I still remember the first backpackers I ever saw. It was the first stop of my big world trip, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Arriving at the hostel after our flight, exhausted already by the sticky heat and boisterous Vietnamese city life, my friend and I spotted 15 or so bedraggled western backpackers lounging in the foyer. Even at a glance, it was plain to see they werenâ€™t normal tourists. I wanted to say hi, but I was too shy.
Itâ€™s 10amÂ as I write this, so what better subject to begin the dayÂ thanÂ DEATH?
Leaving the air con cool of the hotel, we walked out into the oily heat of a Saigon evening. Our guide, a tiny 57 year old Thai woman called Lek, who seemed to hate everything Vietnamese, hailed a taxi. We climbed in and were whisked through the chaos of whirring motorbikes beneath the infinite mass of telephone lines. We arrived at the train station after dark. Continue reading
As you advance through countries, you will find that you assemble a patchwork quilt of memories. There are countless stories and moments which you take in your stride while youâ€™re travelling. Some of them stick with you forever. ManyÂ are forgotten, and the memory dredged up years later whileÂ flicking through an old journal, jerked out of theÂ subconscious by the scruff of its neck. Continue reading
I know, right? Intense title for a blog post.
Iâ€™ve been around the world a couple of times, and Iâ€™ve learned a few things. One of the most prevailing is this: freedom is a completely subjectiveÂ concept. Some of the most liberated individuals Iâ€™ve met have come from countries we view as oppressive. To illustrate this, letâ€™s compare Vietnam with the good old US of A. Continue reading
As my plane began a fairly turbulent descent and the lurch of a mild to middling fear of flying kicked in, I cranked up my headphones and put on some Rolling Stones.