Monday, September 21, 2009

Full

Cindy and I both realized that it's been quite a while since we posted anything other than pictures to this blog.  I got to thinking about why.  When we first started out over 6 weeks ago we were super excited to write about everything we did.  Recently, not so much.  I think it's because my perception of my current life changes the more time I spend on the road.  At the beginning I was excited because it was more like a vacation with all the fun and excitement that comes with being in a new and interesting place.  Over time travel becomes less vacation and more just my everyday normal life.  With this change, the thrill mind-set has dimmed and feelings of day to day contentment have taken its place. 
I've tried to come up with an interesting way to describe the feeling, but the only word that comes to mind is "full".  You know that feeling that you get when you've just had a great meal, become satiated, but not too much and kind of kick back away from the table blissfully happy and not needing anything else from the world.  For me travel after a while has that effect…… but it's more sustainable.
So when I get full, I get lazy.  And right now I'm full, so writing has not been at the top of my priority list.  But I am compelled to at least list what we have been doing for the last bit of time just so I can reread it some other time and stir up these great memories.
Heading down to Laos and then starting to wander through parts of Southeast Asia instead of going to Lhasa in China was a wise decision in retrospect.  We missed this part of the world on our first big trip a few years back and I'm so glad I get to explore it now. 


Laos was laid back and interesting.  The people had a friendly, unhurried attitude that was infectious.  We spent 5 days in the backpacker friendly town of Luang Probang and spent our days taking cooking classes, playing with elephants and then finally taking a 2 day slow boat up the Mekong River to the Thailand border.  Life on the river with nothing to do but watch the scenery go by and swap stories with the few other travelers on board was so enjoyable.  The guys we met were so great that we ended up hanging out together for a few days in our Thailand destination town of Chang Mai.
Five or so more days were spent in Chang Mai. One day we rented scooted and got hopelessly lost on the back roads.  We were running out of gas and figured that we had already passed the point of no return and just kept moving forward.  We would shanghai a roadside villager, point to our woefully inadequate map and attempt to ascertain our position on it or at least the direction of town.   The countryside was beautiful and the people although not always understanding what we wanted, did their best to help up along.  We finally found a main road and some odd contraption consisting of a large steel drum containing gasoline, a hand pump and a large rubber hose.  It was a great day.  The rest of the days were spent playing with Tigers, going to museums, a zip line adventure and endlessly wandering around the town exploring the many Wats in the area. 
As I write this we are in the town of Sukhothai, Thailand's first capital back when it was called Siam.  Looks like Suck Hot Thai to me.  Yesterday we exploring the historical park.  It's one of Thailand's most impressive World Heritage sites.  The site is so big we had to rent bicycles to get around.  I spent the day doing my very best Mary Poppins impression holding the handlebars in one hand and an umbrella in the other.  The ruins were extremely impressive with different styles of Wats from the last 800 years.   We capped the day with and organized sunset bicycle tour of the countryside surrounding the city.  The views as the sun set over the rice fields was sublime.
Tomorrow it's on to Bangkok for a few days and then on to Cambodia to the famous Angkor Wat.  I think there's a little more room in my belly for another meal.