34,000+ miles in 2.5 weeks through 6 cities in 3 countries

  • August 7th, 2008

Sometimes you imagine, or even go so far as to fantasize [about] an extravagant vacation, and leave it at that. An entertaining dream that you are reminded of each time you flip by the Travel channel at home, catch a glimpse of an airline ad on the side of a billboard, or find yourself staring at an obtrusive Flash promo for a vacation package on a website.

I did all that. Like the average mid twenty year old, I had only scratched the surface of traveling for vacation. I have visited California… a puddle jump away from Seattle. I had gone International. Then again, driving 2 hrs. to the Canadian border is well, like driving to Portland. I assumed that my real travels would not happen until the later half of this century.

Fortunately, my assumption was all wrong. I had a rare opportunity to travel [now]. A real vacation that would take me outside of the country and into a completely different world. An opportunity to experience food, culture, and people in three countries – Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea.

It has been a full week after the fact. 34,000+ miles flown / driven in 2.5 weeks through 6 cities in 3 countries. Sans jet-lag and body / mind fully recovered, I can now sit down and share thoughts, highlights, sights, and experiences.

Pre-departure preparation and planning

Malaria laden mosquito’s, street vendor food triggered travelers diarrhea, and extreme hot / humid weather. Call Syl and I overly cautious, but [looking back] we were "duped" hook, line, and sinker into believing that we were putting ourselves into a very vulnerable situation concerning all things health related. Not that the change of environment would have an impact, but the local Travelers Clinic did a real good job of instilling "worry / caution". "Don’t eat street vendor food." "Going outside? Apply a layer of sunscreen, a second layer of bug repellent (anything with Deet), and a third layer of sunscreen." "X country has [insert disease name], we recommend [insert medication]."

By the time we had left the clinic, we an additional $400 hole in our wallets to cover vaccinations and medications. Did we end up needing everything? Not really. Was the peace of mind worth it? Of course.

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