02/14/13

Sing Sing(apore)

Ok, I hate to do this because I like doing things chronologically, but I am so hopelessly behind that I thought giving you a quick update as to my life and location would be better than having you wondering why I am still in Vietnam, weeks later.

Because I am not. I am in Singapore, where it is very rainy (think lions and dingos as opposed to cats and dogs) and very expensive (I will be wearing dirty clothes until I go back to Malaysia because there is no way this girl is ever paying $8 for laundry!) I should also add “very clean,” because it is illegal to say anything about Singapore without saying that. Not that I’ve had much experience of Singapore yet–I took a bus last night from Ipoh, Malaysia, and arrived at the border at something like 4:30am. Where I waited in a very long line before arriving at the front to find, surprise, you forgot to fill out a landing card! So I had to go fill out a landing card and go to the back of the line again. Sigh. This would have been utterly miserable had I not had a good book cued up on my ipod (Georgette Heyer’s “The Grand Sophy.” If you love Jane Austen, you will love this.)

By the time I had gone through immigration in Malaysia and Singapore it was after 6:30am. Then I had to figure out how to get a bus to the (very clean) subway system, which basically involved my begging the bus driver to just take me for free since I had no Singapore dollars and there were no ATMs. (It worked.)

Then I spent about an hour on the subway, before I walked two blocks to my hostel. (Which is very very clean.) They took pity on me and let me go to bed even though technically I’m not allowed to check in until 2pm.

I just got up and have been gorging myself on their free tea and free (wait for it) peanut butter toast!!! (I only stopped after four slices because I didn’t want the other guy sitting here to close his laptop and stare at me). I did manage to get peanut butter on my only semi-clean article of clothing, so now I get to meet the uber fashionable Singaporeans in a wrinkly dress that is also stained. Excellent.

Oh, good–thunder. I suppose I’ll have to go out there eventually but right now I just want to have more tea and toast. (Maybe I can distract laptop guy…)

And that is all the news from here. Carry on.

11/26/12

Trigger: Pulled

I did it.

After weeks and weeks of dreading and debating when and where and how to do it, I finally told my bosses that I am leaving. Which is another word for quitting. Which sounds so… permanent.

I’ve really only ever worked at one place. My dream place. And I have a dream job at my dream place—making public television shows that are educational and really good and a lot of fun to work on. And I have worked there for almost eight years. It will be exactly eight years when I leave. That’s longer than I’ve done anything. That’s longer than people who can do multiplication have been alive.

So why am I going?

Because I dream of travel. Literally. I have a recurring dream that I am going on an amazing trip to multiple countries—never the same countries. And I always wake up feeling empty.

Not that I haven’t traveled already. I have. I’ve been to much (most?) of Europe, all of North America, three countries in South America and two countries in Africa. Which sounds very impressive if you don’t take into account that in reality I only spent a few hours in Brazil (I picked the flight with the longest layover possible, and went to considerable trouble of getting a visa so I could go out to dinner in Sao Paulo), maybe 10 hours in Uruguay, and approximately 10 minutes in Mexico (I walked across the border, got my passport stamped, and walked back). That’s the sort of thing you have to do when you only get 15 vacation days a year. And the more years went by, the more I was sure I didn’t want to die with only stories about trips I could have timed on a stop watch.

So I am chucking everything—dream job, dream condo, dream second job (people pay me to write stuff!)—and heading to Asia. I will be traveling for two months in Southeast Asia, then working for four in China, then traveling for another month. I plan to visit Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, and Japan. After that, if money permits, I will do some Spanish immersion in Central America.

I know I should be nervous, but I’m too busy being excited.