Thursday, December 8th, 2016

The Asia Jaunt: Month Three in Review

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After three months on the road, each month has taken on a theme.

Month One was all about getting into the rhythm of long-term travel and dealing with the unexpected, along with some truly crazy emotions.

Month Two was all about independence, solitude, and the joy of getting off the beaten path.

So, what was Month Three about?

Friendship, fun, and the backpacker trail.

On my third month, I made the most amazing friends in various hostels throughout Cambodia and Laos.  I traveled with several of them for three weeks through three countries.  I kept bumping into other friends over and over as we traveled similar routes.

And yes, because this was the backpacker trail, there was quite a bit of partying.  You may have noticed!

I spent a full week in Sihanoukville and over two weeks in Vang Vieng.  I guess I finally found my backpacker hangout!  I’d love to go back.

Here is my third month in review:

Destinations Visited

  • Sihanoukville, Cambodia
  • Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Bangkok, Thailand (visit #3)
  • Vang Vieng, Laos (twice)
  • Luang Prabang, Laos

The Adventures

Climbed all over temples at Angkor, feeling like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft!

Celebrated Christmas on the beach in Sihanoukville.

Made amazing friends and traveled with them from Sihanoukville to Luang Prabang.

Witnessed Angkor Wat at both sunrise and sunset.

Celebrated New Year’s Eve on Khao San Road in Bangkok.

Tubed like crazy in Vang Vieng — eight times in total!

Met dozens — nay, hundreds! — of hot guys in Vang Vieng.

Biked through the countryside surrounding Luang Prabang.

Outlandish Adventures

Went to a second Bangkok ping pong show — this time, with friends!

Totally became a hippie in Cambodia.

Went skinny-dipping in Sihanoukville…and got robbed!

Shotgunned my first beer ever.

Drank a beer through a vuvuzela.

Turned an overnight train to Nong Khai into a Thai party train!

Checked into a guesthouse in Luang Prabang that forbade “making sex movies” with locals.

Had offensive phrases written all over me and car paint sprayed onto me in Vang Vieng.

Took the bumpiest, swerviest bus ride ever — TWICE.  (Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang and back again.)

Met a guy from Massachusetts in Vang Vieng!  (Trust me, this was VERY exciting!)

Learned the “Americano” dance in Vang Vieng — I can now do it in my sleep!

Endured a 33-hour bus journey from Vang Vieng to Hanoi and almost got rejected at the border.

As always…SO many that can’t be mentioned here!

Beerlaos Consumed

Enough to fill the Nam Song.

Money Concerns

The money isn’t lasting as long as I thought it would.  Advertising is not coming as easily as it once did.  I’m not going to lie — I’m afraid.

I’m thinking of going back to Vang Vieng and working at one of the bars.  If the weather had been nicer, I would probably be staying and working in Hanoi!

Letting Go

I learned to let go this month. I had been holding onto something for a few months, something that filled my thoughts more or less constantly, and it was making me miserable because there was nothing I could do about it.

I had to let go of this, and I knew I had to let go for quite a long time, but this month, I was finally able to do it.

I’m free.  Finally.

Media and Blog Mentions

Ryan at Pause the Moment named Adventurous Kate as one of The Best Travel Blogs to Follow in 2011.  Ryan, I’m touched and honored — thank you so much!

Christine at C’est Christine mentioned me as an example in How To Travel More in 2011.  I’m glad I’ve been inspiring you to hit Asia sometime during your Australian adventure!

Kim at To Uncertainty and Beyond named Adventurous Kate as one her Five Favorite Travel Blogs.  Thanks, girl!  So glad you’ve been enjoying the adventures!

And, just so both sides of the coin are covered, Christine at Almost Fearless had some not-so-nice things to say about my visit to the Bangkok ping pong show.

Next Steps

Month Four began in Vietnam: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, and Hoi An.  I got strep throat in Hanoi, so I spent longer than I intended recovering there.

This month will be spent primarily in Vietnam, with visits to Nha Trang, Dalat, Mui Ne, Saigon, and possibly the Mekong Delta and/or Phu Quoc if I have time.  My visa runs out February 21.

After that?  Totally up in the air. I’m leaning toward the Philippines.  We’ll see!

Comments

25 Responses to “The Asia Jaunt: Month Three in Review”
  1. Stav says:

    Don’t be afraid of picking up work there. At the end of a long trip in Europe I had 3 days and about $50 left. So I decided to take a quick jaunt to West Berlin before heading back to Miami. When the train crossed the East German border the guards told me that that the DDR did not accept Eurail passes and took $44 from me. I arrived at a West Berlin hostel and told them I would have money sent the following day. The owner said no, but then felt a little sorry and invited me to have dinner. After a good conversation they offered me a job serving breakfast and cleaning rooms. I took it and spent an extra four months there having too much fun, learning German, and getting huge tips from American tourists who were quite impressed with my English 😉

  2. Wow, has it been 3 months already? Amazing! Been following your adventures, some made me cringe, some made me laugh — but it has been fun! Here’s to many more months of adventures!

  3. I’m glad you’re feeling free Kate after letting that “thing” go 🙂 Thoughts can really be a total mindsuck sometimes! Now you can fully and completely enjoy your journey!!
    From my outsider’s point of view, I think it’s so cool how you can go from place to place and bump into the same people again. The world really is a small place 🙂

  4. Erik says:

    Wow- the comments at “Almost Fearless” were a little judgmental for my taste. I went to a small, conservative college and judged people constantly without knowing I was even doing it. I started traveling on my own a few years after that- and learning not to judge was one of the best lessons I learned from my wanderings. (Specifically the Dutch policy of tolerance)

    I didn’t see you as endorsing the sex trade in anyway. Even if you had railed against it, Bible in hand, I doubt it would have made the industry disappear. Sex shows aren’t the sleaziest part of the Thai sex industry, either, as I’m sure you saw.

    Anyway, keep enjoying your travels- I am, like many I’m sure, am very jealous. I’d love to see you get to Burma- those would be fascinating reads.

  5. I’m also just recovering from strep throat. Do you think it’s virtually contagious across the Internet? =)

    What a fun few months, and I really hope you go to the Philippines! My husband and I wanted to tack on some time there to dive the Lembeh Straits over our honeymoon, but as you well know, logistically it’s hard to get from one country to the next in that part of the world in a time-consuming manner, and it would have taken us a day to travel each way from northern Borneo there, so we decided to save it for a future trip!

  6. Chichi says:

    Come to the Philippines Kate! You won’t regret it, we swear (and we’re totally not biased because we’re from there!). Although, if you decide to come we won’t be able to meet or go on an adventure since we’ll be off on our own Asia jaunt in March!

  7. head to Bali and indonesia Kate – they’re beautiful! or Burma for a real adventure!

  8. Sheryll says:

    3 months already! So exciting. Live it up! I’d say if you were able to go back to Vang Vieng to work, totally do it! There’s too many hot guys there to see! 😉

    Glad to see that you have let go of whatever was bothering you. I know first hand how you can let something weigh on you and consume a lot of your life. Now that it has found its place out of your life, LIVE IT UP GIRL!

  9. Ryan says:

    Kate, thanks for the mention! You’ve created a consistently funny and super interesting solo female travel blog so naming you on the Top Travel Blogs of 2011 was an absolute pleasure! Do your best to conserve your money as best as possible and you’ll surely be able to extend your travels a little bit longer. Good luck and safe travels!

  10. Kate, we’re enjoying following your adventures so much – hope that your money will last for some time, or that you’ll be able to get work in a bar (which we’re sure you will!!) It’s good to hear that you were able to let go – sometimes it just takes a while, but this adventure should definitely help you to let go 🙂

    P.S. You mentioned HUNDREDS of hot guys – may we ask with how many you hooked up? 😀

  11. Anthony says:

    Hey Kate, sorry to hear about your money worries but I’m sure you’ll come good and work something out. On a more positive note, as for the letting go thing-flippin marvellous stuff 🙂

    Just keep knocking out the entertaining reads (I’m selfish like that)

  12. Sarah says:

    Your first three months have been really interesting to read about and i hope your money troubles get sorted so your stories can continue to keep me entertained for my last few months at work!

  13. Rease says:

    Sounds like an amazing trip thus far! Sorry about the money and illness troubles, I hope it works out!

  14. Theodora says:

    I’m sorry to hear you’re starting to panic about money. You’ll find bar work easy enough to find if that’s what you want to do, or helping out in a hostel. TEFL’s also a good option in SE Asia if you’re qualified…

    Hope you enjoy Vietnam, and hang in there…

  15. Laura says:

    I can’t believe you’ve been gone only 4 months? I swear it seems longer now. Maybe that’s because the days are dragging for me back in the States 😉

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