The DL

                                                                                                                                                                                           © Cassia Reynolds

                                                                                                                                                                                           © Cassia Reynolds

Location: Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, en route to Cairns, Queensland

Music: “Dare” by Gorillaz 

I’m en route to the next phase in my adventure: a semi-indefinite backpacking trip that begins with The Great Barrier Reef and continues across Southeast Asia. I am currently stuffed between Cody and a man who has managed to sleep for over 11 hours thus far on this 15 hour plane ride and I can’t express how jealous I am of his superhuman ability to tune out the world and rest. Due to my own insomnia, I’ve had time to document a few basics for my coming trip. 

First, here are my goals for the next three to six months (or however long this trip ends up being):

  1. To find out how far I can go on as little money as possible. I’ve heard it costs ~$1,000 a month to travel around most countries in Southeast Asia and I will be testing that theory and keeping this blog updated with those details. 
  2. To create a comprehensive photographic piece about at least 2-3 of the countries I visit (and of course sharing them here). 
  3. To find the most delectable, spicy eats, and rate them on a scale of 1-10.
  4. To create a definitive list of travel tips for budgeting backpackers looking for similar adventures (some silly, some serious, and some just plain helpful).

Second, my current itinerary:

  • January 3: Fly from Los Angeles, California to Cairns, Queensland (18 hours of flying + a 4 hour layover in Sydney)
  • January 5: Land in Cairns (yes, I am missing all of January 4)
  • January 12: Fly back to Sydney, take train from Sydney to Newcastle (~3 hours)
  • January 13-15: Overnight trip to Fosters to get in one last glimpse of Australian wildlife before leaving the country
  • January 17: Fly to Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • March/April (?): Fly to South Korea then travel to Japan 

That’s the full itinerary so far! Seriously. I’m keeping it all very loose. Between January and March/April, I have vague plans to visit the following countries: Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and possibly Sri Lanka. I also won’t be booking accommodation very far ahead of time (probably 12-48 hours at most). I’ll keep you as updated as possible (of course, you never know what’ll happen).

Third, a list of all the belongings I’ve brought with me on this adventure: 


  • 8 tank tops
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 shawl
  • 3 pairs shorts
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 pair leggings
  • 1 pair lightweight temple pants
  • 1 pair running pants
  • 1 pair jeans
  • 3 short dresses
  • 1 maxi dress
  • 10 pairs underwear
  • 7 pairs socks
  • 3 bras
  • 1 sports bra
  • 1 pair running/hiking sneakers
  • 1 pair Converses
  • 1 pair walking sandals
  • 1 pair flip flops


  • 1 hard drive
  • 1 laptop
  • 1DSLR camera
  • 1 Kindle
  • 1 smartphone
  • 1 SD card reader


  • 1 35-liter backpack
  • 1 camera pack (xs) 
  • 1 day trip backpack
  • 1 journal
  • 1 mechanical pencil (Sorry Mrs. Davis, I accidentally stole it from your kitchen collection!)
  • 2 pens
  • 1 book (Fear, by Gabriel Chevallier)
  • Assorted toiletries (toothbrush, lotion, cleanser, extra contact lenses, etc)