One month in…
So one month in, I’ve moved onto my next country now and I have been constantly getting questions from friends and family since leaving the UK so thought it’d be a good time to write a few answers up (also I’m on a two day slow boat to Laos so have a bit of time on my hands!)
How’s the travelling malarkey going then?
Loving it. So glad I decided to quit my job and travel. Seriously the best decision I’ve made in a long time. So happy right now.
So honestly no regrets?
Apart from the fact I should have done it ages ago? A big fat no!
How you finding travelling alone?
I can’t actually answer this question as I haven’t felt alone since arriving at my hostel in Bangkok. Every day, hell every waking hour you’re meeting and interacting with new people
How is travelling with no real plan or itinerary?
It’s amazing! So much freedom and scope to do what you want and when you want. If you don’t have a tight deadline or tight budget then definitely the way to go in my opinion.
Glad you didn’t take much in your bags?
Oh my god yes! My main bag and day bag combined total around 11kg. One of the guys I’m travelling with currently has his main bag alone at 20kg (it was at 23kg not so long ago but gave/threw some items away). When walking to your next hostel in blistering heat I always feel a bit smug. But then again I’m a bastard at times.
Is it really that easy to meet people when travelling?
Hell yeah! I have loads of mates that say the one reason they’re not heading out travelling is because they have no one to go with in. You don’t need anyone to head out with. You easily meet people. In Bangkok I could have gone with people north, I could have gone south to islands, could have stayed in Bangkok longer or headed to Vietnam or Laos with people. Of course if I had really wanted to I could have just gone anywhere on my own.
Are you the oldest traveller going?
I’m 29. I never hide this fact and am always honest with people when we chat about age. However it often doesn’t come up as much as you’d expect. Often the talk is more about nationality, where you’ve been and where you’re going to next. When it does come up though, and sometimes not from a direct question, more like me saying “when I went to university so many years ago” then yeah sadly yes I am one of the older ones.
Does it bother me? No. As I’m seeing the world from a very different perspective, I’ve worked the 9-5 job for years, nearly got married, travelled a bit before and I had a mortgage. Plus I’ve saved up. Some it’s their first proper travelling trip so they’re a bit nervous/apprehensive/homesick so not fully enjoying the experience. Most people out here are doing 2 weeks – 3 months. I’m looking to do a whole year. Maybe longer. So I’ve got the last laugh haha! I’d say I probably meet someone older than me that I know about every 3-4 days. Most other travellers I’m meeting are around 22-27.
You have a baby face. What age does everyone think you are?
Mostly 20-24. Good times! Thanks Mum and Dad!
Is Thailand easy to navigate and get around?
So easy! Sometimes I was just amazed how easy. Most things that you book from your hostel like a trip or tour they pick you up directly from your hostel and drop you off there. The price you pay upfront often includes everything, from tour guide, to transportation and sometimes even lunch.
You can also do packages where you get bus/ferry etc and your ticket just gets shown and it flows from vehicle to vehicle (sometimes with long waits of course).
Renting mopeds is another option and we did this round Chiang Mai. Just be careful and make sure someone has maps on their phone!
Long distance, there’s a way to get to most places via bus, train or plane. But yes very cheap and easy.
How was the food?
Amazing. I probably ate Thai food 3 out of every 4 meals. Often in cheap restaurants or street carts (I love grazing from stall to stall, just having a kebab, or piece of chicken and wandering the streets of the place I’m staying in and over the course of a few hours I have a cheap but very big meal from lots of locations). If you really don’t fancy Thai, there’s western food most places and the bigger towns have KFC, McDonalds, Starbucks etc. There’s always a 7-11 not far away either. Toasties!
Were you ill much?
Touch wood no. The odd day a dodgy tummy but nothing too bad at all. Didn’t have any medication for anything so happy days.
Did you feel safe in Thailand?
Completely. Never once did I think “oh shit, I’m about to get mugged”. Yes there’s scammers about and people that hassle you but just politely and firmly say no and move on. However never did I think I was in a dangerous situation. Thailand is full of amazing locals and tourists. Just don’t leave stuff lying about and flash cash about and you should have a safe & enjoyable trip.
What was the accommodation like?
I’ll write a list of some of the hostels I’d recommend in the near future but mostly very good. We use hostelworld and generally look for a hostel which is clean, has a good atmosphere for meeting people, good location, wifi and lockers. Mostly look for around 7.5 or higher for average reviews on hostelworld.
What nationalities are most other travellers in Thailand?
I’ve met the odd traveller from Poland, Zimbabwe, South Africa etc. However I’d say most are British, American, German, Dutch and Scandinavian. So speaking English is never really an issue as they’re all bloody good at it!
Your favourite moment in Thailand?
Wow this is a tough one. Maybe elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai or just an amazing day/night in Koh Phangan (which I probably shouldn’t go into full details about!) However I loved scuba diving, had some epic night outs in Bangkok and loved the vibe of Pai. Really too many to name. I’ve felt very lucky to have so many great experiences in such a short space of time.
Your worst moment of the month?
This is probably a good thing but nothing stands out. Yeah I had some loooong journeys and did some scary stuff that wasn’t on purpose, but I can’t really put my finger on one particular shite incident.
This is a tough one. I probably should have done another week in the Thai islands. However the weather wasn’t the best (fine for scuba diving but when you you’re on land, on an island with lots of beaches and it’s raining, then there’s not all that much to do), due to the storm visibility wasn’t the best for scuba diving and I had a nasty blister on my foot from the diving fins, plus I met some great people who I knew I’d have a blast with in northern Thailand, and maybe even Laos and Cambodia. So looking back it made sense at the time. Plus I thought I’d be on many islands/beaches throughout the rest of the year and hell I could even do the islands again at another point in my trip.
We actually don’t give two shits about you and your experiences and just want to know if we can afford this as it looks cool as?
So I did 3 and a bit weeks in Thailand. Without scuba diving as I know not everyone will do this, I spent roughly £700 (scuba diving was £160ish). That’s me pretty much out most nights, always eating food, doing trips, transportation, accommodation and lots of activities. So under my £35 a day budget as Scuba diving I’d factored in elsewhere in my budget. Could you get that way down? Yeah easily. I love my fruit smoothies, my Chang beer, decent but not top tier hostels and doing “tourist” shit far too much. But personally I think with a real push you could knock another £100-£200 off, however I’m happy with the amount I spent. Any less I wouldn’t have been as comfortable and not done so much “cool shit”.
Food for me was usually anywhere from £1-£3 a meal, accommodation anywhere from £3-£10 a night. Alcohol roughly £1-£2 for a beer depending on size, cocktails usually from £2.
Anything you’re changing for next month budget wise?
Probably will reign in some of my “luxury” drinks as I’m mostly happy with water. Just fruit smoothies with yoghurt out here are so god damn great and we’re usually talking 70p-£1 so it’s not like they’re breaking the bank, but they do add up (the irony is I’m posting this while drinking a fruit smoothie)! Also maybe cut down on the beers on my less heavy nights. Should help my 6 pack come along too.
Are starting to “figure out” life anymore? Or you going to be a jobless bum for the rest of your life?
Slowly but surely getting there. I have some ideas, a few things in the pipeline and bit more confidence about my life and where it’s heading. However so much could change in the next few weeks and months I’ll just be quiet for now.
I think this covers most questions I’ve been asked so far. Anything else then just ask and I’ll try and answer!!