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A few months ago, I began alluding to (and explicitly mentioning… subtlety is rarely my strong suit) the fact that Tony & I will be winding up our trip and heading home this summer. I didn’t go into detail about why this was happening, in part because I didn’t really think anyone other than the […]

May
08
2014

“Holy Crap! That’s an elephant!” Setting down my cutlery and contorting my body around Tony’s to gaze out onto Nong Khai’s main street, I confirmed that his assessment of the situation was indeed correct. There, amidst the trundling tuk tuks and zippy motorbikes, a mid-sized pachyderm plodded down the street while roadside vendors and diners […]

May
06
2014

From the moment we arrived at our first destination in Laos, it was there, beckoning us. Strolling along the Mekong, or sipping a cold beer at one of the many riverside bars, our gazes would turn towards the setting sun, and our expressions would freeze into ones acute with longing. Often we’d peer out from […]

It may have taken us 19 months of traveling, but we finally made it to Laos. Who can say why it took us so long to finally make it to this sleepy little country—we had heard such great things from so many people about it, and yet whenever logical travel plans would send us to […]

Apr
29
2014

Wandering the streets of Luang Prabang, I realized once and for all why the old saying is “Variety is the spice of life” and NOT “Variety is the spice of Laos.” Our fifth destination in the country and often the favorite amongst visitors, Luang Prabang is a town that is meant to impress… and yet, […]

Apr
27
2014

For most travelers, Luang Prabang is the highlight of their visit to Laos. Declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1995, the town is known for its charming colonial streets, dazzling wats, early morning alms ceremonies, a fabulous night market, and an impeccable dining scene. Take a languid ride down the Mekong or hop in a […]

Apr
23
2014

20 Years Hence Turns 2!

Written by Stephenie Harrison April 23, 2014
Posted in Musings, News

A few weeks back, I was chatting on Facebook with my good friend Simona. We’ve been friends for nearly a decade at this point, having met during our final semester of university and bonded (initially) over our mutual love of Oasis. As if to make up for lost time, we crammed years worth of friendship […]

Apr
21
2014

Learning to Let Go in Vang Vieng

Written by Stephenie Harrison April 21, 2014
Posted in Laos

I strongly believe that every place we have visited on this trip has come with some kind of lesson attached to it. Whether it has been hard lessons like learning when to fold in China or positive ones like discovering just how good most people are, not a day—or destination—goes by on this trip where […]

Apr
16
2014

Just as we did in Savannakhet, part of the reason we stayed as long as we did in Vientiane is because of the food. Six days in this city is probably unthinkable to most people, but when we weren’t trying to better ourselves through the MANY historical/spiritual buildings on offer, we were trying to do […]

Apr
14
2014

We had been warned MANY times that Vientiane was a capital city like no other, but some of my Western biases run deep, and I just can’t seem to shake my preconceived notions about what a capital city will be like. Immediately my imagination conjures up visions of shiny skyscrapers, flashing neon lights, honking horns, […]

Apr
02
2014

If you know anything about us at all then you know that if there is one thing that is likely to make us like a place and stay put for a while, that thing is clearly food. Now, Savannakhet with its population hovering around 120,000 people (seriously, that is the size of the SECOND LARGEST […]

Countless people told us that following Vietnam, we would surely find Laos boring. “It is verrrrry quiet in Laos,” they said, drawing out the word very so that the r sounded like a Spanish trill. “It’s the place you go when you want there to be nothing. No McDonald’s, no 7-11s. It has nothing!” Having […]

Mar
28
2014

I honestly believe that there is nothing like food to bring people together. I think if Chewing the Fat has proven anything, it’s that just TALKING about food can be enough to unite people and make us happier. I know that every time someone reaches out telling me that they want to take part in […]

The ironic thing about being a long-term traveler is that the “travel” part of the process is soon the thing you come to like least about this lifestyle. Wax philosophical all you like about how it’s all about the journey rather than the destination, but I’m betting that 9 out of 10 travelers would vote […]

Mar
24
2014

So Long, Saigon

Written by Stephenie Harrison March 24, 2014
Posted in Musings, Vietnam

For the last month, every time I have set forth into the busy streets of Saigon, I have felt the keen pangs of grief. The pains are sharpest and most acute when I’m on the back of our motorcycle and we zip through the swirling snarls of traffic; it’s when I feel most alive and […]