Archive for 2013

Travel: Selfies (part 8)

Welp, this will be the last installment of selfies from my grand Asia adventure. I’ve already admitted to being restless this week and I regret not holding on to that feeling of freedom and zen I had when I came back, but maybe with a little bit of inner focus I can get back there. Enjoy and let’s cross our fingers for an even bigger adventure in the coming months!

Day 41 – when conducting your own walking tour around Ho Chi Minh City, it is customary to stop and act like reindeer outside of the shops in the fancy part of town.


Day 42 – hello world, this is mags reporting in from Hoi An, Vietnam


Day 43 – I think when people fall in love with cities, they really just fall in love with who they are in that city. At least, that’s how I feel about Hoi An. I know it’s not my widest/brightest smile, but I’m just in a happy haze/daze.


Day 44 – Last night I randomly had dinner with a man from Hong Kong who lives in Paris and sells books. Then I met some Germans and drank snake wine and whisky until 4 AM. I love the adventures you find when you travel by yourself.


Day 45 – motorbike adventure to My Son and Marble Mountain.


Day 46 – Merry Christmas from Vietnam


Day 47 – it’s been a while since I showed you my tiger face. This is my tiger face.


Day 48 – oh ya know, just your standard lion dog guardian.


Day 49 – well, this was awkward at the Ethnology Museum in Hanoi


Day 50 – In Vietnam, motorbike is the only way to travel.


Day 51 – back to life, back to reality. Hanoi > Bangkok > Seoul > DC. See ya on the flip side.


Day 52 – that’s me back in DC after nearly 2 months of being away on the most amazing adventure. Last selfie of 2013 and to complete my journey. It’s definitely bittersweet, but I’m ready for 2014 and to figure out the other pieces of my life puzzle.


And if you wondered what I did with all those selfies, well – I made myself a little Flipagram because travel really is about discovering your selfie! You can watch it over here (because I’m too impatient to try and figure out how to embed it here!).


Travel: Selfies (part 7)

Special edition of my travel selfies coming at you with 10 featured below. It’s a funny old thing being back here in DC – there are days I miss being out there and on my own and other days I love the normality that the city gives me. For now, I think I’ll just live happily in the in between.

Day 31 – last night out in Bangkok with the crew and this crazy gal, Janie.


Day 32 – Andrea arrived in Bangkok! Off to Cambodia the next day.


Day 33 – Finally left Thailand after a month and made it to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Sorry for the weird smile, children were asking me for milk.


Day 34 – exploring Angkor Wat


Day 35 – what happens at the silk farm, stays at the silk farm. unless of course, you buy something…which you should, to support Angkor Artisans & Cambodian culture.


Day 36 – crazy day warrants crazy hair and Dammit Doll. Left Siem Reap at 9 AM. Made it to Phnom Penh 12 hours later (it’s only meant to be a 6 hour journey).


Day 37 – everyday at dawn and dusk, people gather around the city and do aerobics for all the world to see; shakin’ their groove thang to Katy Perry. Phnom Penh is currently in the lead with zero fucks to give.


Day 38 – went to the killing fields and S-21. It took me a few hours to digest everything I read and saw, but I’m really sharing this photo so more people can learn about Cambodia’s recent horrific history. Just as shocking as the genocide is that it never made it into a single US history lesson. So why should you care? Here’s why: “Keeping the memory of the atrocities committed on Cambodia soil alive is the key to build a new strong and just state…and preventing a new Pol Pot from emerging in the lands of Angkor or anywhere on Earth.” So go on, educate yourself, and be good to one another.


Day 39 – 20 million bikes and it feels like we’re playing a twisted game of Frogger every time we cross the street. Must be Vietnam.


Day 40 – right before Andrea and I crawled 100 meters through the Cu Chi Tunnels.


Travel: Selfies (part 6)

You know the drill, enjoy the ride.

Day 26 – Got caught up in the curse of Railay. It wasn’t pleasant, I was 1 of 25 that was violently ill. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone!


Day 27 – 36 hours later and I finally felt a bit better, but the curse of Railay is not to be taken lightly. Just a bit more hammock relaxation on Koh Phi Phi to get a bit more strength.


Day 28 – Koh Phi Phi boat party!


Day 29 – Sweaty Betty does the viewpoint hike over Koh Phi Phi


Day 30 – Ferry, bus, and a night train back to Bangkok. Long old travel day…


That last photo still makes me yawn every time I see it!

Travel: Selfies (part 5)

5 more selfies from Asia coming right up:

Day 21 – long tail boat to the floating bungalows in Khao Sok National Forest. Wind blown and loving life.


Day 22 – Weird party at the lake house where things definitely got weird.


Day 23 – rocking the VIP suite with some lovely ladies in Railay!


Day 24 – inappropriate fertility cave is inappropriate (and a good laugh) – Phra Nang Beach


Day 25 – just after rappelling don the side of a cliff. Did I mention I’m afraid of heights? Yeah, really pushed the limits today.


Travel: Selfies (part 4)

It may be 2014, and I may already be back in DC…but that doesn’t mean we can’t all still enjoy some selfies!

Day 16 – on the ferry to Koh Phangan


Day 17 – that one time we to a party at Eden and things got messy. Gotta love the body paint!


Day 18 – Eden aftermath – lots of unexplained bumps, bruises, and even a dog bite. Yeah, I don’t know either. Clarification: that’s not a dog bite on my face.


Day 19 – Happy Thanksgiving from Thailand! There was no turkey, but I did have a nice chocolate shake in a tiki hut, overlooking Haad Yuan.


Day 20 – Left Haad Yuan, Koh Phangan and on our way to Khao Sok, via the “sexy bus”


Goals: 2014 and beyond…

Well hello there and welcome back! That’s my big Asia adventure all wrapped up, but I still plan to share the rest of my selfies with you. They’ll be sprinkled in over the next month, so stay tuned;  but in the mean time, I thought I’d share my 2014 goals and reflect back on 2013.

First up, 2013 – let’s just take a quick peek at all that was accomplished:

  • 12 adventures of 2013 (with the last 2 months dedicated to Asia!)
  • 20 books done and dusted with a few left in progress
  • Ran a race and proved to myself my knee still works!
  • Completed a new dog training course
  • Completed a year of Happiness Project journaling
  • And only left 1 item on my DC bucket list (American History Museum, you will be visited soon!)

You can view my full list here.

There were a few bits that were left undone, but on the whole 2013 was an amazing year. Yes, there were some definite rough patches (ahem, September/October), but Asia gave me an incredible new perspective on the world and on myself. I don’t know if I can possibly be any more thankful to the people I met along the way that truly made it the trip of a lifetime!

So with that perspective, I’m diving head first into 2014 and have never been more excited for a new year and a fresh start. Yes, I would have loved to continue traveling, but as a friend once said to me…it’s okay to float, just don’t drift. And if I had kept traveling, I think I would have just been drifting. There is so much to build and carve in 2014, that the blank slate is liberating, terrifying, and exciting all at the same time.

With that said, you may notice that my goals are a little different to how I’ve approached them in the past. For the past 2 years, it’s been more about creating a more fulfilling life here in DC with very specific items, but for 2014, it’s more about ME and figuring out where my adventure-filled life will take me. So here you go, my 2014 hopes, dreams, and goals

  • Define and improve my career
  • Complete final knee surgery & run a 10-miler
  • Complete year 2 of the happiness project
  • Attend 1 music festival
  • Travel to at least 3 international destinations
  • Say YES to everything…
  • Read 25 books
  • Complete DC bucket list

Yes, I realize that some of these have been approached in very broad terms, but it’s not because I don’t know what I want, it’s because I’m leaving all doors open. So here’s to 2014, and as is customary, here’s this year’s motto:

Live for the story

It might sound odd, and when I tell you it’s from Doctor Who you’ll think I’m a nerd, but the following quote was a true driving force for me while I was in Asia and I truly walked away with some amazing stories.


Travel: Selfies (part 3)

Me again, checking in and sharing 5 more selfies from my great Asian adventure.

Day 11 – 750 baht worth of drunk ideas (but sober execution!)


Day 12 – floating markets at damnoen saduak


Day 13 – some days you just need a break from the craziness of Bangkok. Dammit Doll agrees!


Day 14 – catching the night train to Surat Thani with my new FNEZ family


Day 15 – turns out the railroad was flooded due to some crazy rains. Stuck in Chumphon for 12 hours, may as well have a Leo. The life of a traveller is so hard…


Currently blogging from Vietnam, but there’s plenty more adventure to come! Stay tuned friends 🙂


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