For the first time in almost 440 days, after a month in Thailand we've found ourselves in a lull.
Yuam River lull -
Mae Sariang, Thailand
We try to plan days of lulls, and even antsy Jen has grown fond of entire weeks of lulls. But countries of lulls? That's crazy talk.
Comfortable, sleepy, safe, relaxing crazy talk.
It's not surprising that our lull happened in Thailand. This is a really easy country to navigate. The people are really nice and even when nothing is in English it's still really easy to get by. The food is familiar because we've eaten it for the past 20 years... or at least the past three months. All the guesthouse rooms look the same. The winding tree-lined northern hills could easily be Any East Coast Country Road, USA. Every city, town, village has the thousandth most fascinating wat on the planet and the nineteenth most beautiful waterfall in SE Asia and the forty-seventh most lovely mountain peak this side of the Pacific Ocean and the seventy-second most charming little night market.
Yup, we're in a lull.
But with the lull comes the 115th consecutive day of hazy hot humid (sometimes rainy) weather, when we can't sleep even though we have to get up early the next morning for another bus to another town for more of the same. With the lull comes the time to ponder life back in the States, which is sometimes fun and sometimes terrifying. With the lull comes the desire to drink coffee in our pajamas for once, eat a green salad for once, talk to friends and family in person instead of over 1's and 0's for once.
With the lull comes the nagging feeling that we should be Out! Enjoying! Every! Moment! instead of lounging around staring at a river for hours. With the lull comes the reminder that we have no idea what we're doing after August 18th.
So we remind ourselves that the next six weeks are going to fly by, that everything we are about to see - ruins, beaches, poverty, Bangkok - will be completely different than everything we have seen so far. And then we go back to river-staring. We go sit on a hilltop in the early morning mist. We watch water buffalo TV. We make up translations to really bad Thai soap operas. We order the plain stir-fried veggies with no rice instead of another delicious meaty creamy Thai curry. We head over to the seventy-third most charming little night market. We walk 10k to see the Burma border - you know, just because.
But we also book a flight to Nepal (August 28th!). And then we book a flight to Perth (September 24th!). And with the lull comes the luxury of time to start researching totally new countries with their endless opportunities.
Right. The point of this post was to fill you in on our Year Two plan. It's been percolating for a few months now, and it's finally starting to come together. In a nutshell, here's what we hope will happen:
- July: central/southern Thailand
- August: Cambodia (possibly returning to Thailand near the end of the month for some beach time)
- September: Nepal
- Late September: (ideally) three months WWOOFing and housesitting around Australia
- Late December: (ideally) three more months of the same around New Zealand
- March: head back to the US East Coast and meander westward doing even more of the same
- May: hellooooooo again, Oregon!
Obviously this is all subject to change, with the October-June schedule being highly variable depending on how much it actually costs us to do this leg of the trip.
But now you know as much as we know... So what are YOUR plans from now until May? Come on, it's only fair!