Packing for South East Asia + Printable Packing List

When trying to figure out what to pack for my trip of 6 weeks to South-East Asia, it was very hard to find any packing lists. There are plenty for Europe and America, but only a few for South-East Asia. In particular, there’s barely anything for countries like Cambodia.

My 6 week trip would primarily be in Cambodia, but I was also going to have a stop over in Kuala Lumpar, and possibly go to Vietnam and Thailand. I expected that it would be hot over there, but I also had to prepare for the cold weather in Australia for my departure and arrival back in the country.

So the question remained – what do I pack?

Continue reading

A Sobering Fundraising Initiative

I have last 2 months of my 3 month’s of sobriety.

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve given up alcohol for 3 months to try and raise money for my volunteer program in Cambodia later this year. See my Donate page for more information.

I have to say it hasn’t been easy. This is what I have experienced so far:

  • I have been to parties where I sit sober, sip on my Diet Coke and watch everyone else get drunk. Unfortunately, it’s not that fun. Drunk people are annoying to sober people.
  • On the Easter long weekend I went to my boyfriends mum’s place where their wine cellar is bigger than our loungeroom. Bottles upon bottles of delicious, expensive and varying wines… and not one sip was taken. [Sigh…]
  • My friends birthday dinner when we went for ‘drinks’ afterwards. I got to stand around smelling the delicious cocktails… I can still remember the delicious smell now…
  • My regular weeknights at the club no longer involve a hard earned cider. No, just a Diet Coke for me thanks.
  • My boyfriend went and bought a nice bottle of wine for us to share for a lovely weekend night at home together… but then he remembered that I’m not drinking. (Have to feel a little bad for the poor fella trying to do something nice for his lady).
  • After a few 13 hour days in a row, I would love to unwind with a glass of red wine… especially because I quit the gym. So now that I don’t have a way to unwind, I need to find another way to relax after a long, stressful and tiring day at my multiple jobs.

Don’t get me wrong – I can certainly have fun without alcohol. In fact, I have started feeling more motivated and attentive during the week. So I have noticed the difference in my mind and body.

But, we Aussies, we love to drink. Drinking is just part of our culture. And I enjoy indulging in our favourite past-time.

In the next month I still have an engagement party, a good friends birthday party, a hens weekend away, my boyfriends birthday and my last day of work (usually celebrated with champagne and wine)… all of which I have to be completely sober for.

So I ask that people please support me. Even a small donation will help me make a difference.

It hasn’t been easy, and there is still more to come, but knowing that people are supporting my cause makes it all worth it.

Please show you support and make a donation on my fundraising page by clicking here. Secure donations can be made via PayPal.

Staying Sober for a Cause…

I am so proud of myself. I am also a little bit shocked – I’ve lasted over 6 weeks of being sober and it has not been easy. I never realized how hard it is to be “the person who isn’t drinking”. We have such a culture of drinking that people call you names, look down on you or just shun you because you have decided to take a step back from drinking. 

It would definitely be easier just to drink. 

I have had people offer me “just a sip” of their drink so many times I’ve lost count. But I said no alcohol for 3 months. So that means NO alcohol. Not even a sip. 

It’s made harder when people have delicious cocktails or wine and I can smell it from where I am…. It’s  not like I don’t want to drink, I just can’t. I made a commitment to no drinking and I’m sticking to it. Then there’s some people who have said, “You can have just one drink”, “Surely you can have something for a special occasion?”, “Just have a bit, we won’t tell anyone”, and “No one will know if you have a day off”. Well my answers are No, No, No and I would know. I’m not a dishonest person. And I’m not a cheater. If I have a drink, it’s cheating. And If I am still asking people to donate money to my cause, then that’s dishonest. 

I said I would go 3 months without drinking alcohol. I’m sticking to that commitment. I feel that I should be able to complete the rest of this challenge. It’s like the hump day of my challenge – it should be all down hill and smooth sailing from here…


Flashback – Enjoying a cold drink on Australia Day

So I hear you thinking “Why has she decided to give up drinking?” Well, dear friends, I have given up drinking to raise money for my volunteer program in Cambodia later this year.

I will be volunteering my time through International Volunteers HQ, and will be travelling to Cambodia to work with human rights NGO’s. Whilst at this stage I don’t know the full details of which organisation I will be helping (it depends on which NGO needs the help the most and how many other volunteers are in the country at the time) I know that I will be assisting with administrative tasks, typing briefs, helping with English skills and taking field trips to see the issues first hand. The organisations that I will be helping are likely to look after women’s rights, children’s rights, health issues and environmental problems. All of these topics have been of particular interest to me throughout my study at university. 

Now that I have graduated I finally have the time to be able to go help others. This is something I’ve wanted to do for over 4 years, and I decided that this year is the year to do it.

The thing that has held me back on this is the money situation. I need help from as many people as possible to make this happen. I need to pay for flights, vaccinations, a background check, accommodation before and after my flights, registration fee, my program fee and other miscellaneous expenses. The main concern is trying to pay for my flights (before they go up to ridiculous prices) and paying off my program fee. I have already paid for the vaccinations, background check and the registration fee. At this stage I need $1500 to pay off the remaining expenses.

I am obviously paying as much as I can out of my own pocket, but would be very, very appreciative of assistance and donations from other people. 

To donate towards my cause and support me in my sober journey, please click here to visit my fundraising page.