Tom's Trip to South East Asia

Out of the 'Boat for a few months of tropical travel. No lease, No Dog, No work, No snow, might be the best time of my life to do something extreme. Watch from your office as I soak in sun and culture in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam this mud season.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm back and finally letting you all know I did survive my last day and journey. Been getting myself settled in Steamboat where internet is harder to come by than any town I was in on my trip. (I actually have internet at my house but I couldn't get it to work till today. ) It has been a wierd adjustment coming back to town. I moved into my first solo apartment high on the ski area. It is kinda lonely up here, and kinda far away from everyone else. The seclusion might take some getting used to, although it was all I ever wanted after a long run of shared apartments in Steamboat. The palce is sweet though. I have gorgeous views of the whole valley out the front door and a backyard backing onto national forest mountains. I have a fireplace, my own kitchen with no one grubing the fridge, a washer dryer, huge closets, and soon to be wireless internet. Anyone looking to come visit should hit me up and give me some company in my clean and spacious home this winter, please. Before I left I was nervous that I would be lonely traveling alone, a laughable concern in retrospect. Cause now that I am "home" I feel a bit out of place and alone. But I am still happy and just going through some adjustments as a lot has changed in a short amount of time. 2006 has been a momentus year for me. Be interesting to see how it carries me into 2007.
I was really hoping to be able to see many of you at Christmas this year. I am still trying to figure out what my work schedule will be for the winter. I need to get that settled soon as the biggest adjustment to returning home has been switching back to our cost of living with a budget suitable for Vietnam. So getting back to work is a huge priority, that will dictate any sort of holiday visit. I really wish I could make it but I don't think it is going to happen.
I have gone snowboarding twice since I got back with pretty decent snow fall earlier this week. Steamboat needs a lot more snow though to get enough snowpack to bury everything. El nino is supposedly going to route storms away from normal currents that bring them here for the next few months. Certainly not gonna be the epic winter we had last year but it might be better than than the gloom and doom forecasts, hopefully.
Well that brings you up to where I am now. I might get around to writing more about the trip is summation. I might keep goign with this and update from time to time on the more routine life I lead in steamboat, but I might not. Thanks for reading this far as you must care or be sort of psychotic to have followed me on my trip.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The final day of my trip has arrived. I'm ready to return to ski season but will definately miss the adventure of this trip. Money has run more than thin, haggling prices has become second nature, and sleeping whenever and wherever a neccesity. I'll be back in the boat early in the morning on the 4th after travelling all day from Hanoi through Taipai, Seattle and Denver. See some of you soon.
My last few days I got back to Hanoi to leave on an overnight train to Sapa Near the China border. Sapa is amazing. I wish I had left myself more time to explore the mountains and culture of this place. Dave and I met up with Robbye at the guest house early on thursday morning and made plans to find an adventure that afternoon. Robbye had made friends with a South African named Rory and all four of us went to twon looking for mountian bikes to rent for the afternoon. Mtn Bikes were a bit expensive so we opted for motorcycles for about a fifth the price. I had avoided getting one of my own to this point out of fear of injury. But with only a few days left and less risk of ruining my whole trip I agreed to join in. Robbye gave me a bit of advice on how to operate it and off we went. What a rush. I totally loved it. We took a road out of town to a pass at about 6000 ft and over into the next valley. A really fun and exciting adventure. That evening we called it an early one as Dave and I had not had much sleep coming up that morning on the train and made plans to hike the next morning. Weather was pretty horrible the next day but we still ventured out for a hike through a hill tribe village and past a waterfall. I got sick about an hour into the trip and turned back since I was uncertain where the trail would take us and how much longer we would be out. After resting through the afternoon we got on a mini bus to the train station where I was promptly sick again. Not wanting to have further trouble on the train I didn't eat or drink anything before getting on the train. It made for an exhausting trip but I made it through and this mornings breakfast seems to be settling just fine. I will be touring Hanoi this afternoon and celebrating the end of all 3 of our trips tonight. Robbye is back to Australia tommorrow, Dave goes to Hong Kong for a brief stop before returning to Birmingham, and I'll be back with you.
See you soon.