Monday, September 27, 2010


As you can see, this blog is called Margaret & Andrew's travel blog. However, as you can also see there haven't been any postings done by Andrew. They have all been done by me. When Andrew's name was added to this blog (that's right, added), the condition was he would need to contribute at least one post before we leave. We are 2 weeks away (actually 2.5 but who's counting) and he still has not contributed. I'm putting it out there on to the world wide web if Andrew does not contribute to this blog, his name will be erased and he will be banned from posting his opininons.

T minus 2.5 weeks

We are wrapping up at work this week and the feeling is kind of strange. As of next week I will no longer have a routine, no place to be every morning. In a way it’s very liberating but at the same time it’s also scary. My blackberry was turned off last week and I had to borrow a cell phone from my mother-in-law. I really appreciate her lending me her phone but it’s definitely not a blackberry. It’s amazing how attached you become to your belongings. BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) was something I used on an ongoing basis and it was a very easy tool to keep in touch with everyone. Of course all my work emails came in to my blackberry and I was able to see who’s emailing me and if there is anything I need to action right away. When I told people my blackberry was going to be turned off they asked “what are you going to do now??” and I didn’t know how to answer the question. I told them I was borrowing a phone until we leave and that I would text them. “Text? That’s so old school…who texts anymore?” I don’t know. The first day the blackberry was turned off I had 2 phones with me; my old one and my new one. I just couldn’t let go. On the second day I left it behind at home but I felt naked. Everywhere I looked people were on their Blackberry’s. I felt like a loser. On the elevator, at the mall, on the bus…everyone was on a blackberry. I had a constant need to check my phone for messages or emails, but every time I looked the only new thing was the time. No messages, no emails, no voicemails. The upside was I got excited anytime I had to check email. I knew there would always be something waiting for me, until I finally realized it wasn’t a present but an email. A work related email no less. And the excitement wore off. I have been blackberry free for a week now and I think the withdrawal is done. Don’t get me wrong, I would like to still check something every few minutes and look important doing it, but a Samsung phone just doesn’t have the same effect. Now when I’m talking to people face to face I’m actually listening to them and not thinking if my inbox is filling up or if someone has just sent me a BBM. It really is liberating.

At this point in our preparations I thought I wouldn’t even be able to focus on work and only think about the trip. Unfortunately I have discovered that is not the case. Perhaps it hasn’t hit me yet but I don’t feel like I’m going on any trip anytime soon. So many things still need to be taken care of and wrapped up at work. Will I really be able to finish it all this week? When I’m home however, it’s a different story. It’s a nagging feeling that I wish this week would just end so I can focus on the trip and have that excited feeling. We have the travel books our friends and family have so graciously given us, and we have been reading them in preparation for the trip and getting excited.

I have been researching destinations, weather patterns and diving locations. October is a tricky month in Thailand because of the Monsoon season so finding a place where it’s not raining is tricky. After speaking with some people and doing some research I think we’re going to the East side (of the South West side). The islands there, Koh Samui and Ko Phangan are apparently not affected by the monsoons as much as the West side of the coast so hopefully that will be the case when we get there. We land in Bangkok on October 14th and we’re spending 3 nights there adjusting to the time change and just exploring the city. After that we will be looking to catch a train south to the islands. That’s the plan right now anyway. We have had so many plans over the past few weeks of what we’re doing when we get to Bangkok that I wouldn’t be surprised if it all changes again. But that’s the fun part of planning a trip. The options are endless! I can’t wait to see where we end up.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


We are now approx 5 weeks away from our trip and there is still a lot to be done. We are meeting with OHIP at the end of the week to extend our OHIP while we're away as when you're out of the country for more than 153 days a year it gets cancelled. We have booked our flights for October 13th but our last day at work will be October 1st, which leaves us just a bit over 3 weeks to go. We have been doing a lot of research about where to go when we land in Bangkok and for now the consensus is that we'll head south east to Koh Samet or Koh Chang. October is just the end of Monsoon season (rainy season) but the east doesn't get hit as hard as the west so hopefully we'll get some nice weather. Although I was checking the weather in Bangkok the other day and it was 30 degrees Celsius so I think we'll be okay.

We have been doing research on where we can work and stay for free or for little money and Andrew found this great program called WWOFER. It basically allows you to get in touch with various organic farmers in the country of your choice and you can stay with them for free as long as you help out on their farm. It's meant to help people learn about organic farms but a lot of people use it for backpacking and for cheap accommodations. I think we might try something like that out.

I have been trying to figure out the best items to pack. We have put aside a box and just keep adding items to which we have to remember to take with us. My goal is to take as many ts-shirts and underwear as possible as those are the items I will be changing most frequently. After that I'm packing a pair of cargo pants, a pair of jeans, a long sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt. I'm going to keep the toiletries to a minimum as I'm planning on using my shampoo as a body wash. Besides all those items listed above, the medicine we're taking will take up the most space. We have a whole box of malaria pills.

I don't know how much I will be posting leading up to the trip as there's not a whole lot happening right now. But if I get the chance I'll blog about the rest of our preparations.