Frankfurt, Germany | August 21, 2005
Nürnberg, Germany | August 22, 2005
Füssen, Germany | August 25, 2005
Graz, Austria | August 26, 2005
Pliskovica, Slovenija | August 28, 2005
Maribor, Slovenija | August 29, 2005
Ljubljana, Slovenija | August 30, 2005
Zagreb, Croatia | August 31, 2005
Split, Croatia | September 4, 2005
Korčula, Croatia | September 7, 2005
Dubrovnik, Croatia | September 8, 2005
Sofia, Bulgaria | September 10, 2005
Plovdiv, Bulgaria | September 12, 2005
Istanbul, Turkey | September 14, 2005
Selçuk, Turkey | September 20, 2005
Samos, Greece | September 25, 2005
Naxos, Greece | September 27, 2005
Santorini, Greece | September 29, 2005
Crete, Greece | October 3, 2005
Rome, Italy | October 7, 2005
Ales, France | October 10, 2005
Chamonix, France | October 18, 2005
Paris, France | October 21, 2005
Delhi, India | October 27, 2005
Mcleod Ganj, India | October 30, 2005
Rishikesh, India | November 7, 2005
Varanasi, India | November 12, 2005
Agra, India | November 15, 2005
Bharatpur, India | November 17, 2005
Delhi (Paharaganj), India | November 18, 2005
Bangkok, Thailand | November, 20 2005
Chiang Mai, Thailand | November 22, 2005
Pai, Thailand | November 25, 2005
Amed, Bali | November 30, 2005
Canberra, Australia | December 6, 2005
Holidays Point, Australia | December 14, 2005
Port Maquarie, Australia | December 15, 2005
Noosa Heads, Australia | December 18, 2005
Coolangatta, Australia | December 28, 2005
Sydney Airport, Australia | December 30, 2005
Nadi, Fiji | December 31, 2005
Boulder, CO | January 4, 2006

Chiang Mai, Thailand

November 22, 2005

Wow! We're having almost as much culture shock here is Thailand as we did in India. Except it's the other way around. Everything is so clean and orderly! No one is staring at us or trying to sell us something, there's no piles of cow-plop in the streets, there's no open sewage in the gutter or trash anywhere! Most of all, and the hardest to cope with is that we now have American TV, American music, Starbucks, Burger King, McDonalds, Sony, Red Bull, 7-eleven and all the other icons of western capitalism.

Our guest house is set back from the road and filled with lovely gardens and flowers. The air is warm and sweet, and while not as clean as Colorado mountain air, it feels like it after two days in Delhi. Our room is spotless, the water is hot, the bed has a real mattress(!) and the power stays on all the time!

I don't mean to be down on India - we both were sad to leave, and will certainly go back. It's just a hard place to get used to. It's an amazing country though, and there is no doubt India has it's own culture that is totally unique and full of contrasts.

I would also like to say a bit about my amazing wife. As most of you know, Nichole had never traveled before we left for this trip. Needless to say, this hasn't been a novice travelers trip. Before we left, I was worried she might not be comfortable for 4 months away from home, through so many different places and cultures, and through the difficulties of travel. I shouldn't have worried.

Nichole has been an incredible travel partner on this adventure. We have been through days of no sleep, days of no toilets, days of no shower, and she has not only managed, she's been strong. We've had to make spur of the moment decisions about our travel plans. We've had excruciatingly long travel days (remember our Rishikesh->Varanasi epic). We've arrived in a new place with nothing to guide us but our noses. In fast just yesterday, we arrived in Bangkok with no arrangements whatsoever (not how we wanted to do it, but that's my fault). We were exhausted after getting up at 5am, but we worked together, and after the train turned out to be full, we zipped back to the airport, booked a last minute budget-airline flight to Chiang Mai (for $40 each), and called ahead to the guest house. Piece of cake. Through all of this, Nichole has been strong, patient, adaptable and best of all, it hasn't damped her enjoyment of the trip.

At the beginning of the trip, I was the one who checked the train schedules, arranged the hotel, and figured out where we were supposed to go. Now I would feel comfortable with Nichole traveling on her own and managing all that stuff herself. She can haggle with the toughest rickshaw driver, book a train in India (no small feat I assure you) and find her way in an unfamiliar city. I am so proud of her! She is a true traveler.


From: mum

Luke--what a lovely tribute to your wife. I'm proud of you both.

From: pops

so nice to have a little skypechat.... how's the life in Thailand going. So glad you are both enjoying it.

From: Maria

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope your both well.

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