Asia or South America?

by Jane Moneypenny

Now that I have a wonderful freeing four weeks of vacation, I get to actually take more than my usual one week off for Thanksgiving. The plan was somewhere in South America, most likely Chile/Easter Island. Last week, my friend Jamie who was with me in Peru and Europe, dropped the news she purchased a flight to Burma. Alone. And she wanted me to go with her.

Of couse, going to Burma brings up so many questions and concerns. Is it safe? Is it morally okay given all the human rights issues? Is it expensive? I did intensive research, reading as many recent articles, interviews and blogs about people’s experiences. As of now, 99.9% were positive about the beauty of the country, the people and traveling in a way to fund money to citizens and not the government. 

The flight, on the other hand, is a ridiculous $1850 from Austin and unlike South America or Europe, I can’t fly on miles. I could fly stand-by first class cheaply with the airline my aunt works at, but getting on the flight is incredibly risky and can’t be guaranteed until the day of. I can buy a cheap flight to SF to meet Jamie and pay $1150 for the international flight, also. Oh, what to do? 

My heart still tugs towards South America, but I also haven’t been to Asia in 7 long years. With a flight stopover in Taipei, I could even stay and visit family for a few days. But that flight is so dreadful. So long. So painful. And the jet lag coming back will be incredibly painful as I have a wedding in San Diego the weekend after.

First world problems, that’s what it is.