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Life is a Journey, Savor it.


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Getting over the funk

Inevitably you will get sick. Whether seasonal flu, polluted lungs from smoggy city streets, or the dreaded travelers diarrhea variety it’s only a matter of time until you’re hacking up a lung or sh*tting out your internal organs. These are not the pretty stories of independent travel but they are universally shared and amount to an element of a backpacker’s bonafides…

Unhappily, I’ve experienced these three illnesses plus a nifty handful of weird infections, discoloring funguses and inexplicable fatigue. We’re not in Kansas anymore and the viruses and bacterias are a whole new kind of evil. 20130815-192354.jpg

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Crowdsourcing: Cure for the Travel Doldrums?

I’m 2 ft away from the ocean. The tide is coming in and with each wave breaking on the shores, the water laps closer and closer to my lounger. A woman with a tray of pineapple and mangos on her head just walked by. Two local Khmer boys are playing in the surf.

It’s all pretty idyllic. A photo is attached of the little girl who sat with me for about a half hour trying to sell her bracelets. She looks how I feel, okay I still have a small smile on my face (it’s not so bad). If they’re not selling bracelets the girls rub my legs observing that I haven’t shaved in a couple days and offer to “thread” the hair off. It’s like plucking each hair, only more efficiently done with a tightly wound string. Hard to describe or envision until you see it. Yes it hurts, but only a little.

I’ve been on the roads nearly 9 months and all of a sudden that realization has gripped me with some emotional response I can’t pinpoint. I don’t think I’m homesick (where is home these days anyway?), I don’t believe it’s boredom or loneliness… I’m kind of at a loss to describe it. Maybe it’s travel fatigue, fatigue from all the constant new information and decisions. Tired of the price haggling and tight budget keeping. Temples run together, island hopping has lost some of its appeal, long bus journeys see, more grueling than adventurous. What’s a girl to do?

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In love with elephants!

In honor of World Elephant Day I decided to pull some snaps out the “Tanzania, 2007” photo shoebox. What I dug up includes a handful of elephant and “Big 5” wildlife photos from a day safari to Ngorongoro Crater outside of Arusha, Tanzania. Click here or on the collage below to see all the pictures!

Elephants, ostrich, wildebeest, zebra, and lions: Ngorongoro has it all!

Elephants, ostrich, wildebeest, zebra, and lions: Ngorongoro has it all!

World Elephant Day falls on August 12 and its mission is “to spread awareness, share knowledge, and provide solutions for better care and management of both captive and wild elephants.” Although the topic of elephant protection is not the darling phrase of conservation philanthropy that it was in the mid-90s, elephants around the world are still very much in need of sustained protection efforts:

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Oddities and the modern traveler

We are a mysterious breed, we travelers. I think I spend about as much time trying to make sense of my fellow travelers as I do getting to know the countries and people I visit.

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Post-Election Cambodia Calm, on the Surface

Cambodian national elections took place July 28 (the day I arrived in country). A week and a half later both sides are still claiming victory…

The situation remains unresolved as political parties maneuver for power and leveraging popular support.

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Pro-Tips: Tablets & ebooks

By far one of my favorite, most used and most employed travel accessories is my Apple* iPad mini.

My favorite thing about the mini is that when loaded with a bevy of apps it turns into a powerful and flexible ereader for everything from the latest best sellers, to classics and even graphic novels. Typically I enjoy reading multiple books at once; when traveling by backpack this is a luxury I previously had to forego… Until ebooks came along. On my mini, I’m able manage multiple titles at once, store news articles for offline reading, and even subscribe to my favorite magazine all on 1 slim package weighing less than a pound. Technology nirvana indeed! Continue reading


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Arrived in Ayutthaya!

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After a lazy morning, rainy river taxi ride, and serene experience at wat pho in Bangkok (famous for the huge gilded reclining Buddha and as the birthplace of Thai massage) Kate and I hurriedly commuted across Bangkok and onto a train bound for the historical capital of Siam: Ayutthaya.

We couldn’t have timed it any better. Arriving at Sam sem station near the Dusit area of Bangkok at about 4:40, I stepped up to the window, announced my destination and paid a whopping 28 baht (28 baht, less than $1!!!) for a train to Ayutthaya! Not 5 minutes later the train arrived and we hopped on for the 2 hour ride north.

Upon arrival we had one of those cliche tuk tuk rides in which the driver insists he knows the location of your destination yet proceeds to drive in circles for the better part of an hour. Oi vey.

Luckily neither Kate nor I needed to pee and, thanks to my handy stash of PB&J survival materials, we’d sated our hanger. This left us only slightly annoyed at the inconvenience but also slightly chuffed at our sunset cruise around the ancient city. We watched the sunset over brick stupas and glimmered in awe as flood lights turned the millennia-old city into a dramatic scene that transported us to wonderment and awe….

Our hotel is delightful & dainty and gives free bike rentals so we’re sunscreened and ready to explore!!!

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