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. More

Laos: The First Impression

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe minivan driver’s seven hours of ruthless, sharp, hairpin turns from the border of Thailand not only left me with an urge to purge, but also contradicted the slow life that was unaffectedly displayed as we drove by. The sun shining down from the cloudless sky showering the dust covered cheerful children playing freely in the road. Their mothers congregated around the dirt yard gossiping away, hanging faded yet freshly washed clothes on the stick fence, adding a row of color to contrast the dark plain, simple wood huts.  Even the animals seemed to smile. Dogs, cats, chickens and pigs graciously sharing a community of their own, living in coexistence with each other despite their differences. I couldn’t help but smile myself staring out the window to find what I saw as pure existence and all More

Thailand: A Mindful Escape

Five years ago, while backpacking through Central America, internet cafes were hot spots.  Constant chatter and conversations echoed through the hostel common rooms and restaurants.  Now, the first question asked by travelers to fellow travelers when arriving in a new location is “What is the wifi password?” to bury their faces in Facebook feeds, when it used to be “Wanna grab a beer?”  I am guilty.  About one month into my travels, I gave into technology.  I am now writing this on my personal netbook I purchased cheaply in an electronics mall in Singapore.

Books in cafe in Yogjakarta, Indonesia

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Singapore: Hawker Heaven

Singapore was supposed to be a quick stop, but turned into a five day feast after discovering our first hawker center.  Leah and I were thrilled to be in a country where bland noodles and rice were put to competition with hundreds of other eclectic, More

Indonesia Part III: Planes, Trains and Becaks

Bike
We had to call an end to our stay in Yogjakarta after residing there for a couple days longer than we expected. Everyone was raving about a place called Karimunjawa that was verbally illustrated as an undiscovered and viably untouched tropical archipelago of 27 islands in the Java Sea.  I’m a sucker for white sand and coconut trees. I also don’t mind remote More

Indonesia Part II: Planes, Trains and Becaks

Luxury Bus

Finally. A palace on wheels. Starving, from only snacking on peanuts and Leah’s prized Luna bars, sent in a special package from U.S.A, we pounced upon any vendor offering packaged and product labeled foods.  We weren’t in Bali anymore. We reclined in our neon geometric 80’s designed cushioned seats, only to be greeted with a bottled water. This couldn’t be? Were we dreaming? Complimentary? We woke up comfortably chilled to an abandoned terminal at 3 am expecting another motorcycle ride. We wandered the brightly lit streets with our taxi driver until we stumbled upon Dewa Homestay and a wide eyed burly, bear like man sitting wide awake under framed pictures of Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix and the Doors. “How much are rooms?” 10,00 rupiahs ($10) “Perfect.  We’ll take it. More

Indonesia Part I: Planes, Trains and Becaks

I never pictured myself visiting Indonesia for some reason. Maybe a factor in why everything has been so unpredictable thus far.  One month into my travels.  Sun-baked and pleasantly satisfied.  From Kuta and Seminyak, the party, beach-bum surfing towns, to Ubud, a heady, organic, superfluous spa induced town, to a one night retreat under the stars at a Lewak coffee plantation (world’s most expensive coffee) combined with a sunrise volcano hike to Mt. Batur, then onto Lovina, where the black sand beach and locals were nothing to write home about, Bali glistened with comfort and tourism compared to Java.  You got what you expected in Bali.  More

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