My name is Lucie and as you may know, I’ll be taking over the blog for the next 10 days, telling you all my adventures in the United States. I cannot believe that the time has come already to fly to the States and start sharing with you the Big Blog Exchange. I have never blogged in English so I apologize in advance for the mistakes I might make along the way. I will do my best to take you with me on this journey with clumsy words, pictures and videos.
This has already been quite an adventure to get to the starting point. I found out I was one of the finalist in a small town of China, Pingyao. As I’m a nomad, the next step was to figure out where I would be on 29/10 and where to fly from. I decided for the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, thinking it would be a realistic time frame. From then on, it has been a long litany of transport and painful hours in buses, trains, planes, boats, bicycles, motorbikes, tuk-tuks and even horses, overlanding through China, Lao and Cambodia. I finally made it two days ago, a bit later than expected, but still on time. I will be flying today from there to Washington DC, with a night stopover in Doha, Qatar.
When I tell this story to other travellers, they just start laughing and think it’s totally crazy. It is totally unreal, it’s true, and I’m so grateful to be part of this extraordinary adventure that will bring me from Cambodia to the US. I cannot really comprehend it yet, the jetlag might hit me hard, the reverse culture shock might even hit me harder. I have been in Asia for the past 5 months and I know it is gonna be strange to be catapulted in a very developped country, but I am ready to take on this challenge.
The preparations for this trip might have been a bit easier for me than for the other finalists. For example, I am constantly packed and ready to move every three days or so. My ESTA for the States was already made on my past trip last year. I had travel insurance, all my papers and bank stuff are sorted. Basically, preparing for me has been dreaming about the various destinations, printing all necessary papers, digging my dollars out of my backpack and getting mentally ready. As I watch out of the window of my hostel right now, I see complete chaos, tuks-tuks, tourists in shorts and flip-flops, poverty everywhere, a family of five holding onto one scooter, food stalls, street dogs and cats and other unreal things that have become so familiar to me in the past months. Tomorrow, watching out from the hostel window will be a completely different experience. Yesterday, my last night before the trip started, was your typical backpacker affair. We went to Dine in the Dark with a few other backpackers from England, the Netherlands, Finland and Israel, listened to some great live music, watched some fireworks, played cards, had a couple of drinks and ended up in a club. Just another lovely night in South-East Asia. This morning, I woke up early, had a lovely breakfast made of chocolate-chip pancakes to get myself in the mood, packed my bags, cleared up my locker and checked out. I will fly this afternoon and I cannot wait to tell you all about it.
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I wish all the finalists a great trip, wherever they are going around the world and especially to Taralynn who will discover my beautiful France. See you on the other side of the world!