Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life from a Backpack

The past couple months of traveling have provided me with some of my most eye-opening and brilliant life experiences.

Before I left, I was sure that after 2.5 months backpacking, I'd be more then ready to settle down again. What I found was the opposite - there is never enough time dedicated solely to travel.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Update from Ubon

After celebrating Songkran in Chiang Mai, I headed further north to the Burmese border town of 'Mae Sai' with my friend Emily, where we stayed with her step-mom's cousin. Here, we were able to peer into a 65 year old expat's life on his huge estate housing his 25 year younger Thai wife, her entire family, 9 dogs, and about 10 orphan children that they care for. We attended a local Thai carnival complete with hand-crafted games that wouldn't keep Western children impressed for half a second and a gambling tent for adults (no one minded if children joined in) that functioned from paying off the police. While the visa cost held us back from a day trip to Burma, we did our own exploring of Mae Sai as we struggled to stay cool in the unbearable heat.
In Mae Sai, the Northern most point of Thailand

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Songkran is a quintessential Thai holiday that I had the pleasure of experiencing last month.

Songkran, derived from a Sanskrit word literally meaning "astrological passage," is considered the Thai new year. Although, the Thai calendar year (currently the year 2055) changes in sync with the Western calender. The origins of Songkran may come from a similar Buddhist holiday in India. Buddhist countries in the SE Asia region such as Burma, Laos and Cambodia celebrate a similar festival around the same time as Thailand (April 13 - 15).

Although officially the festival is three days long, in reality it often encompasses a 5 or 6 day period in which you can expect to be perpetually soaking wet given one step outside.