The emotional tidal wave commenced May 23rd, my last day of work at Chungdahm. I cried, a lot. I was really happy. I cried a lot, again. I felt vindicated. I felt weak and vulnerable and like I had made a terrible decision. I felt like soju was an excellent choice. I felt like it was not as I cleaned my apartment out that following Saturday morning. I had finished work, left myself a few days to play in Seoul, then was on my way to what promised to be the ultimate fun and carefree 5 weeks of backpacking through South East Asia that a girl could ever ask for! Was it? Not quite, but it was pretty great. A learning experience. A lot of failures. Some fun mistakes. Some not so fun. Some expensive mistakes. Lots of laughs. Good food. Great people. Strangers who became friends. Friends who became awkward. Shared dormitory rooms. Lots of them. A deep deep vein of confusion and no sense of belonging, toward the end of the 5th week. An undeniable excitement to return stateside. To see my family, my friends, my dog, the people I love so much and had missed so badly for the past 2 years.
I really want to write a comprehension and cohesive piece on each country I visited. And maybe I will at some point in the near or possibly distant future. But judging by the fact that it is October 21st and I finished my travels July 2nd, I am going to go with the easiest possible choice and that is: pictures. And who doesn't like pictures, anyway? Books that have pictures probably sell at much higher rates than those without. So, without further ado. The highlights.
Saying goodbye to my people sucked. I mean, it really, really, sucked.
Last day at Crossfit.
Last day with some of my favorite kids in the entire world.
Last night with the people who made this experience tolerable at the worst of times, and at the best of times, unforgettable.
Fast forward a few days to the Philippines.
And then Singapore, where my insane extravagant fabulous father put us up in the MBS for two absolutely confusingly awesome evenings.
Kuala Lumpur. Land of monkeys.
The South of Thailand. A dreamy sweaty paradise.
Bangkok. A dreamy sweaty wasteland. My kind of city.
Phnom-enal Cambodia. Ugh, sorry.
Laos. A fascinating country, in every form of the word.
Last stop: Vietnam. Good people, good food, better vibes.