Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Life Changes Summer 2007

Yes, Life Changes

Welcome to my journey through Southeast Asia. You mean you thought that was me!

The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity as I quit my job and then moved from San Jose, California to San Diego County in Southern California. I took some fantastic camping trips with friends to Yosemite Valley and Baja Norte, Mexico. After some extensive research, I acquired good, inexpensive, and portable health insurance. I even took a motorcycle riding class and got my motorcycle license! But my main task this summer was helping my mom move into her newly remodeled manufactured home (just moving her took over a month!) and helping to resolve various unfinished business affairs for her after my father's death last year. I am happy to say that we completed just about everything we set out to do.

Saying Goodbye to Friends

Speaking of downsizing, I sold or got rid of most of my stuff. Everything that I own, except for my car and what I am packing on my trip, is captured in the picture below (there are no hidden boxes or items). My goal was to be able to place all of my possessions into a 2 meter cube -- a space measuring 2 meters of width, depth, and height. I am happy to say that I got it all in about two-thirds of that space. In fact, I cleaned out and rearranged my mom's little shed and then put all my stuff in there -- and there was quite a bit more space left in the shed than before I began.

Travis' Stuff

I also spent a lot of time this summer preparing for my trip to Southeast Asia. The countries I plan to visit include China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and possibly Myanmar (Burma). This will be my first visit to Asia. Nothing is set in stone and I am doing most of my planning on the road. Some friends may be joining me along the way. During my journey I hope to document some travel adventures, mistakes(!), strategies (like finances, technology, etc. on the road) and convince my family that I won't be kidnapped after all.

I am making so many last minute preparations before leaving that it feels like I am in front of the computer during one of those late night coding sessions with disposable coffee cups strewn on my desk as my head turns to view the whiteboard which is now cluttered with ever growing data structures. Boy I miss those days or . . . maybe scratch that! Anyway, I arrive in Hong Kong on Monday, August 27, via a one-way $550 ticket and hope to make the most of it. It is getting real now, more than an idea or plan -- the cell phone account has been turned off for good, there are no keys to carry because I no longer have a home or room where my things are located, my car is stored with a car cover -- it's really happening. But I feel really blessed to have the time and the health to go to such distant and exotic places about which I have been so curious for so long.

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