One year ago today, I boarded a flight from San Francisco to Shanghai, thus launching this crazy adventure around the world. I’ve been a lot of places, but I’ve been moving a lot slower than I’d expected at this point. When I started the trip, I thought I’d be finishing up my trip somewhere in South America right now, but I’ve only gotten through half the countries I plan to visit in Asia. I think this is partly due to the hectic pace I was setting in China. I got pretty burned out after constantly moving for 2 and a half months there. I think the longest I spent in one place was 6 days in Hong Kong, and I tried to not stay in any one place longer than 3 days. By the time I got to Nepal, I was tired of moving all the time, and I ended up living in the town of Pokhara for about 6 weeks, after my treks. I really enjoyed the time there, and I decided to slow down my traveling from then on.
Highlights of the trip so far are China — most notably hot air ballooning over Yangshuo, trekking Tiger Leaping Gorge, and chilling out in Dali; Nepal — learning to ride a motorcycle, white water kayaking, but the Annapurna treks were truly amazing and hands down the highlight of the trip so far. I had a great time in Thailand, but I wouldn’t say it’s very “exotic” compared to other places I’ve been, and it’s almost too easy to travel there. But is undeniably a beautiful and fun country full of friendly people, and I love it. No comment on India, other than that I will have to give it another chance in the future. Malaysia has been great so far, but I’ve only been here a very short time.
Going forward, I plan to do more trekking, since that seems to be the most rewarding activity for me. I am looking into hiking the tallest peak in Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu, which reaches a hight of 4,095 m (13,435 ft). Also, there are several mountains in Indonesia that I’d like to climb, and I’d love to see an active volcano or two. After Indonesia, I’d like to visit Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Burma, and of course a little more time in Thailand. If I’m not totally broke by that point, I’d like to move on to S. America for a while, and then work my way back up to the States.
Of course I have absolutely no idea what to do when I get home. The thought of a cubical right now makes me want to puke. I’m not sure I can return to that sort of life after roughly 10 years behind a computer, and now one year on the road. But who knows what the future will bring? Luckily I don’t have to think about that now. My biggest decision is where to go after Cameron Highlands – oh, and what to get for lunch: Malaysian, Chinese, or Indian food…