Fried Rice Odyssey
We set off on this Fried Rice Odyssey
with only a general plan and one reservation for the first stop in Hong Kong.
The general plan included the countries we wanted to visit and the
general time frame of approximately one month in each country. We had two
large bags and two day packs and an abundant selection of guide books, Lonely
Planet, etc. We absolutely could not possibly have imagined all the interesting
people and experiences we were ultimately to enjoy.
This was an adventure into the unknown, for us, the
uncharted, and we were true to our commitment to wander off in any
new direction that tickled our fancy. For much of the time we were
on the move but there were also periods of "down time." We never
really grew bored or deeply home-sick. We took up SCUBA diving on this
trip and found that every new destination offered unique and challenging
dive opportunities. The study of the Indonesian language offered
both a challenge and an opportunity for me and occupied much of my free
time over the two months we were in Indonesia. With a digital video
camera we also spent a lot of time gathering pictures to record our experiences.
And finally, with a small laptop we were putting together a journal
of our pictures and experiences to load onto a web page for the family
and friends back home. The work that went into the web page proved
very useful because it forced upon us a certain discipline of reflection
We took along a fairly large medical kit and thankfully
had to use it only a few times. We were most fortunate I think, in
having so few health problems for a trip of this duration. The biggest challenge
was to be away from our kids and home for such a long time, but we strategically
planned a family reunion in Australia half way through the trip.
We tallied up the total mileage (air, land and sea)
on our trip and found, to our amazement, that we had logged in 40,239 miles.
And beyond all the pictures and memories, after 6 months of travel
we find ourselves changed people, influenced by what we've experienced.
Our appetite's wetted to see and experience more of the world. Our
daily lives back home seem to regularly trigger associations to our travels.
It's worth noting again that there were very few Americans traveling
in Asia during this time. And now with the more recent bombings in Bali,
very few people, young or old, are wandering the world. A true global community
of backpacking youth, who's travel expenditures largely benefited the local
economies, who respected local cultures and were roving goodwill ambassadors,
are now a target. How unfortunate for everyone.
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