When I started thinking about my return to Asia my plans were pretty basic, fly to Bangkok, get an apartment, go back to writing full-time. Well, things have changed a little bit and September is now brimming with travel adventures.
As I get ready to hit the road again (5 more days in Ontario!), I am reading more travel literature; blogs, stories in magazines, books in print, books through kindle. There are a few reasons for this, inspiration and something to keep me busy during long travel days.
When I read that Lauren was writing a book I was intrigued. I met Lauren during Songkran in Chiang Mai in 2012, but I had been reading her blog, Never Ending Footsteps long before that.
Lauren is a fun-loving female traveler who suffers from anxiety, attracts disaster, and doesn’t let that stop her from traveling the world. In the beginning her family and friends were doubtful about her ability to be a solo female traveler, but Lauren didn’t cave, she didn’t pack it in when things got tough, she kept going.
I have spent most of August bouncing off the walls, ready to grab my backpack and fly out the door. I’ve been frantically working on this blog, getting back to being more active on social media, and write more often. I’ve been in a really good place, and now that I’m a week from departure I’m in a bit of a limbo. Thankfully I have a couple distractions.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday Snapshot. As I get closer to my departure to Southeast Asia (Sep 7th), I am spending a lot of time looking through old travel photos and making plans for my return. There are a couple cities/countries I hope to revisit during my upcoming trip, and Penang, Malaysia is one of those places.
I first visited Penang on a visa run from Thailand. During that trip I met Christine Gilbert of Almost Fearless and Dave Dean from What’s Dave Doing. We drank, we ate Indian food, and Dave & I hitchhiked at 1am to get back to our respective hostels after having dinner with Christine and her family. A year or so later I returned to Penang, staying with an expat family for a couple months, gorging myself on Indian food, taking cooking classes, and exploring the city.
Over the past 48 hours I have struggled to write a post about Bangkok, starting and stopping four or five times. After the first bomb went off at the Erawan Shrine I started receiving texts and private messages, “Are you still going to Bangkok?”, was the question everyone was asking. My answer, a resounding, “Yes”.
A couple weeks ago I posted on Facebook that I was reading The Traveller: Notes from an Imperfect Journey Around the World by Daniel Baylis, and I would be giving away a copy of his book on Facebook later in the week.
Well, it’s more than a week later, and I am finally getting around to posting this little review, and giving away a digital copy on the Savoir Faire Abroad Facebook page. Yay!
I remember when Daniel was getting ready to publish his book, we have one of the more successful Kickstarter campaigns I have seen in a long time. Daniel clearly knew what he was doing, and the premise of this book was intriguing.
Daniel’s spin on world travel is quite a bit different than many travellers, his focus was on volunteering, instead of going in search of the next temple, or full moon party. You have to admit, it’s a great travel theme; experience the world, while giving back wherever you can.
Travelling with a purpose, it’s something I wish more of us would do, and something I am trying to do more of myself as I return to the road in a couple weeks.
Daniel’s journey takes him to twelve different locations, one per month. At each location Daniel writes about the volunteer project he has chosen to work with. In the beginning he was hoping to do so without spending money, but he quickly realized that it can be difficult to volunteer around the world for free. Many organizations will charge a fee for your room and board. That didn’t stop him though, and Daniel’s book is filled with anecdotes from his various volunteer experiences.
I enjoy the humour with which Daniel writes about his year abroad, but I do wish he had written more details about some of his experiences, at times it felt as though he was skipping a lot of the story. That being said The Traveller is a good read, and an interesting look into volunteering while abroad.