Posts in Asia
A (major) change of plans

It's nice to be home. The comforts of a familiar city, atmosphere, culture and medical system are of course appreciated. But I'll be honest--I had to coax myself into appreciating these familiarities when I got here. It wasn't because I didn't want to be here. It was just because coming home was a very extreme deviation from my original plan. And even though my last blog post was about going with the flow, and I still wholeheartedly believe everything that article says, it's still sometimes easier said than done. 

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Learning to go with the flow (the hard way)

It wasn't more than two days after I arrived in beautiful Goa, India that I found myself in a hospital awaiting surgery on my leg after a "minor" motorbike accident; it was hardly the Goa experience I was expecting and my hopes of having just a short stint in a cast were quickly dashed after the x-rays revealed the bone in my shin to be snapped all the way through. 

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I'm the Worst Traveler Ever

 

Long hours of travel come to be the norm when you start defining yourself as a budget long-term traveler, as does the well-known "culture shock" of entering a new and entirely foreign place. So, I should have been prepared, knowing these two things exist. But I will admit, I overestimated my ability to take on Mumbai, a busy, crowded, loud, million-person city after a sleep-deprived, malnourished journey from an island that had a lifestyle quite the opposite. 

Which brings me to my brief but permeating thought that crossed my mind today: I'm the worst traveler ever. 

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Existential Lessons Learned While Traveling

There are countless "_(#)_ Things I Learned While Traveling" posts already in existence (and for good reason, I mean, you DO learn A TON while traveling). In an effort to avoid "that" post while still allowing myself the ability to regurgitate some of the most valuable lessons I've come across, I thought I would stick with the magic number three and attempt to make my list of things learned a little bit more "existential," if you will.  

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Willfully trapped on Koh Phi Phi

When I showed up on Ko Phi Phi Island Thailand about two weeks ago, I had zero intention of staying for more than a couple of days. My plan was to get in 1-2 days of scuba diving, 1-2 days of R&R and then head on my way to India, per my original itinerary. 

But that plan changed and I now find myself on Ko Phi Phi Island indefinitely. Why? Scuba diving. 

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The Elephants That Made Me Reprioritize My Life

Anyone who travels to northern Thailand will quickly hear about all the opportunities to ride, play with, bathe with, etc. the elephants. I was hesitant to do it though, because I've heard mixed things about how the elephants are treated at some of the locations. But after doing some research and hearing first hand from a couple other travelers that it was in fact humane and well worth it, I decided I would try it out. I'm so glad I did. 

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Top things I learned when travelling to Japan

7. One of the most important things I was told to remember while traveling in Japan is that judging everything from our Western-based way of thinking will only limit and frustrate the Japanese experience. There are a number of things in Japanese culture that can't be understood with Western logic (no spoilers here), but I found that I really came to enjoy Japan when I learned to just appreciate it for what it was--not as a Western tourist, just simply as someone interested in understanding more about the cultures of the world. 

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