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Beyond Our Conestoga

Our time dwindles.

VIETNAM | Sunday, 28 March 2010 | Views [514]

Funny I know to say, only a month more to go. May sound a lot for some, but to us it means the trip is winding down. Amazing to think! Everything has been go-go-go, the time has flown and I feel not enough time for reflection along the way. I think I will have lots to write still once we return. I know there is much I haven't written on the blog about what we have done. Some things are more a report though. It is the experiences that I think are the most interesting stories. But as the experiences are what we come for, I don't want to be typing the whole time and not out there.

I find myself not as enthralled in Vietnam. I am not sure if this is because of genuine not as intrigue for me or if this means I am tired. Very tired. 4 months is a long time. While I wouldn't take it back for the world, because we have been on the constant move, it has been a lot to see and do. I think I am on sensory overload at this point. It may sound strange to hear, but Eric and I both feel like it hasn't been a vacation at all. Yes, we have seen lots and enjoyed ourselves. We may not have the stresses of everyday life back home, but we have the SE Asian backpacker stresses.

Everything we do, everywhere we go, involves so much work. Where to go? What route to take? How to get there? How much? Is that a deal or are they ripping us off? Is it worth it even if they are? How much time till the visa runs out? Ok, we can get there, but can we get back? WHere will we sleep? CAn we sleep here? Do the windows close? Does the door lock? Is there a fan? HOw noisy is it? What about mosquitos? What will we eat? Where will we get water? SHould I buy this now, it's great, but that means it get's carried on my back from here on out? Do we take the easy or hard route? How much is the language barrier going to hurt us in certain areas? Being lost. Being unsure. Being hot. Being sweaty. Being dirty. Everynight, a little unease in the back of the head, even as tired as you may be. Should I wash my clothes tonight, or tomorrow? Do we need more toilet paper? Can I eat this? Should I eat this? Is it worth the risk? Is this bus going the right way? When do I get off? Where do I get off? Ok, I am off, but where am I?

We felt most like a 'vacation' in the end of Laos and through the last week of Cambodia. I believe this is because in Laos we were understanding the language more and the ease of everything got expentially better this way. In Cambodia at the end, the guesthouses and hotels miracously got better out of no where. TV, Cable, Hot water, Fridges, Free internet, comfortable beds, clean sheets, quiet halls. Also while in Angkor the best way to get around was hiring a tuk for a day. So everywhere else we walked and walked, but here we just hired someone to drive us around for the day. Made for some nice more relaxing times. ALso our last two days in Cambodia were spent on a small fishing shore town. We bicycled and ate great crab. That's about it. Very nice.

And let's face it, no matter who you are, how strong your relationship, traveling like this breaks you down to the bare bones sometimes. Handling our own stresses together has had its bumps, but as always, makes us stronger and more understanding in the end.

What do I miss? Good toilet paper! I've never been too picky in the past, but how much I now appreciate the even basic toilet paper back home. I miss milk. I miss cereal. Now I could feed this craving somewhat here, but I would have to shell out a lot for it. I can wait. Plus, I enjoy the noodle bowl breakfasts. And for the last month about anyway, we have been around baquettes and pastries. Now that part, getting pastries everyday does feel like a vacation. I miss not having for one day to not go out into the blistering sun. I miss being able to just relax for the afternoon and not stress about our transportation for the next day. I miss drinking tap water. I miss good toothpaste. I miss a good chair. I miss effective laundry detergent.

I say these things not to sound like a drag, but to inform the reality. THere is so much I love here and will miss when we go home. Once we go home, those things I miss I will have every day. Who knows if we will ever have some of the things we have learned to love here ever again. Good sticky rice. SPecifically that from Vieng Phouka, Laos (no exporting). CAmbodian sandwhich. We believe which came after the famous Vietnamese Banh Mi, but yet we feel is much better. Cheap massages. Cheap fresh fruit and fresh fruit juices and shakes. Motos (driving one that is--not so much dealing with them every step you take, road or no road). Good food night markets. Cheap fresh seafood...oh the cockles!

**post written 3/30, not posted until 4/8

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