OK. I’m packed and have boarding passes on my phone (which now has an international service plan added to my Verizon account for an extra $40. per month). Have passport, money (in crisp unblemished bills as required in SEA), ATM and credit cards in travel pouch; a freshly cleaned and polished body, a tired mind and a ready heart. I’ve said my “goodbyes” to family and friends and will board a flight to LAX in three hours. There I will board an American Airlines flight to Hong Kong where I should land at 7:25AM on the 14th for a day-long layover followed by a night flight to Bangkok, Thailand.
Arriving at Bangkok airport near midnight I have booked a budget hotel near the airport. I’ll go through customs and immigration, change dollars into baht and call the hotel to come pick me up. In the morning I’ll take the free shuttle from the hotel back to the airport where I’ll catch the train into the city. I’ve chosen a modern, immaculate Airbnb house near the BTW line, downtown. I’ll have my own room but share common kitchen, bathroom and media room with other guests. The kind young woman who runs the guesthouse I’m staying at for the next three nights has sent me directions and photos to guide me from the BTW stop to the hostel. A friend of a friend who lives in Bangkok has sent me a list of his favorite places, sights and things to do in the city and I plan to follow all of his suggestions. I’ll be there over the weekend so will be able to go to the weekend night markets and floating markets the city is famous for.
On Monday I have a flight to Phenom Penh, the Capitol of Cambodia, and a hotel in the old part of the city along the river. After four nights in PP I’ll take a bus to Siem Reap, the town by the famous ruins of Angkor Wat where I’ll spend the Christmas holidays.
I have a strong sense of unrealtity right now. Am I really doing this? And leaving tonight? I am!