Published: August 4th 2011
July 14th 2011
Six Month Update...
Ok, so we’ve been on the road for 6 months and thought we’d fill everyone in on some of the highlights and low points, because those happen too. Our adventure to date has been absolutely amazing and there isn’t a minute of it we would take back. We are loving our freedom and are so glad that we made the decision that we did…quit life and TRAVEL!!! If you have the same opportunity and are able to save some money, there isn’t anything better than being on the road. The people we have met, both locals and travelers, have been so incredible, the food delicious, the sights, smells and sounds unforgettable and the experiences are something we will take with us for a lifetime. Things we’ve learned:
*Everything is relative. Relative in the sense that it depends on where you are from, where you have traveled, how long your trip is, how much money you can spend, who you meet and what your standards are. Each person has a very different experience everywhere they go and it’s hard to rely on others information sometimes.
*A smile goes a LONG way, it’s a universal language
*Kids can spot
a white face a mile away and are so excited just to wave and say “hello”, some get so excited they are jumping up and down!
*Food is just to nourish the body, if it tastes like shit, hold your breath and swallow…it’s the energy to keep us going.
*For all you girls out there, walking 10-15 miles a day will ensure you get rid of all cellulite on your ass and thighs!!! Who knew??
*Nate hates 90% of package tourists, stray dogs and ROOSTERS!
*We’ve come to know a whole new meaning to the word “hungry” and are learning to cope with it
*Nate has learned to be a shield for Jessie when crossing the street or from men who can’t keep their eyes to themselves
*The Chinese tattoo on Nate’s arm draws a LOT of attention and compliments here
*It can be incredibly difficult to find clothes and shoes in countries where the average man is 5’8 and 150lbs, same can be said for the tiny women
*We’ve really learned not to sweat the small stuff, in most situations there is nothing we can do so we just grin and bear it SE Asia…the GOOD:
Thailand, our mouths water just thinking about street pad thai and red curry YUM!
-The freedom of renting a motorbike and having our own wheels
-How friendly and curious most people are, always waving and shouting hello
-The weather! We love the heat and humidity even though it is too much for us sometimes…better warm than cold.
-Not having to wear shoes…sandals/flip flops are they only way to go
-Cheap flights…finding a flight for $4.50 USD is amazing, of course after tax it’s a lot more but still!
-Destressing because we have to…the pace of life here is just a lot slower
-Learning and practicing new languages and laughing at ourselves (along with the locals) when we pronounce things wrong
-Spending some good quality time with eachother, sometimes 24/7 is too much but we can’t think of anyone we’d rather be stuck with all day every day!
-The amazing markets…one good market could keep us busy for hours, the best part is they are all so different
-Cheap street food, we love eating on the street while people watching during our meal
-The beautiful scenery, from the mountains to the beaches we have seen some incredible places SE Asia…the BAD:
-Mole hairs on the men, why it’s stylish to grow them 5 inches long we have no idea!
-Things that start with the letter M: Monitor lizards, Milipedes, Mosquitos, Monster spiders, Mattresses that are 1inch thick
-Worms, other bugs, or just plain dirt in our food…nearly every meal there is something “interesting” in our meal
-Having to eat rice or noodles every single meal sometimes for days on end to avoid getting mystery meat AKA DOG!
-Men who think snot rockets are ok…they aren’t! GROSS!
-Cambodian music and Thai soap operas blaring on the bus is something we are glad we don’t have to deal with anymore
-The men that have longer finger nails then the women, coke nails for some possibly??? Freddie Krueger would be PROUD!
-Overnight buses and long bus rides in general, things move very slowly here and a 10 hour bus ride can easily turn into 16
-Being dirty all the time, even when we shower we just don’t feel clean
-Asian style squatty toilets (or just slabs of cement behind door), because no matter how hard you try, you will always pee on your feet SE Asia…the UGLY:
Being sick on
the road, there is nothing worse! Nate a few times after eating some meat and Jessie having food poisoning while on a flight…sheer misery!! Let’s just say that making friends with an outhouse smelling squatty toilet is not very fun. Add a public toilet to the equation and it gets that much worse. Being sick is one of the few times we dream of being home on the couch watching TV under a warm blanket and using a clean toilet WITH toilet paper. Overall observations of SE Asia:
-Crossing the border into a new country is like crossing into a whole new world, and every border city is pretty much a shit hole
-Everyone is a liar or feeding you a line of bullshit 90% of the time
-Because we’re white, we’re rich
-There are no rules of the road, you can even drive down the wrong way or on the sidewalk. Crossing is like a game of Frogger, just go slowly but STOP for cars because they will not stop for you.
-Everything really is bigger in Borneo Money:
Very close to budget, would you expect anything else from Jessie who is keeping tabs of every penny
we spend…we might be able to be gone for 3 years at this rate! JUST KIDDING!
We are averaging $53 USD per day for both of us. That figure is for Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Borneo. That includes everything from food to accommodation to shopping and drinking. The only thing not included is air fare which is separate. We have been under in certain countries and over in others due to big expenses including diving, buying a new hard drive, etc. We have restrained our drinking in Malaysia and Borneo quite a bit due to the ridiculous price of beer. The daily average would be well over budget if we let ourselves have a few beers every night. As our friends and family know, we’re not good at having just one beer…it’s like a sin! Stuff:
So we sent a few things home that didn’t fit us anymore and left some other things in hostels. We have each gotten 2-3 new bottoms, a few new tank tops, leech proof socks and Nate got new flip flops (which already broke). Quick drying and loose fitting being the name of the game. We are still pretty happy with
the amount of things we took and have used 99% of the things we have brought. We are pretty sure the only clothes we will be going home with that we brought initially are our underware, socks and travel pants. Hand washing your clothes takes quite the toll on them shrinking or stretching out. Not to mention some stuff has just gotten gross. Losses:
2 pairs of Jessie’s sunglasses, 1 alarm clock, Nate’s ring at the bottom of the ocean along with his headband from Thailand…Nate has lost 30 lbs and Jessie has lost 20 lbs. The million dollar question, where is the most amazing place we have been…
Ah, that is so hard to answer. There are probably a few different places we would both say. Most memorable would for sure be the Perhentians in Malaysia snorkeling with turtles, sharks and spending time Sofie and Daniel. Most beautiful would be Sapa in Vietnam, the views were breathtaking and the ladies in their tribal clothing were amazing. Best beach to date would be in Railay, Thailand it was the perfect beach for swimming in the warm tourquise water. Things we miss the most from home:
soft bed! I think that ranks as #1, our pillow top mattress with a feather duvet to top it off….ohhhhh we can just imagine it now! A close #2 would have to be certain food, Jessie misses fish tacos and Nate real pizza. Of course we miss our friends and family too.
We think that just about sums up our last 6 months on the road. We are hope the rest of our time away will be equally as memorable.
There are more photos below