“WOW!” I pointed to the sign and shouted at my sister as she drove through the exit to International Departures at Logan Airport in Boston. It was starting to feel real now. A couple of weeks ago I had been planning a trip to Iceland. WOW is the premier airline for cheap flights there. We were now passing it. Three months ago I had returned from the West Coast to work seasonally, recoup funds, and pay off some debt so that I could travel without worrying about my jeopardizing my future— as much. It’s a careful balancing act coupled with some self-sacrificing for some of us who don’t have remote IT jobs or trust funds to rely upon. I planned to take a small trip to Iceland to satisfy my travel bug. I soon realized it would be much too cold to hitchhike and camp around as I’m accustomed to. With no one to split bills with my plans were falling apart. A Facebook post would change the course of my life for the next couple of months. My friend Lief, whom I had met in my previous travels had made a FB post asking if anyone could watch his dog while he was in South East Asia.
Just months before I had been debating Thailand or Iceland and had actually considered asking a couple of people, that friend included, if they’d be interested in either destination. Ultimately I decided on Iceland which would be a shorter trip and more inclusive to my general social group. I found it ironic that I now found myself in the position of asking if I could hop onto his adventure in one of those very places . A phone call later and it was decided. I was going to South East Asia. I had two months to prepare and not a penny in a savings. I hadn’t paid off shit. Buuuuuut. Asia. Those other plans could wait. I could adult when I got back. I spent the next two months working for Instacart doing 45-65 hours of grocery deliveries a week while a friend let me stay at his place in Somerville for well below market rent. My nicotine addiction was killing me both literally and financially but I managed to switch to vaping for the most part. I wasn’t too happy when I found out they were illegal in all the countries I was to visit. Not that anyone really cares here in SEA.