This week I paid off the remainder of my flights for my BIG TRIP ROUND ASIA! The plans have been in the pipeline for getting on for two years but kept on getting delayed, until a day a few months ago when Steph called me up to tell me she was going to book her flights and should she do mine too? It was actually decided the first time Steph came to stay over at my house after not having seen each other for several years that we were going to do this. At that point she probably didn’t know what she was letting herself in for, but in all this time she’s remained committed to the belief that she can push me round South East Asia whilst I’m complaining I’m hot/tired/hungry/in pain for three months. I don’t know if she’s amazing or just a bit crazy. I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for with her on day one because she turned up with not even a spare pair of pants to stay the night…and yet I wonder why we haven’t even begun to plan a route yet!
Steph leaves in one week to do her own thing for a few months and then I’m joining her at the end of September to do 10 weeks around Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos followed by two weeks in Japan. We fly back on the 23rd December so I have one day to pull myself together before trying not to sob into a nut roast, or whatever one does after getting back from travelling.
The heatwave today gave me some kind of an idea of how intense the temperature out there will be, it was noticeable that my arms were fatigued before I’d even started pushing. I had to rely on Leah to get me to the park – hopefully this is in part to smashing my swimming target yesterday or this is another factor I hadn’t considered in the list of reasons why SE Asia might be difficult for a wheelchair user.
I don’t think the trip is going to be impossible (obviously) but I do think at times it’s going to be seriously difficult. The things I take for granted here in terms of accessibility just won’t be available there so I’m going to have to rely on my creative problem solving and excellent bum-shuffling skills for 12 weeks. To give ourselves an extra task we’ve also decided to film the whole escapade in the hope of putting together a documentary about accessible travel. We’re doing it under the guidance of my friend Film Maker Frit (go and check her out at Think Again Productions). She particularly likes it when we send her 10 minute monologues about nothing.
Watch this space because I’m going to be talking all things trip planning and documentary making until I go and doing regular updates whilst I’m there.