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Showing posts from November, 2018

Top things I have learned while packing for 2 months of travel. In a backpack.

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Top things I have learned in the last several weeks while packing for an extended trip to Thailand.....

1. Backpacks. Holy options.

 I went to REI to check out 'real' backpacks and was immediately appalled at the cost. $200+ for a BACKPACK?! Geesh. Over time I have sat on the floor of more than one REI store while 'playing' with backpacks. Taking the time to zip and unzip every pocket, check out every crevice, and explore every gadget the pack has to offer. More than once I have needed help from REI staff to figure out how to put it all back together again. One REI employee was amazingly helpful- he explained everything I needed to know and everything I needed think about when buying a trekking pack... and he sat with me on the floor to physically show me what he was talking about with each pack. Talk about amazing customer service! I felt pretty dorky sitting on the floor of the local REI store in the middle of the afternoon while other customers didn't even bat a…

How many miles did you ride this year? Well, I went around the world and then some.... Literally

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While I am hopeful that the riding season is NOT over yet, the brilliant white layer of ish on top of what was once magically green grass, limits my hope just slightly. Last weekend we rode over 100 miles on Saturday - granted, it was not HOT outside, with the right amount (4) layers, it was tolerable and rather enjoyable. Our destination was a local bike shop that was hosting a Mileage Competition in which several of the girls and I joined earlier this year (March). But instead of just 'ripping' the 25 or so miles to the bike shop, we took the longer, scenic route. Why hurry? I met my friend at her house and as I was pulling up, I saw her bike parked out front, and there was some random raking leaves in her front yard. She has a gorgeous (some kind of) leaf tree in front of her house that turns the brightest red every fall and I just love looking at it. She, on the other hand, despises said tree because it gives her daily gifts she has to clean up (leaves), which as she says …

Solo Travels are the best travels. Thailand here I come!

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My pursuit of this next adventure - Backpacking Thailand...solo.. is well beyond anything I have ever done. It has been a learning curve already, but I am beyond excited! People have asked me LOTS of questions, some have provoked further research and others have just come to me along the way. FAQ:
How will you know where to go and where to NOT go?  I've been planning this informally in my dream world for the last 7 years - and far more in depth in recent months. I've researched everything from safety, travel methods,  health needs,  health risks, places to avoid, what to avoid, when to go, what to see and do, what's backpacker friendly, and specifically solo female friendly and safe. I've researched the Thai culture and nuances related to culture. I have been studying the language to ensure that I can at least get the basics once there ('where is the bathroom' help' "Where is..."  'How much'... 'do you speak English')...

Won't i…

FAQ: Why I am going to Thailand Solo.. What I am going to do.. and how to hopefully afford it!

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Just a girl with a dream of backpacking Thailand for the past 8 years and that dream is now in motion!  Many people have asked me "Why are you going to Thailand.. alone?! And what are you going to do there?"
Why am I backpacking Thailand for 2 months solo?  I am an independent person, but kind of get ‘stuck’ in the familiar when it comes to travel. Years ago, after a difficult time in life, on a whim, I booked a bus ticket to Chicago for a long weekend, solo. I just needed to literally get away.  This was my very first trip on my own and I was on a mission to prove to myself I could do it. I booked a ticket one day and the next day I boarded the MegaBus in Minneapolis, destination Chicago, with no place to sleep. Along the bus ride, I found a hostel in a unique part of Chicago and booked it – sight unseen. I got off the bus at Union Station, found a train to Lincoln Park, and walked to my hostel. The moment I opened the red door I was in love. The place was chill and that is…