Van-Camping in Australia Night One: We Are Not Prepared

For about 15 minutes camping is great, eating homemade chili and looking up at the sky. The stars are beautiful. Then we realize we don’t have flashlights. And our phone batteries are dying.

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Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

The next few days pass in a similar adrenaline-fueled haze. We go out snorkeling 4 times each day, first at 6:30 am, then 8:30 or 10:30, then 1:30, then 3:30. The 6:30 sessions are always the coldest,...

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Traveling to the Great Barrier Reef

After lunch we get to snorkel more, and then the boat heads to another spot on the reef. We come out for the next session and it’s so beautiful it’s ridiculous. There’s a rainbow. Then a double...

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Angkor Up Close

One thing that fascinated me about Angkor Wat was the detail. Here are some of my favorite close-up shots.

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Leaving Southeast Asia

The sights that seem the same in every Southeast Asian city, maybe every developing city. The muddy roads, puddles by the side filled with rain. The chickens/ducks/water buffalo/scraggly cows...

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Tuk-tuks, Temples, Monkeys: Time for Angkor Wat

We hire the same tuk-tuk driver to take us around the Angkor temple complex. He considerately brings a cooler stocked with water and cool wipes. The complex is bigger and grander than anything I can...

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Our Brief Stay in Ho Chi Minh City

We end up seeing the city mainly through the backseat of a cab. And it’s a sprawling, crazy city. The old town streets of Hanoi, writ large across 19 districts. Skyscrapers off in the distance.

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Why Did We Do Another Cave Tour?

We should’ve thought twice after Dark Cave, but Paradise Cave was so nice we go back to it on Day 2 for the longer, full-day, 7 km tour. We didn’t have our bathing suits because the brochure...

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All Good Until “Dark Cave”

Walk barefoot into the cave. Overcome your claustrophobia to clamber over some slippery but still incredibly sharp rocks. Walk through some murky water. Walk some more. Feel the mud oozing into your...

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…And Then There Was The Fishing Boat

So that’s how I find myself on a small wooden platform on a small wooden boat, banging a bamboo stick against a bamboo bar, trying to “scare” fish into a net that’s been laid out below. The...

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Monsters & Squid Fishing

The guide announces the evening’s activities -- a movie, happy hour, and squid fishing. As Jane notes, “squid fishing” looks and sounds like a practical joke the guides are playing on the...

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Horror Movies in Hanoi

We’re in Vietnam watching an American movie about British people, based on the real life wackos from the town I grew up in. Globalism? The mall itself spans several blocks. More luxurious than any...

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Go to the Waterfall

Things start looking up again when we go to Kuang Si falls. Go to the waterfall, everyone says. We’re skeptical, but ready for a change from wandering the hot streets. We start by hiring a minivan...

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It’s Raining In Our Hotel

It’s midnight in Luang Prabang and it’s raining in the bathroom. Raining outside too. This is what we notice first — thunderclaps & flashing lights. No more sleep. Then we see the bathroom.

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Don’t Fear the Rooster

I look at my pictures and see fake rooster after fake rooster, a surreal high-school yearbook for plastic chickens.

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Chiang Dao Gets Real

Our tour goes roughly like this: “This rock looks like a lion. Want to take a picture? No? Ok. This rock looks like an elephant. This one looks like a papaya. Are you sure you don’t want to take...

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The Monastery on the Mountain

Our first morning in Chiang Dao we climb 500 steps to a monastery on the side of the mountain. Next to the steps are “inspirational” sayings that feel like taunts in the heat. Every step is...

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Geckos, Butterflies, Fireflies

Geck-o, geck-o, the parrot like voice screams. Or f**k you, f**k you, if you haven’t yet learned that the creature claling out each night at 4am is, in fact, a gecko. We’re in a hut in Chiang Dao,...

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Just Watch the Rain

I’m standing on our balcony, monsoon rains coming down in sheets. One minute hot sun and the next downpour, blanketing everything in sight, pelting the roof and the already lucious palms. The rain...

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Chiang Mai’s Light, Chiang Mai’s Darkness

Chiang Mai is a city that sparkles. One city wall, flecked in who knows what material, shimmers in the twilight. Golden temples dot the horizon. Silver temples look other-woldly in the moonlight. Each...

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Welcome to Chiang Mai – Let’s Drive Up A Mountain

We go to a Temple on a mountain called Doi Suthep. Getting there involves sharing a songthauew with 5 strangers, Jane deftly convincing them to pay 150 bhat instead of 50 so we can get going instead...

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Our Day in Bangkok

Bangkok. We only have one day in Bangkok. We go outside the hotel and it’s hot as f***. In the street the vegetation is lush, the feeling that we’re not at home anymore undeniable. Sex workers...

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Is This Normal?

In a taxi with no seatbelt speeding for the city. I type a text to my mother saying we’ve arrived and are safely in a cab. Before I even hit send, the cab is stopped on the side of the highway,...

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The Lanterns of Jogyesa

Every year the monks at this temple in Seoul hang lanterns in May to celebrate Buddha's birthday. We were lucky and the lanterns were still up when we visited Jogyesa.

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The Dutiful Guide to Seoul

All that stuff you do because it’s in Lonely Planet and on TripAdvisor and you have a major case of #FOMO. Step 1: Palaces There are a lot of them. They’re big. They’re made of wood so they’ve...

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The Best Mall in Seoul?

One day we decided to take a break from being dutiful and check out a restaurant in Insa-Dong — I think we found the restaurant in Lonely Planet. So after the palaces and museums, we stumbled on...

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An Afternoon at the Sheep Cafe

So this one time in South Korea we decided to go to a cafe. Not just any cafe. A sheep cafe. Like Tokyo’s animal cafes, Seoul has cafes filled with cats and dogs and, apparently, sheep. After...

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What It Feels Like to Start an Extended Trip

First, ecstasy. You’ve quit your job. Borrowed a bunch of travel books that you used once - to post a photo of them on Facebook. Got a bunch of shots and pissed off the travel clinic people by being...

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