It’s been a hot minute since I’ve blogged regularly and even longer since I’ve just sat down and shared what’s going on in my life with you guys. What can I say? I’ve been really busy, and unfortunately, that’s reflected on my blog.
Beginning with the end
It’s a bit weird starting a new series of travel journaling with talking about ‘the end,’ but here we are. I am stressed, surviving on a diet of strictly pasta and ice cream, and frantically trying to review what I’ve learned this year, which can only mean one thing: its finals season.
As much as I hate finals, I’m so ready to be completing something, even if that’s just one of the four years I have at uni. After bouncing around the planet for the past two years, it’s nice to know that I’ve finished a year of school. I’ve still got a loooong way to go, but at least I know I’m a quarter done.
I’m leaving the day of my last exam (tomorrow!!!), so I’m frantically packing and studying simultaneously. So far, the process has been okay. There’s a lot of last minute, boring, adult stuff that I completely forgot about and have had to cram into my last week or so in Edinburgh, which leads me into…
Important travel stuff that you should NOT leave until the last minute (as I did).
Travel Insurance. I just got this today and it is so stressful reading the policy and making sure you’re completely covered when trekking, especially over 6000m.
Visas. More specifically, the paperwork, my goodness, the PAPERWORK.
Seeing if you can fit everything in your bag. Do a test run and pack everything you plan on taking beforehand. I am SQUISHING everything into my bag.
Money. Can you withdraw money using card? Do you need to take cash? I wish I had planned this all a LOT sooner.
What essentials do you need to buy? Buying a sleeping bag was something I wish I did a LOT sooner. Because I live in the UK, but most deals on backpacking equipment are in the US, I should have ordered a sleeping bag much earlier than I did. Luckily, I found a pretty great one. I’ll report back with how it works in sub-zero temperatures.
Planning v Serendipity
The majority of my travels are serendipitous. When living in Singapore, I was able to find cheap flights to other parts of Asia just days before the flight. During my gap year, time wasn’t a constraint. Because I’m a full-time student, I’ve had to seriously plan ahead. This is the first trip I’ve planned and saved up for months in advance, and it just makes me so excited to go. It’s the trip I’ve been waiting six months for!
That being said, when things are serendipitous, it’s easy not to overthink. Serendipitous trips, in my opinion, are so much less stressful. I think having a mix of both serendipity and planning is how I travel best.
So what’s next?
Tomorrow is when the ball starts rolling! I finish my exams, frantically pack and say goodbye to my lovely flatmates and friends, and take the 11:30pm overnight train to London. I have a seat, not a bed, so it won’t be the most comfortable journey, but I figured I’d be so excited I wouldn’t sleep much either way.
I’ll meet my boyfriend at the train station and we will set out to Gatwick Airport to catch our flight! 14 hours or so later, we’ll arrive in Kathmandu, buy everything we need, sleep for a couple hours, then head out on a flight to the World’s Most Dangerous Airport.
And that, my friends, is when the real adventure begins.