Imprints

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Chang Mai, Thailand

In the beginning of our Southeast Asia trip, I randomly started to ask older travelers here and there one piece of advice they would give to others or youth. It created a break from the typical, monotonous, broken record sounding travel questions (i.e. where are you from, where are you going etc.) that always leave you cringing at the sound of your own voice repeating the same ol’ same ol’ responses, trying to throw in any sort of joke to lighten up the tedious talk.  But I loved hearing the different answers and there was always an interesting story behind their advice. So in the last months of my travels, I started to ask everyone I met or traveled with what motto they live by or documented something I remember them by.

During our travels of 7 countries in 6 months, 181 days, we covered 15,000+ km (12,000 just by land) and I can attest that we have lounged on some of the most beautiful beaches and seen some incredible natural creations, eaten the most exotic foods, became fully accustomed with each Asian culture and most importantly met some amazing people and locals along the way.  Conquering the territory we traveled in the amount of time we had meant we were mostly always on the go though, staying in some places only a couple of days.  Some people you meet become close friends in just a couple of hours and others you are lucky to spend a week or more together.

Even if it was only a 10 minute taxi ride conversation, or a night out, some people can give you inspiration through that connection and offer insights you may have never given thought to, no matter the amount of time you spend with them. And sometimes…

“It’s not about where you go or where you’ve been, but about the people you meet!”

Cai Rang Floating Market/ Can Tho, Vietnam

David at Cai Rang Floating Market/ Can Tho, Vietnam

David/ Adosillo, Spain “You have to fail first in order to succeed.”

Veronica /Canary Islands, Spain “Lead by example. Be a good model for others.”

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Veronica y David

Jeroen/Amsterdam, Holland “Always be postive.”

Franzisca/Zurich, Switzerland “Find your comfort zone, then leave it.”

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Ngok, our motorcycle guide

Ngok/HCMC, Vietnam “A family and children are the most important things in life.”

Joyce/ Amsterdam, Holland ” Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can come together.”

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Juhana and wife at Hanoi Airport

Juhana/Finland “We are all puppets. Just some of us can see the strings.”

Gio/Valenzuela City, Philippines “I appreciate what I have.”

Gabe/ Manila, Philippines Jan Quezon City, Philippines “Life is good!”

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Minh my waitress in Saigon

Minh/Saigon, Vietnam “Be the best mother you can be.”

Steph/ Syosett, New York “Give at least one compliment to at least one person each day.”

Steph at Why Not Bar in Hoi An,Vietnam

Steph(left) Why Not Bar in Hoi An,Vietnam

Maike/Katwijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands “Even the biggest failure or worst mistake ever beats the hell out of never trying.”

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Maike, 2nd from left, a night out in Hoi An

Aaron/Aberdeen, Scotland “It was in love I was created, and in love is how I hope I die.”

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Aaron driving part of out 1,100 km motorbike ride through Northern Vietnam

KiKi/ Hoi An, Vietnam “Love your mother.  She is the most important person in your life.”

Kiki at her spa in Hoi An, Vietnam

Kiki at her spa in Hoi An, Vietnam

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Kristen (in the middle) “Carpe Diem” or Before & After in Hoi An, Vietnam

Kristen/Sherrad, Illinois Take chances, take risks, put yourself out there.  Never allow yourself to be unhappy.  You are never stuck anywhere or in any one situation… you always have the power to change your life.”

John/Oregon, USA “When finding a partner in life, there is a hallway to their heart. Make sure you open all of them, (even if it’s closed or locked) before you spend the rest of your life with them.”

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Jody at Coco’s Koh Rong, Cambodia

Jody /Oregon, USA “Be courageous and put yourself out there!”

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Aslan on right/ Snorkeling Koh Rong, Cambodia

Aslan/ Vancouver, BC “Smile!”

Cat lady/Penang, Malaysia Save your money. Buy a house.”

Nicki/ Skagway, Alaska “TBA”

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Nicki(in middle) on trek in Northern Laos

Nan FitzgeraldSan Fransisco, CA “Take risks and love deeply”

Nan (in middle) at Hotel No 9 Phenom Penh, Cambodia

Nan (in middle) at Hotel No 9 Phenom Penh, Cambodia

LeahMyanmar “Tomorrow is a new day.”

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Leah taking care of me on my detox Koh Phanang, Thailand

Danang/ Aria Yogjakarta, Indonesia “Open your heart.”

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Danang (in middle) at Dewa Homestay Yogjakarta, Indonesia

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Aria at Dewa Homestay

Jill/Manchester, United Kingdom

1. One more ‘glass of red wine’ is never a bad thing : ) Good quality red wine has so many antioxidants and thins your blood.

2. What doesn’t kill you always makes you stronger.

3. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on.

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Jill (on left, not right) at Freeway bar Koh Phangan

Alex/ New Zealand “Don’t take life too seriously!”

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Alex at the Jam, Koh Phanang, Thailand

Eti/Israel “See the beauty within yourself and believe in yourself!”

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Eti at final ceremony Agama yoga on Koh Phangan, Thailand

My 6 month backpacking trip through Asia has beautifully come to an end and these are just some people I’ve met along the way who have made an imprint on my entire experience and travels! And most importantly blessed to have shared it all with my sis Leah G!

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Leah/ Rochester, New York “Choose your own path! Go in your own direction!”

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This is how I will always remember us on our trip….

On a boat/(or some sort of transportation)…

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Can Tho, Mekong Delta, Vietnam/ Floating Market

On top of a mountain…

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At sunset…

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Koh Lipe, Thailand/ Obama celebration drink

At sunrise…

Mt. Batur, Indonesia/ Sunrise hike

At a waterfall…

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Dalat, Cambodia/ Elephant Waterfall

Our heads in the clouds…

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Half way to the peak of Mt. Kinabalu

On a tropical beach…

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Koh Lipe, Thailand/ Happy.

Lost in a rice paddie….

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Hoi An, Vietnam/ Biking through rice paddies

Eating food…

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Bac Lau, Vietnam/ Pho for breakfast

Creating unique photos when we haven’t slept…

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Mui Ne, Vietnam/ Sand Dunes sunrise photoshoot

In a pyramid…

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Somewhere in Northern Vietnam/ Side of the road photoshoot

Exploring ancient temples…

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Angkor Wat, Cambodia

And MOST frequently, on a motorbike…

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The few times of Leah as passenger

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jude
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 03:12:36

    Oh Johanna! What a beautiful summary, including pics of your journey with your sistah! Thanks for taking such good care of her! I don’t think I will recognize either one of you when I see you again, as you have so many miles and so much wisdom flowing from each of you! Please always keep the memory, the growth, the wisdom and the journey close to your heart!
    Love, Your “aunt” Judy

    Reply

  2. Nan Fitzgerald
    Mar 08, 2013 @ 21:03:38

    Johanna, I absolutely LOVE this!! and I’m so excited to have made the “cut” 🙂 The pictures are beautiful, the quotes profound, and I think this is a perfect way to “catalog” your trip. Love you and miss you and hope to see you again!! xoxo

    Reply

  3. merrril boruchin spielman
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 09:40:25

    This is so inspirational.. thank you sooo so much for sharing.. such awesomeness

    Reply

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