Travel Hangover

I’m here. I now live in Greensburg, PA. I have a job, (looking for another,) I have an apartment, (well, privacy curtains in my friends living room) I have a gym membership, a couple bars I like, the lady at the coffee shop knows my name. I have a routine. I’m here.

But then I pulled out my small backpack. It fits my computer perfectly so when I head to the coffee shop I throw my weathered Macbook in there, grab my wallet and gear up to write, read, write letters–general coffee shop ‘things’. But last weekend I really looked at my back pack. I noticed how dirty it is. Months worth of sweating through SE Asia, being thrown on buses, running a 50k ultra marathon, transporting bottles of beer and water.

Then I noticed the random things I had tied on when the zipper toggle broke: a friendship bracelet from my native ‘tour’ guides in Sa Pa, Vietnam, safety pins, hair ties, whatever random things I could find that would work. Digging through the inside pockets I found a tin of Tiger Balm from Cat Ba Island when I got thrown off a motorbike, I found the equivalent of a few dollars in Malaysian Ringet. I found more dirt. I found Thai Baht. I found candy wrappers from treats my students gave me.

I found memories.

And then I remember: I’m here. I’m in Greensburg, PA furthering my career, saving money, making connections. And I wonder why I continue to look elsewhere. I run around the hilly neighborhoods and notice the architecture of such a historic town–then I remember the park I trained in with the 1000 year old Buddhist Wats. And I’m pulled back into the world of memory. I hate that world. I remember how hard it was to be in Thailand. I remember how much I wanted to ‘be’ somewhere for a while.

I found memories and now I need to begin making memories, here. And for some reason this is the hardest thing, for me. Travel is great but the travel hang over seems to last for months.

 

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Pai

The magical place I just visited deserves more than my tired brain can write about. I’ll soon find the words to express what I experienced. But for now I sip coffee and wait for my train to Malaysia, I will sing after I have rested.

It’s believing you can push through the exhaustion just to be able to sing after you do a cartwheel or a split.
Naima Adedapo

 

Sterrified=Terrified+Stoked (The best combo)

I’ve been talking a lot about how I’m feeling, about my attitude towards my travels, and the mental state I’m in. Let’s stop that and talk about the details. I have a loose itinerary that has already drastically been changed a dozen times, but I think I’ve finally figured out a general path that I will be taking.

 HERE IT IS:

Monday, March 25th I will head to Northern Thailand to hit the mountains of Chiang Mai and Pai. Thailand is throwing me out of the country on the 31st so from there I will train it down to Malaysia and bum around beaches, islands, mountains and Muslims for 16 days when I will fly to Hanoi, Vietnam.

            In ‘Nam I plan to hike the highest peak in the country, I plan to eat some amazing seafood and watch the countryside pass by me from my train window. By May I should be in Cambodia and lounging on the beach, see some Temples and enjoy the last of SE Asia on an island. On May 15th I fly back to the mountains of Oregon.

 

So in a quick re-cap. Mountains, beach, mountain, seaside, mountains, beach, mountains. I’m pretty okay with this plan—I mean, by pretty okay I actually mean REALLY FREAKING STOKED. Stoked and terrified. Sterrified. Sterrified in the best way possible.

Looking into the great yonder of SE Asia from the comfort of my favourite coffee shop where I walk in and the coffee lady knows my order by heart.

Looking into the great yonder of SE Asia from the comfort of my favourite coffee shop where I walk in and the coffee lady knows my order by heart.