Swooning over Savannakhet

11 02 2009

Savannakhet, Laos

The bus ride from Hue, Vietnam to Savannakhet, Laos was another one of those reminders of how crazy it can be to travel in Southeast Asia. Perhaps it is because the people are smaller or maybe it is due to living in a society with too many people and not enough space or maybe it is a lack of public transportation, but whatever the reason, the people of Southeast Asia often find it acceptable to be packed into a bus like sardines. Actually, since I don’t speak the language, perhaps I shouldn’t make this statement. I can at least say for sure that bus drivers in Southeast Asia find it perfectly acceptable. This particular 10 hour bus ride had Gage and I sitting in the very back of the bus with various people’s luggage wedged between our knees and the seat in front of us, while children’s plastic chairs lined the middle aisle for extra seating. The best part was that this bus would continually stop on the side of the road to pick up more people. It was both astounding and horrifying. Read the rest of this entry »


Budget Wise :: South Vietnam

9 02 2009

Our Vietnam adventure took us from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south to about half way up the very long country, finishing in the city of Hue. When I compare our budget to traveling in Thailand and Cambodia, Vietnam seemed surprisingly predictable. There weren’t many thing that were shockingly cheap, and at the same time there wasn’t much that was frighteningly expensive either. In the end, if you manage to avoid the major tourist traps and scams, Vietnam can be traveled on a rather tight budget – and the best part is that you’ll typically feel like you got your money’s worth.

Our 29 day daily average :: $35.58 USD (for two people: one couple) :: 1 USD = 17,000 VND (Dong) Read the rest of this entry »

Beached in Nha Trang

19 01 2009

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Leaving Dalat wasn’t easy. Not that we wanted to stay in the cold mountains any longer. Actually, we were quite excited about hitting the beach in Nha Trang. No, leaving Dalat just wasn’t easy because of the bus ride down the mountain. A rather high speed bus ride down a very narrow, winding, mountainside street that had both Gage and I in a white-knuckled panic and induced three people to vomit. That kind of not easy. I found myself wondering if the dense green jungle and charming tiered mountain farms were just some sort of landscape-Valium designed to make us more comfortable with the advent of our eventual demise on the highways of Vietnam. Read the rest of this entry »

Let the life begin!

9 04 2008

Asheville, NC

At least I hope this is a beginning of a new life. It’s a new kind of life anyway. One without a steady home or paycheck. One without constancy or security. One without closets of clothes, our own cars, or reliable means of communication. But by giving up all of that, we hope to get a life without boredom, monotony, or lack of appreciation for all that we have. As well as a respect and understanding for the cultures that make up this world and inevitably and surreptitiously effect our every day lives. It will not always be comfortable and it will not always be enjoyable, but if I can end it all saying I have learned a lot, changed a lot, and understand more than I ever thought possible, then it will be worth all of the effort and energy we can give. That’s the general goal anyway. Read the rest of this entry »