Sometimes I wish I was born just a bit later. If only I had a laptop and digital camera when I was doing my first trips abroad. These days I don’t go anywhere without them. However, back then it was notebooks, a SLR camera and a hundred rolls of film. Those were the days of snail mail and poste restante. Now of course there are emails and instant messengers. Our main source of information back then was of course the Lonely Planet. However, we also relied heavily on word of mouth. I remember the days in China when I went from city to city without seeing another Westerner. And when I did, I ran across the road to greet them and to pick their brains on where they had just been. Nowadays of course we have forums, chat rooms and blogs.
When I was younger I went on two big trips. First was the year I spent travelling around Australia in a station wagon. I then returned to England where I started to save up money and plan my next big trip. This time it was overland across Asia to Australia. The plan was to travel across Russia on the Trans Siberian, through China and out and over the Karakoram mountains into the Hunza valley in Pakistan. A trip to the border town of the Khyber Pass and then back the other way into India. From here I did my first plane ride to Thailand where I had originally planned to stay only one week. Then travelled down to Malaysia and Penang and across to Sumatra in Indonesia. Then island hopped to Bali. And then from there to Australia almost one year later. It is going to be a giant task but I have decided to start typing up my diaries. Starting with the Overland Asia trip. I am going to be posting these twice weekly on my website at www.RichardBarrow.com. Part one has already been posted. I will be scanning as many pictures as I can. I haven’t read these diaries since the day that I wrote them so it will be a nostalgic trip for me. I am interested to read what my first impressions of Thailand were all those years ago. We will just have to wait and see.