Planning My First Epic Trip of a Lifetime

cover art for my first epic trip of a lifetime podcast episode

I know it’s been a while since there has been an episode of Changes, Big and Small, but we’re about to launch a new series. That series will be on being your own best friend. That will start next week. In the meantime, I thought I would let you know what’s been going on with me.

Since the last episode of the podcast, I went to visit family in St. Lucia and in Canada. And I came back to Prague in August. My plan was to resume the podcast in September but a lot has happened. And I’ve been taking time to focus on other priorities. And doing other things that have really wanted to.

What’s Next for Changes Big and Small Podcast

One of the things that I was evaluating is whether or not I want to continue with the podcast. I decided that the podcast is something that I love doing. It brings me a lot of pleasure, both to do these types of episodes where I’m the only one on the microphone, as well as having all of these different interviews. And so, yes, I will continue doing the podcast. But I will be kind of played with different formats and possibly doing kind of shorter sprints of series, taking a break and then coming back. So we’re not going anywhere but you will see me playing with different things and I would love it if you would continue to be part of this experiment and journey with me.

So what’s going on is that I have spent the last few months planning a trip. I call it my first epic trip of a lifetime. And I was talking to a friend about it and she said, I think you’ve had quite a few epic trips, so I don’t think you should call this an epic trip of a lifetime.

 I received her feedback. I decided that I still want to call it my first epic trip of a lifetime. I was calling it my epic trip of a lifetime. And then I realized I’m not putting that out into the universe where I’m just going to have one of these. I’m going to call it my first epic trip living space for the second and the third, and so on and so forth.

So, what does it mean my epic trip of a lifetime? Epic to you might be different than epic to me, right? And so what makes this trip epic is that I’m going to four countries that I’ve never visited before. I am having a variety of experiences. There’s been magic in this trip in that friends have reached out to me that I didn’t expect. To take any part of these journey with me.

I initially thought that I would be traveling with a friend for about three weeks. But as it turns out, I am going to be on this trip for seven weeks. And I will only be spending about one week of that traveling on my own. It’s turned out that. I am actually going to be staying with friends or meeting with friends most of the time, along the way.

So you’re probably curious, where am I going? And so I will tell you. I am first going to Vietnam. I will stay with a friend in Hanoi and then visit some other places that look lovely, that I’m curious about. And then I will go to Ho Chi Minh City to visit a friend, another friend.

Then I will fly to Japan. I will go to Kawaguchi-go, I believe it is. That is basically a place for I’m going to see Mount Fuji. Because even though I lived in Japan before for four years, I never saw the top of Mount Fuji. So that is another attempt. And then I will go to Tokyo and meet up with a friend. She is going to come from Utsunomiya to meet up with me. We’ll have a few days together.

Then I will go to Seoul and meet up with another friend; we’re going to spend about six days there. I don’t have a lot on my list for Seoul, but I know that I’m going to eat great food. And I am going to go for a beauty treatment.

Then we will fly to Sydney and spend a few days in Sydney. That’s going to be a really relaxing part of the trip. We don’t have a lot plan. We’ll go with the flow. We’re interested in learning a bit about the history of Australia, especially in terms of colonialization. So we’ll spend most of that time in Sydney, a few days in Canberra.

And I will fly to Queenstown and meet up with another friend there. We will go to a number of places from Queenstown. I’m still trying to decide if I want to do a day trip to Milford sound because it seems like a pretty long trip if I take the bus, but if I fly, it’s pretty expensive considering all of the other travel I’m already doing. So if you have an opinion, if you’ve been to Milford sound, let me know if you think it’s worth it or not.

We’re going to a number of places, both on the north island and on the south island. As I’ve done research for New Zealand, I’ve just been blown away by the beauty. And I want to see everything, but I know that I can’t in just a couple of weeks. So we’ve tried to pick and choose a variety of different options. One of the things we will do is take the ferry from Picton to Wellington. And a friend from New Zealand will join for part of that journey.

I will be spending both Christmas and new years in New Zealand. And I can tell you how excited I am .

And then the last part of the trip is going to be in Malaysia, I will spend the two nights in Malaysia on my way back home. Because New Zealand and Australia are really, really far from Prague. And there was no easy way to get there. And so on the way to Vietnam, I’m transiting through Istanbul although I have a 12 hour layover and will probably go out and explore the city a little bit. And I’m coming back through Malaysia.

So, yeah, that’s my big epic trip of a lifetime. If you’ve been to any of those places and you have any recommendations, please let me know. You can contact me contact at Changes, Big and Small dot com or Changes Big and Small on Instagram.

A Three Month Sabbatical

Since my day job is with Automattic, one of the perks of working out Automattic is to have a three-month sabbatical after five years. And so this trip is part of my sabbatical. Actually I started my sabbatical while I was remote working in Sicily. So my last three days in Sicily. I was already on sabbatical, which was a really nice way to kind of wean myself away from work.

And I have to say it’s been so nice having the past month, just to kind of recharge. I’ve been taking swimming classes because that’s something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’ve been reading books and working on my blog a little bit. In fact, Changes Big and Small dot com. I’ve revamped the site. And because I changed the theme, that ended up making a bit of a mess on some of the posts. I am still in the process of fixing many of the posts. You can imagine it takes a while when there are 150 episodes or so.

Yes, if you’re a new listener to Changes Big and Small, there are 150 existing episodes that you can go back and listen to. I’m sure you can find something that will be interesting to you.

What’s Next for the Podcast

For the next 12 weeks, unless I changed my mind, which I do reserve the right to do, we’re going to be exploring the concept of friendships, self friendship. What that means, why it’s important, how to do it? This is really going to be an exciting journey. There’s going to be some suggestions, recommendations, advice, invitations, really in each episode.

This is one of the core tenets of the Changes Big and Small podcast, that there is always an invitation of something you can do to take action. And the goal of that is really for you to build a life that you want. Because the idea here is that building a life that you want or having the life that you want happens with intention. It happens with taking action. It doesn’t happen by chance, but it really happens by you making decisions and by you taking action.

And so, I hope that you’ll join me next week for this first episode and that you will stay tuned for future episodes. If you have a story about self friendship, about wellness, and any of the related themes, you can reach out to me I will be scheduling interview podcast from January. And so I would love to have you join me if that’s something that is interesting to you and where you think that you could share.

That gives you a glimpse into what I’ve been doing in the past few months. And I hope to hear from many of you with suggestions for my trip, or just with questions or any kind of feedback back you have.

 If you’ve enjoyed listening to this episode, please help me share it with more people by leaving a review.

If you have a question, or if you want to be a guest on the show, reach me at contact at Changes, Big and Small dot com. Remember, change begins with one small step. Have a great week.

You can connect with Damianne on the Changes BIG and small website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. You’re also invited to join the Changes BIG and small Facebook community.

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