Josh Rivenbark

jrive

Josh Rivenbark


According to a recent google search, there are 195 countries in the world. I want to see them all.





Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh October 29th 2009

So I have a problem. If I keep traveling around the world, falling in love with different people and places, and leaving pieces of my heart everywhere that meant something to me... Eventually I'm going to run out of heart to leave behind, right? I can't have my heart on 7 continents at once, can I? Would I eventually just turn into an empty shell, too split up do anything? .... I'm not sure. Maybe I'm just making myself an excuse for a return trip, so that I can say I'm going back to reclaim a piece of my heart. Because I need one. Because... I'm going back to Edinburgh. I'm going back to the city I know better than Ames, to the city I've spent more time walking around than I have ISU's campus. Back ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor August 18th 2009

Because a picture is never going to capture Angkor. Anything at Angkor, really. Even the dirt seems special when you realize that it's mixed in with the ground up sandstone, sweat, and blood from the temples of the empire that dominated Southeast Asia for centuries... and you're definitely not getting that feeling in a photo. So I'm going to try and use words in a situation where photos fail, and describe a couple of the moments I had in Angkor. First, just to clarify, Angkor is the name of the empire that existed in SE Asia in the centuries around 1000AD. It's now also the name of this region of Cambodia where all of these temples - toooooons of temples - are still standing. Angkor Wat, which is sometimes used to describe the region, is actually ... read more

Asia » Singapore » Changi August 18th 2009

So I'm sorry for the recent failure at blogging. Recent events and situations have kept me pretty preoccupied in addition to the normal busyness of traveling. Unfortunately those same events are probably causing a lot of people to want to hear from me, so I'm going to try and give some reasoning here. In case you're reading this and are really confused, I've decided I won't be studying in China this fall, and will come back to ISU instead. I'm actually sitting in the Singapore airport right now, in transit, waiting for my next flight to leave in about 10 hours. In a fashion very typical to me, it was a pretty sudden decision. I brought it up one evening, and by the next morning I was booking flights and sending emails to 30 different offices ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Tao August 12th 2009

So we're still on Ko Tao, our island in Thailand. It's pretty cool... just been doing your standard relax at the beach type of thing. Sadly, I think I'm officially bored of it now. I'm in another part of the world, and I feel like there are lots and lots of things to get done and lots and lots of places to go. I have the itch to actually be traveling. Unfortunately we have already booked all our transportation for the 13th, so we're pretty much stuck here until then. Oh well, I guess there are worse places to be stuck than Ko Tao. Definitely the highlight of our time here and really the only thing worth writing about was a snorkeling trip we went on two days ago. I've never been snorkeling before (at least ... read more

Asia August 9th 2009

So when I last blogged about our wonderful stay on Phu Quoc Island, I was writing from an coffee shop in Saigon on Friday afternoon. I wasn't aware at the time, but we had begun what would basically be 51 hours in transit as we blundered our way to an island somewhere in Thailand. Over those 51 hours we spent 5 sleeping in beds, 19 in stations/airports, 7 wandering Saigon, and 20 on some sort of transportation. And before I give the details, yes, it was every bit as pleasant as it sounds. So we left our place on Phu Quoc at 7am, off to the airport to fly to Saigon. Once we had got to Saigon and stored our bags we headed into the city for what I think is the longest marathon internet research ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Tao August 9th 2009

So when I last blogged about our wonderful stay on Phu Quoc Island, I was writing from an coffee shop in Saigon on Friday afternoon. I wasn't aware at the time, but we had begun what would basically be 51 hours in transit as we blundered our way to an island somewhere in Thailand. Over those 51 hours we spent 5 sleeping in beds, 19 in stations/airports, 7 wandering Saigon, and 20 on some sort of transportation. And before I give the details, yes, it was every bit as pleasant as it sounds. So we left our place on Phu Quoc at 7am, off to the airport to fly to Saigon. Once we had got to Saigon and stored our bags we headed into the city for what I think is the longest marathon internet research ... read more

Asia » Vietnam August 7th 2009

First off, you need an island. Obviously. But it can't be just any island. This island should be in the tropics, and it should be pretty much isolated from the rest of the world. A breed of indigenous dogs found uniquely on your island is a good sign. The island should also be large enough that there is plenty of space without people. There should always be a part of the island you haven't seen yet, whether it's empty beaches, rocky bays, inland forests, or island-crossing rivers. It should be fairly undiscovered, sort of like it's a trade secret and only people in the know really know about it. The should be absolutely, without question, zero chain hotels on this island. Of course if you give a traveler an island, he's going to want a proper ... read more

Asia August 5th 2009

To start with, I would just like to point out that I'm currently no longer in Saigon, but instead on a tropical island paradise. I've just waited until now so that I can fit in everything I want to, plus I figured there's nothing like relaxing on a beach to give you some time to think. And don't worry, I'll be sure to write a blog with the sole purpose of making everyone jealous of my little paradise here, just not doing it yet. So this is why I'm in love with Saigon: I loved the ride from the airport into the city and my first encounter with the mad traffic that is Saigon. It's kind of the same style of driving as Kigali or maybe Rome, only you have to multiply the numbers by about ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City August 3rd 2009

Can I learn more from a Sunday in Saigon than an entire semester at Iowa State? I woke up Sunday morning and walked out the cramped alley our guesthouse is jammed inside and saw streets bustling with activity. Maybe not bustling; Saigon is always bustling. Maybe... overflowing with riotous activity. The whole neighborhood turned into a giant market, and everyone showed up. Eating breakfast, chatting up acquaintances, hawking goods, buying from friends. I sat down with Rachel and a clutch of locals at the pho stand just out our alley for breakfast. Pho is a noodle soup, the noodle soup as far as Vietnam is concerned. Pho is the national dish, and it has as many varieties as can be imagined. Beef, chicken, fish, squid, pork, tofu, chili or no, would you like cilantro with that? ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City August 3rd 2009

Hey everyone, so I somehow messed up the last time I tried to write a blog and I don't think it published properly. So now I'm making a blog entry to direct you to another blog entry. It was meant to be published yesterday. Here's the link: http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/blog-424509.html... read more




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