Just a regular woman out to see the world and experience as much of it as possible. My personal philosophy is to drink every last drop out of the cup of life. I travel cheap, easy, and with respect for locals. I have a big list of places to see and things to do. My current goal is to reach fifty countries and have memorable experiences there, by the time I turn 50.

I travel, its part of me, of who I am, and it makes me happy.

North America » United States » Arkansas » Bentonville October 15th 2019

This month my friend Bekki and I took a road trip up into the northwest part of the state of Arkansas - into the beauty that is the Ozarks. Our destination was the War Eagle Caverns, a set of privately-owned caves with a lakeside entrance. The tour was beautiful as was learning a little about the Corp of Engineers project that created Beaver Lake to fuel industry (think Tyson chicken) in the area. This was Walmart country and their presence is felt throughout the area. Crystal Bridges, a beautifully designed museum with American Art, was fantastic to visit and was free due to the Walton's largesse. In addition, we stopped to see the first Walmart and the Walmart museum. There is also a Native American museum in the area that had some interesting pieces and was ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap May 28th 2019

After the whirlwind of temple visits, I had a couple days to enjoy life in Cambodia before heading home. We took a ride out on Tonle Sap Lake - which is apparently a big draw for tourists, but it is the dry season and it's a bit low and muddy. It was a nice trip out to visit a floating restaurant and see the gators. We saw the floating villages - houses on stilts, water buffalo and fisherman netting fish in the wake of other boats. Additionally, we stopped at a site where those who were killed by the Khmer Rouge are memorialized (you'll see the building with the skulls, and the buddha). The genocidal devastation brought about by the Khmer Rouge in the late 70s is truly horrific and should not be forgotten. Neither should ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap May 26th 2019

I'm in Cambodia and it is much different than Vietnam - they might share a border, but they are very different as far as I can tell. The language is one of the first major things you notice - in Vietnam they use the Latin alphabet and apparently words are phonetic once you learn the different tones and symbols, but the Cambodia alphabet is a series of letters that I cannot even begin to understand. My first stop (after a whoops at the customs desk) was to Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples of Angkor Thom (tomb-raider!), Bayon and Ta Prohm. The sites were fairly close to each other and the construction was fascinating. The heat was oppressive though, so we paced ourselves, and were able to see all of them in a very good day. ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Quang Ninh » Halong Bay May 23rd 2019

An overnight trip through Halong Bay was a highlight of the trip. The pictures will speak for themselves and show the natural beauty of the area. I was also able to visit the Surprising Cave system, one of the biggest in Vietnam (though the biggest cave system in the world is south of here). Absolutely beautiful views, fun fellow passengers, and a cute ship made for an interesting trip.... read more

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Da Nang May 20th 2019

Just a quick stop over in Hue to see what the city had to offer. We saw a couple Royal tombs - Tu Duc and Minh Mang and the Hue Citadel. We also saw the Thien Mu Pagoda, which is a symbol for the city and took a ride on a dragon boat. Lotus flowers were present throughout the city and are the Vietnamese national flower. We stopped at an incense and conical hat making collective and I've discovered a new talent - I'll go into incense making if this whole prof thing doesn't work out!... read more

Asia » Vietnam » South Central Coast » Da Nang May 20th 2019

Today I woke up in a beautiful hotel. I was only able to enjoy it for a few sleeping hours, but I felt classy staying there! Made me feel better after the plane ride - let's just say that a-holes exist in every part of the planet. I think that's an understated hard part of travel - you are constantly putting yourself out there for public inspection. Rising above can be difficult. Ah well, I'm on an adventure! Today we went to My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO site outside of Da Nong. The site was created by the Champa people over a thousand years ago. The French looted the place, Americans bombed it, and yet much if it still exists in its original form. In fact, in places where rehab is present are crumbling much more ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City May 19th 2019

Just outside of Saigon are tunnels used by the Vietnamese people to fight the French and then later the Americans and Allies during the Vietnam war. The tunnels were used extensively, and have been widened to allow for the passage of tourists (even local Vietnamese, with more nutrition and different lifestyles, need wider tunnels than those used in previous time periods). We saw several of the traps used and learned some more about guerrilla warfare. It's quite strange to look at war through the eyes of the other side.... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Can Tho May 18th 2019

Today we saw the floating river markets- what an absolute treat! We were very lucky as we had arrived later than the locals typically "go to market" and yet, we had some boats clip on to ours and offer up their goods. We were also lucky to have Vietnamese women on board who were all about the shopping - I loved it! I was right in the middle, somehow, and caught it all. I got to try passion fruit, jack fruit and that beautiful fruit - durian. It was fantastic. We then went over to see how rice noodles are made and did a little shopping. The food was not that good in Can Tho and if I understood the guide correctly it is because their history of colonization has confused the culinary experience (again, not ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta » Ben Tre May 17th 2019

Today we left the city and checked out to Ben Tre so we could enjoy the Minh Cong Delta. It's part of Vietnam produces a lot of the agriculture rice and fish that the country eats. Water is everywhere, the humidity makes me sticky, and I'm a tad bit burnt - not a bad day at all. We visited a nice farm where we were treated to some local music, fruits and honey - we even got to hold the beehive! We then moved on to a quick float down the river before seeing how coconut candy is made. Creamy, not too sweet, delicious! We moved onto lunch after another longer trip down the river on a bigger boat. We were served what looked like a carp type of fish, a pancake filled with noodles and ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District Two May 16th 2019

I have arrived! It only took a mini airport breakdown and a couple days to get here, but I have made it. The flight over was probably the best I have ever had, though my stop in China was held up as Customs agents inspected my visa from Bolivia - telling me it looked fake! Why would someone create a fake visa to get into Bolivia and then use it in China? It makes no sense, but they were very worried about me for awhile there. I met another traveler while there though who had his passport stolen in the Beijing airport and was in China for 3 days trying to get his paperwork sorted. Life is hard overseas without a passport - always (always) copy your passport and email it to yourself so you can ... read more

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