A land down under

Four months later and here i am in the tropics of Australia contemplating where to and what to next. But what else is new

Two and a half months in south australia picking grapes and meeting and making a family of beautiful new friends. Tearful goodbyes and new adventures thru windy, stormy nights, tire popping days and the deserty outback to the top end and humid Darwin.  Back down, across and up to the tropics of Cairns where job hunting and lazying about have been the theme. And soul searching and eating and drinking and sun soaking of course.

So many sunsets, so many giggles, so many snuggles, so many dancebreaks, so many more incredible places and things to have seen, so many campsites put up and taken down, so many backseat car rides, so many starry nights and hot sunny days, so many stories to tell and hear, so many more wonderful people to have in my life. 

And now our never ending and constantly changing job hunt. Tears and goodbyes and more changes to come. Oh the adventure continues!

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Big jumps

Vietnamese passport control is literally the worst thing i’ve experienced traveling. Maybe its my impatience getting the best of me but it is SO disorganized and SO painfully slow. Especially when you’re roasting from a fever and finding it difficult to breathe because of a dry stuffed nose and swollen glands. But i’ve done it twice now and I don’t know which time was worse. With the amount of tourists and people coming in and out you would think they would have it slightly more stream lined. Other countries arent this bad

But prior to this achey moaning sickness i have somehow contracted (and even during) i have been having an incredible time – From exploring Myanmar to Thailand to chill and meet and travel with my sister and friends for 2 weeks to eat and drink everything delicious and making more friends around the world the past month has been anything short of wonderful.

Sunsets, dancing, sunrises, more dancing, motorbike riding, all the som tum eating, all the chang and hong tong buckets, so many hangovers, getting to see and be with my sister for the first time in 6 months, tattoo and piercing parties, pub crawls, selfie stick buying, ice cream and oh so much more

Its been a hell of a month, really its been an incredible 6 months. I feel like i should be more disenchanted, more tired than i am – i have my moments but they never outweigh the good ones. And i just saw a complete pig murder from start to finish on the stoop across from the coffee shop im sitting at in Hanoi. Yup life is pretty good

Ps thanks E for loving ice cream as much as i do and revitalizing me in every way and being you because You are the best ♡

Bus rides

The old man next to me is snacking on sunflower seeds and spitting them on the floor. The tv is blasting some weird asian sitcom/soap opera. Everyone behind me sounds like they have TB. The seats look like someone has died on them. Ahhh the joys of traveling

But we get a free energy drink and toothbrush. So we can stay up all thru the bumpy night!

Oh and its negative a million degrees because the air con is blasting

The bus driver forgot to wake me at my stop so at 430 in the morning when i go up and i ask where i am supposed to get off he gives me a nervous look and then goes to confer with some other guys outside of the bus. They pay for a motorbike to take me not just to my missed stop but all the way to the town where I was headed.

Hard to complain about the bus with views like this

And spending the day bicycling and drinking wine and mojitos

And speeding across the lake on my own personal boat

Covers

Everywhere you go here is a constant stream of variations of covers of every type of american music. And loud Vietnamese conversation. And car horns honking. There seems to be only one volume here, and that is loud. 

Its been a quick few weeks and i am happy and sad to say that i have once agained moved locations. I landed in Ho Chi Minh city on  November 18th and less than a month later I have moved on to Myanmar. And what a month it has been.

I made my way up from Ho Chi Minh, after being delayed there waiting for my bag which was stuck in Russia, to Da Lat a lovely mountain town that was a very welcome escape from the smog and chaos of Saigon.

Then to Nha Trang to sit at the beach, take a terrible boat tour, and dance with vietnamese and russians.

Sleeper bus to Hoi An to drink coffee, ride bikes, drink way too much alcohol, eat lots of pho and bahn mis, get custom made dresses and wander old town.

Motorbiked the Hai Van pass to Hue on a windy and rainy cold day but it was beautiful riding despite the weather

More sleeper buses. to the national park and town of Phong Nha where I did some exploring with my newest travel companions and lots of sitting by the fire at the hostel reading.

Upwards to Ninh Binh for more motorbike riding and adventuring and boat rowing too

And then to Hanoi, chaotic and bustling in a slightly less aggressive way than Ho chi Minh but hectic nonetheless. Lots of good food, coffee, and late night dancing with new friends

My last days in Vietnam were spent mostly on a motorbike twisting thru the northern province of Ha Giang with a group from my hostel. What started as a huge dilemma of whether to go or not turned into one of the best decisions I have made in awhile. 3 days and 4 nights in the mountains with 9 beautiful people who made the experience that much more worthwhile. 

I managed to only fall off the bike 3 times and come away with no scratches. And ready for my next bike adventure

Two final nights in Hanoi, one to recover from the trip the next to rage with my new friends and reunite with the chicas I had traveled with up from Da Lat. 
A VERY long morning getting to, thru and away from the airport but finally here I am in Yangon. Worn out and sad to have left on such a high note from Vietnam but filled with street noodles and convenience store ice cream loving how traveling gets me in the most complicated swirl of emotions 

The general flow of life here seems to be such a different pace – much quieter, less chaotic, and way lesss backpackers. But these are just first impressions no way to know where the next 2 weeks will take me

Eastward I go

After about 4 months of traveling and exploring Europe (with a brief hiatus in israel) I am headed east again! Into the unknown that is Vietnam

I am sitting in the sunshine in a smoke filled serbian restaurant drinking my sugar coated cappuccino waiting for my veggie omelet contemplating and reflecting on the last months and the months to come. What a jump this will be.

Its always difficult (at least for me) to leave a place that you are enjoying. especially when  it feels like there is more to do see and explore.  For example, I haven’t raved with the serbian people which apparently is not a thing to miss. And now I move on to the basicallly unknown and different lifestyle of Southeast Asia – exciting but of course all the other feeelings too.

So what have I accomplished in the last few months? I’ve picked up (and expanded on) plenty of bad habits along the way:
Cappuccinos loaded with sugar

Everything Sweet

Wine. and beer. and cocktails. at anytime in the day

Eggs. and cheese. and basically all things not vegan

Phone addiction. why are memes so good?

Sun addiction – coming from a city that is almost perpetually gray I now crave the sun like it is my driving life force!

An inability to commit or plan anything beyond a few days – which has on more than one occassion taken a large toll on my bank account

But of course all of these can be seen in a positive way too:

Enjoying the coffee culture of every place i go.

Desserts are delicious. thats all there is to it

Booze is a great way to meet and connect with fellow travelers. and the party culture. plus its fun

My veganism is long gone but what better way to experience a new place then thru its food?

Addicted to the internet? No, I am a wifi expert. and social media is an incredible network of other travelers

By not making plans I at the whim of the traveling universe. I can go where I want, when I want and it has led me to beautiful unexpected places with wonderful people. So hardly a bad thing – except the sometimes high cost of doing things this way

Moving from one place to the next always invokes so many feelings and emotions for me – especially when it is a large leap and change. There is a different backpacker trail in each part of the world and its exciting to step into a new one. What will all this excitement bring its terrifying and I am addicted to the sensations and emotions that meeting a new place makes me feel. Excited, nervous, scared, happy, tired, annoyed, sad and the list goes on – i need them all. This is my rush 

All of the rain

What do you when its been raining for the past 4 days and everything is damp and you cant swim in the beautiful beaches of the Algrave

Treat yourself to a veggie burger and beer

But hm this doesnt seem to just reflect the rain because in Madrid it is beautiful and sunny and I treated myself to a beer and ramen. 

And then to hummus because…

Its hummus.

And in Seville to goblets of gin because it was halloween weekend and if you aren’t paying for accomation then you have more to spend on booze right?

I am a terrible budget traveler but this I already knew

I’m addicted to the sun

At some point this has happened. And the last three days of rain have totally been a struggle.

Not that it isn’t nice settling in at a coffee shop, or in today’s case an antique market with good wifi and food and wine, but there is something so motivating and encouraging about the hot sun and a blue sky

Especially when exploring a new place. The  clouds and gray skies can make for beautiful discoveries

But there is something about the sun that i just have become enamored with

And now I just want to chase it