Solo Travel – Meeting New People

Since I’ve been posting about Japan quite a lot, this post will focus more specifically on my first-hand experience of solo travel. This is the second part of my series giving my full and honest opinion on the idea of solo travel, hoping that it can help you to decide whether or not it’s right for you. You can read the first part here: Solo Travel – Deciding To Go It Alone.

Part 2: Meeting New People

[The featured image is of the Kamo river that I was walking along after parting ways with a newfound friend and before being introduced to another friend at a konbini in Kyoto.]

It felt weird leaving home, boarding a plane and heading off to an unknown country, all on my own.

An adventure it was and it’s something I’d definitely like to try going solo again perhaps in a more challenging country.

So, what’s it like to travel alone?

Continue reading “Solo Travel – Meeting New People”

Post-Travel Blues: Back To The 3-hour Commute

It’s already been now a month since I came back from Japan. Where did all that time go? I can remember almost everything so vividly during my 3-week trip and yet I cannot remember what I had for breakfast last weekend.

The past month has been hard adjusting back to, although 3-weeks in Japan is relatively short compared to other travellers going on 3-month, 6-month or even year-long trips.

I never thought post-travel blues was a real thing after coming back from my first proper trip to Vietnam and Cambodia in 2014. I did expect I’d feel the same way after Japan, but this is on a different scale.

[The featured image is of a Buddhist monk that I have encountered when exploring Tō-ji temple in Kyoto, Japan.]

Continue reading “Post-Travel Blues: Back To The 3-hour Commute”

Solo Travel – Deciding To Go It Alone

Since I’ve been posting about Japan quite a lot, this post will focus more specifically on my first-hand experience of solo travel. I’ll split this mini-series into multiple parts, giving my full and honest opinion on the idea of solo travel, hoping that it can help you to decide whether or not it’s right for you.

Part 1: Deciding to Go It Alone

Solo travel has been on my mind for some time after the events that occurred during my A-Level exams; being hospitalised has not only affected me physically but also mentally and socially since it was the end of college and most of my classmates were going to university. More people were coming out of my life than in. I never got the social opportunities in my apprenticeship as I would if I went to university. I wanted to do something about it and rejuvenate and restore myself.

Continue reading “Solo Travel – Deciding To Go It Alone”

Solo Travel Japan – Here I come!

I head out on my solo adventure to Japan tomorrow! There’s been so much excitement but also more nerves nearing the day of departure. There has, however, been a change that struck me earlier this week as I do not know what I’ll be coming back to when I arrive back home in early May.

To put a long story short, I’m being moved to a different project because of a significant reduction in work for the coming months. As a result, I’ve been given my 30-days notice earlier this week and I will have to be assigned to another project on my return from Japan. I am still working for the same company as an apprentice but there are a limited amount of available projects at my current work location which has led to me possibly being moved all around the country and not close to home. Staying at hotels during the week is not something I will want to do, so this has limited my available options. But this has made the process more stressful as I need to get this sorted and accept a project before I leave on Wednesday, otherwise, I do know what I am coming back to on my return.

I want to make sure that this situation does not affect my travels in Japan but it is difficult not to ignore. I’ll just do my best and enjoy the trip as much as I can.

Apart from that, I’ve been very busy, hence the late post, doing packing and further research on my destination. Tomorrow’s the big day so I will share my finalised itinerary and budget before I depart:

Continue reading “Solo Travel Japan – Here I come!”

A Broken Key and Delhi Belly in Phnom Penh

This is an extract of my adventures in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as part of a school expedition, back in the summer of 2014.

It was our final in Vietnam! Back in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, we visited the War Remnants and Independence Palace. We stopped by a BBQ restaurant afterwards that displayed a poster with colourful and exotic drinks so we decided to go in and order some non-alcoholic drinks. As we were there and the menu looked promising, we decided to book a reservation at their restaurant in the evening.

As we were wandering around the streets, we managed to get lost and couldn’t find our way back to the hotel; team member insisted that we are going the right way but this led to heading to the outskirts of the city, next to the highway. When we made our way back, we had a bit of free time to explore the markets and buy some souvenirs. We were then to meet at the rendezvous point near a McDonalds before we headed to the fancy BBQ restaurant we had our drinks in. Surprisingly, the McDonalds we passed looked fancier than the BBQ restaurant we were going to.

Continue reading “A Broken Key and Delhi Belly in Phnom Penh”

Adventures in Vietnam & Cambodia – Mistaken for a Local

This is an extract of my adventures in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Dalat, Vietnam, as part of a school expedition, back in the summer of 2014.

It was the Day 27 of the expedition and we leave Phnom Penh and head to Siem Reap. I got up reasonably early at the Okay Guesthouse and being the one to get prepared first in my room group, I made my way down to meet the other group of boys for breakfast. I sat down, had a conversation and ordered our breakfast from a menu that consisted of both Western and Cambodian-style dishes. I ordered a Monte Cristo: a French ham and cheese toastie that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

After taking my order to the Cambodian lady, we continued our conversation until I was politely interrupted by a German man that was also staying that the guesthouse. It was still early in the morning and most people in the seating area were still half-asleep. This is because as I was seated down with my group talking, the German man put his hand on my shoulder and asked: “Excuse me, can I order a cheeseburger?” in his strong German accent. Haven’t been able to interpret what he has said, I asked him to repeat the question and he did. On the other side of the table, the two guys in my group were laughing in the background, as I never figured out what the laughter was about only until I realised…

I was being mistaken for a Cambodian local, working at the guesthouse. 

Continue reading “Adventures in Vietnam & Cambodia – Mistaken for a Local”

Adventures in Vietnam – A Night to Remember

This is an extract of my adventures in Dalat, Vietnam, as part of a school expedition, back in the summer of 2014.

It was Day 9 of the expedition and we sourced transport from Buon Ma Thuot to Dalat and Nom, our guide from our previous trek, recommended and helped us book accommodation at a hotel in Dalat. When we arrived there, we saw a huge lake filled with swan pedalos and we asked our expedition guide if we could ride on them during our 2 nights in Dalat. Our expedition guide, being the ‘fun police’ of the expedition declined our suggestion due to the risks and hazards and said: “you can only watch the fun”. He was very fun indeed.

We then reached the M Hotel (not its real name), we were welcomed by the owners there and made it to our rooms. At the entrance, I noticed a sign that specified that a price for a room was 100,000 Vietnamese Dong ($5 USD) and a price for a ‘VIP Massage’ was 200,000 Vietnamese dong ($10 USD). This was weird to see that a ‘VIP Massage’ was twice as much for a room, but we get to see the reason on why later.

Continue reading “Adventures in Vietnam – A Night to Remember”

Your Life Stories, Lessons and Plans

“Learn from the past,  live in the present, plan for the future” – Audrey Farrell.

During a recent business trip, I had opportunities to have meals out with my colleagues whom I don’t really talk too much in the office as I am in a different team. As an Apprentice, it was especially important to not just learn about the job and what it entails, but also about working life and the stories and lessons learnt by colleagues that are far older and wiser than me.

A man in his mid-50s emphasised the importance of doing things while I am still young: to travel the world and to live and love without regrets. He told me about his time in the Royal Air Force and more about his life regrets and ambitions. He was a bit more drunk further on in our conversation and mentioned a lot about his love life, but I won’t go there, but there is more to come later.

Continue reading “Your Life Stories, Lessons and Plans”