Time to Fly

Mississauga Travel Blog

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I've set up this blog as a way to showcase my first solo backpacking trip, mainly through pictures and the occasional slice out of my journal. 

Back in 2005, I had the same sort of epiphany I'm sure a lot of people on this site can relate to.  I was working a full time job that no longer challenged me and I was starting to wonder if I was ever going to get out there and explore the world.  For years I'd been talking about doing a big trip, but I was afraid to go on my own.  I was waiting for the right time for the right person to come with me.  But the usual answers to my call were all that came up: no money, no time, maybe later, blah, blah, blah...

It was when most of my friends had graduated from uni, saddled with thousands in debt and looking for jobs, that I finally realized that if I was ever going to backpack the world, I had to leave all on my own.  After all, if they really wanted to go with me, and I mean really wanted to go, they would have found a way.  So instead, I started researching and telling my family and friends my plans to travel Asia alone.

It's one of those things you have to come to realize.  If you want to go, you find a way.  If you want to travel, you find a way to save up the cash. I wasn't exactly rolling in dough with the job I had, but it was plenty for me to live on and put money aside for my trip.  It just meant I had to curb my shopping tendencies, and say no to those extra nights out on the town.  So I figured, if none of my friends had the money or the time, it was because there were other things happening in their lives that took priority.  There was no point in waiting for a travel partner that may never materialize.

For me, there was no better time than at 24 years of age, single and carefree.  No debts, no excuses.

When the time came I went through all the usual motions:  Quit my job, moved my crap into my parents' house, and bought a backpack.  Actually, it was a going away present from my folks and it's still my main travel bag today.  I remember being really nervous, and flat out scared at times.  All the normal questions kept leaping out at me:  What happens if I get lonely? What happens if I get in trouble?  How will I know where to go and what to do?  But I figured plenty of travelers, plenty of female solo backpackers, have travelled the world and lived to tell the tale.  Why the hell couldn't I do it too?

The plan was to fly out to South Korea to meet up with my high school friend who was teaching English in Seoul.  I thought that having a familiar, friendly face on the other side of that huge flight would ease my nervousness, and it really did.  I was lucky enough to have a good friend ease me into what would become a 9 month trip taking me from South Korea to Japan, China, Tibet, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and finally ending in Singapore.

I hope you enjoy my photos.
Connie says:
To be honest, I couldn't tell you the size of my pack. It's a Gregory pack and is probably average-sized for backpacking. If you're planning on traveling the world, then I'd avoid getting too big a bag because then you'll have to carry more stuff. You can always buy more supplies and post souvenirs along the way.
Posted on: Jul 06, 2010
saltycoco says:
Nice, that's how I feel right now, I think I'm in the same position you were in back then. btw, what travel pack are you using, how big is it? i'm thinking of traveling around the world next year. thnx.
Posted on: Jul 06, 2010
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photo by: smokeyd