Thursday, June 12, 2008

America, I'm home.

I'm back. I'm home.

I don't know what everyone was on about. I've been home nearly a month and half now and I've yet to experience any "reverse" culture shock. My re-adjustment to America has gone extremely smoothly. The only exception being my inability to re-enter the realm of full-time employment. I returned to America on the 1st of May, landing in San Fransisco to stay with my good friend Eric Persha. Also awaiting me there were John and Kyle. I couldn't have asked for a better group to welcome me home to America. For me the weekend was, simply put, amazing. The ability to hang out with three people who have known me for so long, to not have to tell back stories, for them to just know. It felt as if I had left for a long weekend and returned. There was no awkward moments, ones you may expect after not seeing people for years on end. It was the perfect way to enter America on the right foot; with old friends, making new stories and telling old ones. With all my other friends it has been the same. I count myself as very lucky.

I do apologize for the lack of blogs regarding the final 3 months of my cycle trip. I do plan on posting them. More so for my own behalf, than anyone else's. But I do hope you all check back here in a months time to see my blogs regarding Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

The trip itself was a large reason I have had little problems re-adjusting to life in the west, it was a gradual re-introduction. Coming across travelers throughout my journey and continually having to adjust to a new place, people, and scenery daily for 5 months. It made coming home less of a shock than it would have coming from such a community based culture (the Philippines) to such an individualistic culture (America). The trip proved to be the perfect buffer.

"So what is the next step?"

That is the million dollar question. The one I wince at every time I hear. I wish I fully new, but knowing may take all the fun and anticipation out of this exhilarating time. Currently I'm looking for work in the community outreach, economic development fields in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Why MN? Well my girlfriend, yes, I said girlfriend, is living there. She will be finishing her Masters in Public Health sometime at the end of next year. Seeing I need to find work somewhere I figured I'd focus somewhere close to her. So that is my current step towards my "next step."

I would love to hear from all of you, please feel free to contact me on my email; or on my cellphone; 414 759 5379.

Its great to be home.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Yet again...

Yes folks, yet again I am far behind on my blogs. To come, I don't know if sooner or later, will be blogs on; my fun in the sun in Thailand, including a fantastic live aboard dive trip, madness in Burma, its not always fun to have the military point guns at you, and the fantastic Temples of Angkor and the emotional trials of walking through the Cambodian killing Fields.

In the mean time I have uploaded a large number of photos to my facebook account, so please go check them out, unfortunately you have to sign up to facebook to view them. Sooner or later I will get those pics on here as well!

At the moment Tintin and I are in northern Laos and thus far Laos has been my favorite country of the trip. Its been stunning and I've heard it only gets better. I have a little over three weeks remaining on my visa before I will be entering Vietnam on the 13th of April. My trip has changed with regards to its final destination and I will be heading home from Hanoi, Vietnam, on the 2nd of May. Just in time to avoid the Midwest winter...I hope.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

East-coast and up. Mainland Malaysia.

After leaving Singapore, we headed up the East coast of Malaysia. After spending almost a month already in Malaysia (Borneo), and with it being the wrong time of year to visit some of Malaysia's diving destinations on this coast, we decided to "cane it" up the coast. Both Tintin and I had visions of Thailand in our heads. The beaches, a rest from biking, Diving, and of course, cheaper beer. We wanted to get there. Fun in the Sun was waiting for us.

We made the trip from Singapore to the boarder of Thailand in 10 days time, taking one days rest in the small surfing, ex-hippy, town of Cheriting. The riding started off okay, but by the last half of the trip up the coast the scenery began to really become impressive, and we finally started biking through smaller, back water, villages. All that I had hoped the bike trip would be was arriving.

In the city of Terengganu we came across a gorgeous Mosque. It was made of glass and shimmered off of the water. It was by far the most impressive religious structure I had yet to see in Asia and Tintin, who has spent plenty of time in the Middle east, said it was the most impressive Mosque he had ever seen.

Malaysian food isn't my cup of tea, however Indian food is everywhere here, and I absolutely love that! I think for most my time through Malaysia I must have eaten at least six roti canis each day, an Indian flat bread that is crisp and fluffy all at the same time. You get a side of curry sauce with each one to dip it in, I could simply live off these without every complaining. They are pure bliss. Below is a number of them being prepared. Before they are cooked on the stove they will be thrown in the air, much like pizza dough is. It is fun to watch but better to eat.

We did however discover Kickapoo Joy Juice. Its impossible to describe, but it is an excellent soft drink/juice. However it has devilish influences on Tintin.

Riding up the coast, we really got into a groove of biking. Day in and day out. It went smoothly and we had little to no problem with either of our bikes. The heat and rain stayed at bay for the most part. I really feel that on this stretch I became truly bike fit. I would find myself tired at the end of each day, but far from exhausted. As I mentioned in previous blogs, our daily routine is rather mundane, however I love it. It is the first time since High School that I have done this much exercise day in and day out and it is having a fantastic effect on my energy levels and my state of mind. I just feel good. I wake up each day genuinely excited to bike. I couldn't ask for much more from the trip thus far...