“You’re Doing Travel Wrong”: Struggling With Traveler’s Self Doubt

Tranquil contemplation time is about to get a rude interruption...

Tranquil contemplation time is about to get a rude interruption…

Every once in a while, all bloggers, irrespective of our amount of experience or success, experience doubt, uncertainty, and a sense of inadequacy as to the direction and legacy of our blog. It’s a human thing: a perfect state of self-confidence is unreachable, since the wiser you get, the more you realize you don’t know.

I’ve discovered that those same feelings occur about one’s travels, as well. Continue reading

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Learning to Ride a Motorbike in Kampot

My first morning in Kampot, a small seaside town in southeastern Cambodia, found me frantically on my phone, Googling “how to ride a motorbike.” The first few search results gave me useful information such as what the throttle is, and where the brakes are, and the difference between the hand brake and the foot brake (apparently one of them increases your chance of flipping over the front of the bike by 50%), and shifting between the different gears (only it did not inform the manual-drive noob of what in god’s name the different gears do), and how to find neutral, which is apparently a process in which you press and step on and twist a few things simultaneously until you “feel” it. Oh my God, I’m going to die!

Continue reading

December 2014 Travel Summary

Hellooooo, 2015! I’ve been looking forward to writing this month-end summary. I didn’t write one for November 2014 because I only started traveling during the last week. However, December was absolutely amazing. I got used to the backpacking life, met great people on the road, found some towns that I’d love to return to someday. I realized that, while I may have a down day every once in a while, they seldom last longer than a day, and thus I don’t have to worry about it. I’m not going to do a December recap so soon after my reflection post on 2014, so let’s just get on to some figures!

Countries visited: 2 – Cambodia, Laos

Cities/towns visited: 11 – Siem Reap, Battambang, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, Kampot, Kompong Cham, Stung Treng, Don Det, Pakse, Vientiane

Types of transportation taken: 13 –

Best experience: Learning how to ride a motorbike in Kampot, Cambodia and getting lost in the surrounding countryside

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Worst experience: Feeling cheated during the Cambodia-Laos border crossing

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Favorite food: Coffee shakes at Noy’s Fruit Heaven in Vientiane. Strong, sweet, and the perfect creamy texture.

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Expenses breakdown:

Transportation $184.36 23%
Accommodation $164.97 21%
Lao visa $35.00 4%
Food $307.40 39%
Other $98.53 13%

Total spendings for December 2014: $790.27*

Average per day: $25.49

(* This number doesn’t equal the sum of all those individual categories, I think because of conversion rates between the Laotian kip and US dollar.)

I’m pretty impressed by how well I managed to stay under my budget of $30 per day. Sticking to overland transportation kept the cost of that movement down, while accommodation in this part of Southeast Asia is really that ridiculously cheap. In some places I was even able to get my own bungalow with an attached private bathroom for $5. If I don’t partake in any organized activities when I’m staying put in one place, I easily keep under my daily budget.

Looking Forward

I’m moving through Laos at a steadier pace than I thought, so I doubt that I’ll spend a full month here. After Laos, I’ll be moving into northern Thailand, and I’m thinking of doing a little different at the end of January, before heading to southern Thailand in February. We shall see, I suppose!