I’ve never actually done a full update on my status and that of the blog, but after 5 solid months on the road (Jan 9th start date), I’m thinking there’s no better time to start than now. A lot has been happening of late, so here goes nothing:
First off, here’s a quick summary of my travels up to this point:
Hong Kong – 1 week
Thailand – 1 1/2 months
Laos – 1 month
Cambodia – 1 month
Thailand – 1 week
Myanmar/Burma – 2 weeks
Thailand – 2 weeks
Malaysia – Currently
I’ve really loved how, with the exception of Myanmar, I’ve spent over a month in each country. It’s really allowed me to get to know each place before moving on and makes subtle differences between countries much more apparent. So what’s next? Well, tentative future plans include a few months split between Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (recommendations welcome), but I’m actually coming to a big turning point in my trip which is a bigger development. The people I started my trip with are now home or about to head that way. Daniel and Corey, two good friends from California that I met up with sporadically the last few months, recently returned to LA. They were always a welcome slice of home and a little break from traveling if you will. I’ll miss our monthly run ins in which we’d share some good stories over a few beers and talk about the food we miss so badly (mainly Goldfish Crackers for Daniel and myself). On the same page, Austin, my buddy from San Diego who I traveled with through Northern Thailand, Laos and much of Cambodia, has bought his flight home for mid June. We’ll be meeting up again in a few days for our last hoorah before parting ways, leaving me out here in Asia on my own. On one page, it sounds slightly lonely, but on another, I’m quite excited. Once Austin takes off, I’ll truly be completely unattached and free to take any path, all without any sort of time frame. I’ll need to get creative. One idea that’s been churning in the back of my mind is working on sailboat. I need to do some more research, but it’s possible for someone without any experience to trade daily work for room and board aboard a ship. Sounds like an awesome way to see a few Southeast Asian islands, eh?
On a different note, I’ve put a lot of time into the blog lately and been seeing some awesome results. Monthly uniques are at an all time high and pageviews have hit nearly 2,000 a week. I’m really stoked, but not at all satisfied. Along with my normal blog posts, I’ve put up a bunch of articles with helpful information. These include things like how to cross certain borders and what a normal budget should look like, etc., but will soon include tips on how someone sitting in a cubicle from 9 to 5, can set off on their own trip of a lifetime, like myself. I’ve also recently published the Southeast Asian Currency Converter for backpackers, but I’m thinking an embeddable sidebar widget is the next logical step so keep an eye out for that. Finally, I’m almost finished with a complete revamp of the photography section of the blog. Currently, I post one picture at a time, showcasing just a few favorites, but I take so many on a daily basis that this approach didn’t seem to be fitting my needs as well as it could have been. I wanted to display more pictures and gives readers a better feel for my experience in each country. Five photos can’t do that, so I felt change was in the air. Keep an eye out for the update.
So, to sum things up, the blog outlook is looking up and my travels are in full swing without a hint of slowing down. Thanks to everyone following out there, including my biggest fan, Mom.