“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”
– Thucydides

48hrs ago I took the plunge. I went online, pointed my browser to Cathay Pacific’s web page and booked a flight from LAX to Bangkok, Thailand. My hands were shaking as I made the reservation. I couldn’t believe my luck. I have been watching the fares for almost 2 weeks, praying that I wouldn’t miss the seat sale. The price was a steal. $934 USD for a round-trip ticket leaving September 22nd and returning March 22nd. 6 months. After years of planning trips, planning dates and then changing all my plans- I finally booked a flight.

I’ve planned this trip on and off for years. I’ve read guidebooks, searched for photos on google and spoken to friends who have been to South East Asia. I know I don’t need a visa to go to Thailand and that’s enough for me. My plans are extremely open at this point. I’ll stay in Bangkok for 2 nights before boarding a train to Chaing Mai. After that, who knows. My timeline is open. My travel funds are low. I have all the time in the world.

Although I don’t have a schedule, or hostels pre-booked. I do have an idea of where I would like to go/ places I want to see.

Chiang Mai • Years ago I worked with a girl who had travelled to Thailand and loved Chiang Mai. We would talk about Thailand almost every shift and I was determined to go myself.

Agra • Taj Mahal- Nuff said!

Angkor Wat • A fine example of the power of photography.

Bhutan • It’s forbidden- or so it seems. Bhutan has always held a certain mystery for me.

Kathmandu • Years ago I followed a blog called ‘How Connor Is Spending His Money’. At the time, Connor was volunteering at an orphanage in Kathmandu. Since then I’ve looked into doing the same thing. Oh, and Mt. Everest is close by as well- not that I’ll be climbing it. haha

Sa Pa • I saw a photograph of Sa Pa, Vietnam a few years ago and I’ve been obsessed ever since. My plan is to stay there for at least 2 weeks and soak up some culture.

Tibet • I tried to get into Tibet in 2008 when I was in China, but no luck. This time I WILL get in!

The above list is not long. There are a lot of places I want to go, but the ones above are the ones I MUST visit before returning home. I guess you could say they’re a mini bucket list.

About The Author

I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

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16 Responses

    • Pamela

      Haha, that’s the first thing I thought when I booked with flight! My cousin and were hugging, I was shaking. Way too excited!

  1. Carlo Alcos

    Congrats! I was In Sapa a couple years ago. It’s very beautiful there, and my favourite part of Vietnam, apart from the Mekong Delta. I was just in Thailand, Bangkok and Chiang Mai…albeit on a press trip. It was fantastic. The flexibility you have is great.

    Is it true you need to pay a guide a per diem to go to Bhutan? I think that’s what Eric Weiner wrote in Geography of Bliss.

    Safe travels!

    • Pamela

      From what I’ve read, you do pay per diem for Bhutan. I’m going through Wanderlust & Lipstick to book a tour- I don’t think you can be 100% solo there.

  2. Sally

    Yeahhhh! I’m so excited that you booked your flight. And you better come visit me! I will be in Laos from Sept to Oct then Cambodia from Nov to December (maybe longer) and Vietnam after that.

    • Pamela

      Well, if you’re ‘Rock Star Status’ allows for visitors, consider it done! I’ll be visiting all of those places 🙂

  3. Adam @ Sit Down Disco

    How exciting! My fave places in SE Asia so far have been Laos and Indonesia for different reasons. Can’t wait to read about your travels!

  4. Legal Nomads

    Wow, congrats! I’m excited to hear about your thoughts in Asia and see those photos. If you want company for Bhutan, let me know.

    Congrats again Pam!

    • Pamela

      Would love some company in Bhutan. I’ll let you know more when I decide to go there. Beth from Wanderlust & Lipstick has some tour company connections there.

  5. Michael

    Whoa! Congrats! You’re going to have an amazing time.

  6. Elle

    Holy crap you got an awesome deal on your ticket! Congrats to you. Best wishes and hopes for safe travels.

  7. Alouise

    Congrats on taking the plunge (travel wise) and booking your flight. I’m sure you’ll have some great stories from SE Asia.

    Love the new site design btw.

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