Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mixed Emotions.

If you ever want them, go explore Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar by bus, foot, bicycle, motorbike, motorcycle, boat, kayak, inner tube and elephant and then return home.

I am flying out of Yangon, Myanmar tomorrow morning at 8:00am and landing in Bangkok, Thailand about an hour later. I have less than 24 hours there, during which I will try and do the things I didn't get to do the first time around. I am both awfully excited and terribly sad to be heading back to the States.  I am excited to see friends and family and know I have a place to sleep each night, but sad to be leaving behind the friends I've made here and the excitement that comes with each day.

I love traveling and painting for the same reasons. It's challenging and rewarding and both involve constant problem solving and emotions run strong (good and bad). I really have learned to embrace the anxious feeling I get when the bus / train / boat pulls into a new city where I know nothing / no one and love  the minute that anxiety disappears because I am greeted by twenty guys who I can't really communicate with but who are offering to take me to a place I can sleep that night. Entering a new city on the back of a motorcycle at 5AM might be the best feeling in the world. 

I think a lot about what has been happening at home since I've been gone, what people are doing and thinking about. I wonder what will have changed when I get back and what will be exactly the same. I miss talking about painting and other things that are fun to talk about. I am reading a book about the creation of the universe and just finished one about people's obsession with conquering nature and I don't have anyone to talk to about it. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THAT FEELS LIKE?! I have met so many incredible people here but just as we're really starting to get to know each other (beyond where we've been, where we're heading, where we're from, etc...) I have to hop off the train or they have to get on a bus.  Conversations don't go as far as I'd like (need) them to.

I am excited to have people over to my house to drink Myanmar Whisk(e)y and hear what they've been up to. I'm also excited to jump around in snow, but feel bad for my feet that have been enjoying flip flops for the past two months and will now need to be jammed into boots for two more.

This post has no structure to it. I've got a lot on my mind. When I get back I'll be doing some posts with photos. It was really nice to keep most things to myself during these two months. I think over sharing can lead to self concious experiences - instead of being in the moment and appreciating it, you're thinking about how you can tell people about it. I don't know, maybe that's just me. Either way, a (mostly) blog and Facebook free two months has been nice. It's one of the things I'm going to try and hold on to when I get back - less Facebook = more painting, piano practicing, French lessons and friend time.

Hugs and kisses and sugar and spice,

Saturday, February 9, 2013

In Cambodia...

...I have used sleeping dogs as landmarks because it's too hot for them to move.
...I have used standing pools of filthy, stinky water as landmarks as well.
...I watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat and had many a contemplative moment in deserted temple ruins.
...I went to the same masseuse enough times in a row that he saw me in a crowd and came and shook my
...buses for Bangkok leave at 2:00AM (I will be on the next one.)

It's not easy to get online in Burma, which is where I will be beginning tomorrow. I will be there for two weeks, so this might be it for a while. That may change, as things tend to do.

Until then, I'll keep it cool if you do.


PS - I am planning to visit Yangon, Bagan, and Mandalay and trek to Inle Lake from Kalaw while in Burma. If you care to look any of those up that's great, but I'll also be sharing way too many photos when I get stateside if anticipation is your thing.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


- Two nights ago a giant rat ran by my feet while I sat in a dirty, dark alley eating the best bowl of pho 
  I've ever eaten.
- I visited a pottery village yesterday, and an ocean and three islands. I rented a bike for $1.00 and rode
  it all day.
- I just left a magic city where there were lanterns everywhere and it made me think of my friends 
  back home.  (Hoi An, Vietnam)
- I am writing a lot about painting and reading a lot about the creation and study of the universe - I don't
  really understand either.
- I can now cross "eat an entire pineapple like it is an ear of corn" off of my list of things to do.
- I listened to a Ray Charles album this evening which made me want to drink wine so I did that.
- For the first time on this trip I got a pretty rough case of the I Miss You Blues yesterday. Even though
  I am meeting lots of interesting people and seeing lots of interesting things I don't have the hugs,
  laughs, or conversations that are in such good supply back home. Remedy: Jerry Seinfeld/Mitch
  Hedburg standup + two hour nap + huge amount of food...and ice cream.

I felt much better. 

I am taking an 8:00AM bus to Phnom Penh, Cambodia tomorrow and hopefully meeting up with my Australian friends from Thailand and Laos. Ho Chi Minh City is INSANE. 

I took a plane today - my backpack weights 12.7 kilos.

I just ate more ice cream - it's very warm here.

I miss you guys, thanks for reading, you da' bomb,