RTW Update/Birthday Post

Hello dearest fellow travelers! I’m writing to you from a guesthouse in Hoi An, Vietnam, and I thought I’d update you on how the trip is going so far. (We’ll get back to in-depth posts for each place I’ve been, in chronological order, next week.) Here’s where I’ve been and where I’m going through the end of next month:

September 2012: Hawaii & Australia
October & November 2012: Australia
December 2012 & January 2013: New Zealand
January and February 2013: Thailand
February 2013: Singapore
March 2013: Laos and Cambodia
April 2013: Vietnam and Japan
May 2013: Japan and England
June and July 2013: Eastern Europe
mid-July 2013: Back in the States!

st kildas melbourne sunsetI’ve hiked on a glacier in New Zealand, snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, swum with dolphins at Kaikoura, bathed elephants in Thailand, cruised on the Mekong in a slow boat, scrambled on the temples at Angkor, and crawled through the Viet Cong tunnels in Saigon.

I’ve made friends in every country I’ve been to, and I’ve visited old friends along the way. I’ve eaten food I’d never seen before. I’ve bargained for wedding presents at night markets. I’ve clung to the edge of a motorbike, stood in the back of a pickup, and jolted along in a tuk-tuk. I’ve had a few epic nights and a lot of relaxing days.

I’ve also had some not-so-great times. I got shingles in Australia and concussions in New Zealand. Last week I was hit by a car in Nha Trang, Vietnam. I was flung backwards into a pot of boiling water, which burned my thigh and some of my back, and a mystery object stabbed my calf, leaving a deep wound. I’ve had a tetanus shot, stitches, and enough antibiotics to make me fit for eating (political joke!). The healing process is very slow and I’m real shaken up. I’ve moved up to Hoi An to rest and recover, and will probably move on again in a couple days.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ve said for ages that I wanted to start this trip before I turned 30, and I did it. I have to say that I didn’t think I’d be spending my 30th popping anti-inflammatory pills and seeking out plain foods–I mean, 30 isn’t that old, right? But here I am, and while on the one hand I feel very alone and sad for myself, on the other hand, the magical internet means I can talk with my family on my birthday, and pretty soon I’ll feel well enough to be able to go out and enjoy the sights of this city (another World Heritage site, incidentally).

So that’s where I am and what I’ve been up to; I hope this round-up was helpful (and brief enough) for those of you playing along at home. If you’re in the States, I hope to see you this summer when I come back for my friend’s wedding. If you’re somewhere else in the world–when can I come visit?

As ever, thanks for reading, and have a great weekend.

Still searching out new horizons

Still searching out new horizons