After all of the traveling we did, Lisa and I accumulated a lot of photos! I have long wanted to figure out a way to display some of them and, after iterating on several designs, finally installed a finished a photo wall in my bedroom that is about nine by three feet. Here’s how to do it.
I’ve been bad about keeping the blog photos up to date, so if you aren’t seeing them on Facebook, you can now view photos from the last several months of our trip.
Also, we probably won’t write a post about, so if you want to read about our trek from Hsipaw to Pankam, you can do so on the blog run by a couple of our trekking companions!
Finally, after five months in Southeast Asia, we are leaving Myanmar tomorrow and headed to Nepal via Kuala Lumpur. On the itinerary is a ten-day monastery stay in Kathmandu and trekking the Annapurna Circuit! We may be off-the-grid for large chunks of this time.
As I’ve run out of deep thoughts (come on, two months was more than any of us could have expected from me), I’ve started asking around for ideas for blog posts from other people. This idea is courtesy of my brother, Henry.
Henry asks, “Do you have any tips on bargaining? Or how not to get ripped off?”
No. I am exceptionally bad at bargaining and haggling. And I’m pretty sure I am getting ripped off constantly. If being awful at negotiating was a sport, I’d be in the Olympics for it. So, I probably shouldn’t give out any advice on how to bargain. I have, however, learned a lot of lessons from all my mistakes thus far. Maybe you’ll find value in these.
As in life, not all days of this crazy adventure of ours are going to be full of amazing experiences, great conversations, and mind-blowing scenery. Some days are boring or purely functional, just getting from one place to another. And other days are full of tedium, conversations where I’m pretty sure neither party understood 10% of what the other party was saying, and lots of puke bags. This post is about those pukey days.
The list below details the gear that I began my around-the-world adventure with. I thought I was packing light, so I wasn’t happy when I weighed in at almost 35 pounds of gear. I hope to revisit it as the trip progresses to update what has been added and removed. I’m also apologizing that my first post to the blog is of such a sterile nature, but hopefully more interesting posts are soon to follow!
I read a lot of blogs about how to pack for a year-long around-the-world adventure. Probably the most useful was this comprehensive packing list.
What exactly does one pack for an open-ended travel journey? Turns out, not a whole lot. We’ve both done long backpacking trips where every item’s place in the pack is endlessly scrutinized because every little ounce weighs you down, and the pain adds up as the miles go on. You begin to think ridiculous things like, “If my spork were titanium instead of plastic, my pack would be so much lighter right now!”
Given our backpacking experience, I wasn’t expecting much different when packing for this trip. There are some differences — we don’t need to pack pounds and pounds of disgusting dehydrated food, thankfully. And there were some similarities: lightweight, quick-dry, moisture-wicking and odor-resistant clothing is always a plus. Again, every item was endlessly considered before being packed because it’s going to be sitting on our back for a fair amount of the next year.
I will carry two bags: a day-pack and a backpacking bag. Who doesn’t enjoy looking like a hobo?
We don’t really have a plan for the trip, per se. It’s more of an idea of what we want to do. A very, very, VERY vague idea. Ready? Here it is: Southeast Asia (Nov – Mar), Nepal/Tibet (April / May), Eastern Europe (June-Aug), South America (Sept – ??). However, we only have two tickets so far: Denver to Manila, and Manila to Hanoi.
Yes, that is about as detailed as it gets. I can see all you structural, planner types out there sweating and obsessively trying to plan the trip for us in your head. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and forward us your sample itineraries and Microsoft Project Plans.