Left the USA on October 10, 2006 and at the time of writing (May 24, 2008) I have no definite plans of going back for a while. Too much of the world to see, too many new friends to make, too many new cultures and languages to understand. Work can wait. My life can not.
I'm a bare-bones budget traveler, getting around by hitch-hiking, taking local chicken buses and sleeping in cheap hostels or occasionally on the floor of kind locals. I have been blessed to experience what I have thus far on my journey.
Traveling and volunteering my way around the world has become a lifestyle choice for me. I enjoy this way of giving back, paying it forward, helping others in need.
I have become a frugalterian in the past years living on the road....
October 12th 2011
I won't lie; India had its share of ups and downs, many downs in fact. I'm not sure so much verbal diarrhea has ever come out of my mouth in such a short amount of time. Ok, well there was this time on the ski slopes back in the early '90s. I was alone on the top of a really steep run. I was scared, it was getting dark and cold and yes, I found myself praying and silently telling my family that I loved them, before closing my eyes, praying once again - this time to the snow Gods - and trudging my way down, sideways, walking my skis cause I was too terrified of losing control if I actually did what I had gone to the ski resort for in the first place. A ... read more
October 10th 2011
After much deliberation with, well, with myself on endless bus and train rides throughout India these past few months, I have decided I just can't catch up with my email blasts (and as you know I am well behind) and will have to scrap everything I have done this past year and wait until further ado to write about my journey leading up to the present. I think what is best, is when I get a chance I will post the past blasts directly onto my blog site and if you are interested, you may log on to the site directly to receive them. I have done so much, seen so much and met so many memorable people (travelers and locals, alike), I am finding it really difficult for me to play catch up. I just ... read more
December 10th 2010
Greetings! I started my Round The World backpacking journey October 10, 2006, 50 months ago today. Prior to leaving on this trip, I had traveled and seen much of South East Asia every year since my first time to Thailand back in 2003 (back when I was a naive "suitcaser"), but this time I wanted to see and experience much more, and on a much deeper level. In some ways, 4 years and two months later, I feel I have accomplished this so-called goal, though there is still so much to see and do, people to meet, foods to try and adventures that await. 50 months on the road is a long time. Yes, I have been back "home," but only for short stints, much like a stopover in any country before heading back out again ... read more
September 11th 2010
Greetings, strangers, I mean friends! I feel like a puppy dog right now with her tail between her legs. Ok, I admit it. I have been beyond pathetic in keeping all y'all informed and blasting out on a regular basis. I'll have y'all know, I still think of you often, and just because I am still traveling, doesn't mean I have lost touch with reality (well, that may not be entirely true). I try to journal everyday; only I can't seem to keep up with getting it all logged into my trusty laptop in a timely manner. I take far too many pictures (although many are quite good, I have some real duds as well!) and can't seem to find the time to edit them down for viewing and posting. It's a constant battle and I ... read more
July 4th 2010
After two days in Reykjavik last June, I headed up north on my quest to get around the island, clockwise, in my final remaining five days on Iceland. Since I had such a short time, I had to scoot -- and quickly! Taking the bus was the best option for me, though far from a cheap one. Hitching was out, as on some of the roads, one passing car an hour is not unheard of, and I just couldn't risk spending my time on the island on the side of the road! Although the distance between the capital city and Akureyri in the north is only about 380 KM and takes about 6.5 hours by bus, I decided to stay the night half way, in a nondescript town of about, oh, say, 12 people. Or so ... read more
June 27th 2010
Besides my rucksack and laptop, all I took from Haiti was a couple good-sized bruises, a few scrapes on my forearms, cement burns on the tops of my fingers, ten broken and jagged fingernails, an unbearably foul-smelling pair of socks and shoes, and a lifetime of good memories. Ah, volunteering with Hands On always leaves me with a smile on my face, regardless of self-inflicted pain and mutilated body parts. As long as I continue to survive deployments with HODR, I shall carry on with the volunteering. I left Port-au-Prince in very windy conditions, a by-product of a depression brewing in the western Caribbean. A day after I left, Tropical Storm Alex was officially named and became the first Caribbean storm of the season. Bummer I left when I did. I could have used a ... read more
June 25th 2010
I spent three weeks with my folks in California after New Zealand, a time much spent on my father's ginormous computer monitor editing most of my photos from the past 4 years of my trip and less time relaxing and seeing friends. What's a girl to do? I can never seem to catch up in life, which explains why I am always months behind in my email blasts... I left my family in the wee hours of May 26 and headed to Port-au-Prince, my second time to Haiti in less than 2 years. This time, of course, Hands On (Note: as of the end of August 2010, the organization is now known as All Hands Volunteers, or AVH. You can see the new website at hands.org) had been there as a result of the devastating earthquake ... read more
April 20th 2010
I must have mentioned numerous times how New Zealand was such an amazingly diverse, stunningly beautiful landscaped country, I just didn't want to leave. I had spent more time than anticipated on Stewart Island, which cut back a few places I had wanted to see, one of them being Dunedin and the Otago Penninsula. Well...... Earlier in the year, while volunteering in West Sumatra, I was scarfing a much-appreciated Cadbury bar given to me by a fellow volunteer friend. I started reading the back of the wrapper and noticed there was a Cadbury factory in Dunedin. I checked the itinerary for my upcoming trip, and sure enough, that city was on it. "Perfect," I thought to myself, "I'll go there." At the time, I was unaware of the amazing Otago Peninsula with its prolific dolphin and ... read more
April 5th 2010
It started out as a crisp clear early morning in Te Anau as I headed to Invercargill by bus with plans to go directly to Stewart Island (the third island, if you will, of New Zealand), off the bottom of the south island. I hadn't made up my mind yet how I was getting there. It's an hour by ferry on often-rough seas; it's 20 minutes by flight, often with no hassles at all. Invercargill is 30 minutes or so from Bluff, a small town teetering on the very edge of the bottom of the south island. In fact, it's the southern-most town in New Zealand, or at least out of the two main islands. Cost always plays a big part in the way I travel, and this Easter Monday was no exception. How to get ... read more
April 2nd 2010
Weeks before I went there I had booked a trip on the Milford Sound (first a coach was to take me from Te Anau where I would be spending four nights over Easter and then a boat trip on the Sound) through the Naked Bus Company, getting what I thought was a good deal, but not having any idea what I was going to get. Having spent the last few years in South East Asia where Murphy and his Law is prevalent everywhere, I really wasn't sure what to expect. I often wondered how many times my bus would break down on the way out to the Sound (a two to three hour trip, depending on how many times one stops to enjoy the marvelous vistas). How many times would the tire fly off, roll ... read more