One afternoon as I was sitting on the porch of the house we were staying at in Mae La Oop, I looked across the yard at the family’s raised wooden house and saw the grandmother of the family weaving. The grandmother was from the Karen Hill Tribe and spoke no English or Thai, only Karen. She wore traditional Karen clothing and was weaving a skirt in the tribe’s distinctive striped pattern. She was using a loom she attached to the porch and then to herself as she sat on the floor of the wooden porch.
One of the first things I noticed when we arrived at the home in Mae La Oop was that there was no shower. In the bathroom, there was a western style toilet (which was the envy of the others in our group whose homes only had squat toilets) and a concrete tub filled with water.
At first, I thought perhaps you were supposed to get into the concrete tub to bathe. But the side of the tub came up to my waist, so I wasn’t sure how to go about getting in. Sitting on the edge of the tub was a small pink bowl. I soon learned that using the pink bowl to scoop up water from the concrete tub and dump on yourself was how you shower in this part of the world.
For the next part of our journey we traveled with Rand’s students to rural Northern Thailand where the students participated in an internship. We observed and sometimes join in.
After three months of travel things are starting to show wear. Our clothes, our relationships, our mental sanity…
When we were preparing to leave on this adventure people asked me how we were planning to carry all of the stuff we would need for a year and I said, “A backpack” and they said, “Oh.” Maybe they didn’t care what we were bringing or it was too overwhelming of a question to ask. But if you are planning to ever travel long term or if you are curious about what one packs for a year long trip around the world, here is what is in my back pack. Continue reading
We embarked on a 13 1/2 month round the world trip on June 11, 2015. Here is our itinerary: Continue reading
Upon arriving in Bangkok, after a 28 hour train ride from Butterworth, Malaysia, we stepped out of the taxi onto what I not so fondly referred to as Khao San Road Jr.
Just a few blocks from the actual Khao San Road, this street had the same vibe you would find in that famous locale, mostly foreigners in varying states of drunkenness, overpriced restaurants lining one side of the street, and souvenir stands on the other. Continue reading