I landed in Asia back in mid May, fresh off an amazing few months exploring Ecuador, Peru and The Galapagos Islands.
Tanned from the heat of the sun and in pretty dam good shape following 3 solid months of surfing all day!
I was amped for Asia following my trip in late 2011, which ultimately led to me throwing in my UK life once again and heading off to explore the world.
My buddy from home joined me, and as his first real backpacker experience I fed of his enthusiasm and acted like a mini tour guide!
However it’s now mid October and after 5 months here I can safely say I’m over Asia – it’s time to move on.
One of the most common mistakes in traveling is to overstay. To turn an amazing time into something you resent, ruining all the good memories you have of a place in the vain hope it will stay the same.
Worst still you can “settle” too much – making it hard to let go or you simply begin to overlook the wonderful sights, sounds and smells that surround you.
For me I’ve come to the realisation that I need to leave this continent before I begin to resent it.
I briefly touched on this in my post about my “uuuggggghhhhh backpacking” feelings – something I can now say has passed and I’m stoked about being on the move once again – but there’s a few things that stand out for me about why I need to leave Asia;
Hawkers – by far one of the biggest reasons for me wanting to get out of Asia. At first people trying to sell you stuff is fine, then you flat out ignore them, but then you begin to completely loathe them. I know they’re only trying to make a living, but it wears very thin, very fast when you can’t walk more than 10 paces without having a ping pong show board, suit business card or tuk tuk driver up in your face!
Food – Asia has some amazing cuisine, absolutely delicious infact. But after so long my body is craving western dishes. Pizza, burgers and jacket potatoes look far more appetizing than Nasi Goreng, Morning Glory or Massaman Curry. I need something non noodle or rice based! And as for Phad Thai?! Well I can’t look at one without dry urging now!
Humidity – it’s currently the end of monsoon season here and the humidity is pretty in your face. I’m fine with being hot, I love hot countries, and I never thought I’d say this but I’d like to be somewhere cooler again! Heat is fine when you’re by the ocean, but for overland travel it leaves you sticky, sweaty and smelling rather potent!
Scams – I’m not saying everyone in Asia is dishonest – some of the nicest people I’ve met around the world have been here – but backpacking in Asia does have me slightly on edge when it comes to scams. Ticket offices are simply scribbles on pieces of paper, tuk tuk drivers always try to overcharge you or make “stop offs” en route and I’m always wary of where my valuables are, something that didn’t cross my mind half as much when I was in Oz.
Not All Negative!
I feel like I’ve painted a bad picture of Asia with the above points, but please don’t get me wrong, this place is amazing to explore and I’m definitely coming back – if not as part of my RTW adventures at the very least a stand alone Thailand holiday chilling on the islands again!
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time bouncing around staying at hostels and hotels in Bali, Thailand, Laos, Bali and Cambodia – I’ve has some amazing adventures and met some of the most amazing people. It’s a place that I fully recommend to anyone wanting to explore the world, be it a couple weeks, couple months or as the starting point to an epic RTW trip.
But my travel bug is itching for something a bit different, somewhere completely new and somewhere far away from the hordes of 18 year old “Gap Yah” students!
And in the next few weeks I shall fly to Switzerland which will be a massive shock to the system I know, but it’s a new adventure, a new pace and a heap of new people – exactly what I need right now.
Asia – you’ve been amazing but the time has come to part ways.
This isn’t a goodbye though, this is a see you later…
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