I’m sitting in my apartment in Los Angeles sweating (somehow it’s 64 degrees Fahrenheit, 17.7 Celcius outside, but it feels like 80 inside). I’ve been clearing photos from my iPhone for the last few hours, my Fujifilm camera batteries are charging, the dogs are sleeping.

I just went outside to bring in our clothes covered in bug spray—but alas nothing is dry yet. Somehow we leave for our trip in two days! Yes. Two. Days. We stop over in Hawaii first for a friend’s wedding, so yes technically we aren’t leaving the States until Sunday but it still feels like crunch time.

You may have seen my five-weeks-away-from-the-trip post, or my first post shamelessly asking for travel suggestions. I’m here to report that at two days out, here are the things on my to-do list and recent travel-related accomplishments since my five-week post. I really hope these are interesting and helpful to anybody planning a trip…or in general!


Here’s what I said in my previous about what I’d like to accomplish in the month leading up to the trip. As a reminder, we’re attempting to squeeze 7 cities into 3 weeks. *Ahhh* Let’s see if I accomplished anything…

  • Backpack and packing list Pretty much done. If you’re curious, I’m bringing 6 shirts (5 tanks, 1 long sleeve), 4 bottoms (2 shorts, 2 long pants/leggings), 1 dress, 5 pairs of socks, undergarments, 1 swimsuit, 2 shoes (one pair of Tevas and one pair of running shoes), one light scarf/shawl thing, 1 set of PJs, and 1 rain jacket. I probably will take a few items out at the last second.
  • Travel sized things (especially with my eczema issues…how will I fit all my lotions!!) Need to make a last minute Target run…
  • Walking shoes/hiking shoes  Done! I settled on a pair of sandal Tevas for every day and water situations and my regular running shoes
  • DEET bug repellent (not a big item, just don’t want to forget!) Purchased!
  • Who will watch my pups and gecko! Kiki is watching Glenn, my neighbor is watching my plants, and my parents are watching the pups (thanks everybody!)
  • Brush up on some phrases that might be helpful in Thai, Vietnamese, and Khmer Sawasdee! Xin chào!
  • Finalize accommodations  Done! I booked a combo of hotels, guesthouses, and hostels.
  • Firm up options for day to day sights, places, and experiences in each city (nothing 100% set) So far we’re keeping things loose. I’ve compiled a list of a few must-sees, but I want to be flexible!
  • Get hyped!! Getting there!


A few other notable milestones in the last few weeks:

  • Took passport photos at home (you can see that here in my ‘day in the life’ post from early September)
  • Mailed in my passport photos and passport (pretty scary) and got back my visa for Vietnam! Woo!
  • Received my backpack! It’s red.
  • Sprayed my clothes with death poison aka bug repellent
  • Booked my day at an elephant sanctuary outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand

Some things I’m thinking:

  • Should I book a Thai cooking class? I only have 2.5 free days in Chiang Mai…is half a day worth spent cooking? (Have you done it?)
  • Weather report says it’ll be a lot of rain which we expected…any tips for dealing with rainy season?
  • Details like…what restaurants, types of food, or specific dishes to check out.
  • Downloaded some iPhone games for the many long train and plane rides. Any recommendations for fun games that can be used in airplane mode? I like strategy, puzzle, and world-building games like Godus, DreamHouse, etc.


As for tomorrow, I have my last day in the office and then I’ll watch some Anthony Bourdain, get cash out, Target run, and finalize my packing! *Ahhhh!*

Okay, this is kind of a mess. But, just felt like throwing something onto the Internet. Speaking of the Internet—I’ll try to get up this week’s photos (September 25–October 1) and while we’re traveling, the best way to see where we are is checking my Instagram @SleepyWaldo. Who knows, maybe I’ll update along the way…*yeeehhh!*

Hope you are having a great week.

Much love friends.


Posted by:sarahwaldo

By day I'm a content producer at an arts org in Los Angeles, by night I am the overly apologetic brain and face of sleepywaldo.blog


  1. YASS!! This will be so much fun! I don’t play too many games on my phone, but I can recommend a bunch of podcasts if that is of interest to you! And as far as the cooking class. Hm. I don’t know. How many chances will you get to learn Thai cuisine in Thailand, y’know? I think I would, but I’m a big experience person.


    1. Ooh! Sure. I’ve downloaded recent eps of Reply All, My Favorite Murder, Imaginary Worlds, Two Dope Queens, and Criminal…but open for more!

      And you’re right! I guess I was just nervous about commiting so much time to scheduled activities, but if it’s memorable AND I can come back home and make banging Thai food at home? Worth it.


      1. I need to get better at checking my WordPress notifications UGH I FAILED YOU SARAH FORGIVE ME UGH.

        ANYWAY. I LOVE Still Buffering, Adventures in Roommating, My Brother My Brother and Me, Schmanners, Sawbones (although I take issue with them feeling the need to do a couple certain episodes as two cis straight people, but that’s a tangent for another day), Sporkful (especially since you seem to love food as much as I do and trying new things), Levar Burton Reads (the hype is real, girl), Sheroic (for when need a girl power esque bump of encouragement. it’s hosted by Cassey Ho of Blogilates fame and tbh I will walk into traffic if that woman told me to do it so idk idk maybe don’t trust me), and Reading Glasses is excellent if you’re a big bibliophile.


  2. Eeeee! Based on your Insta you’re already in Hawaii, but probably about to head off again. HAVE A GREAT TRIP!!

    Podcast recs since I don’t play many very interesting games on my phone either:
    DnD is for Nerds
    New Yorker: Fiction and New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice (if you like quite literary short stories, which I do but many people don’t!)
    Melanin Millennials
    The Exhibitionist
    Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids
    Call Your Girlfriend
    Good Muslim Bad Muslim
    BBC In Our Time
    BBC 100 Women
    BBC Witness
    Dear Prudence
    Ear Hustle
    Hidden Kitchens from The Kitchen Sisters

    Sorry my friends didn’t come through with recommendations – I asked and they kept saying ‘yeah I’ll have a think’ and then nooooothing.


    1. Don’t worry! We’ll figure out what to do, plus I’m really trying to let “go with the flow” attitude take over and stop me from stressing about plans.

      Thank you for all the recommendations! I’ve heard good things about a lot of these, most recently Ear Hustle which sounds amazing.


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