In the Spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love ....... really? I'm not here to knock Alfred Lord Tennyson, but surely even back in the 19th Century it didn't take the arrival of 'Spring' to move a young man's thoughts in that particular direction. Perhaps I'm a lot older than I realised and thoughts of love are certainly infrequent visitors to any of my seasons, but Spring is definitely a good time for making new plans.
Over the Winter months I tried making plans for the next instalment of Poor Circulation but every move forward seemed to be accompanied by an equally long journey in reverse. There were tentative promises of financial support that eventually sank without trace as the world's economic crisis deepened, an unforgettable encounter with the NHS and countless other both real and imaginary excuses that diverted me from the task in hand. When there are eight hours of daylight and sixteen of darkness each day, it's hard to get motivated when things are seemingly slipping away from you. But then Spring arrives, the days get longer, everything becomes a little easier and plans that had once seemed almost impossible to achieve start falling into place and your motivation returns.
My love for SE Asia is no real secret and starting in November 2009, that region will/should/could be the destination for Poor Circulation II. A solo journey around Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia on a bike, but on exactly 'what' bike is still uncertain. Because of restrictions on entering Vietnam with a motorbike, it looks like I'll need to use a bike with an engine capacity of less than 150cc. There is a way of getting around this restriction that involves the cooperation of several different government and private organisations but it's a very complicated process. I'm working on that solution at the moment but if it turns into an administrative nightmare then I'll just lose some weight and do it all on a scooter. The budget will be slim, an awful lot slimmer than it was for the first journey, but thankfully the GB£ still stretches an awful lot further in SE Asia than it does in Europe and North America. Ideally, and perhaps stupidly, I'd like to work on the basis of £10 per day with an additional £1,800 for the bike, flights and insurances etc., making a total budget of around £3,000.00 for a four month journey. The benefits of working with such a low budget is that every little bit of help that you receive has a disproportionate impact on the overall costs. (The blagging letters will be sent out in early summer). I'll be working with, and raising money for SOS Children's Villages, a UK based charity that provides safe accommodation, education and health care for orphans across all four of these countries.
That's about all I can really say at the moment ...... but it's a great way to avoid another Winter in Britain.