When I looked back at my blog and realized that over a month passed since my last post, I felt quite guilty. I have no excuse other than a complete and utter lack of motivation to sit down and write, mixed in with the desire to enjoy the holiday season and avoid my computer for everything other than online shopping and watching YouTube videos.
However, I am now in a state of panic and shock with the realization that in less than thirty days I will board a Singapore Airlines flight and commence the twenty something hour journey to Cambodia. If you don’t know what I’m talking about: where have you been? Read this post, and this one, where I talk about how and why I am going to Cambodia.
Throughout the last month, I have been continually getting everything in order in a slightly haphazard fashion,and so I thought I would provide a little recap. To my happy surprise, I am not as quite as stressed as I was when I was preparing to depart for Scotland, despite not having an official checklist this time around.
As of last week, all my program fees are paid. My bank account took a significant hit, but with the program fee encompassing accommodation, meals, and other things, I find it worth the expense.
I have also purchased and been gifted other bits and bobs such as a “water resistant laptop case,” yet to be tested, a travel towel, linen pants, and solid shampoo. Most of these items I collected on the recommendation of other travel bloggers. I have done a massive amount of research *cough* internet stalking *cough* from the blogs of travelers and backpackers who have been to South East Asia, and obtained some items accordingly. I still have quite a few extras I would like for added comfort and security, such as a mosquito net, new backpack, and a copious amount of bad aids, but I will continue to gather those throughout the remaining weeks.
In addition to being in and out of shops, I have also been in and out of the hospital. My travel nurse now knows me by name from all the appointments and phone calls I have made regarding my trip. Now, immunizations were one of the things I was most concerned about in preparation for my trip. Not only was I worried about the amount, but I was also stressed about the potential cost. To my relief all the shots I received were free of charge, as my hospital categorizes them as preventative care; so if you are a frequenter of Kaiser Permanente, you are in luck. And to make me an even happier camper, I did not need nearly as many shots as I originally anticipated. As I have mentioned before, I travelled to El Salvador in 2011, and a few of the vaccinations I received then carried over for Cambodia. I ended up needing only Polio, Japanese Encephalitis, Typhoid, and Rabies, and I plan on writing a more detailed post about these and other vaccinations needed for Cambodia later on, so k.
However, a few painful jabs were not the only thing bringing me into the hospital. I also purchased Malaria, and, embarrassingly but necessary, Antidiarrhoeal medications. Hey, I would rather be prepared than find myself trapped in a squat toilet and feeling miserable.
Other things I have been doing to prepare for my trip include saving up as much money as I can, purchasing my plane ticket, which I did a while back, reading up on the country through other travel blogs, websites, etc, and some half-hearted attempts to learn Khmer. I am sure there are other things I have been doing as well that are escaping my mind at the moment, but hopefully a general idea of what I have been up to is now there.
There is still so much that needs to be done, or at least I feel that way most of the time. I still need to purchase travel insurance, unlock my phone, attempt to learn Khmer in a genuine way, transfer all my savings into an international friendly bank account, and get a ridiculous amount of passport photos.
This is a stressful, but also exciting time. I am still eagerly awaiting to find out the remaining details of my placement, so that all of this can finally feel real. It does already, but I can only imagine how great it will feel when I can add a “Siem Reap,” or “Pursat” or “Phnom Penh” to the end of my “I’m going to Cambodia for six months” truth bomb that I like to drop on people who do not yet know. And as I continue to prepare for my trip, I hope to be a bit of a better blogger, and take you all with me as I do.