Back in the Saddle
In less than a week, I’ll be either sharing a ride or hitchhiking to Los Angeles, California to fly out to Bangkok, Thailand for a self-supported bicycle trip around the country of Thailand. I’ll be cycling in Thailand-Malaysia for a month and ending the first segment in Singapore. On April second, I will be flying out of Singapore and into Darwin, Australia. The next three months or so will be spent cycling and exploring the Outback and the eastern coast of Australia. (that is the plan anyways!)
Here is a picture of my intended route of Thailand-Malaysia and Australia (up for improvisation of course!) Solid lines are intended cycling and broken lines are intended bus/hitchhiking.
I’ve traveled to neither countries ever in my life, and I do not speak a lick of Thai. If you have been following the news, Bangkok has been going through a sort of people’s revolution at the moment, so things might get interesting. I will be winging it and hopefully meeting lots of locals and wild camping along the trip, in both countries. I’ve been living frugally and saving for this trip for some time. I’ll also be living frugally during the trip in order to stretch my funds. It makes it for a more interesting trip and more adventuresome– I won’t be staying in any five star hotels, although I might give in and stay in a hostel or two here and there.
As I said in my earlier post, I’ll be bringing a Dahon folding bicycle as it can be shipped easier (and hopefully for less hassle and without bogus fees!) on the airplanes. My plan is to package the bike each time into a cardboard box, which I can discard once I reach my destination. Three flights- one from LA to Bangkok, one from Singapore to Darwin, and one (that I have not yet booked) most likely from Darwin back to LA. I’m not sure that I’ll find time to post here as I travel (or want to, really) but I will be posting some pictures and reflections if not during, or upon the return from the trip in about four months.
I’ve been thinking about and dreaming of this trip more or less since I returned from previous travels, and it’s hard to believe it’s around the corner. I’d like to connect with other travelers on this blog and swap stories, especially with vagabond- bicycle tourist-musician type travelers.
Where are you traveling? Why are you going there? I’m interested in your stories.
I’m going there because “why not?” I’ve always been interested in Australia and Southeast Asia. I think bicycle is the best form of travel in my experience and a great way to meet people and move at a decent pace as you go. Not to mention that you get exercise and stay healthy as you do so. You are able to travel with goals and you don’t waste time just lounging on beaches with the other tourists. I can’t wait to eat as much Thai food as I possibly can!
It’s about following passion, it’s about improvising with limited resources and using your imagination. Being committed to following what you love and honestly, not giving a fuck what anyone else thinks. Supporting everyone else who stays true to who they are. I’ll be bringing a small travel guitar, of course. (gotta keep those chops up!)
Who knows what’s going to happen along the way. Misadventures are bound to happen and they’re always the shittiest things to go through when they happen, but the best to talk and laugh about in hindsight. I’m going to have the time of my life no matter what.
What I’ll Be Bringing
Life on the road will include the following: (I’m going minimal as possible this time to save weight!)
1 Dahon folding bicycle
1 spare tube ( no more, I figure I can patch them as I go and buy more if needed at a local bicycle shop)
1 mini bike pump
1 sleeping bag
1 bivvy sack (in case I get stuck in rain in the middle of the country!– this replaces the bulk weight of having a tent)
1 pair of pants
1 nice shirt (for going to dinner, stuff like that)
3 pair socks
1 tire lever
1 bicycle lubricant
2 bicycle panniers
1 pair shoes
1 pair lightweight sandals
1 Martin travel guitar (weighs 2 pounds!)
1 journal, 1 I-Touch device (for pictures and Wi-fi connection)
If anything goes majorly wrong with the bike– which I hope it doesn’t but could happen– I’ll just hitch into the next town and have it fixed. It’s not worth it to me to carry heavy tools around to fix it myself on the road. Every kilo counts! Life will be simple– the less the better. Really, what more does a person need?!