Shortly after midnight, I will be embarking on My Annual Odyssey to Southeast Asia. My itinerary, November 18 - December 30, includes three countries – Thailand (29 nights), Singapore (3 nights) and Malaysia (10 nights). During my grueling 42 nights on the road, I will have a whopping 15 changes of hotels. Now if you do the math, the average stay at each locale is slightly less than 3 nights.
I’m sure you have heard of the famous traveler’s adage - “If it’s Monday, it must be Paris; if it’s Tuesday, it must be Rome.” Well, I will be doing the Southeast Asian version – For me, it is “ If it’s Monday, it must be NAN (Northern Thailand); if it’s Tuesday, it must be Taiping (Northwestern Malaysia).
The maximum time that I’m staying at any one place is 5 consecutive nights - in both Bangkok and Koh Lipe. I know I will get very travel weary during this marathon trip (Been there, done that), but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to recharge my battery (so to speak) towards the tail end of my trip when I land in Koh Lipe, an offbeat island resort in Southern Thailand.
Everybody asks me “Are you excited about the trip?” My reply is not really! As a veteran traveler, while I’m really looking forward to getting “out of dodge “, I can’t say that I get really excited. I just try to concentrate on the day to day things - the trip takes care of itself!
Most people don’t understand that this is not an extended pleasure vacation but more properly a working vacation - and I do work! In addition to furthering my destination knowledge and checking out new places, I gather lots of material for my travel blog as well as take many photographs for future travel slideshows/videos.
Sorry to belabor the point - This is work, my friends. I’m not saying, I don’t have fun! I DO!!! But at the same time, I have specific professional objectives that I am trying to fulfill.
One thing for sure, it sure beats the hell of being stuck in the USA this time of year!