I’d just given up the thought of going to university in China so I needed a new plan. I didn’t want to cancel my tickets to China so I decided to call my friend who had just graduated from the same bachelor as I was studying right now. I told her about my backpacking/work as a volunteer-idea and she was thrilled. She told me exactly what I needed to hear to move on from my depressed state of mind.
The thing is that my degree is mostly self-study and I don’t need to go to classes. I only have to participate in the exam. If I’m confident enough in these subjects, I can actually do what I like until the exam. Also, this semester will be Chinese area studies, which means that I’ll have to take two Chinese beginner-level oral exams and write two projects about Chinese culture and society. Because I speak Chinese already and had something similar to the two other courses last semester, I trust myself and my knowledge enough to travel Asia for my fifth semester and then come home when I have to write projects and do the exams.
Next question was where to go. I was already going to Malaysia with my boyfriend, so I decided to start there. This website called Workaway is amazing for finding volunteer jobs around the world so I searched for Malaysia and found tons of interesting things I could do. This concept is made for people who want to work in one culture for a bit, talk to locals, experience everyday-life and then move on to the next destination for another adventure. Working 5 hours/day will give me free accommodation and sometimes food which I think isn’t bad at all.
I wrote emails to a few hosts and received an answer from a hostel in Kuala Lumpur inviting me to come and work for him for a month. I’d already read all of the positive reviews on his profile and I said yes to him. This hostel is going to be my first destination on my fifth semester travel journey.
After Malaysia, I’ve decided to fly to Bangkok in Thailand. I’ll probably work a few weeks there as well and then take a train to Chiangmai to play with elephants (No elephant riding, read to many horror stories about the treatment of these big animals). As my last destination, I think I will take a boat across the border to Laos to experience the laid-back mini-country’s Buddhists everyday life.
Before flying back home, I need to go back to Beijing to pick up my suitcase, say goodbye to people and then I’m ready for the dark and wet winter in Denmark, or I hope so.
What do you think? Any ideas on what to see in these destinations? Please let me know about your experiences and good advice for my backpacking trip through Asia.