It’s not set in concrete yet, but I have a strong suspicion that I’m off to Cambodia and Vietnam later this year.
It all started with a idle contemplation of historically significant sites that I would like to see. The two that kept floating to the top of the list were Machu Picchu in Peru and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Whilst Machu Picchu is still very much a place I want to see and the Inca Trail a walk I very much want to do, Going back to South America would mean going back to Bolivia and also down to Patagonia. A lot of preparation and perhaps best left for another time.
My interest in Angkor Wat stems from a photograph I saw years ago where a tree was growing on top of an old temple. ‘Just how cool is that!’ was my initial thought. At the time I wasn’t really into taking photographs and I certainly didn’t have the courage to travel alone outside of an English speaking country. So there it stayed: a very cool image of what be a very cool place.
Still, these days I have no real problem travelling outside of my comfort zone and not being able to speak a language sometimes work better. And, to be honest, whilst the expense of Antarctica last year left me telling all and sundry this year would be a quiet (i.e., cheap) travel year, I’m already getting itchy feet.
But the deciding factor was when I nearly bought a new MacBook Retina a couple of weeks ago. Twice it ended up in the shopping cart and twice I thought about all the places I still want to see. If I had money for a new laptop, I certainly had money for travel.
Still lots of preparation to be done. The first hurdle is whether it’s affordable. Yes is the probable answer. Flights there and back will be by far the majority share of the total cost as once there accommodation and daily living is cheap, especially for how I like to travel.
The next hurdle is time. It’s a 13 hour flight and so I’m not looking at a two week break. Initial plans were for three weeks, but now Vietnam has crept into the itinerary, I’m looking to take the maximum I can. So when I asked my boss the other day “I’m looking at taking October off on holiday” I wasn’t kidding. In reality I’m looking at 24 days holiday, so nearer five weeks. It’ll be the longest trip I’ve ever been on. The boss has tentatively agreed, although official confirmation is still to come.
On the plus side, it would appear that Adrian, one of the people I used to study Japanese with now lives in Cambodia, which means lots of tips and insider knowledge. Also Teja at work spent several weeks in the area last year, so more useful tips of what to see and avoid.
Since planning a photography trip is usually the hardest part of the whole experience, and it’s something I have become reasonably good at doing, I’m going to try and keep the blog updated with how it’s coming along…