Archive for the year 2012

Day 391 (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

PWell it’s been an exciting and interesting month. After Siem Reap I moved onto Phnom Penh to catch my flight to Kuala Lumpur. I stayed in Phnom Penh for a few days but didn’t really do much of anything except one night out with a German guy. I really enjoyed my time walking around KL (Kuala Lumpur) and met some really awesome people in the city and at my hostel. It was a lot of days of drinking and partying which I usually don’t let occupy my entire time in a city but in KL it basically did, except a short stop over to watch a movie at Petronas Towers. I really did enjoy exploring KL on foot as it’s a beautiful city to get lost in. The monorail is a nice transportation system, the prices are reasonably close to Thailand’s prices and the alcohol at KK-Mart is cheap.

MMy next stop was Singapore for a week which ended up being similar to my KL visit in that it was dominated by partying. I mostly hung out on Read Bridge in the Clarke’s Quay area as it’s cheaper to just drink some 7-11 beer on the bridge than attempt to visit the super expensive clubs. My hostel was completely empty for most of my time except for the last few days in which I hung out with some German guys who were really fun to go sightseeing with. In 1 day we did most of the main free touristy things in Singapore and by night we hung out on the bridge.

NAfter that I flew to Jakarta which was a mixed bag of boring for me mostly. Again I started with an almost empty hostel but still managed to find some people to go to a club called Stadium with. I went there 2 nights in a row and it’s the kind of club that I need to be drunk in to enjoy so my second time through I was pretty drunk and had a great time, first visit though was disappointing and short. I attempted some sightseeing with an American and we walked for many hours around Jakarta’s main strip. It was mostly uneventful and besides the nightlife I found no redeeming qualities for Jakarta.

After that I was suppose to go to Bali as I had the plane ticket to and fro but last minute I decided I was done with the month long partying and wanted to rest and relax back in KL before my trip to Japan. I also really wanted to visit some friends I had met on my first stop in KL. I lost some money on those tickets but it was well worth it and it’s a lesson for me to not book so many tickets in advance, even if it looks like a good price, it’s not worth being locked into any kind of schedule. I will be in KL for another 4 days before my flight to Japan where I will be visiting for a month before flying back to KL. At that point I may or may not stay in KL longer and visit friends, if so I will forfeit my Australia plane ticket and need to book a new one within 90 days when my new Malaysia visa will once again expire.

1 Year (Siem Reap, Cambodia)

RWell it’s finally arrived, the 1 year mark of my world travels. Some days it feels like I just started traveling, other days it feels like it’s been years. I’ve had lots of highs and lows and am grateful for all of them. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way and still do with annoying frequency, but travel is as much a learning experience as life itself. I’ve tried many different types of budgeting which has sometimes meant sacrificing things I wanted to do and other times splurging (usually with alcohol involved). If I could redo the year I would do a few things differently but I wouldn’t say I regret those decisions as they are part of the experience.

PThe last 45 days have really thrown me back into travel, possibly too hard and fast which has brought about my indecisive mood as of late. The problem started with me booking far too little time between landing in Thailand and visiting Malaysia while I was buying my tickets in India months ago. I’ve since planned far into the future so those tickets were not going to be changed. But it has been far too much of a rush through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia and I will 100% need to come back to experience many missed opportunities. I’m hoping it’s this that has put me in a bit of a “travel funk”. I have an entire week in Kuala Lumpur and another week in Singapore coming up which I think will give me much more time to balance exploring and relaxing. If I took away only one thing from this mistake it’s that I clearly don’t like traveling too fast, which I already knew but now I have up and close experience with the beast.

MNow to get to what I’ve been up to and what’s in the future. Since my last post in Thailand I went on through Laos and Vietnam to arrive in Cambodia before I fly to Malaysia on March 6th. I sadly took barely any pictures in the last little while, partly because of being lazy and partly I didn’t want to carry my camera to areas were I would be swimming or with high crime which was a lot of the areas I went recently. From Ko Phi Phi I went back up to Bangkok for a day before going to my last stop in Thailand called Chiang Mai. I actually found it to be a pretty boring city, there was things you could sign up to do outside the city and there was a few things to see within the city but in general I wasn’t impressed. Then I took a 2 day boat up to Luang Prabang in Laos. I didn’t think it was a very interesting stop either except for the waterfall outside the city which was pretty fun as I got to swing on a big rope swing. I went through Laos pretty fast, stopping in Vang Vieng and Vientiane for only a few days each. I didn’t do the tubing in Vang Vieng for a few reasons but if I ever go back I will give it a try. After Laos I went to Hanoi in Vietnam for a few days before flying to Ho Chi Minh City in the South of Vietnam. I’ve actually been rather underwhelmed with Laos and Vietnam which may have been because I had to travel so fast but I think it’s a lot of the same stuff you see in Thailand which may be party why I am not as impressed by yet another waterfall or temple. I will be going to Angkor Wat tomorrow and will have some good pictures for my next post from there.

BMy future travels are locked in for the most part with a bit of improvising in Japan. The itinerary until April 30th is Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Australia. I’m hoping for a change of pace with my future destinations as I will have more time and hopefully they will be a little less backpacker centered travel destinations as I need a break from the 1-3 month party backpacker types. I could do an entire post on the different kinds of backpacker/travelers I have met but there is no way to make it not sound negative so I will just say it’s been a mixed bag of stereotypes that I am sure I fall into somewhere with my own flaws and annoyances. I know Japan will be a different experience and it’s been high on my list of places to go see for a very long time. As far as Australia, I have changed my mind about how I intend to travel it, I have decided that my first destination of Perth is where I will stay and attempt to find work. All the Australians I have talked to tell me the pay is better on the West and I have liked what I have read about Perth as a city. Assuming I find a job, the plan will be 6 months in Perth before making my way to the East of Australia, doing sightseeing along the way.

GI would quickly like to mention a few past posts I did back in February 2011. The first post I ever did on this blog was about my travel gear which has changed many times in the past year. I recently took a new picture of the gear I am carrying which I put beside this paragraph so you can see what I have now. I have gone through many clothes changes and subsequently given the clothes away along the way. Even after taking this picture a week ago I have had my shower sponge and a pair of underwear stolen. Although in the opinion of the hostel owner they were lost or misplaced but I am certain she stole them as she is a bitter kleptomaniac who should not be running a hostel or even be near people. The other post is the one I did about my future travel itinerary in which I tried to predict my year to come and where I was going to go. One quote from that post is relevant now as it goes “it will be fun to read this in a year and see how it’s all going and possibly how crazy I was to have had such a lofty goal”. After reading the post myself I see that I wasn’t that crazy at all and actually did more than I even predicted I would. It’s surprisingly accurate seeing as how I forgot about this post weeks after starting my trip and didn’t try to follow it at any point. The only real changes were cutting the UK a bit short and spending more time in Eastern Europe.

Thanks everyone who has been following my blog for the past year and I hope to have exciting posts for a long time to come as my trip is nowhere near over and the money I hope to get in Australia will give my funds a complete reboot. Also in case everyone is wondering why this post is on March 1st and not March 2nd when I left, it’s because this year is a leap year so March 1st is 365 days.

Day 343 (Koh Phi Phi, Thailand)

LI finished my time in Goa several weeks ago and moved on to New Delhi for over a week. I decided to stay at a hostel for a bit more money so that I could meet some people and just hang out a bit. I met many people and did many thing during my stay there. It was actually very cold for the first few days in Delhi so I decided to buy a nice hoodie that will last for the rest of my trip hopefully. While in Delhi I went to most of the main attractions and went back to eating local Indian food for a while which sadly might have made me sick up until right now. The metro in Delhi is great for getting around and I highly recommend it as one of the cleanest and most organized things in India.

TI also got a new tattoo while in India on my left foot. It’s of an Iceland Rune called a Vegvisir and it hurt quite a bit getting it on my foot. It turned out like I wanted but it’s hard to get a picture of it with the lines straight as the skin on my foot stretches a lot, also I might have preferred it a bit smaller but oh well, I don’t mind much on my feet anyway. I will likely get some tiny birds around the tattoo eventually. My next major one will likely be in Japan and may be some symbols in Kanji on my left rib under my arm. I will do more research once in Japan. I also finished my 7 weeks of Muay Thai classes and am very eager to keep going with the training. So when I get to working in Australia I will be signing up for classes right away. I figure after 3-4 months of classes I will be in really good shape.

HI met another Canadian who had been traveling with me for a few days all the way from India to Thailand where I am now. We went separate ways after Bangkok after we both got our Vietnam visas. While in Bangkok I got a lot of new clothing such as all new shirts, socks and underwear. I also replaced my old towel with a bigger one that actually fits my entire body. I am going back to Bangkok in a few days for a 1-2 day stop over before making my way to my last stop in Thailand called Chiang Mai. While back there I may get my Laos visa and will try and buy a shirt that I wanted last week but they didn’t have in stock.

KI was just in Koh Pha Ngan for the last few days and did a lot of partying as it was the time of the Full Moon Party. I met some people from my hostel and hung out with them mostly. I didn’t take any pictures as I was worried my camera may get stolen but some people did and if I find them on Facebook I will post those pictures. After the main party on the 7th I stayed up all night and took the morning boat-bus-boat to Koh Phi Phi. I have only been here for a day but it looks nice and I am looking forward to visiting Maya Bay which is the beach from the movie “The Beach”. During my time in Thailand I have sadly lost over $80 in bad decisions and scams but it’s all a learning experience and I am getting better at South East Asia everyday. I had gotten used to the much cheaper prices in India but I have been told Laos and Vietnam should be cheaper so we will see.

Day 306 – Happy NY! (Anjuna, IN)

MIt’s been a very relaxing month in Anjuna, Goa, India. I decided to take a 6 week vacation from travel after leaving Kolkata and picked Goa because it had several events going on during December and is in a bubble from the rest of India which I was definitely taking a vacation from. It sounds odd taking a 6 week vacation from traveling around the world but being somewhere new every week for 30-40 weeks gets a bit tiring and it’s good to just unpack for a little while and rest. I am hoping it renews me to some aspects of travel that I was beginning to tire of. Because of this current vacation I have exactly 0 pictures taken so far which was one of the things I had been tiring of lately. But I will take some pictures of were I have been staying and what I have been doing before I leave which will show up on a future post, likely my next post.

RWhile here I have got my own room to stay in with a nice big bed to myself. I also got a scooter to get around with which has been fun to get practice with as I had never driven anything but a car before. And in hopes of getting in shape and starting to look better I have joined a Muay Thai gym for the duration of my stay which is slowly getting me into better shape. I sadly don’t think that with only 14 classes left I will be able to get the six-pack I was hoping for but it’s gotten me in much better shape and hopefully on the road to that goal which I will keep pursuing during my travels and when I get back to Canada. I may even join another Muay Thai gym once I get settled in Australia as it is a very hard but good workout. So with all that setup my days consist mostly of just hanging around and then going to class in the afternoon. I intend to work more on my tan in the following weeks as I have not done well in that front since I arrived here. I had a friend visit me for the past 10 days and we hung out most days which included going to some movies and playing Uno and Poker with some other people from his hotel.

MI have all major transport from Goa all the way to Australia over a period of over 4 months booked and paid for. I’ve updated all this information with exact dates on my map page but I will also go through it here so everyone knows. I am leaving Goa for Delhi under 3 weeks and will be spending over a week in Delhi, likely at a hostel. I will also have a goal in Delhi of obtaining the required visa to get into Vietnam which needs to be done ahead of time and can likely be done in Thailand if I get into trouble with it in Delhi. From Delhi I go to Kolkata for just 1 day which I did mostly to save a bit of money, although thinking about it now with train/accommodations in Kolkata I either broke even or saved barely anything. But it will hopefully give me a chance to say hi to my friends in Kolkata before flying to Bangkok, Thailand. From Thailand I will make my way by land through Laos, Vietnam and onto Cambodia over a period of almost 5 weeks. In late February I fly out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I spend a week before flying to Singapore for another week. After that I will move onto Indonesia by flying to Jakarta for half a week then spending another half week in Bali. From Bali I fly back to Kuala Lumpur again only to fly north to Osaka, Japan hours later. For the next month I hang around Japan, likely hitchhiking my way from Osaka to Tokyo and then back again because I leave Japan from Osaka. Japan will be my biggest budget challenge so far but hopefully I will handle it well. So then in late April I leave from Osaka to Perth, Australia via another short stop in Kuala Lumpur. Once in Australia I begin my by-land trek of the country while at the same time deciding were to stop and work so that my bank account stops going in the wrong direction.

Well that is my plan from today until May 1st, 2012 so I’ve got a busy 4 months ahead of me that I’m sure will be interesting. I will keep the site updated and hopefully will have a renewed view of travel after this little vacation I am currently doing. Now a post without pictures doesn’t feel the same so I have found some pictures of me in front of things that I previously disliked but have decided are not horrible so I posted them on my Flickr account, I will show them here so you can decide if I should have left them in the garbage.