On Thursday the 31st of March 2011, I'm going to be going on my first international trip by myself.
Around 9:00 PM GMT I'll be taking off for Karachi, Pakistan to catch up with family, meet up with old friends and be in my old home. I imagine it is a little different now.
I'm going to be in Karachi for about two and a half weeks before I head to the next stop on my trip: Chiang Mai, Thailand. About six months ago, the idea was brought to me of maybe taking some time out of my gap year and doing one of these volunteering trips. It sounded appealing; seeing a new country, eating new food, meeting new people. It sounded equal parts exciting and scary. I immediately applied. This trip seemed to work out for the best money-wise and time-wise.
With about 16 others I'll be heading to Chiang Mai, under Habitat for Humanity, and helping to build housing for the underprivileged. I'm going to spend about 2 weeks there. I imagine things won't always be fun or easy during that stay but hopefully I'll have a good story or two, when all is said and done.
At the end of April I'll head back to Karachi the same way I got there - via a layover in Bangkok. I'm kind of sad I won't have more time there to see the city properly, rather than just a view of the BKK Airstrip but regardless I'm excited for this trip.
After a further week and a half in Karachi it's back to London for me. Hopefully I'll be back just as the English weather is hitting its peak. Hopefully I'll have some sort of job or work waiting for me when I get back.
The timing works out that I'll probably have to make my choice for which university I'm going to be attending come September while I'm in either Karachi or Chiang Mai but once I'm back in London the real world is gonna come flooding back. I'm going to have to deal with the student finance, accomodation, applying for tickets for the 2012 London Olympics (something I have to do), and trying to find a summer job.
I may not have done anything spectacular with the first two thirds of my gap year, but this last third is looking to be...memorable.
NB: Joel, will be happy to know I am taking my sketchbooks and Wacom Bamboo, so work on the next comic, will be commencing once I hit the 30˚C weather in Pakistan.