Sunday, 20 May 2012

Reflecting on 365+ days of wandering. Part One.

Sunday 20th May, 2012; 17:43
Location: Jalan Jalan 2 Guesthouse, Melaka Malaysia
Why: Reflecting on 365+ days of wandering in Ireland and Thailand edition.

As my 36th birthday came and went (17th May), so too did the one year anniversary of my travels. Feels like just yesterday I was celebrating with a pint of Guinness in Galway with Jen, Hale and friends; toasting my 35th. Time has literally flown by this past year in my epic personal journey of seeing and tasting the world. And I've only sampled a morsel of this international cuisine.

I'm addicted to this lifestyle. And so, I've decided to keep going. Some of you may have already caught wind of this. Please feel free to join me! I'm still looking to hire a Professional Full Time Co-Traveler! You won't get paid of course, unless we come up with a brilliant money making scheme. Now accepting applications.

A lot of people I've met along the way have finished and/are going to be wrapping up their travels. There's a bitter-sweetness that I'm still out here doing this. All the best to those heading home, from my Amazing Anna to my sweet, sweet Nicholas. I will see you guys again one day soon.

How do I sum up all that has happened in the twelve months I've been traveling?

I can't.

So perhaps I will break it down by country (two per post) just some of the many highlights:

Galway and Dublin Highlights:
Hanging out with Jen and Hale. Meeting their friends. Afternoon runs along the Galway coast with the wind on my back. Cliffs of Moher. Bicycling and sitting on the cliffs at the Aran Islands. Stumbling on a djembe session. Seeing Dublin's public bicycle system.

Feeling really small and insignificant at the Cliffs of Moher:

Cycling to the edge of the Aran Islands. I'm half expecting a Hobbit to show up any minute...
Sitting on the edge of the world, contemplating how lucky I am. Don Aonghasa Fort at Aran Islands:

One of the happiest moments for me in Galway. Randomly participating in a djembe session!

Impressed with Dublin's public bicycling system:

Now that Jen and Hale have a new addition, all the more reason to go back to Ireland!

Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Koh Tao Highlights:
Meeting up with relatives, some for the very first time. Sitting in on my very first Buddhist evening chanting and recording it. Sadly, the video went with the stolen netbook along with all my photos of Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Koh Tao. Finding some of Space Invader's work in the Khao San Road area. Reclining Buddha - it's HUGE! Eating mangosteen for the first time. Being chased back to my guesthouse by rabid dogs in Ayutthaya and nearly shitting my knickers at it. Yoga and island life on Koh Tao. The hot young blonde German name Andreas. Diving!!

Chiang Mai and Pai:
Chiang Mai was worthy of a three-peat. Adventures in Muay Thai training and meditation. Eating, living and breathing TEFL training. Getting soaked in Songkran. Dating The Cute Dutch guy. TEFL mini reunions. The Egg Lady. Tips Best Fresh Smoothies. The Tea Tree tribe. The Wooden Bar. Sunday Walking Street. Tattoo sessions at Dejavu Studio. Drunken night on Soi 7. I could go on and on.
Pai included jaunts on the motorbike to waterfalls and the countryside. Also, my first hospital stint with my travel mate, Lyndsay. Priceless night. Hmmm, I guess this wouldn't be a highlight but, definitely memorable.

Getting all wrapped up in Muay Thai with my new pixie hair cut:

Countless hours drinking, studying and drawing at Lan Cafe, aka The Wooden Bar:

The Cute Dutch Guy at The Tea Tree:

The BEST smoothies in Southeast Asia:

Hippie Pai street art at it's finest:

I spent a total of 3 months in Thailand and feel like I've barely seen it. In the same breath, I am overwhelmed at all the things I've done here. And if all works out, there will be a full TEFL reunion next February. *wink wink*

Meanwhile, 3 weeks in Galway/Dublin was enough for me to want more of Ireland. And I can't wait to see J&H's little man Wade when I do return.

So that's the gist of the first two countries I wandered into. Come back for more on Laos and Vietnam in the next day or two. But now, it's time to hunt for some Chinese vegetarian delights tonight.

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