Last Days


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Ember and I have been enjoying our last days on the rock before we head to the mainland for my flight early Friday morning. I’m nervous and excited at the same time. I don’t think there is anything else I can do to prepare for my trip and now I just can’t wait! I’m also hoping that monsoon season over there won’t be too rainy. I’m thinking it will be much like South Florida or Costa Rica in rainy season where there are sporadic heavy downpours but mostly sunny, (accept of course when I have friends from else where visit, then it rains for days). Anyway, only two days until my journey begins and the wait is so short now that it seems long, if that makes any sense.

What is Your Favorite Travel movie?


The big day is getting closer and closer! So to tame my impatient spirit I will be watching all of my favorite travel movies and TV Shows.

One of my all time favorites for Thailand is of course, Brokedown Palace. Although it is not really happy go lucky or an experience I would want to have in Thailand, I still love it.

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The movie that has almost the same theme as my upcoming trip is Eat, Pray, Love. I know it is throughly overplayed and pop culture to the max, but it gets me every time. For three reasons; I love Italy, I’m dying to plan a trip to India and last Bali will be included on my next trip. OK, four reasons in the end she does kind of figure out what she wants.

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I suppose I have to include The Beach in this list since I am going to Thailand, but I wouldn’t call it one of my favorites. Maybe I just need to watch it again to be sure.

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An oldie but a goodie, Under The Tuscan Sun. Every time I watch it I want to sell everything and move to Italy.

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One movie that I think is a great travel story is, Bunny and The Bull. Its strange by most standards, but from the creators of one of my favorite British television shows, The Mighty Boosh. Visually it is extremely creative and the story is good too.

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This movie is an indie and different from other movies on the list because involves business travel. However I love this movie and every time I get in the mood to book a trip to India I put on Outsourced.

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On my not so favorites list would most definitely be, The Impossible. I decided to watch this movie right after I booked my trip, bad idea. It was terrifying. I have to say that, yes it is a good movie but also horrifying. Sure, I have a travelers insurance policy, but American Express has got nothin’ on that. Here’s to hoping for no Tsunamis or other devastating natural disasters!

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I love to eat and I also like to consider myself an adventurous eater. So needless to say another favorite is Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. He travels to some of the coolest and most remote places in the world and really gets to the true local cuisine. I have to say I probably wouldn’t try all of the things he does but always a good watch. Its also great because there are several episodes in almost all of the countries I will be visiting on this trip.

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Another favorite of mine in the TV category if for sure is Locked Up Abroad. Again, not happy go lucky but always sucks me in for more. I can’t get enough.

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What are your favorite travel movies and TV shows? Anyone have some gems I am missing out on?

To Pack or Not to Pack…


OK, I think I have managed to pack everything I need, while still packing light. At least I hope so. I was not able to fit everything into my back pack though. I am bringing an additional smallish duffel bag that I can attach to the bottom of my backpack. Although I did not want to bring an extra bag I just don’t think I can fit it all. The backpack is more of a day pack and with the camera compartment does not fit much. The benefit is that my second bag is practically empty so I can fill it with new goodies along the way.

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I was able to bring the following:
4 pairs of pants/shorts
5 tees/tanks
2 bathing suits
1 sandal
1 sneaker
1 night shirt
7 underwear
2 pairs socks
1 scarf
1 overshirt/light jacket
3 sun dresses
1 belt
1 purse
1 security wallet
Power cords and such
Toiletries
Utility items batteries, water purifier, bug spray, ect.
Camera
iPad
Paperwork

Quite a lot for such a small bag I think!!

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Also my dog Ember (the black one) and my foster dog, Sheila, were a HUGE help in this process, as you can see!!

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So does anyone think I can possibly fit it all in one bag!? To pack or not to pack, that is the question.

A Scouts Honor: Always Be Prepared


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There is a lot of information available out there for travel preparation. With this trip I’ve gone all out with my research. I don’t think I’ve ever been more prepared for a trip before, of course once I get there I’ll find out I’m not prepared at all, ha! But that’s all part of the fun. This was the first time I got vaccinations for a trip. I talked to a lot of people I know that have traveled to Southeast Asia to find out weather or not they got vaccines and weather not they thought it was worth it. Turns out it is about 50/50. After consulting the CDC website I decided I would get the recommended shots. Although I did not get all of them because Japanese Encephalitis and Rabies are more than $600.00 a piece! I did manage to get Typhoid, Meningitis, Hep A and Tetanus for about $200.00 total. Have any of you ever received vaccinations for a trip and did you feel it was worth it?

I also found a ton of country specific information on the Smart Traveler App. It has everything from Embassy locations and local emergency phone numbers to information on crime stats and health advisories. They also have an enrollment program in which you register your trip with the US Embassy of each country you will visit. That way they have all your emergency contact info from family members back home as well as on the road. I’m not sure how effective it is but it certainly feels good to know they know!

There is also a whole host of gear most websites suggest you need for this type of trip. One of the websites I found to be quite informative with their gear reviews was TravelFish. That is where I found this gadget for purifying water, which apparently as a westerner you should never drink over there with out purifying. Supposedly it works amazing. I tested it after receiving it in the mail and it takes exactly 2 minutes to purify. Sounds fast, but feels like an eternity so I guess I’ll find out if it is a pain in the butt once I get there. Anyone out there have experience with one of these?

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I also went ahead and purchased myself a backpack. Obviously an essential item. I was very interested in purchasing a PacSafe bag because of the great security features but I wasn’t happy with any of their camera bags since I will be traveling with my Nikon D5100. I ended up deciding on a LowePro model because it was less expensive (although way less secure) but it has a secret compartment for your camera that is easy to access. Which ultimately was my deciding factor, because what is the point of having the camera if you can’t get it out to take pictures! Does anyone use a bag like this and did you feel it suited your needs?

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On top of that there is a million of other products to bring: deet bug spray, sunscreen, universal plug, clothes line, personal care items, sleep sack, pad locks, cord locks, security wallet, reusable water bottle, poncho, first aide kit and of course toilet paper or wipes of some kind. It’s a lot!! So now my mission is to figure out how to fit all that and clothes into my very strategic packing plan. Which starts now. Help! My goal is to pack as light as possible for two reasons; I will be more mobile and it leaves more room for all the stuff I’m gonna want to buy! So here goes nothin’ I’ll be sure to let you all know how this goes. Accepting advice from any of you seasoned travelers out there!!