Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mid-Point Assessment

Sometimes I can't believe that we've been away for nearly seven months. In some ways time has absolutely flown by. I can only understand how long seven months is when think about all of the things we've seen and done in that time:

  • Hiked in Nepal. The Himalayas have always been a nearly mythical place for me, and the city of Kathmandu used to have an exotic, other-worldly air about it. Ate endless rice and lentils, spent the night at Annapurna Base Camp. Hiked to Poon Hill to see the mountains by sunrise.

  • Been to Tibet: Been inside the Potala Palace in Lhasa. Seen Mt. Everest with my own eyes. I remember asking in my winded state, "Who in their right mind would want to climb up there?", then realized that I secretly wanted to do it. Suffered the longest, coldest night of my life and also the most disgusting toilets in the world in the same place.

  • Walked around the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. This everlasting and ever perfect monument to love is a spectacle beyond imagination. We also managed the Indian rail system, which is the largest in Asia and comes with your very own free monkey.

  • Ate a chicken testicle in Hong Kong. Became vegetarian. Ate sketchy street food and set foot in some of the city's most exclusive clubs on the same day. Rode the Hong Kong rail system and visited Victoria Peak... twice.

  • Gained appreciation for the Chinese rail system, dried sweet potatoes, and foot massages. Re-mastered the squat toilet, hiked the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, and watched BG eat a chicken foot at the Longsheng Dragon's Backbone Rice Terraces.

  • Survived 16 mashed up hours in a minivan in Laos. Kayaked on the Mekong River. Slept in a local village, and drank rice whiskey at 7:00 am.

  • Saw Angkor Wat at sunrise and sunset in Cambodia. Learned too much about human cruelty at Tuol Sleng Prison and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields while learning also about human perseverance.

  • Drank coffee at a sidewalk cafe in glittering Saigon, Vietnam. Swam in the South China Sea, had a wardobe custom-tailored, and bicycled among rice paddies in Bai Tu Long Bay.

  • Danced to Bryan Adams covers in a bar frequented by Thai lady-boys and foreign tourists. Drank cocktails out of a bucket. Got soaked to the skin walking down the street on the first day of Thai New Year (Song Kran). Spend my days with the most adorable babies and kids on the planet at the Pattaya Orphanage.

Not bad, no?


Erin said...

I found your blog through some link somewhere and like to check in on your progress. Congrats on the 7 month mark! I hope my husband and I can take some time off to travel soon.
Thanks for the inspiration!

Brianne said...

Hi lady - not bad at all! Here's to many more wonderful (hopefully less ant-y and disgusting) adventures.

Christie said...

Wow! Seven months already! I'm still in awe of this trip - it's something I dream of, but would be too chicken to do. Here's hoping you have a wonderful second half to the adventure!!

liz & adrian said...

Hi Val (and BG),

Long time reader finally de-lurking. Thanks so much for sharing. My husband and I aim to leave in 6 months and blogs like yours are helping me calm his anxiety.

Maybe we'll cross paths on the road.


wompcat said...

i'd say your trip is kicking ass so far. I am envious but also extremely happy for you to have the trip of a lifetime!!!

Cindi said...

Sounds fabulous! I can't wait to read about more of your adventures!

Val said...

Haha, thanks guys! It's definitely been a wild ride at times.