Sunday, December 29, 2013

This blog is in a very sorry state of affairs and I have every intention of updating it with more information about what I experienced in Europe, but right now it's 4:30am, I have a full day ahead of me with things I've put off until the last minute as usual, and I board a plane at 9pm to Bangkok, Thailand.

I came back from Europe earlier than I had planned for a few reasons, but I just knew that I wasn't ready to settle down and go back to work in the city yet.  All I can say is that I am so incredibly fortunate to have parents that accept, even though they may not agree, with my choice to continue traveling.  I can't imagine a better time to travel - when I'd ever have less responsibilities and attachments in my life.

Currently, January is pretty well planned out with the following rough itinerary:

December 31-January 4 : Bangkok
January 4-12 : Burma (Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay)
January 12 : Bangkok
January 13-19 : Koh Phangan
January 19-27 : Koh Samui
January 27-February 6 : Chiang Mai

After that there's talk of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, but no set plans yet.  Ideally we'd make it down to Indonesia and potentially Australia, depending largely on my financial situation and if an opportunity to work comes up.  When I say "we", I'm talking about my traveling companion, Sam Fannin, who I know from Davis and Theta.  We bonded over yoga and broken hearts and decided we needed to get out of the country and that's pretty much how this trip all happened.

Part of leaving is a little painful.  Hearing my friends talk about their New Years plans makes me a little sad I won't be here to spend it with them.  Each year we grow (geographically) further apart and it's hard to get everyone together.  We recently had our annual holiday party and it made me realize how much I love and appreciate having all these people in my life.  I'm truly amazed that we've all stayed such good friends through the last 8+ years.

It's also always very difficult to say goodbye to my grandparents, who have always been and still are my best friends and role models.  And while it will definitely be hard not being able to talk to or see them as much as I'd like, I was always inspired by their traveling stories and I think its time to get a few more of my own.  This blog is less for my personal need to voice my experiences, and more so they can be connected to me and what I'm doing over there.

Special shout out to both Howard Zalkin and my 10gen team from Schwartz, who both gave me Amazon gift cards which paid for my new travel backpack!  It's probably about time I get to putting things in there so I'll end the rambling.  I'll leave with two quotes that have really affected me lately - thank you for reading thus far and I will try my best to keep this updated as often as possible!




After the cruise ended, the six of us went back to Istanbul (where we'd been for only a day), and spent a few more nights there.  I absolutely fell in love with Istanbul and in retrospect, wish that I could have studied abroad in a place like that just because culturally it was so much more rich and different than Barcelona was.
Again (and for the next few posts), I'm going to post a few pictures and hope that eventually I'll make it back to delve deeper into what made this country by far my favorite of the ones we visited.

MSC Divina

After working at Schwartz MSL in San Francisco this past summer, my parents were gracious enough too let me tag along to the cruise they had planned with a group to celebrate OWA's 50th anniversary.  On October 1st we, along with another family of three we traveled with, left for Venice and spent a few days there prior to boarding the MSC Divina for a Mediterranean cruise.  In lieu of a detailed description of each port excursion, I'm going to post a few of my favorite pictures from this section of the trip since I currently have some rather imposing time constraints (boarding a plane to Southeast Asia in 17 hours).


I created this current blog to document my European travels, which clearly didn't happen.  But I think it's important to pay homage to my previous blog that I kept when studying abroad in Barcelona:

I'm so glad I have those memories in writing because now everything seems like such a blur.  Things are still pretty fresh from my Eurotrip so hopefully I'll still be able to document all the important parts now so I can make some room for my future travel stories.