In a few hours, we will be departing Bangkok for Australia, arriving four months to the day from our wedding. Our Chinese visas remain unstamped in our passports. Nepal and India remain unvisited. But as the cliche goes, they’ll still be there for our next trip.
Our journey across Asia started as a bit of a passport-stamp collecting exercise. As a kid, I stared at maps and atlases imagining what was there. Years before starting this trip, I got a poster-sized map of Asia and told myself that after I finished the PhD, I’d go see it all, even if I had to go it alone.
Then some things happened. I didn’t have to go it alone. Instead, I got married, to a supercool chick who was not only willing to follow me far outside her comfort zone, but who was nearly as excited about it all as I was. The post-PhD trip turned into a combined post-PhD trip and honeymoon as we travelled through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma and Laos. Traveling together has taught us a lot about each other and provided plenty of bonding experiences. Not to mention anecdotes we can annoy our friends with by repeating ad nauseum for years to come.
So even though our Asian adventures ended a mere 40km from the Chinese border, and no, I didn’t get to try the Vang Vieng “space pizza”, ride an elephant or go trekking in the Himalayas, it’s hard to be too disappointed. What Janelle and I gained is on a whole other level from collecting photos and passport stamps, even if we will jump at the chance to show off our Republic of the Union of Myanmar visas.
And you know, we did get to see and do some pretty awesome shit.
(Anyway, I’ve got a journal full of notes and a couple of memory cards worth of photos to go through when we get to Aus/Canada, so rest assured, you haven’t heard the last of our trip just yet.)