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A memorial of when I first started this story and flew away from Grand Rapids on a one way ticket . . .
Its more remote locations and far foreign cultures all while he was only 19 intrigued me and strongly fueled my desire for travel, history, and what has essentially become my life now . . .
. . . it was a quick boat trip across the Mekong into Laos, where I exchanged 12000 baht into kip and became a multi-millionaire . . .
I love the reactions caught in other members of the group in this picture. Some seem to have a look of awe at their surroundings. Others (Sarah in particular, on the right) seem underwhelmed . . .
Under construction for 2 years before I ever arrived in this city, this crossing was dubbed the “Intersection of Death” by several coworkers . . .
Unlike Muay Muay, the lethargic and apathetic resident dog of the cafe, this one was friendly full of energy and wanting nothing more than to play with a toy twice its size . . .
International Women’s Day
In the days before mankind’s gaze grew vaster and our gods fled to higher and higher peaks until no realms existed beyond our sight but the unseeable, our gods used to embody the aspects of the world around us. . .
When I returned to Bangkok, I brought a number of books and clothes with me. In one of the pockets of a jacket I hadn’t worn in over a year, I found a note written by someone I don’t remember saying, “Moving forward”. It sounded like a good idea.
The actual highlight of the trip was flowing down the river around the Island that is Ayutthaya. Laying at the convergence of the Chao Phraya, Lopburi, and Pa Sak Rivers, this trip takes you around various riverfront temples as the sun is setting . . .
So that big blue thing under my feet? It’s my travel backpack and it is one of the best purchases I think I have ever made.
. . . along the walk to the Nest, we were heckled by an incoherent gaggle of bar crawlers costumed for the night in the guise of armours made of cardboard.
I have to say, out of the hundreds of dogs I have seen here, this is the first one I have ever seen walking the edge of a building rooftop . . .
As our front door didn’t actually lock, the apartment was a virtual revolving door of interesting characters. Aside from myself, the other permanent residents of this 6-bedroom apartment were 2 Romanian brothers, a Peruvian cook, and 6 Jamaicans . . .
Stepping out of the plane in Culebra, past the man sleeping under an airplane wing and the airport’s beer stand, the colours became brighter . . .
Another highlight of my recent time in Ayutthaya, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is the largest intact structure from the original city.
. . . the Little India of Singapore is loaded with what would be considered Bollywood bars. Despite being in a setting far from its origin, these bars draw in their ethnic crowds in for a form of their traditional dance. And they were exceptionally welcoming to any stray foreigner . . .
. . . this beach is littered with the remnant driftwood of the decayed woodlands of the Canadian Shield. In the winter, the sand and the ice and the shards of decaying driftwood jet out like oversized splinters on a frostbitten skin . . .
On the far western edge of the Death Railway, I was walking the tracks on what I thought was an abandoned section of rail . . .
Waving me to the side of the road in their Hawaiian shirts and straw hats, tokens of the water festival, they had pulled me over simply to ask me to join them for, of all things, a Vietnamese beer . . .
Standing upon the rooftops of the dark and real city, brighter towers still stand higher and further. It is halfway there. On the top, yet with something more burning itself into your horizon. Something more to reach for . . .
This outpost of what is supposed to be traditional New Orleans voodoo is filled with random exhibits, which are interesting, but overall only for show . . .
Sunset makes a nice time to watch out over the city, though I have yet to be up there early enough for sunrise. Bangkok is a sprawling city in all directions . . .
Near and Far
Ahead lay the Bridge at Mackinac; the way in and the way out. And beyond that, an Otherworld.
Coming from North America, city walls are not a concept I think of much in the context of modern settlements. The only city in modern North America . . .
I travel alone. I just like it better that way most of the time. Subject only to my own whims and whatever environment I may find myself in . . . This photo is a reminder of a different kind of solitary to me. Taken, as I said, out of boredom . . .
Elements of the Mekong
Sticking with a common theme through the four picture challenges, I thought I’d recount a little tour down the Mekong River . . .
How many fully-grown people can you stuff into the back of a compact songthaew, literally ‘two benches’? People are always willing to try and find out . . .
No, that isn’t a spaceship landing pad, it’s actually a luxury hotel and resort called Marina Bay Sands in Singapore . . .
I had wasted nearly an hour travelling the wrong direction down an Isan highway. My destination was the various Khmer ruins hidden somewhere to the south. As I was already skirting the Cambodian border, my initial misdirection gave me pause . . .
Khao San Road is many things to many people . . . It’s also a 24 hour market selling the most useless trinkets . . . And a few of these stands dot the streets, offering to make fake IDs, college diplomas, press passes, and a slew of other things . . .
Roads can be rough and almost breaking both my hands while searching for the Plain of Jars in Phonsavan, Laos gave me a new appreciation for pavement.
While the ruins of Sukhothai are very well known among travelers of Thailand, around it existed several satellite cities, which are lesser known . . .
The Plain of Jars Site 1, my final stop over a hellishly adventurous day of exploring ancient ruins amidst active minefields . . .
Waking up when we neared the building, I was amazed at what appeared to be some space-aged bureaucratic megaplex . . .
Travel Theme: Escape
Leaving our passports with the Thai authorities, we were on a bridge over a stream in a literal no man’s land . . .
This shallow pit covered in decaying foliage is from some odd form of sunken grave located in the Boot Hill Cemetery of Seney, Michigan . . .
Dominating the skyline of the humble provincial capital of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand is this mountaintop temple. Visible from almost anywhere in the whole town, a series of wooden stairs lead forward . . .