When Should I Go Home?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about when I should go home. I’ve been traveling for nearly 4 months now, some days I want to buy a ticket back home soon, other days I’m planning and figuring out when the best time to go to Africa is. When do I know when to home? I used to just think to myself: Well I’ll go home when I’m too homesick or when I run out of money, but I realize that it was just an easy way for me to say ‘I don’t really know when I’ll go home’.

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Falling Behind on Blog Posts

I am falling behind on writing about my travel adventures. My latest travel post is from my time in Kerala, India which I visited between November 27th-30th. Since then I’ve been to a couple more cities in India (Ooty, Mumbai), left India on December 7th, then went to Thailand for 10 days and spent some time in Krabi and Bangkok. After that I spent an amazing week in Vietnam over the holidays, where I stayed with a close friend’s Dad, who runs an English school for locals. I got to meet so many amazing people there who took me around the local city, and it was one of the most fun weeks I’ve had on my trip so far.

Now I’m writing this from a Starbucks in Tokyo. I’ll be spending 3 weeks in Japan before heading to China to spend Chinese New Year with my relatives for the first time since I was 5!

Here’s a brief digest of my travels since my Kerala post. There’s so much that I’ve learned and experience that I want to write about and so many more photos to share but I don’t think I’ll be able to catch up while I’m in Japan because there’s just so much to do and explore. I’ll have a TON of downtime in China though as I’ll be staying with family for 3+ weeks with not much to do. I plan to catch up then.

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What I've Learned After 3 Months of Travel

It’s just passed the 3 month mark of when I first started this trip around the world. It feels strange to write that out because, my old life feels like such a long time ago, but on the other hand I also can’t grasp the fact that I’ve been on the road for 3 months already. I’ve now been to New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Nepal, India, Thailand, and I’m currently writing this from Vietnam (I’ve fallen a bit behind on blog posts but I’m hoping to catch up soon). Between those countries I’ve taken 14 individual flights, countless buses, trains, autorickshaws, subways, and met people from all around the world. I’ve also experienced a ton of new things and learned a tremendous amount about myself along the way. This is a quick retrospective on my trip thus far and a subsection of some of the things I liked, did not like and what I’ve learned about myself. It’s not an exhaustive list because there’s just too much.

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Ferry Through the Backwaters of Kerala, India

My second stop in India was in the far south, where I went to the state of Kerala and spent some time in Kochi and Alleppey. This area was so different from Delhi, there was greenery and palm trees covering every inch of the countryside and overall it felt more relaxed than the bustling New Delhi. I took my first train in India and ended up on the wrong train, but it actually worked out better in the end and I got to take a ferry through the scenic backwaters to see some of Kerala’s famous countryside.

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A Walk Through New Delhi, India

I flew into New Delhi as my first stop in India and spent 5 days in the city. I was expecting it to be more overwhelming than any of the other places I’ve travelled to so far: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Nepal, but I don’t think anything could’ve prepared me for New Delhi. There was so much going on in the city, on every street, and for a first timer in India it was total sensory overload. The amount of people, culture, merchants, shops, traffic, poverty and pollution packed into this city was overwhelming for somebody coming from a place where you’d be lucky to see more than 2-3 people walking down the street at any one time. By the time I left Delhi I felt like I had gained a new perspective from having spent some time in a place so different from home.

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My Experience Flying Out of Lukla, the World's Most Dangerous (and Chaotic) Airport

The Lukla Airport is a small landing strip carved into the side of a mountain in the Himalayas, between other giant mountains. It is considered one of the world’s most dangerous airports because there is no room for errors takeoffs and landings due to the massive mountains that surround the airport on all sides and a runway that leads right off a steep cliff.

On top of the geographic hazards, the logistics of booking a flight out of this airport can be bewildering to foreigners and even the locals. There is a running joke amongst the people here that the airport runs on the ‘Nepali System’ or ‘Nepali Time’ and I never understood what that meant until I got delayed for 23 hours and spent a whole day watching the fascinating chaos that unfolds at the Lukla Airport.

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My Everest Base Camp Trek

Trekking to Everest Base Camp was the only thing I had booked and planned for on this big trip before I left California. It was a magnificent 2 week trek full of challenges and experiences that pushed my limits. During my time on the mountain I set a lot of personal records: I went without any internet for 11 days, went without meat for 2 weeks, without a shower for 11 days, slept at 5164m (16,942ft) above sea level and reached 5364m (17,598ft) above sea level. I also walked the most I had ever walked and saw some of the most majestic mountains and valleys on earth, as I limped my way to and back from Everest Base Camp.

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Photo Journal of Kathmandu

I spent a total of 5 days in Kathmandu, before and after my Everest Base Camp Trek. It was the first place I went on my trip that was vastly different from home in terms of infrastructure and average wealth, and it really put into perspective how rich the US, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore were in comparison. Here’s a photo journal of my experiences in Kathmandu:

I stayed in Thamel which is the part of Kathmandu where all the lodging/hotels are and is considered the 'touristy' part. It was cleaner and more organized than the other parts of Kathmandu I saw later.

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