Voyages in Vietnam

Vietnam, oh Vietnam. Where to start with the vibrant, virulent, verdant, vexing vortex that is Vietnam? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times? I think someone used that before me, but it remains no less apt. Of the many lands I’ve traveled to on this great adventure, Vietnam was near the top of my list of those I was most excited to explore, though I can’t really pinpoint the reason why. There was never a dull moment, that’s for sure. Continue reading “Voyages in Vietnam”

Traipsing Across Thailand

From the chilly temps and reserved civility of Japan, to the sweltering, bustling madness that is Bangkok! I kicked off my three months in Southeast Asia in Thailand’s capital city: a hot, steamy, sweaty tangle of humanity. Did I mention it was hot? My first day out, I set off on foot to wander the streets and see what I could see. There’s not a lot of rhyme or reason to the layout of the city, but I managed to avoid getting too terribly lost (and to avoid being killed at any of the ridiculous street crossings). Continue reading “Traipsing Across Thailand”

Jaunting Around Japan

Way back when I was first putting the plans for this trip together, my sister Julie (an accomplished world traveler in her own right, and who has always been an inspiration to me) told me that she had applied to present a paper at an academic conference in Japan and wouldn’t it be great if we could meet up there during my travels? I have always wanted to go to Japan, but didn’t include it on my original itinerary because it was way too expensive for my meager budget to absorb. However, by joining up with Julie, I’d be able to save on lodging costs and, what’s more, if there is anyone who knows how to stretch a travel dollar, it is my sister. Her paper ended up getting selected for the conference and so a jaunt to Japan was squeezed in between South Africa and Southeast Asia, and what a trip it was! Continue reading “Jaunting Around Japan”

Stunning South Africa

Alright, friends, I’m going to level with you. I was happy to leave South America. Don’t get me wrong, I had an amazing time there and I fully intend to return someday, but I was beyond ready to move on. The countries I visited were all different, but in many ways were so similar and my itchy travel feet were wanting new lands to explore. And so it was that I found myself winging eastward across the South Atlantic for my first visit to the African continent! I know South Africa is kind of Africa-Lite, but I think it was a good place to start. Continue reading “Stunning South Africa”