Location: Calgary, Canada
Well...I'm home now. I realize that nobody is probably checking this anymore, and that's ok. I needed some closure, and if anyone else did as well.....I hope you enjoy!
Been home for a week now and although some things are very very welcome...it sure is different! What I really liked about coming home were the simply things....my bed, having new clothes, a warm shower, and seeing family and friends. Other than those, it has taken some getting use to. The cold and dryness in Calgary is really a test of the will. While traveling my hair grew back, my skin felt better, I never had a hang over, and I could eat and drink as much as I wanted and still lose weight (lost1 0 lbs and drank beer every single day)!!!! If you think I'm exaggerating...go to Asia for a couple months...and see how the sun, humidity, food and stress free life has an effect on your appearances.
On top of that, it really seems a bit drab here. Don't get me wrong, it was so good to see all of my friends, but no one really had the same excitement in their breath or jump to their step as you see everyday while traveling. You meet sooooo many people, and everyone of them is excited about life and can teach you something new. Traveling is really a world university....you learn so much. Especially the dumb Saskatchewan boy who is a bit naive as to the rest of the world.
I don't want to paint the wrong picture.....Canada and Calgary has a lot to offer. We have a safe, happy, comfortable society....and it is one of the best places to live on earth. I just miss the pace of life I was use to. New people and adventures each day...not knowing (or caring) what the next day will bring.
Everyone has to come back to reality though....and I am excited about starting the next chapter in my life. Let's not kid anyone....30 is just around the corner and I have a few things I want to accomplish in the next short while.
Anyway...I know this isn't to exciting, and probably no one will even read it...but I wanted to close out my thoughts and give a one last kick at the can.
Take care everyone....I hope everyone gets to do this once in their life.
Location: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Hey everyone....sorry that I haven't been on here in a while.
There was only a few last days on the islands, and I wanted to spend every minute enjoying the sun, tours, and new friends. We are leaving today...to good old Bangkok. Have to pick up our new suits and do some shopping, hopefully it is a better experience this time. We both got fitted for two tailor made suits before we left Bangkok last time. They will be ready for us when we get back there. Rolfe and I can't stop drooling at the thought of them and can't wait to see them.
We are taking a night bus...only 14 hours of hell...hopefully we can sleep. After many flights, airconditioned rooms, and massages we have pissed away all our money and forced to backpack it for real. haha The night bus saves us tones of money plus you don't have to rent a room for the night.
meh.....maybe one more massage before we leave this afternoon.....
Koh Phi Phi is quite the island. Completely opposite as Koh Lanta......this island is Cancun....thousands of young people, beautiful beaches, and expensive shit.....
I've managed to have a bit of fun here nonetheless.
I went diving here, and besides skydiving, it was one of the best experiences of my life. We were all hoping to see Manta Ray's....
Well we did, and it was amazing. The first dive we were able to swim with one for 65 minutes. It played with us...circling and swiming 1-2 two feet from us! Apparently they like the bubbles. To put this into perspective the Manta is about 5 meters in width and one of the number one animals to see underwater (besides maybe the Whale Shark). My dive instructor has dove 1500 dives and only caught a glimpse of one. They usually pass by or maybe stay and play for 10-15 minutes. This one was there from the moment we went under, until our last breath (litterally our last breathe....a few of us ran out of air under water, just to get the most time with it as possible). I have a video that will shock even the experienced eye as my body is beside this thing....3 feet way....and I am maybe 1/8th his size. We are stuck motionless, weightless staring into each others eye and trying to figure each other out.
Our second dive consisted of 5 Manta Rays at once!!!!! All circling us......wow.
I haven't dove since as I can't top that......
Other than that we have been doing some island trips/snorkling, etc. We stopped by "the beach" yesterday....it was beautiful, just like in the movie, but it had about 300 people on it....not quite the same effect.....
Oh.....I guess I should update you.....was thinking of waiting to do it in person, but..............wait for it...............I got a tatoo....hehe. I absolutely LOVE it.....
no worries...it's nice and hidden and I'll never regret what it is.
No Canadian flag, or scooby doo : ).....it is a symbol and reminder of this trip, and to always remember how happy and clear headed I am.....
What is it? Well...that I may wait to show in person.....I designed it myself though.
Other than that, we haven't been doing to much besides probably drinking to much and tossing the disk around on the beach.....
I hope you are all doing well...and speak to you soon as I'm home in 3 days. Holy f$#k.....it's all coming to an end....very very quickly.
I arrive in Calgary on Sunday February 3rd on Air Canada from Vancouver...on flight number AC216. I arrive at 5:10pm.
Would anyone be willing and able to meet me at the airport? It would be nice to see a warm, friendly face......
Take care.....see you soon!!!!!!!!
Location: Ko Lanta, Thailand
Ok...so I totally forgot about a funny thing that happened.
While we were in Cambodia, Rolfe and I set out to shoot some AK47's and M16's......let me back up first..... Since Rolfe has arrived we have both been taken "for a ride" sort to speak...quite a few times actually. Yeah, we are the new white kids on the block, and they rip us off left, right and center in Thailand. For example, everyone tells you to stay away from the tuk tuk's on Ko San Road in Bangkok right? Because they take you from place to place and get credit from these jewlery shops and tour agency's for bringing u there....
Anyway, so we catch a cab (out side of Ko San Road) down to the Grand Palace (or something of the sorts)......well after a quick lunch, we run into this very nice and helpful gentelman who tells us that it is closed for the day BUT he can arrange a tuk tuk to take us to the standing Budha, a second temple, AND a tourism agency that specializes in cheap accomodation bookings (apparently only the local Thai's use this place for their holiday booking b/c it is 50% the cost!!). An the best part is....it won't cost us anything!!
Well....how could you pass up a deal like that?
.....you see where I am going with this eh.............
So 4-5 hours later as we are going to our third travel agency and I tell Rolfe to jump out of the tuk tuk at the next stop light as this f$#%ker isn't taking us back to our hotel anytime soon.
Poor Rolfy still doesn't know what was going on....but got out of the cabbie nonetheless. This was around the same time he says to me "Neuls.....we gotta get out of this city, I can't stay here anymore"....haha
Ok...point of the story is: we have gotten taken a few times to say the least.
Back to Cambodia:
We wake up bright and early to do the AK47's and along the way the tuk tuk driver tells us that we can buy "gas" to blow up out there!!! We soon realize that he meant we could buy a propane tank and shoot a ROCKET LAUNCHER at it....and blow it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well my eyes light up brighter than any Christmas tree I've ever seen and 3.5 seconds later, we pull into the nearest "gas" station. After I negotiate a fair price (got it for $45 dollars...they were asking just under $50 originally...yeah, didn't do so well....), I buy this 3 to 4 foot tall propane tank (Apparently you can't buy the small one as you may miss it....and you only get one shot). Yeah....they saw me coming a mile away.......
So, we load this thing up....imagine, two white guys driving in the middle of Phnom Phenn (capital city of Cambodia) in the back of a tuk tuk (which is basically like a golf cart) with a 4-foot propane tank sitting in our laps; at 9:00 am. haha. Everyone was on there way to work and were passing us with a smile on there face. Not a happy smile, more like "haha, you got another one eh?".
We arrive at the military base camp....agian the guard that opens the perimeter gate and lets us in has this funny look on his face. Meanwhile Rolfe and I are salivating at the idea of me shooting a rocket launcher at this propane tank in the middle of no where and watching it blow up to all smithereens (is that even a word?)....
So we get there and they say that it cost over $200 US to shoot one rocket.....christ almighty!! Didn't see that coming..... And they kinda got you by the balls now, because what am I gonna do with a 4 foot tall propane tank? lol
There was no way at this point I was ready to drop 250 dollars to do this, and I finally convince them to buy it from me for 15 bucks.....
Frick....the hotel we stayed in was only 20 bucks a night......I spent $30 on nothing. AND still had to pay for my turn to shoot an AK47.....which was pretty fricken cool nonetheless.
Thought I'd pass that story on.....
Cheers to all!
Location: Ko Lanta, Thailand
Ok, so I wanted to give an update, which was inspired by a few lovely emails received from you...thank you, you know who you are....
And, which I'm not sure if I've already mentioned, as Sean mentioned...the best thing about this site is that you donb't have to read it if your not interested, unlike sending out a mass email.
So...rock climbing in Railey Beach....hopefully you have gotten a chance to look that the pictures...this activity is a must for anyone in Thailand. Rolfe and I will probably even go back as we didn't have enough time there, and totally loved it. There is a great vibe on Ton Sai Beach...full of backpackers, and full of climbers from beginners to extremly mess up in the head skill level. lol Poor Rolfe didn't get a chance to do as much climbing as he would have liked...he didn't eat much, so was weak, and the Thailand bug was starting to slow him down. He is living what I did in Cambodia...grumbling stomach, pains.....and yes plenty of bathroom visits. If you have ever been to SE Asia, you understand.
So the fricken guy has actually made quite the name for himself over here. WE have ran into 3 seperate groups of girls along the way over the past week or so, and each one of them (separetely) have commented on how he reminds them of Shaggy, off of Scoopy Doo!!!!!! They laugh there heads of at him and he leads them on....it is so fricken funny. The people here just call him Shaggy now...that's it (the bitter side to this is that I'm referred to as Scoopy doo).
Here in Ko Lanta it is veeeerrrryyyy chill. What we were looking for no doubt, but it still was a bit surprising when we saw how chill. I think 80% of the backpackers has made there way to Ko Phangan for the full moon party that starts in 2 days. I'm glad we arent there....just would be 20,000 young drunk people partying thier heads off. Ok....a part of me wishes we went there....haha...
The good thing about Ko Lanta is that it is beautiful, we are living cheap and there is suppose to be great diving. So tomorrow I'm gonna check out what all the fuss is about, and I think Sean is going to do a 4 day course to get his Open Water Certificate. Should be fun.
"Till next time....keep fit and have fun"
Location: Ko Lanta, Thailand
Hey guys....we just arrived in Ko Lanta....and I loaded some fun picutes of us rock climbing yesterday in Railey Beach....(wicked fun).
No time for an update right now, but hopefully you enjoy the pics!
Location: Phnom Phen, Cambodia
Hi guys....thanks for all of the emails, it is great ot hear about what is going on back home. first off....this keyboard sucks so you are gonna have to read through all the spelling errors and mistakes : (
Rolfe and I are in the capital of Cambodia today, Phnom Phen. We took a bus here yesterday from Siem Reap....not without a few stories from there though!!!!
Angkor Wat was everything you could have hoped for...it exceeded my expectations. I loaded some pictures trying to give you a sense of the buildings and beauty....but they don't do it justice.... These were built back in 1100AD, and still are amazing sites that the rest of the world has yet to top.
Enough of the boring historical crap....we went out the last night in Siem Reap....this time to a local disco bar called Zero One. Dance, hip hop and techno music filling the place, but you haven't heard any of the songs...all local.... The place is jammed back with Cambodians dancing like its 1989. Rolfy is in heaven...dancing up a storm..... 3 minutes after we walk in we each have 5 girls on us asking us to dance. Don't get to wierded out.....I realized later that they were probably all hookers.... "do you love me?" they constantly asked....as they battled for your attention and pushed the other girls aside. "No....no I don't love you at all...matter of fact....can you please let go of my arm?"||:"|
If I ever lost Sean....just had to scan the room...you could spot him from any corner as he is at least a foot taller than the rest. haha....got picutes of that. Although limited pictures as every time you pulled your camera out, a guard got very upset and made you put it away.
Cambodia overall is actually a pretty safe and good place. Siem Reap has went through a major overhaul and with the millions they are making off of Angkor Wat...it is actually quite nice. With that said the people here are mostly extremely poor. YOu cannot go through an hour of the day without someone begging for money. They fight for it too!!!!! If there are 3 pineapple ladies...they will push and fight to get your business. Cabbies wait outside the bus stop to get your attention....One legged men and women beg uncontrolable for a dollar..... and I swear to god that the children are all taught english at a young age, and pulled aside to get special training in guilt. I have bought milk for mothers, gave sandwiches to children and even bought a few of them lunch. We have so many guide books, postcards and random memorabilia that I hope we did what we could.
Today everything hit home:
We visited the killings fields and the genocide museum. Wow....I had no idea that not more than 20 years ago there was a government that exterminated his people here (well, didn't know until I read up on what there is to do in Cambodia about a month ago). They tortured and killed more than 1 million people...some estimates have it near 2 million... Basically he wanted to kill anyone who was educated (teachers, engineers, intellects, etc.) He did this so the country would consist of peasants and farmers...therefore fastracking the country to socialism.
There were killing camps worse than Germany...and this happened in 1977!!!! Once they found someone educated they would tourture and interrogate them. This would get a signed confession that they were part of the CIA or communist party, and then they would find anyone related to them so they could kill the entire family. This was so no one would know it was happening (and no revenge). They trained and brainwashed the youth to carry out these aweful deeds, and the powers that did this still haven't been procecuted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!They smashed babies against trees, and smashed heads together to save bullets.
We saw the massive graves where hundreds of people were burried: bones sticking out of the ground....skulls everywhere....this was a bigger genocide than Hitler!!!!!!
It is a sad day in this world when something like this is allowed to happen in our day of age.....and governments do nothing. Although most of the people in Cambodia didn't even know this was going on.....
It really frustrates you to experience this....
Tomorrow we leave to the islands of thailand....it will be nice to get back to that life again (but with that said, wouldn't take Cambodia out of my trip for anything)....but we only have a couple weeks there, so may want to stay longer.....
I know I'll want to stay longer, and the bad thing is that I can.... Although to calm a few family friends, this was the first week that I have seriously wanted to start my next path in life. What my desires are, and what I want to do. I feel excited to start them and hope that I can keep my spirit and energy level this high when I get back home. I feel clear headed for the first time in a long time.
Everything happens for a reason....you just have to trust that this wisdom will move along at its own peaceful pace. Once you trust that, life is a whole lot easier.......
Sorry that this blog wasn't inspiring or funny....it is not a day for that.
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Not really time to give an update here....just a quick one to say hi and let you know that some new pictures are up...hopefully they explain themselves.
Lots of sight seeing, traveling...and one crazy night.
Take care all