Sunday, 2 February 2014

And so, it began. (before it officially started)

However many traumas and aches i am bound to suffer, it had to be much more interesting and meaningful to be on a tight budget, major language barrier and constant curled up position on overland travels than to be lying rigid under the comfort of my blanket for winter break 2013. I embarked on my first ever badly planned backpacking journey. 

With the measly numbers in my bank account staring back at me, i knew i wasn't going anywhere near flashpacking. It was no picnic. It was going to be frugal living...

As much as i would love to experience traveling alone, the thought only brought about active bowel system, threatening to soil my pants. I decided to recruit a travel buddy. I did not want to do third world countries alone, i was genuinely scared. Finding someone compatible to get down dirty and cheap together is probably the most challenging part of the journey. Everyone has their own schedules to take care of and i know Tiger Airline's cheap flights sale and i were not going to wait for them to put us into their consideration. The inner calling (inelegant word to use) to visit all the places in Indochina i studied throughout the semester engulfed any form of disagreement or non-support from peers. And again, why should you be living up to the expectations and checklist of others? 

If you were with me during Year 2 Semester 1, you would have heard my constant complaints about all the rejections i faced in school, which inevitably built up to a slight mental breakdown. I needed time for myself, time to settle the brain issues. With spontaneous Xinping, unexpectedly and fortunately, our one-way adventure began when we clicked into Tiger Airlines for the cheapest ticket to Phnom Pehn, Cambodia, to depart one day after her final paper. 

Insufficient time to pack our backpacks, lack of essentials, poverty-like budget and unconfirmed overland routes, we found ourselves at Changi Airport Terminal 2 in the morning on 7th December, not in the best conditions to fly. I was down with a major sore throat and throbbing headache, and Ping, her usual trance mode. Bade my emotional mother and rest farewell, entered the departure gates without looking back. All i wanted was some painkillers and maybe endorphins. Instead, we went for local Laksa before boarding our budget plane, bad choice. 

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