Today I am half way through my proposed trip. I’m enjoying Phu Quoc. It’s very peaceful in the low season. I hadn’t taken many photos up until today but I managed to blast through 2GB from mid-afternoon 'til end of sunset, of just random things. Mostly a coconut and the sunset, it was a good little photo shoot. I’ve been occupying my time by just reading in deck chairs or hammocks and gazing out over the sea. I finished my latest John Grisham last night so I went for a stroll down the beach to fill the time. At lunch I had spotted a Jack Higgins book and had finished it by dinner - it wasn’t very intellectual.
After breakfast I also played 2 games of chess with a 77-year old who’d been playing since he was 19. Needless to say he bludgeoned me, twice. I also proof read a draft contract for a bungalow written by a German guy in English before dinner. It certainly is relaxed here, I like it.
For a while now I’ve been thinking about cutting my trip to New Zealand by over a week so that I’d be home for Christmas and save money. It also felt unfair that New Zealand was allocated 5.5 weeks, which would be the largest time for one country. This was of course until I extended my visa for Vietnam. I’ve been bored and slightly homesick a few times now and I’ve been constantly re-evaluating my situation. I’ve been missing simple things like friends, music, films and computers. Don’t get me wrong, this hasn’t hindered me from having a good time. However, it took me until today to think of another alternative: ditch New Zealand altogether. It’s the only country on the trip without a specific reason to visit AND it’s the last. Each other country has a reason to visit it, New Zealand is only on the list just because I could visit it with my RTW ticket. I decided to go to my room and inspect the guidebooks about prices. It turns out dorm beds are 17USD and twin rooms are 56USD, in the YHA no less! This is scandalous. My daily budget (as I’m sure you’re all aware of by now) is 30USD. As Thailand was over budget and Laos had presents bought I could certainly do with the cash. The original plan was spend half the daily budget in SE Asia and the Indian sub-continent so that I could over spend in New Zealand and average out OK for the whole trip. This has not happened, I’m now only averaging ~30USD a day, certainly not under. Money aside it’d also mean I could go home, chill out, see family and friends. However, as with all major decisions on this trip, I’ll mull it over for a few days so that I don’t rush into anything I might be unable to revert.