Predeparture: Southeast Asia

I leave tomorrow (Monday) for Bangkok. The trip will be to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

So today, Sunday, I’m finally doing all of my research and planning for the three week trip. The flight out of JFK is at 10:30 am, so my 2 good friends from highschool and I are debating if we should leave at 5 or 6 am to get there. I’m thinking 6, but my friends are thinking 5. We’ll see how it goes. I’m usually just making it in time, or I’m sometimes late for flights so I should probably just go at 5 when my friends want to go.

I’ve got my first backpacking pack for this trip (REI; which after researching is supposed to be the bees knees of backpacks). What I don’t have yet is my Vietnam visa, which is definitely unsettling but everything will work out. I applied for it two weeks ago (on Vietnam visa – usa) and have no received it yet. Both of my friends have gotten theirs. I’ll be calling tomorrow when I’m at the airport. Hopefully one day I will learn not to do everything last minute. When I went to AUS, I applied for my visa with 5 days to spare, showed up at the airport praying that the visa had went through (it did, thank God). I applied renewed passport, expedited it, when I was going to Peru last May and was fearful it would not be in on time. I would have been devastated if all these things had not worked out. They always seem too, so I’m praying things will work out with my Vietnam visa because out of all the countries we’re going to, Vietnam is my #1.

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My backpack is filled with mostly stuff (barbies, jewelery, toys, stuffed animals) to donate to orphanages. Last night my best friend and I dressed the barbies in really cool clothes. Our mom drew pictures of sleeping kittens to put in the locket necklaces we’ll give to kids. This made me sooo excited, and got my family excited too. My friend Rachel has made a lot of hemp bracelets for kids, and will be making them on the plane ride over. Last night I did a lot of research on ethical orphanages (to avoid orphanage tourism) to donate to. I found a couple, sent out emails, and have already heard back so I pray we’ll get linked up with them. One even offered to arrange a taxi to pick us up in Chiang Mai. Some of these places are: Chai Lai Orchid, Baan Dada, Baan San Fan –  which are all in Thailand.

I posted on facebook my upcoming endeavors to get any suggestions from friends. It has been very helpful!! A great suggestion I received from a friend: enjoy every moment of it! Amen. God will bless our experience. May peace and love be with us.

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