Basically, everywhere I have travelled, I have taken my lonely planet guide with me. When I moved to Japan, I bought one to help me write stuff for my Working Holiday Visa. I could have bought one a month earlier for 4 dollars, but passed it up because I was running low on funds. When I finally did buy it, I had less money in my bank account than the day I opened it with money made from a lemonade stand (true story). Owing to the fact that it was a new edition (I hope), I had to plunk down somewhere near 25 or 30 dollars for it.
Over the years, I bought one for my two European trips, and my trip to Taiwan. I managed to take one out of the library when we went to the east coast of Canada. I have also bought a new edition of the Japan guide, and the Tokyo City guide because of my often acknowledge subliminal connection with Japan–yes, I have thought about buying the newest edition.
I can’t always say that the books have helped me. I found the one for Taiwan rather confusing and a little disorganized. The one for Europe was a beast. It was a good deal and the maps were helpful, but it was a beast.
I have tried other guidebooks, but they just didn’t really connect with me. Maybe the fact that I first had the idea to go to Vietnam after the Lonely Planet TV show went there, really makes this more of a “full circle” kind of thing. I have watched that video and its host Justine Shapiro numerous times. I even turned the thing into a listening exercise for my class.
The book arrived today. I purchased it through a secondary seller on Amazon. The price was fantastic but the wait time was…long. It wouldn’t be too wrong to say I felt like a kid at Christmas.
Just to be clear, this isn’t a review or a sponsored post (though that would be awesome if it were). The thing is, it is a not so subtle indication of how real the trip is to me, and how seriously I want to prepare. For some people it’s new clothes, (I’ve done that) or a new suitcase (not doing that) or maybe it’s the carefully typed checklist (I am going to have to write a separate post on this one). For me, undoubtedly, it is getting the guidebook and pouring over the food and culture sections. I don’t need a book for next week’s commute because I have over 500 pages of guidebook (and bonus pull out map).
I also got my sandals–for some of you, that probably should have been more than one sentence in this post. Sorry.