Posts Tagged With: hangover

10 Things I Learned While Travelling the World

I’ve been back in Canada for a little less than a month now and have had some time to decompress and to think about my trip.  At first, I thought I hadn’t really changed at all during my travels, but it actually has in a million tiny ways.  I’d like to share that with you now:

10. The Journey is the Thing

My trip had no specific goal, other than to relax, enjoy and experience the world that was far away from home.  This turned out to a great way to travel and, for me, to not focus on the result, but to really take the journey for what it was – an adventure into the unknown.

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9. We are all the Same

I included this in my last list, but I want to say it again.  I love people, and the truest realization I had again while I was overseas is that we are all, at our most basic level, very similar.  We just want to be happy; to have enough food to eat, a roof over our heads, some people who love us and a purpose in life that brings us joy.  I saw all kinds of people living in many different ways as I worked though six countries, but they all have this in common. We are all part of one big human family, and it doesn’t matter where you are from or what you are doing with your life, some things are the same within all of us.

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8. Travel is as Easy and as Hard as you Want it To Be

PATIENCE.  This one virtue has eluded me my whole life, and nothing cures the need for control than a less than smooth travel experience.  I learned about the essence of the journey in my search for patience as I met setbacks and mishaps along the road.   I learned how to be more adaptable, to let things slide, and to only care about the most important things along the way.

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7. Roll with the Waves

This one is a good follow-up to #8.  When I rolled with the upsets along the way, the journey got even more interesting: I saw some things I would otherwise have missed, or had a completely new experiences I wasn’t expecting to have.  By saying “Yes!” I got into more trouble, saw more unexpected things, and had more impromptu adventures than if I had stuck to a strict schedule and followed it the whole way along.

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6. Pay Attention

I learned that there is beauty in the details.  That every city is an intricate mess that somehow works in its own unique way.  That the road less traveled sometimes results in a washed out car or monkeys attacking your windshield.  To stop and save the kittens, get lost on a bike and get found again, and that fun can be found in every airport, bus station, or boat ride.  By paying true attention to my surroundings, I was also able to glimpse into the local life of the people, and have real experiences from the country I was visiting.  That, to me, is priceless.

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5. Embrace the Inner Hippie

I’m normally a goal-oriented, round the clock, by the book kind of person.  To escape that mentality for a while and embrace my inner beach bum was an enlightening experience.  I had whole days with no plans and nothing to do, vague ideas of where the day would take me, and days where I just went with the flow.  That rarely happens in my “real” life in Canada, and it was refreshing to break out of the bubble of who I think I am and step into the sandals of my inner Hippie Goddess.  She is someone I want to know better, and a side of me that I won’t soon forget now that we’ve been re-aquainted!

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4. Trust the Kindness of Strangers

In my travels I stayed with family friends, friends of friends, new friends and people I didn’t even know at all. I was welcomed into countless homes with open arms, to people eager to share in my travel journey and get to know me.  I feel SO blessed to now have friends from all over the world, and want to thank each and every one of you for your hospitality and help in exploring all these new places 🙂 If you ever travel, and someone recommends that you stay with a friend or you have family/friends to stay with overseas, DO IT! It will completely change your perspective on the country you are visiting, because you get to see it through the eyes of a local.  A thousand thank-you’s again to all those who put me up while I was abroad!  You are welcome to return the favour here in Canada anytime!

3. Comfort Zones are Boring

I did something new and crazy in every country I went to: Surfing in Indonesia, Parasailing in Philippines, and even Skydiving in New Zealand.  Get out of your comfort zone and try some new and crazy stuff.  It will enrich your travel experience and add a whole new level of fun.  Besides, that’s what travel is for: new experiences and adventures! It doesn’t matter how scared you are – do something wild and crazy!  eat that cricket off a Bangkok bug cart!  Take the jet boat ride through the canyon!  Throw yourself out of a plane! These things are the highlights of my travels as I look back on them now, the times I challenged myself and really went for it.

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2. Theres No Place like Home

Canada is an amazing country. I learned this while I was abroad through other travellers stories about my home country, that it is a well-loved place in the world and worth exploring in its own right.  Talking about it with others made me realize how much I love being a Canadian and how lucky I am to call this place my home.  I never really appreciated it until I left for a long time and realized what a phenomenal place it is.

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1. I am SO lucky

The fact that I was able to pull off this trip still boggles my mind.  There was so much planning involved – a years worth of time and effort went into it, and now that I’m back I can see what a privileged position I hold as a citizen of Canada.  I have enough food to eat, a roof over my head, and friends and family who love and care about me.  The rest is just gravy!  Upon returning I went to my bathroom and turned on the tap, thinking back to all the times I didn’t have access to fresh water on my travels. Something as simple as turning on the tap can take on new meaning after travelling: it represents all that we take for granted, being from a first world country were every comfort is provided for.  I feel that, now, I am able to name how lucky I truly am.

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Well. That’s it!  I’m sure I will update this blog again in the future as life takes me on more travels, but for now I am happy to have landed back in Canada, ready to take on the world 🙂

xo

D

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Categories: Australia, Cambodia, In the Air, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Shire and Lake Tuapo Bungy

The town of Rotorua was on our list the next morning, a short drive and we were in this cute touristy spot, famous for its spas and thermal pools  with healing properties, a natural wonder that we got to see up close. Unfortunately this also makes everything in the vicinity smell like egg, so we had to endure that, as well.  I had the morning to explore as my tour of the movie set didn’t start till the afternoon.  I may have gone into EVERY touristy souvenir store that the town had to offer – and bought quite a few little trinkets – I can’t help it!! Cant buy too much though – I’m literally out of room in my backpack.  Oops.

Next stop was the Shire!! I got to visit the movie set for Lord of the Rings Trilogy – specifically the area where the Hobbits live, the Shire.  It is now a permanent tourist attraction after being torn down after the first three movies.  I was rebuilt for the Hobbit movie, and obviously there is a huge draw for fans to come and see where the film was made.  It was so cute!  The tour was expensive but definitely worth it for any movie geek – the guides were extremely informative, telling us about where the scenes were filmed and how they pulled off all the movie magic, including how they made the hobbits look so small compared to regular humans.  We saw the whole village, the party tree, and even got to have a beer at the Green Dragon Pub, which was authentic down to the last little detail – even the postings on the wall were perfectly in tune with the theme.  We drove home, tired but excited after our sunny day in the Shire.  Our dinner was at the local Irish pub, and some of us went out dancing and partying that night, it was a fun way to get to know the “other” side of my tripmates, the drunk and disorderly side!
Our next stop was the Tongariro National Park, but before then we had one more stop in Rotorua, the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, a Maori site where families have lived for hundreds of years, taking advantage of the geothermal heat and the energy it provides them.  We learned more about the Maori culture and customs of the local trip while taking a tour around the village, where many tribe members actually still live.  There was also a cultural presentation, where we got to experience firsthand some traditional songs and dances, and another Haka (War Dance) as well. Fierce!  We drove onwards after that, visiting some waterfalls (horizontal Huka falls – forced through a channel and out the other side with incredible force, a natural wonder) and stopping for lunch in Tuapo, on the shores of Lake Tuapo which is the biggest lake in New Zealand.  It’s another super touristy town, I got to see some of the members of my group bungy jump off a cliff into a river.  I didn’t do it, I had other activities planned and have to watch my money cause four months of travel is sapping my bank account a wee bit!  It was cool to see everyone jump off and bungy down the cliff side, even touching the river below, making a splash!
We drove onwards that afternoon to Tongariro, the set of Mount Doom in the LOTR movie and site of our epic hike that we would tackle tomorrow.  It was a super busy day and I was happy to crash after dinner with a few glasses of wine in my belly.  🙂

 

Categories: New Zealand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sun and Sand in Surfers Paradise

Wahoo!  I’m in Paradise!  Surfers Paradise, that is.  I had hoped it would be a little warmer when I arrived here, and while 24 degrees Celsius in the winter here aint bad, I’ve had to put on extra layers at night since I am used to the sweltering heat of Asia!  The tepid temperatures haven’t stopped me from getting my tan on, though.  I arrived here from Coolangatta in the afternoon, and had no problem finding my cosy, if not well worn hostel, Sleeping Inn.  The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the full kitchen.  Nice! Time to do some grocery shopping, cause the Aussie prices were killin’ me.  I settled in and met some of my bunk mates, including a surly 50-year-old woman wearing ( I kid you not) a Tilley hat and matching vest with a zillion pouches, who ended up snoring all night after glaring at anyone who dared come into the room after she went to bed at nine.  Also, she managed to lock herself out of the dorm the next morning at, oh, 5am, and then banged loudly on the locked door outside until some poor German girl went to let her in.  Yayyyyy bunk-mates!  Lady. Get a hotel.

I wasn’t too concerned with all of this, because I had to check out the beach!  I had my bikini ready, and walked through the small but impressive downtown to the beachfront, which resembled one big expensive tourist trap, complete with a wax museum, Aquaduck tour and Laser Tag center.  I wasn’t interested in any of this, because when I saw the beach it was OVER for me.  What an incredible stretch of sand!  It went on for miles, and the sky was clear and blue, although it was a WEE bit cold in the shade, I plopped down in a sunny spot and took advantage of what sun there was.  I laid there for a few hours until I was actually too cold to stay, and then explored the shopping area a bit, found a grocery store, and headed home to cook myself dinner in our cute kitchenette.  That night at the hostel was trivia night, and I met some of the travelers in my hostel, and won third prize in the contest.  Which was – nothing. lol.  After finishing my ciders and wrestling with the shitty internet for a bit, I called it an early night.
The next day was my only full day in Surfers, so I made sure to get to the beach early and catch as many rays as I could! This got old at around two o clock and I shopped around the town a bit, finding a $5 sweater that cost less than my lunch, and some cute souvenirs for myself and my friends (i cant. resist. the. shopping. gah)  My rationale was that since I’m saving so much money on food by cooking most of my meals at the hostel, there’s some extra money for little things to help me remember my trip!  That night was the pub crawl, and $20 got you into four bars with four drinks so I decided why not? me and some fellow travelers boarded the giant party bus and picked up people from all over the city.  It was cool because I got to know so many people in such a short amount of time, the drinks were flowing and every time we got tired of one place we were off to the next.  I made friends with my bunk-mate Johanna, a Californian and a lot of English people! It was a great night out and the last club was within walking distance back to our place. Yes!
The next morning was a bit rough but i finally won the war with the internet and was able to chat with my family for a bit and get ready for my next adventure.  By 2pm I was off to Brisbane on a Greyhound to hug some Koalas!
Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Little Red Dot and a Night on the Town

On our third day in Singapore, we woke up to an unpleasant sound – rain!  It was a crap day outside, and we stayed in bed until it cleared up a bit.  We had some shopping errands to do, namely buying some gifts for our gracious hosts, so we ventured out to the market in the hot sticky damp weather and found some flowers and chocolate for the kids who had given up their room for us!  Then we packed up our stuff and headed downtown to our second stop on the journey, The Little Red Dot hostel, close to downtown and Little India, but very expensive for us at SG$20 per dorm bed.  We got there without too much trouble and checked in, the hostel is clean and nice with a good atmosphere, our beds were soft and the room had air-con so we were very satisfied!  After all this, we walked to the Golden Mile complex, a multi-use complex where many long distance buses left for other destinations in Malaysia.  We tried to figure out the cheapest way to get to our next destination, but the cheapest we found was SG$55. Yikes!! After weighing our options, we decided to try a few other places and quickly realized it was Sunday night and nothing else was open. 😦 boo.

Our lovely “family” had invited us to dinner that evening near Clarke Quay, so we walked over to the quay to meet them and enjoyed an amazing Indian buffet.  It was delicious!! We really enjoyed our time with the Dias family, thanks again guys for welcoming us into your home and showing us your Singapore!  After dinner I had made arrangements to meet a friend whom I had met in the Philipines, so we trekked over to the reverse bungy ( a kind of slingshot that shoots you up into the air instead of down) and met up with Magnus. The three of us had drinks on a boat in Clarke Quay, but after two beers my budget for the day was exhausted, so we walked back to our hostel.  You may think theses things are close together, but Micheline and I are excellent walkers!  It took us about an hour to get home, but since it was nice out and Singapore is an interesting place, it wasn’t a hassle.
Our next day was pretty chilled out, we decided to bite the bullet and buy the expensive bus tickets out of here, reasoning that since it was an overnight bus we wouldn’t have to pay for accommodations.  After that, it was shopping time! There was lots of bargaining to be had at the Bugis market, and it wasn’t quite so overwhelming this time, I came away with two reasonably priced shirts, a pair of sandals and some trinkets for friends.  Grand shopping total?? $40!! Eeps! Oh well 🙂 when will i ever be back in Singapore? Who knows!  After lunch at the hawker center nearby, we decided to check out Marina Bay Sands, the mega complex and casino on the bay that was topped by a giant ship on three towers, and a huge “Gardens by the Bay” as well.  The hotel itself was very impressive, we didn’t go up to the top of the ship as it was expensive, but we checked out the view of downtown from the quay, and gawped at the Singapore Flyer, a huge ferris wheel that takes a 1/2 hour to go around and gives awesome views of the city and surrounding area.  We walked through the malls and hotel complex to get to Gardens by the Bay, checking out the cool avatar trees and greenery until the sun got the better of us and we decided to go back and get ready for our epic night on the town.
We started out night at the Wine Connection, a reasonably priced place on Robertson Quay, where Magnus, Micheline and I were joined by fellow traveler Ame, Constantin, and my friend Linus, who I had met at full moon last year.  We had an awesome time trading travel stories and I finally had a glass of wine after missing it for a month, and headed out to the Playhouse, a club on Clarke Quay that was pretty much empty, due to it being Monday night.  We said screw it! Lets make our own party! We may have partied a little (wayyyy) too hard cause both me and Micheline woke up with massive hangovers and nixed our plans for the zoo the next day 😦 oh well.  Our day was spent recovering, packing and getting ready for the night bus.
We walked over in the evening to the Golden Mile and I had some pretty goof Pad Thai, as the complex is the “Thai” hub in Singapore, I got a little nostalgic for Thailand!  Our bus ended up being AWESOME, with fully reclining chairs, TV screens, video games and lots of little comforts.  The only bad thing was the bus Nazi, our driver who kept waking us up by screaming into the loudspeaker when we had to cross the border, shouting at us to hurry up, and generally being a surly dude. oh well.  I had an ok night of sleep on the bus, and was eager to get to the Pehrentians the next day!  Beach Paradise, baby!!
Categories: Singapore | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Surfing in Kuta

Even though this was only about a week ago, it seems like AGES!  So much has happened, Im already in another country and in the midst of new adventures, but lets pretend I’ve been faithfully blogging all along, shall we? 🙂

We bussed it back to Kuta from Ubud in Bali, and found our beautiful hotel, AP Inn, was under construction – hmmmm. Oh well. we decided to stay anyways. After a long, hot bus journey a trip to the pool was in order and we settled into our rooftop pool chill quite nicely, I even bought a “takeout” lunch from a local warung (food stall) and had a delicious lunch by the pool.  For dinner we had Pizza Hut, and I had a new experience there – corn on my pizza.  Yuck. Lol.
The next day was pretty lazy as well, with some more poolside action and a visit to the Bali Dynasty resort to hang out with our friends the Thompsons, who were in Kuta and invited us to their gorgeous resort for some volleyball and happy hour drinks!  We had a wonderful afternoon with them and invited them to come and party with us at Skygarden that night.  The younger ones took us up on the offer and we met up with them for FREE DRINKS.  I may have had one (twelve) too many cause the next day I had my first official Bali hangover. ughhhhhh. Oh and guess what we had planned? Surfing! Ughnghghgghhhhh.
Luckily our surfer dude was way late and I had time to nap all morning, so by the time we finally hit the waves I was feeling much much better! Our instructor Ewan was a great teacher, and we both managed to get up on our boards and hit the waves, it was thrilling!  I can officially say I am a surfer now – lol.
The next day Chelsea and I shopped and shopped and shopped until we were literally out of Indonesian Rupiah, we had waited until our last day to clean out our $$ supply and all the shops, too!  I bought a gorgeous dress for myself and a bunch of presents as well.  We boarded our flight to Manila, it was a super long, roundabout trip. But hey – it’s all part of the experience, right??
xoxo
D
Categories: Indonesia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bali, Beachtravellers Style!

  What an amazing two days its been here! I feel like I’ve been here way longer than two days.  Our first day here started with an exploratory walk around our area, trying to get our bearings and get used to Kuta. After another delicious Starbucks (sorryyyyy we are easing into the whole Indo thing, at least we didn’t have Wendy’s!)  there was a very interesting tourist trap experience on Kuta beach.  We were given these punch cards by some friendly guys and after we opened them we were told we WON!! MONEY!! All we had to do to collect it was go check out a hotel and get a tour.  Ok. It sounded fishy but hey the hotel was in the nice southern area of Nusa Dua and we had just gotten there, so the free taxi ride sounded appealing and we wanted to look around Bali.  Then, when we got there after a shortish drive, we checked out the hotel and were told unfortunately there was no one to show us around just then.  So a 15 minute ride, 10 minute look around the hotel and crappy discount voucher “prize” was the worst that happened. Woo! Free taxi rides!!

Our next stop was to meet up with some girlfriends who had been with us on our Beachtravellers Thailand trip and had just finished the BT Bali tour and we were eager to hear how their trip was. We had lunch and caught up and saw their hostel, and awesomely enough, some more guides and friends who we knew from Thailand last year!! BT reunion!!  We all went to 66 beach in Seminyak together, and I did what I loved best – got on the back of a friends scooter and scooted through Kuta! It made me a happy girl, and I was even happier when I saw the beautiful beach with beanbag chairs and colorful umbrellas scattered around. We settled in for some good beers, pizza and catchup chats, and I got to know some more cool BT people, the Bali guide crew who are obv just as phenomenal as their Thailand counterparts.
We ate sate’s at a tiny Indonesian restaurant and partied the night away in Kuta. I finally got to try the fabled Extra Joss, an Indonesian powdered energy drink that foams up in your mouth – and gives you a killer buzz!  There also may have been 20 shots for 100,000 rupiah, about ten bucks. and then another round. And then? dancing at Skybar, a complex which has nine separate bars on four levels, basically a playland for the young, drunk and stupid. It was no fun at all 😉
Needless to say, it was a stumbly walk home. Hehe.
Categories: Indonesia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Epic Journey 2013 – It Begins!

It’s official!

In exactly one month I will be leaving Canada again for another trip around the world.  This trip will be longer, with more stops and I’m visiting 6 new countries along the way. I’ve been carefully planning for months – I began to plan this trip as soon as I got back in Sept 2012, so this puppy is a long time coming!

When I started to plan my trip I began with some basic questions – Where do I want to go next? What places are calling out to me? What can I absolutely not miss this time around? Also my trusty travel partner factors into this – where does Chelsea want to go and see?

Here’s the basic plan: Start with Chelsea in Bali for two weeks, then Philippines for two.  Miss C goes home after that (boo!) and I continue on to Singapore for ten or so days, then Malaysia for about the same. THEN, Australia awaits!  Yes, I am going down under FINALLY to see for myself why I love the Australians so much.  Anyone who knows me knows I’ve got a weak spot for that accent!! My final trip will be to NZ, where I will be catching up with two amazing ladies that I met on the night boat to Ko Tao! All in all I will be gone for about three and a half months, and will have covered most of SE Asia and Oceania in my adventures of this year and last.

This trip is very important to me, for a few big reasons. Number one, I graduated university this year, and this trip is my present to myself for accomplishing that milestone and taking a break before adult life and a full time job.  I learned so much and got to know myself in new ways while I was travelling last year, I knew my journeys weren’t over.  I want to strap on my trusty sandals, throw caution to the wind and live my life wild and free like we are meant to do, if only for a little while.

AND GUESS WHAT?? YOU GET TO COME WITH ME! In blog, form, that is. 😛

Welcome aboard. It’s gonna be a hell of a ride.

xo

D

Me and Chelsea on top of the world

Categories: Pre-Trip | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Part Two – Ten Things I Learned While Travelling in SE Asia

This is Part Two of my post about what I learned while travelling solo through SE Asia last summer 🙂 See Part One here

5) Trust Your Gut

This tip is CRUCIAL.  If your instinct is telling you one thing (don’t go down that alley/with that weird guy/don’t take a bucket from a stranger), DONT DO IT!!  Train your intuition to take you down the right path, but also remember that things are very different in SE Asia and what’s thought of as dangerous in North America is often not regarded the same way over there.  I remember this gross scary alley in Bangkok that led on a shortcut to our hostel.  The tour guides were the first to take us down there and we all thought “what the hell?!”.  But then we saw families treating the alley as their back yard, working and watching TV as their many pets caused a ruckus.  Sure, it smelled bad and there was junk everywhere, but that’s just the way it was in BKK – don’t have a backyard? grab an alleyway!  By the end of my trip I was walking down this same alley at three am, laughing at my new friends as they cowered at the thought of plunging into the dark.  If you are unsure – ask someone, because trusting your gut can go a long way – with the right guidance of course!!

Trust Your Gut

4) Let the Party Take You

Lets face it.  I partied HARD while I was overseas.  Harder than I ever have in my life, especially on the Beach Travellers wing of the trip, because I was surrounded by 27 of the most fun and fearless Canadians I have had the privilege of meeting!! Every night there was a new activity, theme party, or massive beach bash that you would simply HAVE to go to, no matter how much sun you got that day or what viewpoint hike you did.

The parties in Thailand and Cambodia absolutely blew my mind, especially the Full Moon Party, which I conquered twice!! For more info about the Full Moon, click here.  I learned a lot about myself through these party experiences, if you can believe it!  I learned I am a party rock star who knows how to manage my alcohol intake so I can stay up all night and often be the last woman standing!  Of course I had some rather rough mornings and I didn’t escape a puke or two but overall, it was worth it to party so hard because A) when the heck am I going to have the opportunity to rock out so hard in my life?? and B) I might as well get all this partying out of my system while I’m young enough to experience it properly!!

Moral of the story? Party HARD, but Party safe, know your limit and don’t accept drinks/rides/pills/buckets from strangers.

Party Herrrrrd

3) Friends are Family on the Road

When you travel, you are constantly meeting new people who seem friendlier and more interested in you than the people back home in boring, uptight North America.  This is because the BEST, friendliest and most worldly people know that travel is the ultimate learning experience, and go out of their way to meet new friends on the road.  It was harder to meet new friends while I was in my big group at the beginning of my trip, but as the months went by I learned how to strike up random conversations on buses and hostels to find new interesting people from all over the world.  Experiences can cement friendships too, like on Chelsea and I’s adventure on the Ko Tao night boat: we had to spoon with two lovely NZ girls on the way over cause there was no space, and they ended up being our fabulously fun travel companions for the next week!!

Bottom Line: Make it a point to meet new people while on the road, don’t just stick to your group of friends.  Make new ones from all over the world!!

Real Friends Party Naked

2) Embrace Your Inner Hippie

Go where the wind blows you. Throw away your shoes and wear a long skirt.  Grow your hair long and  forget about plucking your eyebrows. Learn to spin fire, like I did, or learn to surf, scuba or befriend a monkey for an afternoon.  Just let that North American uptight Type-A self slip away.  He or she will be back once you step off that plane and back to reality, trust me.  But there is something invaluable about embracing another way of life, something slower that is focused on personal growth and freedom. I found this amazing blissed out beach bum inside of me who finally was just going with the flow instead of planning every minute of every day.  Finding this side of myself was a crucial step of discovering who I am, and now I listen to my hippie self when she needs a day at the beach or a day in the park practicing spinning.  The lesson here is finding balance between the two selves and making sure both are being served in your lifestyle at home! 

Inner Hippies Chillin

1) It’s the Journey, not the Destination

As I traveled from one place to another, I found myself filled with anxiety again and again.  Will my train be on time? will we catch the ferry?  What If I don’t like the food they serve?

Those worries became less and less loud as I learned to treasure every crazy bus ride, bumpy boat trip and determined local who tried to sell me their wares. These detours and roadblocks became the best stories, the most memorable moments that I look back on and laugh.  Sure. my trip went well, I didn’t get mugged or kidnapped or hassled (too much), but there were definitely tough spots where I wished I had more control over the situation.  Every moment of my trip was important, even the times when I waited at the train station for hours or missed the boat to Ko Lipe and had to spend the night in Pak Bara.  If the journey is stressing you out, just stop, take a breath and marvel that you are halfway around the world, seeing sights that most people only dream of, and that you are lucky enough to have some cash in your pocket and clothes on your back, too. Wow!

Or just have a mini tantrum and work it out, I had to step away and do that more than once 😉

Embrace the Journey

Well, that concludes my writing about my 2012 trip (only a few months late, lol!)

But you lucky people get to come with me on YET ANOTHER JOURNEY!! BIGGER, BETTER, LONGER!!

Last year was my fearless adventure, this year get ready for “Work Hard, Play Harder 2013 SE Asia/Oceania Trip!!!”

More tomorrow on that 🙂

xo

Categories: Cambodia, Thailand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Beachy Beachy Sihanoukville

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I loved Sihanoukville!! It was such a perfect place to end my journey.  I had been travelling for two months at this point, and was only days away from starting my journey home again…  I knew I needed to make the most of this place and really soak up Cambodian culture while I had the chance.

We stayed on Otres Beach, a sandy stretch about 15 minutes from the main hustle and bustle of town.  It made for one expensive tuk tuk rides back and forth to town, but was totally worth it in the long run because of the secluded feel of the beach and the castaway atmosphere.  The weather was not great – we had a daily afternoon rainstorm, but it made for some fun rainy afternoons with friends so we didn’t mind too much.

Our guesthouse was called Mushroom Point, coined obviously because it was a giant mushroom shaped-structure! We stayed in the mushroom dorm and two friends stayed in the little mushroom huts that dotted the property.  It was all soo cute! The place was  charming, the food was really delicious and the beach was right across the street.  We even had our own “mushroom bar” on the beach that served up food right on the beachfront.  We met some cool Brits, more Canadians and even some Americans (Hi Joshua!) during our stay, and had some wild party nights in the cozy laid back bars on the beachfront.

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There was lots of time to take in the scenery, walk down the shore and see the untouched, unspoiled land that was all around us (although an ominous -looking development seems like it’s going in right down the road.  there goes the neighbourhood). We spent a lot of time reading, hanging out in the sanctuary at Mushroom Point, and searching for the cheapest beers at happy hour (50 cents!) on the beach.  We also make it into town to check out Serendipity Beach, but got seriously rained out and had to while away an afternoon indoors drinking beers and playing pool (poor us!).

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My beautiful Brits and I parted ways after three fun-filled days, I was so sad to see them go and so jealous of their travels to Vietnam, Singapore, Bali, NZ, Aus and China that they had planned.  Keep me posted ladies!  I was so happy to have found some free spirited, like-minded souls to travel with through this excellent country.  It made my trip way more entertaining and they were just about the best travel companions i could have hoped for!

 


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My time in Sihanoukville included one more night where I visited some friends who were working in a local bar – they were staying on Serendipity beach with free food, accommodation and booze for one week, doing promo for a bar called the Dolphin Shack.  I wanted to party until the wee hours again, but was afraid of missing my bus trip back to BKK which would leave at 7am and last 14 disgusting hours.  Euugh.

Categories: Cambodia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Epic Travel to BKK and Goodbye Chelsea!

The 5 am ferry seemed like a dream – none of us had slept and we were all feeling sad to be leaving Ko Pha-ngan and Bottle Beach.  All four of us missed the epic sunrise and woke up with the Pier in sight and the sun blazing overhead.  One of the hardest goodbyes was next – Chelsea and I said goodbye to our friend Park who lives in Railay and our friend Carter who is a tour guide and country manager for Beach Travellers and also one of the coolest people I met on my travels and someone who helped to make our trip as amazing as it possibly could have been.  Chels and I just looked at each other, waiting together in the train station so early in the morning, and burst into tears.  I’m not sure whether it was a combination of sadness, being so tired, and sleep deprived, but we were super emotional that whole day.  Our last full day together as platonic wives and we would be spending it on a fifteen hour train journey to Bangkok together.  Euchh.

The train journey was something new – we had both done this journey before, but overnight both times.  It was a completely different experience during the day.  The country rolled by our window – verdant, lush and never-changing green.  We reminisced over our experiences together, laughing, crying and comparing stories.  That ride was one of the longest I took while travelling – all I can say is thank Buddha for air-conditioning!

We finally noticed the scenery start to change about two hours outside of Bangkok and veryyyy slowllyyy made our way into the heart of the city for one last tuk-tuk ride to Khao San Road, our home away from home.  I found a very cheap and clean room for the night at the 7-Holder Guest House and we shopped for  bit until I felt like I was going to pass out from exhaustion.

We had our tearful goodbye that night when Chelsea went to the airport. When I started my journey alone a month and a half before, I had never dreamed I would meet so many fantastic and interesting people on my journey, and I couldn’t have asked for a better travel buddy than the one Chels ended up being to me.  It seemed at every turn we were on the same page with what we waned to do, see and experience on our trip.  She was incredibly easy-going and fun, easy to get along with and full of life.  Our adventurous spirits we definitely matched – and now I not only have all of these incredible memories but a new friend for life!  Needless to say, our goodbyes were pretty emotional – silly girls! We are already making plans for our next adventure – we shouldn’t have been so sad!

I spent a strange night in BKK that evening alone. But I wouldn’t have to worry, I would be meeting new friends soon on my trip from BKK to Siem Reap in Cambodia!

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Categories: Cambodia, Thailand | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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