping on Orchard road is out of the question!
Then, into Phnom Penh, Cambodia where the plan is just to mosey on down to Siep Reap via Ankor Wat and the Killing Fields. After reading so many blogs on Travbuddy they seem like the two of the most important parts of the Cambodia heritage, no matter how distressing.
Then over the border to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and heading up the coast to Hanoi. I have no real plans for Vietnam, except to have fun and hopefully stop off at some completely random places.
Lastly, a brief, very very brief stay in Hong Kong before flying home to the UK and the real world with responsibilities and job applications and, shock horror- WORK!!

For me, a little bit of preparation is the key to having a stress-free trip, but my friends would say that I am a planning-fanatic and would also doing anything to avoid doing schoolwork, including organising the playlist to upload onto my phone about 4weeks ago!
With a 20kg limit on my outward and homebound flight packing is gonna have to be a fine art, especially as I need hospital things as well as travelling things.

So here is my list of stuff to do before heading out for any lengthy trip:
  • passport- find it, check that it's valid for 6months post proposed return date
  • visas- i know you can get them on the border/ in the airport of lots of places, but pathologica need for planning my three visas have all been sorted out :)
  • money- travellers checks, cash- i'll need US dollars, Indian rupees, Singaporean dollars, Vietnamese dong, HK dollars and some Cambodian money too, but i think as long as I have US dollars to change it'll be ok
  • banks- let them know you're going abroad so they don't cancel your card thinking that they have been stolen. if you're British, remember that Nationwide have free withdrawals worldwide, so it's not a bad idea to get a current account with them
  • good backpack, sleeping bag and pillowcase
  • I'm travelling alone and have found that a strategically placed ring on my hand often wards off unwelcome advances!
  • tickets and insurance
  • immunisations- I didn't get japanese encephalitis because it's £100, and although the 5% risk of schizophrenia is a little amusing, being detained under the Mental Health Act would not be great, especially as I would know lots of the staff there! :S I know those aren't the best reasons but i'm pretty sure the area I'm going to is a low risk place anyway!
  • travel guide- even if you only use it as a reference it can't hurt to find out about local traditions/holidays and highlights
Well, that's all I think is really necessary to go travelling, other stuff can be picked up on the way.

Although ridiculously excited, I can't help wonder what this trip will hold; will it really be all I expect it to be? will there be nice people to meet/drink with along the way? what will it be like being in countries where I don't speak the language at all? will I ever be able to find good/any vegetarian food?

And the most important question of all- will I get a free upgrade to business class like I did on my last big trip- on the 12hr flight to Singapore!???
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photo by: Vikram