Stage two, oh yeahhh…

After an unexpectedly lengthened stay at home, today I booked my flight to Thailand. I fly out from London on May 8th, stop over briefly in Delhi, and then finally touch down in Bangkok the day after. Woo.

I anticipate this part of the trip being more difficult for a variety of reasons.

For a start, I wasn’t too intimidated by Europe or (obviously) America and the potential language barriers because English is pretty prevalent in Europe wherever you go, and somewhat prevalent depending on where you go in the US… Anyway. This is not the case in SE Asia so much. I can point and, you know, speak loudly and stuff, but that’ll only get you so far.

Secondly, this is a much more alien and less developed part of the world than Europe and the US, for the most part. Now that doesn’t really bother me, as such, but it adds to the intimidation when being thrown into that alone. I actually knew an acquaintance who’s been out there for a little while who I was going to meet up with for a day or two to act as a buffer, kinda, but that’s fallen through as they have to move on elsewhere. A friend from school who I previously travelled the US with was gonna be coming out on holiday and meeting up for a brief amount of time too, but other commitments have led that to fall through also. Neither of these were remotely solid plans, outlines and sketches of ideas at best, and I wasn’t relying on them, so it looks like I’ll be travelling alone again. Cool.

And C, I actually have people (other than family) at home that I’m going to be sad to leave behind and miss an awful lot this time.

I repacked my backpack today, and managed to cut out a whole load of stuff from the packing list that I took last time. The benefit of experience and being able to confidently say “I never used that!” while throwing a roll of duct tape over my shoulder (though I’m actually still taking that because, well, you never know.) My pack can now be comfortably lifted with one arm, rather than being the two-hand-requiring monstrosity that it was before. I am aiming to get it down to airport carry-on luggage size if I can, but I reckon I’m aiming a bit off the mark with that, sadly.

There are no solid plans other than “land in Bangkok” so far. There are lots of interesting little counties sprinkled around Thailand in easy reach, so I’m going to try and add to my collection of one-for-each-country bracelets (left to right: Croatia, Italy, Greece, Bosnia, Tunisia, France, Slovenia, and America).

And on that note, I’m going to head to bed. Expect more updates soon. Oh, and I’ll still be keeping up with my duties over at Two Photos a Day, so do keep checking for awesome pictures every day!

Packing lists…

Dear God, but one must pack a lot of things for a trip like this.

I realise (no Z, English spelling dammit) this is my first post and none of you know exactly what said trip is, but I’ll elaborate in a later post. Honest.

Anyway, yes. Here is my rough packing list for the stuff I’m gonna be shoving into a relatively moderate backpack and carrying around with me for the next year or three. Have a look through – I keep thinking there are vital things I’ve forgotten that I’ll invariably remember ten minutes after I’ve taken seat on the first coach out of the country. I hate that.

4 pairs of trousers + 1 pair swimming shorts
3/4 T-shirts + 5 shirts (3 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)
5 pairs boxers + five pairs socks + 1 thick pair of warm socks
1 light jacket + 1 coat

SLR camera + 17-70mm macro lens + 50mm f1.7 prime lens
Battery charger & mains plug
Pocket camera
Memory cards (3)

iPod
Sony mp3 player (it’s tiny, won’t add weight or space)
Kindle
USB keyring
USB drive (photo storage)
Phone
Other phone (longer battery, to be stolen if I get mugged)

Mini USB > USB cable
iPod USB cable
Sony mp3 USB cable
USB mains plug

Flannel
Tooth brush & paste
Electric shaver + mains plug
Moisturiser
Aftershave
Sunscreen
Towel
Nail clippers
Shower gel/soap/shampoo

Fold up daypack
Backpack cover/bag
Waterproof mac

Yo-yo
Deck of cards
Moleskine notebook
Pen
Sharpies
Post-its

Paracetamol
Aspirin
Dispersible Aspirin
Ibuprofen
Codine
Imodium
Hayfever tablets & nasal spray & eyedrops

Pen knife / multitool
Glasses
Sunglasses
Old glasses
Contact lenses
Contact lens solution

Metal cable & combination padlock
Small padlocks for bags
Belt
Wallet & chain
Hat

Passport
Driving license
Copies of passport & DL

So I think that’s everything. Taking too much? Not enough? Anything I’ve missed or I really won’t need? Lemmie know.