Take a Break and Get Perspective!

When you get into any kind of routine, it can be difficult to step back and gain perspective on big picture items such as goals you might have set for yourself a while ago.  My routine for the last 20 months has been distinctly non-routine. I’ve been so caught up in my travels that I needed a break from everything, including this blog, to put some things into perspective.  I spent the last couple months relaxing with some visiting friends from back home, hanging with new friends met via couch surfing, and trying to figure out if I’d pursue scuba diving professionally.

Longboat taxis in on the beach in Koh Tao, Thailand.

Longboats awaiting passengers along the beach in Koh Tao, Thailand.

Break from Travel

I’d been traveling strong for five months, spending no more than a week in any one place and heading out each day to explore and experience.  It may sound somewhat silly to say that one needs a break from travel, but I needed to slow down and get my bearings.  When every day is spent actively exploring a new place, taking a class or meeting new people, it’s practically impossible (for me at least) to devote any serious time to future plans and long term goals.

Time for Myself

Leaving Japan, my original plan had been to travel until November or December before trying to find scuba related work in southern Thailand.  Through some online research, I’d come to find that would be very difficult to make this happen without a large financial investment up front.  As I didn’t want to spend most of my travel funds just getting trained, the original plan became a wash.

When the holidays came around in December, I decided to slow down and start thinking about what comes next.  I spent the holidays with a great group of couch surfers in Bangkok and followed that up with a bit of travel with friends from back home.  After everyone left in late January, I reunited with some of the people I’d met in Bangkok and did some slow, relaxing travel through southern islands of Thailand.

A large group of couchsurfers get together and pose for a picture after Christmas dinner.

An expat living in Bangkok welcomed the 30 of us to his house for Christmas dinner.

New Plans

Now that I’ve had some time to think about what comes next, I’ve made some drastic changes to my travel plans.  I left the states almost two years ago thinking I’d try and travel for five years before returning.  For more reasons than I have space to go into here, I’ve decided that I’ll likely be returning to the states at some point this year.

Before I head back, however, there’s one more major experience I have to have – diving the Great Barrier Reef.  So, instead of working the next year or so in Thailand as I’d originally thought I would be, I should be heading to Australia and New Zealand.  If things work out, I’ll be road tripping across the country for 2-6 months starting about mid April before heading back home to Los Angeles.

What I’m working on

For now, though, I’ve set up a small office in Chiang Mai and I plan on getting some serious work done on this blog and my photography.  Expect regular updates starting with this one as well as periodic changes to the site.  I hope to be adding a links page with a variety of links to travel resources across the net in addition to other bits and pieces.  If there is anything you’d like to see more of, leave a comment below or reach me via email at [email protected]