Vagabonding Plans


My pulse quickens, pupils dilate, and $800 gets sucked irreversibly out of my bank account. Across the country, a hard drive light on one of Delta’s servers flashes momentarily as it records my ticket information.

Ticket bought — fate sealed.

Who needs drugs? Although they may be cheaper than my travel habit, there is no replicating a feeling like this.

For better or worse, hopefully better, I am the proud owner of yet another one-way ticket to Bangkok, Thailand.

As most readers know, this isn’t the first — or even second — time that I’ve hit the ground in Bangkok with a one-way ticket. I chose Bangkok because it is the cheapest port-of-entry for me right now. I’m comfortable enough there to snoop around a bit and then grab a flight on to Malaysia, my home-to-be for the next several months.

The difference this time is that the country is in turmoil; both rubber and real bullets are flying. There is a curfew and many businesses are closed. I sincerely believe that the mess will be cleared up by time I arrive on June 16.

Although vagabonding rule #5 reads: always go where the action is, I haven’t been shot at in a long time and I prefer to keep it that way. 🙂

My fear of Bangkok is less about getting hurt and more so about seeing the people and country that I love torn to pieces over politics. When the problems began months ago, the “Red Shirt” protesters actually returned captured weapons back to the army — that speaks volumes about the Thai people and their jai dee hearts.

But before Bangkok, I must first survive the ultimate test of all survival situations…

A day at Disney World!

I am going on holiday with my full family — two nieces and nephew included — to Orlando, then leaving for Thailand immediately after. Much of this year was spent behind a computer or camera working for this trip, so family time is in serious demand.

Mickey Mouse time in two weeks and counting. I can’t wait to see the kids’ faces.

Nothing like getting indoctrinated at uber-corporate Disney World before stepping off the plane in Asia — I’m in for some serious culture shock!

So, with vagabonding plans pretty much set in stone — or my future continent anyway — I am spending the days reading through old journals trying to remember what it feels like to be in Southeast Asia. Although I was just there last year, life there is so very different than daily life here that my brain tends to dissolve those synapses. Indonesia already seems like a dream from a long time ago.

I’m happy it works that way; I still get nervous and excited when I hear the landing gear on my plane start to lower over a runway a world away from home.

I’m ready, after six months in the U.S. it is officially time to get it on!

Life is good.

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7 Responses to “Vagabonding Plans”

  1. I can’t wait to read about your next adventures – including the Disney one. But I cannot help and wonder why did you choose to go to the same places you’ve been instead of trying new ones. Of course, I am not talking about passport stamps collecting, but what about Central Asia? It is at least as exotic, dangerous and full of hospitable people and memorable experiences … just wondering. Why Malaysia? Why SE Asia again?

  2. Hey Alex, I am returning to SE Asia because I am covering SE Asia as a contributing writer for NY Times The work is helping to fund my trip. Plus, there are so many places (new places within the same countries) that I have not seen within Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos…I’m going to mix it up with old and new. 🙂

  3. Hey Greg, I am so excited for you, I know just the feeling! I will be leaving for KL on 5th October this year. I can not wait!!!!! I got my old job back when I came back to UK last October and have been working my arse off since and have sold pratically everything i have, only have a bed, laptop and photo albums and items I need on daily basis left in my posession.I feel so freeeeeeeeeeee! This is gonna be the best trip yet. Anyway Greg, happy travels and writing! I will watch this space.

  4. Interesting that you aren’t afraid of the violence, someone else might be. Goes to show – vagabonding and adventure truly runs through your veins. Go Greg! And we’ll read along gladly!

  5. Stacey Underhill May 24, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Maybe Mr. Disney can start a small satelite Disney location in Thailand.

  6. If you eva decide to drop down under to New Zealand keep us in mind, you can have a feed and a bed with us and we can set you up with heaps of people to do the same with on your travels around NZ.


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