How I Got to Nieu-Bethesda Part 1

“From Connecticut? America? Yoh. So how did you end up here? In Nieu-Bethesda of all places?”

The guests of The Brewery and Two Goats Deli ask me this question on a daily basis. And since I’ve stopped giving weekly updates of where I’ve been staying since I left Hanoi, you may also be wondering how I got to this tiny town in the Eastern Cape. Here’s the first of a two part account of where I’ve been for the past two months to answer all of your questions.

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Backpacker’s Hierarchy of Needs

For the past five months, The majority of my physical life has been confined to a 46 liter space.

I’m posting this from my latest temporary home in Nieu-Bethesda and having had to unpack and repack just a few days ago, I’ve started to realize which items are starting to define my trip. By having to prioritize a limited space, the things I have chosen to carry with me have, by necessity, been fulfilling a specific hierarchy of self-need. I won’t preach extreme minimalism for all and I do think that 46 liters is a bit drastic for anyone living in a semi-permanent location. But even before I left home, I started looking around at all of the things I own and wondering, ‘does this fulfill a specific need?’ Do I own this or does this own me? I’m not prepared for the fully ascetic lifestyle but by reducing my possessions to 46 liters, I’ve created a lot of space to be me.

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Get Out of Jail Free (SIM) Card

On my way from Vietnam to India, I spent a layover in Bangkok. This particular layover presented the opportunity to explore Bangkok for a single night. My flight would land at 17:35 and the connecting flight to Delhi would take off at 8:55 the following morning so I worked out enough of a plan of how to get into the city center and then figured I would spend the night exploring the city and hopefully not waking up in a jail cell.

I share this story as an example of “things will go wrong”. However, even when things do go wrong, they’re not a disaster. Expect the worse and when things do go eventually wrong, don’t freak out.

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