Thursday, August 8, 2013

We're Baaack!

Ok fine, we've been back since Tuesday night. Cut me some slack though...we've been
partying with our family and then we slept until 1230pm yesterday. Probably the 
longest I've ever slept in my life, but I'm cutting myself some slack since we
did just travel for 2 days straight with sleep only here and there.
This is all I've got for you...a little warm up for all the
posts I intend to get around to about our SE Asia adventure!

Here's how we traveled:
One guy, one girl...the Stanley crew! A backpack for him and one for her, all with just enough 
clothes for both building a sport court and leisurely travel. No hair dryer or straightener, 
no special beauty products for me or shaving supplies for Ty. No joke, just makin' it by with
very little! We had rare use of the Internet, only for FaceTime and emails to update family
and friends. Although our last two days we splurged and soaked up the free wifi at our
guesthouse. Who would've thought that became such a luxury! But when living with
the basics, our trip became just us and SE Asia's beauty for 6 whole weeks...
something truly amazing!

Backpacker's lifestyle
Let's just say life becomes much simpler when you live with the "needs" versus the "wants". 
Or I suppose I should say that things get interesting. Yes, definitely simpler, but very interesting...
beards and 'staches grow longer than they ever have before, everyday showers extend to
one or possibly more days in between showers depending on water availability, perhaps you
get lucky enough to only get a "baby wipe" bath, looks become a thing of the past, and
that stench that lingers from time to time...well it isn't just following you, it just may be you! 
Gross, I know! You don't have to tell me twice.

Week 1 Beard: Raleigh beach, Thailand

Week 2-3 Beard: Champasak, Laos...rural dirt road bike riding!

Week 4 Beard: Kralanh Province, Cambodia...making cement for the sports court

Week 5-6 Beard: Bangkok, Thailand...last day, heading to the airport

Living Situations
We lived partly as a tourist, lived and worked in a village to get the local idea of living, trekked 
into the northern Thailand jungles to live near a village, stayed in some interesting places, 
and splurged here and there for some guesthouses with nice amenities like good water 
pressure and a great flushing toilet. Trust us, they become a hot commodity!

1.5 hours outside Chiang Mai, Thailand in the jungle...our "pad"

Rural Champasak, Laos...where we play cards under a mozzie net!

Luang Prabang, of our nicer places we stayed.
Toilet, sink, shower all in one small square with the bum gun
hidden off to the side of the putting tp down the toilet, sorry!

Food & Illness
We primarily ate traditional Thai, Laos, and Cambodian/Khami meals. However, on occasion 
we did eat some Western food or not at all because of some unfortunate circumstances such 
as losing rice. And by losing rice, I mean I literallty lost my rice on numerous accounts. 
One just so happened to be into a plastic bag while driving on a mini bus to Southern 
Cambodia. Can't say it was my shining moment in life, but definitely my first. I had nearly 
3 solid weeks of feeling ill, had some improvement for 10 days, then back to the full GI issues 
for a day. Fortunately I got one week before leaving SE Asia with good health...I sure 
can't complain! We were able to never let it stop us from doing anything. Since when did GI 
issues ever stop me from's been a way of life for me anyway, right?

Fresh market fruit!

Pineapple huts off the side of the road in a rural area of Laos...
found this pineapple hut street when we got lost on our moto.
Great little find when the old lady lets you sit under her hut to get out of the rain, 
cuts up the fruit right there for us, and then enjoy every bite of it!

How I survived when I was sick...craved rice cakes!

Anybody interested in a cockroach snack?

Or how about quail eggs?

Maybe some dried fish instead?

The infamous spicy chilis in SE Asia!

Our favorite sweet corn market lady!

One of our favorite street foods in Cambodia...fried rice and herb patties with special sauce!

That's all I've got for you at the moment. I have thousands of photos to go through, so
feel lucky I haven't gone through them all or else we would all have SE Asia overload!
Perhaps I flood you all later with the photos when I've picked out my favorites ;-)

Glad to be back to the wonderful Pacific NW smells, earthy people, good showers,
even better toilets, our own bed, and this non-humid weather.

Welcome back Stanwees, welcome back!