• Maya Leeds

Updates from the road

If you are an active follower of Urban Outsiders, you may have realized there has been a lull in content. Sorry about that. I was attempting to move away from posts that just capture our day-to-day activities and towards more interesting posts that would capture observations, opinions and the like from our travels. In doing so I lost some of ‘writing juice’ as Will would say. I’m hoping to correct that as we head into the 2nd half of our time away.

Now that we are over 2 months in, with 2 months to go, I figured a little Q & A would catch you up on what we’ve been up to over the last several weeks and how our trip has been going overall. Enjoy!

Where have you been so far and where are you now, I can’t keep track?

After starting in Japan and then spending a few days in Hong Kong, we spent a month in Vietnam. From Vietnam we took a bus to Cambodia, where we spend another 3 weeks. After Cambodia we came to Thailand, where we now are.

We are currently in Northern Thailand. At the moment in a little town called Pai, which was described to us as a backpacker, hippy haven, and to be honest I think that description is modest. It’s a little odd how overrun the town is by Westerners, but that being said, it is a really cool town, surrounded by incredibly scenery.

What have some of the highlights been?

This is so hard to answer. Every country we’ve been to has been really unique and even different cities within each Country are not alike. It’s impossible to compare Cambodia’s little fishing villages and islands to Siem Reap, for example.

Some of our favorite places have been those that are a little less traveled, like Kratie, Cambodia. Kratie is a little town along the Mekong River. We took an 8 hour bus ride there from Phnom Penh, but it was worth it to get off the beaten path, so to say. We also got to go Kayaking on the Mekong, which turned out to be REALLY hard, so that was cool.

It’s of course impossible to compare those experiences to something like visiting the temples of Angkor. Angkor Wat specifically, but all the temples there are breathtaking. Seeing sights like that that are nearly 1000 years old (still about 96 years to go, but still... ) can really make a person feel insignificant (at least for me), but also has a profound positive impact overall.

So what are you doing every day?

Every day is different. Heading into this trip I expected we would establish more routines for ourselves, and though we have some, they are loose. It’s hard to adhere to a rigid routine when sometimes we need to catch an early bus, or if breakfast is only served until a certain time where we’re staying.

I would say an average day consists of some activity (that could be anything from just exploring streets of a city, to visiting temples or notable sights, maybe hiking) in the morning, and then down time in the afternoon (writing and reading time or working out).

The down time really is important, in my opinion, to make a trip like this last as long as it does.

Are there any places you chose to spend more time than you expected?

We definitely spent more time in Phnom Penh, Cambodia than most travelers do. Coming off our activity filled time in Vietnam and between some of the longer bus rides within Cambodia, we found Phnom Penh to be a great place to recharge. We also stayed in a great part of town that had really good food, coffee and an amazing gym. I know that sounds silly, but it was new and air conditioned, had a nice pool and facilities. One day there and we were like new people.

How have you been planning, do you know where you’ll go next?

We’ve continued to be last minute with plans and booking, which overall has worked out really well. Traveling that was is not always easy, and has been a learning experience for me. It can sometimes feel like we are constantly thinking about where we are staying or how we are getting to the next location, but ultimately the ability to change plans last minute makes it worth it.

With 2 months left we are starting to plan our time out a bit more. There are many trade offs while traveling and recently it feels like we’ve made some of those decisions that were weighing on us. For example, we decided to spend more time in Northern Thailand rather than going to Laos, which we had always thought would be a part of this trip.

So, yes we do actually have a good sense of where we will be for the next few months. We’ll officially head to Indonesia after Thailand, and then make our way to Europe from there for the last few weeks.

Does that mean you know when you’ll be home?

It sure does. We have a ticked back to NYC on July 19th! We land very late that night, so July 20th is the date anyone with an Android phone can start texting us again. After that you can find us in and around Brooklyn or on the Cape!

That’s all for now. Hope to keep the updates coming your way!


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