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Don’t get on a bus in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic if you plan on getting anywhere anytime soon. Or at all. If you do, be ready for a real test of your patience. For a country that suffered 9 years of bombing by the U.S. and 25 years of civil war, the brightness and friendliness of the culture is astounding. Even more surprising is the fact that Beerlao, the [...]

From Bangkok, my journey had already taken me on two separate night buses and a 5-hour truck ride. I was now perched on the roof of a pick-up, bouncing along a dirt road, attempting to return the grin of an old Burmese villager who was casually holding a live chicken while I tensely gripped my own inanimate luggage. My destination? A refugee camp located along the Thai-Myanmar border that, for [...]

A month or two ago I would never have described any day in Nakhon Pathom as “normal”, but as the days pass what used to be strange and overwhelming becomes routine and comforting. I can tell this slow transformation of my perspective has occurred because I no longer feel tense or unsure about how to carry out simple daily tasks. This might seem like a small victory, but it’s pretty [...]

One of the greatest joys of traveling in a foreign country is the near-constant flow of novel stimuli—new sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that can be both refreshing and overwhelming, but always exciting. However, unless you put forward some effort, it is easy to miss out on another equally important aspect of experiencing travel. Meeting and getting to know people from backgrounds totally different than yours is far more invigorating [...]