Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sunny Oregon

I am in the suburbs of America. Its full of healthy dogs, kids, garage sales, people doing yardwork, shopping in strip malls, picnics and barbecues.

I have been here 3 weeks and have spent the majority of that time getting ready to leave again. This trip is short, only 8 days. I leave tomorrow to head to Burning Man in Northern Nevada for a week of wild times in the desert. If you have never heard of Burning Man then check out and if you happen to be heading that way yourself then come say hello at the Astral Vortex camp on 9:30 & Arctic.

A few recent pictures of the happenings around Portland

This is Buttercup, she has a twin brother named Bruno. They are about 4 months old and will be HUGE!!
My good friend Julie "Sausage"...we have been good friends for 15 years!!
My roommates (mom & dad) painting a hat I brought home from Vietnam. I could not take a plain white hat to Burning Man, so they are getting it all ready.
My good friend Andee, we worked together on Johnston Island & Kwajalein. She happened to be in one of my favorite places for a few hours (the airport!). It was strange being there and actually parking a car and then leaving in the car. I am used to being the one who is flying out.
My change at Trader Joes was $7.77 and so I had to buy some lottery tickets.

This is my good friend Alison who lives in Eugene. We worked together on Kwajalein and were also roommates on the big dead continent of Antarctica. We had a fun night in the state capital of Salem (which if you switch the letters around is the word LAMES). We had a great laugh going to the capital building at 11 pm at night, sitting on the steps and pledging allegiance to Oregon while playing lottery tickets.

Off to Burning Man....come back in 10 days or so for some crazy pictures!!!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Its been a fun 5 month trip!!

People always ask "what was your favorite" so that got me thinking....and thought I would put down a few of the trip stats.

In the past 5 months we
  • visited 4 countries, 25 different cities/islands and slept in 35 different hotels

  • had fried rice for breakfast numerous times

  • learned how to ride a motor scooter

  • learned how to say hello & thank you in 4 languages

  • learned how to bargain over pennies in 4 languages

  • learned that "air conditioned bus" means bus with windows that don't open an 45 extra people inside & on the roof

  • got severe food poisoning 1 time

  • learned that everything in Asia is "same same but different"

  • learned that girls that look like girls are often boys

  • did about 60 dives in Thailand and a few in Vietnam

  • averaged about $30 USD per day (that is without any of scuba diving or additional plane tickets)

  • time spent: 3 months

  • favorite towns: Pai (northern) and the islands in the south...they were wonderful!!!

  • least favorite: Pattaya

  • best diving: Similian Islands

  • worst diving: Pattaya & Ko Chang due to visibility

  • time spent: 2 weeks

  • favorite: Luang Prabang & swimming in the waterfalls

  • least favorite: Phonsovan/Vietienne

  • This was the cheapest country we visited
  • time spent: 2 weeks

  • favorite: Phnom Phenn
  • time spent: 1 month

  • favorite: Hoi Ann & Halong Bay

  • least favorite: the rest of the country

  • this was the most expensive of the 4 countries

Thats about it! It was a fun adventure and I am glad I had the chance to go. I am off to Oregon today via Hong Kong and dont really have a plan. Burning Man is the end of the month and then my calendar is pretty wide open!

Wheres next? Well....I am thinking the next big multi month trip will be more of Central America. Would love to go diving in Belize, see more of Mexico & Nicaragua

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Its all Business

Six years ago when I was in Bangkok I upgraded my return flight back to Hawaii. I went to the airport and was sitting on my backpack in the business class check in line. An employee came from behind the counter and and said "you are in the wrong line, coach is down there" and pointed. Well I very quickly whipped out my business class ticket and assured him I had read the signs and that I was in the correct line.

For this trip I also upgraded my economy seat to business class using frequent flyer miles. (well worth the 15,000 miles it takes). I am curious if I get the same reaction this time, I have the exact same backpack, same dreadlocks and all in all look like a poor backpacker and not somebody who fly's business class.

Full Moon Party

The island of Ko Pha Ngan is world famous for its full moon parties. We have also learned they have 1/2 moon, no moon & after moon parties. Basically Ko Pha Ngan is a party with a moon theme 36 times a year.
We made the trek to the island for the July 31st full moon party. We were not alone, thousands and thousands of other people migrated on the beach. Because I didn't want to loose my camera we got smart and took a disposable so pictures will actually have to be developed. I hope places still do that...

This is the "before" picture, I guarantee you this was dramatically different to the "after" picture. I thought it would be a good idea to drink "3 buckets" and then get up early for a boat back towards Bangkok. This morning was rough and if I could have just flown off on my broomstick I would have. Instead I spent hours sitting on this pier in the hot sun waiting and waiting for a boat that "was just a few minutes late" to pick us up.

more pictures from the party soon, it really was a good and memorable time!