Wanderlust Isn’t For The Faint Hearted

I graduated college with some big plans for myself. I wanted to travel the world immediately after my undergraduate degree was conferred. It would’ve been sometime in September 2007, when I was on the last leg of my global internship in Thailand.

Wanderlust - Amara Vadee Poolswasdi

It was amidst a recession and someway, somehow, my phone rang when I was in Bangkok. It was my future calling. I had missed the initial connection since I was tending to my aunt, who had somehow gotten into a tangle with a roadside merchant. When I came back my phone had a message, and upon checking it I had learned that a potential employer had received my resume and checked out my website and was interested in me. Most people would’ve been ecstatic. A job interview, during a recession? Unheard of. Unfortunately I had already planned this jaunt for months. I had planned to spend some time in Malaysia, Singapore, and go visit some family in Australia. Un/fortunately I landed the job upon my return to the states and my work-life had overshadowed my wanderlust…at least until now.

Over the next year or so I’m completely virtualizing my company so that I can fulfill this dream. I don’t plan to take off from work completely during this jaunt but instead plan on just working a few days a week. It’ll require a lot of careful planning and pre-made connections before I touch down at each one of the destinations — and you’ll see on the map below that there are quite a few. I may have to cut down on a few stops here and there but for some of the regional travel I plan on using local transport.

In the meantime I am training up my staff, saving cash, and eyeing the latest techie upgrades to make this trip a possibility. Ideally I would arrive at a few of these destinations to volunteer my knowledge at local schools or universities. I had a great time in Thailand when I taught for a bit — at the primary school level as well as university — and I would really like that opportunity in different countries. Nothing would be more fulfilling for me than to spread my knowledge to people who are desirous of it. So, if you know of any opportunities, make sure to drop a line in the comments! Here are the few things I could probably teach to some degree of proficiency:

  • Visual Communications
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • Marketing
  • Conversational English

I would ideally be traveling with just a backpack: a week’s worth of clothes, laptop, smartphone, and camera. I’d prefer that I be able to carry everything on my back so that if I had to make a quick move that I could be light on my feet. It would also be great to connect with friends in specific cities as well, so if any of my destinations seem interesting, let me know and we can totally meet up! There are probably cheaper ways to navigate the world and as I learn about them I will be adjusting the itinerary:

  • Los Angeles > New York
  • New York > Cairo
  • Cairo > Alexandria
  • Alexandria > Athens
  • Athens > Bucharest
  • Bucharest > Istanbul
  • Istanbul > Damascus
  • Damascus > Dubai
  • Dubai > Mumbai
  • Mumbai > Bangkok
  • Bangkok > Kuala Lumpur
  • Kuala Lumpur > Singapore
  • Singapore > Jakarta
  • Jakarta > Brisbane
  • Brisbane > Auckland
  • Auckland > Los Angeles

Right now I’m planning this trip for personal reasons, with my own personal resources. Ideally over the next twelve months I would prefer to morph this personal journey more into one with a philanthropic or voluntourism agenda. It would be great to find some corporate sponsors and to partner with a non-profit organization so that I could experience the world but also help others at the same time. It’s one thing to find yourself; it’s another to help other people along during your journey. So, as the ideas flow and as I get a clearer sense of what I want to do on this ’round-the-world journey, I’ll keep you posted!