If there’s something my blog ISN’T is a travel blog. It’s not because I haven’t – or don’t – travel, but because I feel you really need to have a special talent to write about such an experience. Traveling is three-dimensional, it’s taste-touch-feel and many times I wonder if I would have the ability to accurately describe travel experiences and the rich adventures that are related to it. I just feel that, personally, I’d repeatedly use the words “awesome” or “amazing” or “unreal.” Yes, there is always the option of pictures and in times past, I’ve very well incorporated them in my blog posts pertaining to travel in the past. So truly, trust me when I tell you that I’m not doing you any favors when writing about places visited and sights I’ve seen. I leave that to the experts (and there are many, many far more interesting experts in the blogging world today.)
Having said that, I WILL be breaking my own rules in exactly two months. I, of course, guarantee the overuse of rudimentary words such as “weird,” “stoked,” “amazing,” and “awesome,” and despite this, the main reason I want to write about it is because I want to be able to go back and REMEMBER as much as I can!
Here’s the story: when G and I got married last year, I was in the middle of school (post-grad) and we had literally ZERO time for a real honeymoon. Seriously, I had started school on a Tuesday, the following Saturday we were getting married, and the following Tuesday night (a week after starting classes) we took a few days off to travel to New York City. It wasn’t exotic, it wasn’t relaxing and it wasn’t by any means the type of honeymoon one imagines with the mere mention of the word “honeymoon.” It served its purpose though and to be honest, it was the first time we had been back to NYC – as a couple – since we first met, so it did mean a lot to us to be able to go back to the city where we first met so many years ago (even if the romance didn’t bloom at that time). It was also the first time I had gone back since moving to Chile and it meant the WORLD to me to be able to see some of my best friends. Our mini-moon actually looked a lot like a mini-move to lovely Manhattan, complete with our (temporary) apartment in the Upper West Side, dinners with friends, date nights over cocktails, strolls through Central Park, visits to Whole Foods and, of course, tummy-filling brunches whenever possible. Yeah, actually now that I’m thinking about it, this mini-moon was pretty f*cking kick ass and though it was short, it was an awesome trip (see? Overuse #1 of the word).
However, said awesomeness (overuse #2) a honeymoon does not make. Yes, we’re lucky to have gone ANYWHERE and even more so, lucky to have had the chance to go to such an amazing city (arguably the center of the universe, really) and spend five days chillin’ like city villains. But the thorn in our side has, since the wedding, forever been that we didn’t really want a wedding and we don’t really know why it went down the way it did. In fact, though it was cool and we were happy to share, in the end G and I are much simpler creatures when it comes down to it and we’ve decided that a far better way to have spent that money would have been with a crazy, money-is-no-object, trip somewhere. Since we didn’t do this and we instead gave into peer pressure (provoked and self-induced) we’ve always looked back on our wedding hoopla with a wrinkle in our noses.
ALL OF THIS CHANGES IN ABOUT TWO MONTHS, PEOPLE.
While we can’t change the fact that we did do the wedding hoopla and we can’t change the fact that we didn’t take a “real” honeymoon to some exotic place immediately following the wedding (though, seriously, who cares?) and really, there’s not much we can do about either, after almost a year and a half post-wedding, we decided to embark on the adventure of a lifetime (so far) with regards to travel: we’re off to Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.
Yeah, I said it.
Are we excited? Is Obi-Wan Kenobi a legendary Jedi Master? YES HE IS!!!!
This trip planning was no easy feat. We actually visited two different travel agencies and explained to both companies what we wanted and though they took down our information, wish-lists, emails and numbers, neither of the two agencies called us back (Chilean customer service at its best – I guess there was zero interest in the travel agency fee). So what other option did we have besides researching, comparing and booking every aspect of our trip ourselves? And though it sounds exotic and awesome (overuse #3), when we first sat down to plan our Southeast Asian itinerary, we were at a loss. I mean, there were so many places we wanted to visit and we knew that this trip would seriously be a once-in-a-lifetime chance (seriously speaking when will we EVER have the chance, time, resources, etc to do this again in the future? Who knows?!) – the pressure was on. We were determined to research as much as we could so that we could make the most informed decisions possible regarding places we wanted to visit.
So we sat down … where DID we want go? Where in the world did we ache to visit? What place (or places) were always tucked away in the back of our minds, filed under “SOMEDAY?”
Thailand was a no-brainer for us. We’re obsessed with Thai food, we’re equal parts scared and excited to visit the seedy underbelly of Bangkok (which we imagine is in all parts of the city), and in general, we’re quite eager to learn about the culture. And since we were already thinking Thailand the next no-brainer was, of course, the lovely, infamous and perhaps touristy beaches of this fascinating country. And though we’re fully aware that we aren’t going to find quiet, serene, untouched-by-humanity beaches, who can resist wanting to visit this?:
Next on the list was a suggestion from G – Kuala Lumpur. And really, though it’s probably a city, full of sophistication, bustle and smog, as any other city in the world can be, again, I ask you again, who can resist visiting this?:
The final destination changed from one month to the next during these past few months of planning. When all of this hoopla started, we were 100% sure we wanted to visit Tokyo as well. Then we decided Tokyo was too far so we contemplated Singapore and for a few months, this was a confirmed destination. Then we decided that if we were going to travel the distance, we should go to a far more cultural place than Singapore (not that this country itself isn’t cultural but, in the end, we were talking yet another city.) So we contemplated Vietnam because I’m obsessed with the idea of spending a night on a Junk, cruising along Halong Bay (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) – call me crazy:
That was then discarded due to limited time and distance involved. I’m a little sad about that because, truly, ever since I read an article on Vietnam and its development post-war, I’ve been enchanted by this lush, green country and I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to visit it. But the options are limitless and I’m not about to convey even an ounce of discontent because the destination that has officially been decided on, booked and all, is Siem Reap, Cambodia. We’ll be there a couple of days but it’s enough time to visit the main attraction (which I’m personally most excited about):
Post-trip all of the images above (of the places we’ll be visiting, of course) will be replaced by my own personal pictures. At least that’s the idea though I doubt my pictures will be half as lustrous or profesh-looking as these. I don’t think my post (or posts – who knows?) about the trip will be the most influential, mind-blowing travel writing you’ll ever encounter but I’ll be more than happy to share it, especially because, as I mentioned, I will look back on it fondly. I know what it’s taken for us to finally get here and all that was involved. I’m so thankful-slash-excited-slash-overwhelmed (but in a good way) about this trip, it’s nuts. I can hardly believe it’s an opportunity that’s awaiting us. So much so, I had to write about it BEFORE the actual trip, just to begin believing it.
But I still kinda don’t believe it’s coming up … somebody pinch me!