Saturday, April 21, 2007

Post Trip Analysis/Lists

Things I can't wait to do when I'm back in the USA:

Especially my feet. That might take a few tries. I have flip flop marks on my feet. The bottoms are black. And shave. My legs were too ripped up from the trek to bother. UPDATE: I just got a mani/pedi. My feet are restored to their former glory. Sort of.

-Have skim milk.
And Grape Nuts. If there was cereal for breakfast anywhere, it was stale Corn Flakes. I generally have the same thing for breakfast everyday. Grape Nuts and skim milk. Next time, I'm gonna bring Grape Nuts. See List: Next Time.

-Speak lots and lots of English. With people I've know for more than five minutes.

-Use my cell phone
Apparently my phone was taken off the network or something when I was gone so any messages that were left during that time and I haven't gotten and after about an hour on the phone with Sprint, it looks like I won't get them. Ever.
UPDATE: My cell phone works. But all the data was cleared from my Treo. How many more days with Sprint on this contract?

-Pet Paris.
UPDATE: There is a lot of Paris to pet. My cat got fat when I was on vacation. I'm gonna let a mouse free in my apartment to get the girl moving a bit more.

-Lift Weights. Weigh myself. Update: I lost weight on this trip :) And muscle :(
UPDATE: Just had my first session back at the gym. Ughghghgh. Heavy.

-Drink ice cold fresh water.
UPDATE: I love water!

-Drive my stick shift car. Wash my stick shift car. Two weeks sitting in NC it's probably green with pollen.
UPDATE: A cell phone chatting, BMW driving Duke undergrad backed into my car in the BP parking lot. My brand new 10 month old baby Jetta is banged up. Reconstructive surgery to take place in early May.

Next Time/Lessons Learned

-Currency. Have lots of it. And then some.

-At the very least, learn now to say "Hello" and "Thank You" in every language you will be encountering.

-Have a Visa and a Mastercard. And don't bother with American Express.

-Pack More. I'm probably the only person who can say this. I packed light, too light. Even the customs lady was like "Um, how long were you gone for?" Note in the pictures that EVERY DAY I am wearing the same shorts/pants.

-Aspirin. And something stronger than Benadryl for sleeping. Like Ambien.

-Bring at least one nice outfit.

-Bring a t-shirt with your college name, hometown, or something. Seriously, it's a great way to get someone to start a conversation with you. In Patong, I noticed someone wearing a TarHeels hat. I was like "Woohoo, NC."

-Drink more water.

-If possible, give more than two weeks to plan.

-Travel with Carleton profs and alumni.

-Easy on the Pringles.

Things I totally did right and will totally do again

-Quick dry clothes.

-Clothes with pockets that zipper. Even if the full pockets make you look funny in pictures.

-Buy books knowing that you'll leave them. Buy more and leave them for other travelers.

-Use a really good camera. In fact, after this trip I've decided to buy a DSLR.

-Do sit ups everyday.

-Bring things you're OK throwing away if they get too nasty wet and smelly.

-Plastic bags. Big ones. Small ones. Medium Sized.

-Keep a blog. A helluva lot easier than sending postcards and e-mails that all say the same thing.


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