As I’ve loosely mentioned before on my site and on twitter, I’ve been planning quite an adventure, and now plans seem to have solidified. I am traveling throughout Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia from the end of January to the beginning of March. Here’s a map of my adventure:
I fly into Bangkok and spend the first part of my trip solo. I’ll spend a few days in the city, then pop up to Khao Yai National Forest via bus (green route). Then I’ll go back to Bangkok and take an overnight bus up to the north (pink route). From there I somehow get to the border (question mark) and then take a two-day slowboat down the Mekong river (blue route) ending up in Luang Prabang. There I meet up with my friend who’s coming in from another part of Laos. We will buy whatever bikes we can in Luang Prabang (likely rickety mountain bikes) and cycle/hitchhike the red dotted route from Laos to Cambodia (no idea of road or bike condition). Depending on the quality of conditions, and the degree of Giardia that we get, we will try to bike as much as possible. We will end our journey in southern Cambodia. From there my trip is unknown. I might continue to bike with my friend back into Thailand, or I might go back to Phnom Penh solo to explore Angkor Wat. Eventually I will meet up with Jess (@journeyingjess) somewhere in Southern Thailand. All that matters is I get back to Bangkok in time to catch my return flight home.
It’s a crazy, crazy, CRAZY trip but I am so unbelievably excited for this opportunity. I’m doing it with my friend Robert, a fellow traveler of the world and trail runner (you might remember our adventures a few years ago when he visited me in Hawaii). We are both so psyched because we don’t have any other friends that would agree to live out of a backpack, cycle up to 100 miles a day, potentially sleep outside, and just go with the adventuresome flow of things. We’ve done our homework and know what we’re getting into. We will both have steripens to hopefully avoid Giardia, although we are both so fit that we know we can at least make some forward progress in our journey if we do get ill. Robert will have a two-way Satellite communicator that we think we can hook up to twitter, so you guys can follow our progress along our crazy journey.
Many people are asking “how the hell can you just take 6 weeks off like that?” I am so incredibly fortunate that my job is so flexible and task based rather than hours based. I am also fortunate that the people in my lab love travel as much as I do. I am working like crazy to meet several huge deadlines before I go, and I will be the only person keeping our lab running over the holidays. Of course it’s never convenient to take that much time off, but when else in my life am I going to have the option to just–poof–off to SE Asia for six weeks? My head is saying “this is so stupid, this is so irrational!” but my heart is saying “GO.”