A Year in the Life

Ha Long BayTomorrow marks one year since I embarked on this journey. Well, it would be if it was a leap year and February 29th existed. But rather than dwelling on the mysteries of the Gregorian calendar, let me take a moment to highlight some of my favorite parts of this journey.  Continue reading

My Time in ‘Nam

So far you’ve heard about my ride on a train, our trip to the hospital, and a snake-eating experience. These are great stories and all, but I thought you might like some insight into my thoughts about Vietnam. If I’m wrong, then stop while you’re ahead!

When Becky and I were looking for somewhere to travel over the summer, many destinations came up. We talked about Malaysia, South Korea, China, and many more. South Korea is actually near the top of my list for countries to visit in Asia, so needless to say, I was pushing hard for that one. In the end, Vietnam won out because the flights were the cheapest and we knew that while in ‘Nam, things would be even cheaper. When Becky said you can get beer for 80yen ($1) I was instantly sold. Grab your aviators, we’re going to Vietnam, baby.  Continue reading

Eating Snake Hearts and Drinking Blood in Hanoi, Vietnam

Upon our arrival in Hanoi, we’re immediately encouraged to sign up for the big event of the night hosted by our hostel: the Snake Village Tour. The sign-up sheet was complete with an ominous looking red on black logo of an undoubtedly poisonous snake.

“What’s this?” Dana asks.

“Oh! It’s our snake village tour. You get to eat snake heart and drink snake blood! It’s really fun!” replies the broad gentleman in the cut-off shirt.

Eating snake hearts. Sounds fun.  Continue reading

The Post-Apocalyptic Saigon Hospital

Becky, braving the infection

Ok, so “post-apopalyptic” might be a bit of an over exaggeration, but not by a whole lot! While rock-climbing in Ha Long (I’ll write about that soon, I swear!) Becky managed to get a small scratch no larger than a piece of long-grain rice. Of course, it’s not that simple in developing countries, where the word “sanitary” has yet to enter the vocabulary. Within two days, it became a swollen, purple mass of scary. And by”scary” I mean that people would glance at it, make a startled noise and say “Oh my god! What happened to your leg?!” We were starting to frighten passerby’s. I supposed this is the time to visit a doctor. Of course, in Vietnam, you don’t go to doctors, you just go to the hospital.  Continue reading

In the Corridor of a Vietnamese Train

Photo cred: Becky Sibson

I love sharing my odd travel stories, so I’ve got another one for you. It takes place in the span of 20 seconds. I hope I can make this longer than three sentences. You’re already laughing because if you’re here, you know just how verbose I can get. With that, I’ll begin.

Preface: before this stroll down the corridor, I had been sitting comfortably in an empty cabin with my travel mates Becky, Sam, Dana, and Paul as our train rocks merrily along. We were probably playing poker and betting with the bag of lychees we’d earlier randomly received. The train had come to a halt at it’s next station and new passengers were boarding. We were about 4 hours from our destination.  Continue reading

Here I Come, ‘Nam

By the time this posts, I’ll already be in Vietnam. Truthfully, I’ve done a ton of traveling as of late, and have many stories to share with you. That said, I’ve left for a 10 day excursion to Vietnam, and frankly, the plan is to avoid the internet at all cost. I’m even trying this rare thing called “not going on facebook.” I know, journey will be long and challenging. I can do it.  Continue reading

Shopping Spree in Tokyo

We finally got paid. What was the first thing we did? Karaoke, then shopping in Harajuku and Shibuya. Obviously.

I bought some much needed work clothes… and some play clothes too. Our friend Kris (remember him?) showed us the back alleys of Harajuku. It’s off the beaten path, with plenty of affordable, often more fashionable shops. Some of them carry second-hand items, but you would never know it. The Japanese are known for a) shopping a lot and b) taking really good care of their clothes. Most of the second-hand stores had items I would still consider new. Continue reading