The Journey, Conclusion

Previously: The Journey, Part One | The Journey, Part Two

I knuckled down one night and did my research.

I decided that I wanted to do another Thai cooking class, so I settled on Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai. Gorgeous website, and a celebrity chef? Yes please. Booked.

I skimmed Thorn Tree forums and found out about an overnight stay at an Elephant Camp for AUD$120. The first time I saw an elephant in the wild, it was 7am and I was wandering back to my hut in a north Thailand mountain village after visting the loo. I stretched, looked at the top of the hill, and standing right beside a tree silhoutted against the rising sun was an elephant. That moment will stay with me forever. So of course I want to stay overnight with some elephants! Booked.

I was going to be in Thailand for New Years Eve, so I wanted to find somewhere up north to have a bit of a party. Pai came up as the right place – so I’ll be heading there.

But I also heard that Mae Hong Son was pretty awesome for scenery and day treks, and formed part of the Mae Hong Son Loop. Definitely needed to see that. Add to the itinerary.

And then I promised my mum I’d buy her a “blingy watch”. So I needed to go shopping in Bangkok, and what better place than the MBK Centre in Siam Square. So that’s on there.

I fly out of Thailand at midnight on 8th January. It wouldn’t be a trip to Bangkok without a visit to Khao San Road and maybe I will finally, after years of hope, get the chance to eat deep fried grasshoppers. That’s my final stop.

There you go. That’s a trip organised.

Parts of my accommodation are being graciously provided by my hosts, so there’s that taken care of.

I visited a travel doctor – someone who specialises in overseas adventures – to get my jabs and pick up an Emergency Medical Kit. If I eat something that disagrees with me, I’ve now got the medicine to save my dignity and laundry costs.

I dropped into a discount luggage warehouse in West End and picked up an awesome bag under 48cm that I can use for both international and domestic carry on.

Visa? I’m an Australian citizen – under 30 days stay in Thailand, I don’t need a Visa. Tick.

Insurance? I Googled travel insurance and came up with World Nomads. Another quick Google came up with a discount code, so I could save 10%. Easy stuff. Tick.

Money? I’ve been saving more than I need for a trip to the United States. With the bulk of the accommodation covered by my hosts, I had some breathing space. I dipped into my savings. Tick.

So: am I ready?

You’d better believe it.

If you go looking for Adventure, you usually find as much of it as you can manage.  And it often happens that when you think it is ahead, it comes on you unexpectedly from behind.
– Gildor the Elf , J.R.R. Tolkien, early draft of The Lord of the Rings.

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