23 December 2007

The Night before the Night before Christmas

It's December 23rd and I am in Bangkok.

Since I last posted, I traveled Cambodia for 10 days, finished my last day of work in Bangkok, attended the office Christmas party, and went to Chiang Mai and back. As I write this, I am in in bed in the Bangkok condo. Tomorrow I take the bus back to Pattaya for Christmas with friends. On Boxing Day I fly to Phuket, where I will board a boat for a 4 day scuba excursion in the Similan Islands. From the 30th until January 9th, 2008, when I fly home, my schedule is wide open. Somewhere in Thailand.

All of which is Very Exciting. But I am homesick. Very much so. This will be my first Christmas away from home, and I find that notion very, very hard. To all my friends and family, I miss you terribly. I miss the comfort and familiarity of home, wearing sweaters, hugs, opening Christmas stockings, the wind, rain, and snow, curling up with a good book in front of the fire, catching up in coffee shops, making phone calls easily, feeling cold - all of it. I travelled halfway across the globe to discover how much I love home. A good thing, methinks.

I've had lots of adventures here and met great people and even some Very Intrepid Explorers. All of which I'll have to write about another time. Meanwhile, here is a small selection of photos of my most recent travels (unfortunately, blogger will only allow me to upload a few).

Have yourselves a merry little christmas, everyone. See you soon.



Getting my Open Water Diver certification in Pattaya.
Beside me is Tom, one of my instructors.

Family photo.
Some of the best people in Thailand: Aquanauts.

Muay Thai Kickboxing at Lumphini Stadium.
Tom from the UK, the Champ (all 135 lbs of him), and me.

Taking in sunset at Angkor Wat.

With Gary and Adam from the UK.
Founding members of Very Intrepid Explorers (VIE) - "We find shit."
at Beng Mealay, a remote temple in a recently cleared minefield some hours away from Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Steps to Doi Suthep, 14th century Buddhist wat atop a mountain in northern Thailand.

Monks enjoying the view from the top.