Three months of travel (and a bunch of firsts)

Hey fine folks!

This week marks my three month anniversary of being on the road. And it’s been really, really cool. It’s been a great experience and I am so happy that I stuck to my guns and made this dream of long term travel into a reality. And I’m gonna say this, and I promise I’ll only say it once on this site: It can be really hard for an independent traveler sometimes. Most of the time, well-meaning friends and family try to discourage you by saying that the worst will happen. And sometimes the people closest to you don’t value travel, and so you have to really face the reality that if you want to make travel a big part of your life, you’re gonna have to do it alone. It’s been an interesting time for me because I’ve had the chance to think about who I am, what I want out of life, and how I want to live in the next couple of years. I know that I really love travel, and I’m glad I got to experience these past few months while I had the time and didn’t have to factor a job into the equation. I wanted the chance to celebrate my trip with you through an adventure of my time on the road!

Hong Kong and Macau

These spots not only marked my first time in Asia, but my first times couchsurfing. I had a great time in both locations, but I would love to make a return trip to Hong Kong!

Singapore

Singapore marked my first time going to a Hawker stand, and unfortunately also marked my first bad experience at a hostel during this period of travels. I actually ended up going to Singapore twice during my trip. The first time I hated it, and the second time it turned out to be pretty lovely. I’m glad I gave it a second shot.

Boat Quay in the afternoon – Singapore

Thailand

I actually ended up going to Thailand a couple of weeks earlier than expected to meet up with my friend in Mae Sot, Thailand. I spent four days there, and it was super fun! There were a ton first, but the highlights were 1. Staying in a Hilton property for the first time, 2. Seeing a ton of temples, 3. Being scammed in a tailor shop, 4. Elephants!

Elephants – Elephant Nature Park, near Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cambodia

Actually, I’ll turn this one around. I think I was actually a first for many of the Cambodian people I saw, as most acted like they never saw a black person before! Firsts included riding a bamboo train, seeing Angkor Wat, and the first time during the trip when I really felt I was “off the beaten track” travel-wise.

Me on the Bamboo Train – Battambang, Cambodia

New Zealand

I love New Zealand, and I spent most of March and some of April there! Highs included hanging out with a new friend in Auckland and revisiting some of the places I hung out at when I was study-abroad student in 2004, and the whole month I spent at the Mana retreat.

Auckland Harbour – New Zealand

Spain

My camera broke as soon as I got there, so I don’t have anything to document my time there yet! But the biggest high was the week spent in a place called Valdelavilla for a language program. I got to eat and drink for free, and it was fabulous. I’ll be going back to Spain soon and I have a working camera now, so pictures will definitely follow.

Portugal

Did I mention I’m in Portugal now? It is friggen amazing. Some friends had told me that Lisbon was a “ditch,” but it’s honestly one of the most romantic and beautiful places I have ever seen. Imagine Italy minus the truckloads of tourists, but with amazingly nice Portuguese people and better hostels. Love it!

Well anyway, that’s all for now. I’m in Porto, Portugal right now, but will be leaving in a couple of days to journey elsewhere. My itinerary is up in the air, and it’s a fabulous feeling! More to come later.

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8 Responses to Three months of travel (and a bunch of firsts)

  1. Marilyn says:

    Sorry guys, as you know it’s been forever since I’ve posted, and now wordpress has a different format which makes it a lot harder for me to post photos. It was originally going to be a photo adventure, but words are cool too, right?

  2. O says:

    Boo……why are you making me read?!? It’s cool though. Even if this hampers my vicarious vacation, I’ve got a pretty good imagination so I can “see” these places in my mind’s eye. Good luck with the continued travels and have lots of fun getting in some more new firsts.

  3. Marilyn says:

    Thanks O. I appreciate your comment. And by the way, you need to get your ass to Portugal. I think you’d really like it here.

  4. fefe1 says:

    um when you go back to spain, can you trek out here http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2009/09/27/travel/20090927-basque-slide-show_index.html I’ve been mesmerized by these photos ever since I first came across them.

  5. Marilyn says:

    Lol, I won’t make it this trip, but maybe one day you can go and tell me about it?

  6. Purple creme Brulee, you done did it again!! Even without the pics, I feel like I’m there!

  7. fefe1 says:

    More posts por favor! What’s going on in spain/portugal? Running wild through orchards of orange trees? I can only imagine.

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