As graduation from UC Davis creeped closer and closer, Stacy and I were not exactly sure what we planned to do with ourselves post- graduation... and then summer rolled on through... all we knew is that it would be something amazing though.
Well after a lot of daydreaming and one random phone call, we decided to team up and see parts of the world we always desired to. Planned destinations so far are: Vietnam (1 month), Thailand (1.5 months), India (2.5 months) and South Africa (undecided)...This could not be a better time to get traveling the world out of our systems!
We want all our family and friends to be able to trail along with us as we see and experience some of the most exhilirating and devastating things yet. We are experience real third-world countries for the first time as well as some of the most exotic destinations in the world!
Since we are both photo freaks we will try to post some shots here and there and i am sure they will be accompanied by MANY crazy stories. Who ever said two girls cannot live out of a backpack for 5 to 8 months?!
So a recap of days leading up to departure...
- three days prior... neither one of us had our passports in possession due to late visa applications (ops!) but that obviously worked out.
- jessie rushed to the SF to get her final visa for india the LAST day possible (friday) AND on the way did she not only get hit from behind entering the freeway in a mad rush, but she got lost for over an hour... continued to call stacy in a panic pretending she was her personal map quest... and finally when she arrived... the embassy of india had stopped accepting applicants for the day a HALF hour prior!! But jessie worked her charm and weaseled her way through two security guards and some others.
- After that fiasco... stacy picked jess up and they headed over to the STA office to pick up tickets and not to mention our travel books to learn a little bit about where we "planned" to spend the next months of our lives!!! haha... who does that?!?
- AND... we departed yesterday? today? ummm anyways, we arrived at the SF airport two hours prior departure time of 1:25am but after chatting over a bottle of red wine we snuck through security we were THE LAST passengers on the plane and everyone was seated... haha at least we made it!
Strapped on the seat belt in the second to last row of the whole freaking, double-decker plane... popped in perscription strength ambiant... 18 hours later of travel we made it to HANOI, VIETNAM!!!
we miss and love you all... In advance,
Happy Halloween, Thanksgiving, Channukah, Christmas, New Year's (lots of kisses) and who knows what other happy holidays. No worries, we will be sure to keep you updated on our crazy adventures and future plans.
don't miss us too much! Stacy and Jessie xoxo
PS. if we forgot anyone's emails... PLEASE let us know or pass it on to them
January 30th 2006
after leaving stace, i weaseled my way onto a "fully booked" sleeper train. i got to enjoy the 8 hour journey with 5 other indian men. it was one of my more memorable train ride experiences because these men were so kind to me. none of them knew one another but random locals usually seem to get along right off the bat. to illustrate how enjoyable my ride was... imagine the notorious "chi chi chi chi" man that strolls by. one guy in our sleeper bought a round for everyone. and then when the "coffee coffee coffee" man made his rounds, another guy took the initiative to buy everyone in our sleeper another round. if they didn't buy chi or coffee for the 6 of us, they would get samosas for everyone. my contribution to the ... read more
January 23rd 2006
WEST SIDE! why are you so cool west coast of india? you too are way more laid back than the east! we had a beautiful train ride up to Kollam, which is the best city to start the upward journey through Kerala's backwaters. we wasted no time and jumped onto a ferry boat to explore the winding water ways and salt water canals. after only a few minutes we got to see enormous prawn net contraptions, amazingly colorful birds like Kingfishers (also the name of the best beer here!), and children splashing around in the water. here in india the polite way kids are taught to beg from travelers is to ask them for school pens (when really they want the hard cash, but look oh so cute and innocent this way). we got a kick ... read more
January 15th 2006
wow, we have made it to the very tip of india! Kanyakumari seems like it should be a sleepy little beach town, but instead it is bustling with activity because of its popularity with pilgrims. many Hindus make their way down here to visit the Kumari Amman Temple and to bathe in the oceans. yes, we said oceans... because Kanyakumari is the point where three oceans merge together: the Bay of Bengal, the India Ocean, and the Arabian Sea. supposedly, sometime in april, one can see both the sunset and the moonrise over the ocean simultaneously - we might just have to stay longer to see that! we visited the temple which is actually quite small and nothing special (we were not allowed to take pictures, and it is surrounded by really tall walls to protect ... read more
January 9th 2006
hmmm. as you can see, we spent most of our time exploring Madurai's mazes of muddy back alleyways that were alive with flower and vegetable markets. while here, we ate wonderful south indian food for dirt cheap, hung out at a chi shop that was popular with the locals, and did some MAJOR people watching. Madurai is an ancient city that possesses a funky clash between a tradition lifestyle and the rapid invasion of modern city life. a beautiful gigantic temple (Sri Meenakshi) rose up in the center, and inside the walls there was a quite, spiritual atmosphere. outside, their was a fast paced urban life buzzing about with a mixture of beggars, taxis, and then random things like a funeral procession in the streest led by three camels and a band. we know, we know... ... read more
January 5th 2006
we have now officially had our first over night train experience in India, which was more like trying to sleep though the '89 cali earthquake in a tin 50 person dormatory... no joke. however, the second class sleepers with the ability to lay down on plastic covered ply wood beds was a step up from enduring a long, bumpy local bus ride. the newest annoyance to add to our list has to be the vendors who stroll up and down the isles or windows of the train screaming "kuff-ee-kuff-ee-kuff-ee-kuff-ee" or even better "chi-chi-chi" relentlessly. but we get small thrills hearing each verndor's crazy individual version of the sing-songy sales pitch. if you ever plan to travel in india, ear plugs and an eye mask are a must if you want any decent rest. also, we were ... read more
January 3rd 2006
these pictues are from Hampi. it is in the state of Karnataka - and pretty much smack dab in the middle of the south india. there are crazy ruins here, and it is regarded as a "holy city." because of this, alcohol is "illegal" (not stricty inforced, but expensivo = the town was super quiet with no loud bars or parties). on new year's eve at midnight, there were fireworks, which were just loud bangs to us bc we didn't see anything. all the families came into the streets to make (bright !) color sand drawings in front of their houses and shops for good luck in the new year of 2006. it was a beautiful thing to watch - not to mention fun to take photos of! india makes it so easy. we ate at ... read more
December 30th 2005
after two and a half months of straight backpacking, we were plenty prepared to take in what India has to offer. people we have met so far during our travels have said that they either LOVE or HATE India. although it is very different from any other country we have experienced thus far... we already LOVE it! India has a warm vibe that is almost contagious. at least to us. for many travellers, the pollution, extreme poverty, constant haggling, and high risk of diarrhea deters them from seeing the true beauty of this magical country. each state in India is soooooo different with a rainbow of languages, customs, religions, food, clothing... culture when it comes down to it. this sub-continent is SO big we are overwhelmed with our short stay. so what do we do? we ... read more
December 25th 2005
just wanted to wish you all at home a merry christmas, happy channukah and an enjoyable solstice! we are currently celebrating the holidays on a gorgeous beach in INDIA, but at the same time we miss being bundled up for the bay area fog and spending time with everyone we love and miss so dearly! xoxo S & J... read more
December 12th 2005
has yet another wonderful and adventurous month and a half flown by? guess so, and as a result, here are some general examples of our life in THAILAND - however, we sent home most of our burned photo cds, soooo... yah, we apologize for our most boring blog yet. no pity comments, we know this one sucks - but enjoy the small glimpse into our lives! xoxo S & J p.s. our best purchase yet: a splitter cable for our ipods. we cannot even count how many hours were spent on the road... but being able to share our tunes made these crazy rides much more sane! never go traveling w/out music!... read more
December 9th 2005
SURPRISE!! we made it over to Laos at the very last minute. we cut our time in the islands short due to poor weather, and we are SO glad we decided to spend some time in this developing country. throughout our travels we kept on hearing how crazy we were for not going to Laos... and it was everyone's FAVORITE country in south east asia by a long shot. so, we decided that we could not leave for india without seeing it for ourselves... from our last island (Koh Lanta), we took a boat for a few hours and made a pit stop off at Phuket; we were not impressed with the main city. it had a very touristy feel, which we have been trying to avoid. we spent a few hours looking around, and of ... read more