Small Decisions, Big Differences

by Poi on June 29, 2011

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It’s been occurring to me lately how different our travels could have been – how a number of small decisions have made such a big difference.

According to our original plan, we should be in Australia now but, we decided near enough as soon as we arrived in Beijing, we wanted to take things much slower. Thinking back, the turning point came when we hit the backpacker trail in Vietnam.

Hanoi Backpackers Rock Long Rock Hard Ha Long Bay Tour

Party Boat – Ha Long Bay

We met some amazing people on the Ha Long Bay Tour but turned down the opportunity to travel with further with them. What would have happened had we tagged along? Although we didn’t know this at the time, the majority of the group ended up travelling through South East Asia together, and Australia and New Zealand too. In fact a couple of them are still in New Zealand working together now eight months on but, as you guessed it, the rest ran out of money and had to go home. I’m sure these people are fine with it, after all that was always their plan, it wasn’t, however ours.

Our path instead took us to Chiang Mai for three months. We made good friends with teachers who planted the seeds in Kirsty’s head for what she is doing now, teaching English in Bangkok. Neither would we have met such an awesome community who showed us how easy it is to live an expat life.

We would have missed both of these chance encounters had we followed our Halong Bay friends. Potentially this means we are now looking at making travel a long term thing, rather than a whirlwind tour which it could have so easily turned into.

Sure we would have had an amazing time but where would I be now? Back at home begging the council for my job back?

Instead we have the chance to have a million more encounters like the one we had in Vietnam and who knows, maybe next time we will tag along…

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures June 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I think it’s so great that you’ve been following your heart and not your plans!

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Poi July 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

Thanks Andi!

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Sarah June 30, 2011 at 11:22 pm

It sounds like your decisions are working out very well for you so far! One of the things I love about travelling is how many doors you open by putting yourself out there for opportunities which may never have found you in a previous life. Good luck with all your future decisions!

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Poi July 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

Thanks Sarah, the going with the flow idea seems to be working well for us at the minute ๐Ÿ™‚

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Heather July 1, 2011 at 12:17 am

I’m really glad time and circumstances brought you guys to where you are now! It’s amazing what time and flexibility can do you for when you’re open ๐Ÿ™‚

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Poi July 1, 2011 at 11:17 am

It is, lets see where it takes us in the next two years hey?

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Lorna - the roamantics July 2, 2011 at 4:48 am

awesome guys! i’ve just hit the road, and it’s so good to read this because the thing i’m really trying to do, is dial up my intuition and just go with it. glad to hear that you’re loving the fact that you did! things certainly sound awesome for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Poi July 4, 2011 at 10:57 am

Thanks Lorna, I hope everything works out well for you as well, I’m sure it will.

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Shaun July 5, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Our original ‘plan’ was to spend 3 weeks in Mexico. Now 3 months later, we’re finally in Guatemala. Having the freedom to change our plans at a whim is incredible. I’m stoked that you guys took this opportunity and can’t wait for the day we do something similar. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Poi July 11, 2011 at 10:07 am

That’s quite a change Shaun! It’s great you have the freedom to do that.

I look forward to you guys ending up in Thailand for a while at some point, you don’t have a choice, this place is like a magnet for travel bloggers!

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Julia July 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm

I have definitely read lots of positive things about taking travel slowly so you don’t burnout and also so you spend less money. Really hoping I can go against my usual method of trying to do too much all at once and travel slowly, so that I can travel much longer than anticipated.

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Poi July 11, 2011 at 10:08 am

We’ve never really done the fast version of travelling, I like to say it’s by choice but I think really we are just to lazy!

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Brooke vs. the World July 12, 2011 at 8:51 am

I can totally relate to this post. A few years ago, I was going to head to Kyrgyzstan to study Russian for 3 months…. well that turned into 5 months, followed by applying for teaching in Ukraine in 5 months. Before starting my contract, I had 6 weeks in the Baltics where I met my current Aussie boyfriend. I left my Ukraine gig at 5 months to move too Australia (that was 2.5 years ago). So… yes the little random things along the way (my 6 weeks in the Baltics) resulted in big life changes. Keep trekkin and following your gut! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Poi July 26, 2011 at 9:56 am

Sounds like everything worked out perfect for you down the line. Just more proof that going with the flow can work out for the best!

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Carrie July 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I think that it’s fantastic that you are following what you desire to do rather than what you plan to do. I don’t know if a lot of people, travellers or otherwise, realize that there really is a large gap between the two. If I didn’t have a student debt to come home to my traveling would be far more extensive and a lot slower-paced, too. Life is too short to not enjoy what you’re doing during its course.

All the best to you two!!

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Poi July 27, 2011 at 9:37 am

Thanks Carrie, unfortunately for us Kirsty is carrying some student debt as well.

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Odysseus Drifts July 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Perfect. I’m heading out into my RTW with SUCH a vague itinerary it’s making me sweat. I basically wrote down a list of countries with possible months in which I might be in them, followed usually by question marks. But if it works for you, maybe it’ll work for me, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Poi July 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

That’s the best way to do it and I’m sure everything will work out perfect for you.

We started with a vague schedule but we didn’t even stick to it in the first city and it all went out the window after that.

Have an amazing trip!

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