Operation: Borneo

by Lori Dwyer on April 24, 2013 · 9 comments

Every time I remember that I’m going overseas in less than one months time, I panic slightly. I am not ready for this. As usual, I’m disorganized, not really sure what I’m doing, and running just that little bit late.

Yesterday I got four needles, two in each arm. It seems trekking into Borneo requires vaccinations for typhoid and rabies (two shots down, another one to go); as well as boosters for tetanus, MMR and hepatitis (one blood test to see if I need them- I did- and one hep shot done, two to follow). And there’s malaria tablets to be taken, too.

I’m on my third course of antibiotics to ensure my burst eardrum is well and truly healed before I get on an international flight; and I’m taking a ‘practice’  flight domestically in a week, just to make sure I’ll be okay.

My mum, being worried about me, as mothers generally are, has managed to make me a million kinds of paranoid about getting sick while I’m overseas (in a country where I don’t speak the language and the medical care is probably not quite what I’m used to… fair call). With that in mind, I’ve taken it on myself to get all health-kicky. Water, good food, walking four kilometres whenever I find a spare child-free hour.

Passport photos. Flattering.

Passport photos. Flattering.

I’ve (finally) gotten my passport and the photo is traditionally awful. Thanks to a reader of mine name Lisa, I have a comprehensive packing list of everything I should take (such a huge thank you to you, Lisa). I’m using Lisa’s list as a master spreadsheet and adding the gear I’ll specifically need for this trip.

I don’t actually possess a lot of the things on either of the lists (and I’m still trying to figure out what a lot of them are… voltage stabiliser, anyone…?). But I’m working on it. A massive thank you to Manda, another reader of mine, who sent me my very own super-tiny-but-packed-with-everything first aid kit.

It’s both strange and lovely, the way the littlest things– like being able to cross ‘first aid kit’ off a list of one hundred or more items– make you feel as though the entire task is more manageable.

I’m planning to blog as much as possible while I’m in Indonesia, but, realistically, that depends on my Internet access. I’ll be MIA when I’m in the jungles of Kalimantan, evidently. So prepare yourselves for an orangutan overload upon my return.

Any fundage you can throw to Orangutan Odysseys are muchly appreciated– click here or on the widget below.

And I’m still most definitely up for travel advice, especially regarding international flying, internet accessibility, local customs of Bali and Borneo, packing tips, and anything else I haven’t thought of yet. Cheers.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Emma Joyce May 16, 2013 at 11:10 am

Lori – dobt worry about a thing – its Emma here ( I’ve already emailed you ) and I’ll be joining you on the trip – I’m leaving my 3 little boys as well so totally understand your anxiety, but we will be fine and this trip will be the most incredible experience – Gary seems very organised and very responsible and if u ready the comments on the OO website everybody has an incredible time ! My mum and I will see you there ( I think there is one other lady ) What a small world re the bridge climb ! Wow ! 4 days to go ! So much to do I know , you will be fine ! See you Monday !


Lori Dwyer May 16, 2013 at 11:33 am

Hi Emma!! I’m so excited, I can’t wait- I veer between terrified and excited, to be honest ;) I think I’m all ready to go and organised- fingers crossed ;) See you Monday! ;) xx
Lori Dwyer recently posted…That’s Anxiety, Too.My Profile


Name May 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Haha! Great , me too (a bit !) I’ve been totally emotional and excited all week – hey write a list , most important thing , I’m sure you have but I HAVE to as my heads too full not too , and I pack the night before , always , coz by then you have pretty much done everything else so you can relax and pack properly ! Pretty basic advice but it works for me ! We will have a great time – a dream coming true for us ! Ill miss my babies though! At least we can both relate ! :) See you then! Oh I just can’t believe it!


Manda April 25, 2013 at 10:16 am

*grins* I’m so glad you like it! I felt a bit utterly ridiculous sending it to you, but I figure if I see things that make me think of my friends I give them spontaneous presents, and I saw that and thought of you. You’ve got me through some crappy times, reading your posts.

So I figure, what the heck, random gifts. Almost makes the mailbox worth checking!

And I got a card back, which was absolutely fabulous. Good times. Hope your injections aren’t too awful, I think one of those ones made my shoulder itch. Can’t remember. xxx


Lauren April 25, 2013 at 1:51 am

I’ve stayed quiet for so long, but I feel the need to say?

Your passport picture is actually QUITE GOOD!!! I looked like an angry serial killer (or EXTREMELY knackered single mother) in mine.

You’re gonna love the trip :)



Mel G April 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Passports and licence photos….ugh. We might as well be having police mugshots taken! Re. international flying…. comfy clothes, drink plenty of water, moisturiser, ear plugs and eye mask (to block out any screaming children who don’t belong to you). Valium? :D I can’t believe your trip is so close now, it seemed like ages when you first announced it! Have an awesome time, don’t forget to pack a notebook and pen/cil.


Fiona April 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm

omg that SO doesn’t look like you

god I love passport photos!


ClaireyHewitt April 24, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I have been to Borneo, it is amazing. You will love it. Other than the isolation when you are out in the jungle bits you will find that it is actually a great place. Marvellous people who will look out for you.

Relax, it will be great.


Whoa, Molly April 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

Ah, so exciting! I can’t wait for the Orangutan overload when you get back!

Don’t worry, if you think your passport pic is bad, you should see mine!
Whoa, Molly recently posted…‘Strong Women’: I hold these ladies responsible for who I turned out to beMy Profile


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