Bugs In The Laotian Countryside

October 3, 2012

green bug thumbnail

I am not a big fan of bugs. I have gotten much better as a result of this trip, but maybe some fears only lesson and never go away. When I was in the El Salvadoran countryside I asked a little girl if she was afraid of spiders. Her reply.. “No, why would I be?” […]

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A Magical Week In The Laotian Countryside – Ending With A Village Ceremony And Tears

October 2, 2012

Smiles All Around

I spent a week in Veuntaen, Laos volunteering with Sunshine School. As I mentioned, Veuntaen isn’t in Google Maps but here is where it is using GPS coordinates. I was really excited to spend time in the Southeast Asian countryside. In Latin America I spent time in rural areas a few times, namely Yoloaiquin, El Salvador […]

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Volunteering At Sunshine School In Veuntaen, Laos

October 1, 2012

Computer Class

Volunteering at Sunshine School in Veuntaen, Laos was truly a special experience. I really wanted to volunteer in Laos and I really wanted to experience the Southeast Asian countryside. I got to experience both here. The Sunshine School’s main presence is in the capital in Vientiane. But last year they opened a kindergarten in Veuntaen, […]

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36 Pictures Of Adorable Kittens

September 29, 2012

Adorable Kittens

What can I say. I fell in love with two adorable kittens while volunteering at Sunshine School. The kittens were only one month old and it took a week for them to feel comfortable enough to sit in my lap – which happened the last night I was there. Lovely animals and so, so cute! […]

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Photo Friday – My Foreign Face And Crazy Hair: Cause For Smiles & Diaper Changes – Samal Island, Philippines

September 28, 2012

Two Smiles And A Baby In Shock - Taken 21-Sep-2012 - Samal Island, Philippines

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An Amazing 30th Birthday In A Laotian Village

September 27, 2012

Me And The Cat (2)

My 30th birthday may just be the best birthday I’ve ever had. Here’s how it went.. Breakfast By accident I got my 30th birthday (5-Aug-2012) off to an amazing start. The night before I went to a café so I could call my parents through the internet. But the speed was too slow to talk. […]

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The COPE Center – Helping (The Most Heavily Bombed) People (On Earth) Move On

September 26, 2012


Visiting the COPE Center was one of the last things I did in Vientiane. Places like this, like the landmine museum in Cambodia, are always full of inspiration, but also heavy with sadness and guilt (my country caused all of this..) COPE’s motto is Helping People Move On. In reality, Laos is the most heavily […]

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Vientiane – The Capital Of Laos

September 25, 2012

Pha That Luang

As I mentioned, it was a bit of a relief to leave Hanoi. Arriving in Laos was exactly the cure for a tired traveler. Crossing The Border The bus from Hanoi, Vietnam to Vientiane, Laos took about 22 hours, shorter than the quoted 24 hours and 30 hours you’ll find quoted on other travel blogs. […]

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Love – The Universal Language – A Story From Vietnam

September 24, 2012

My Grandma And I In 2003

On my last night in Hanoi something wonderful happened. I was couchsurfing with Van, an awesome 24-year-old woman and I got to meet her whole family. We were talking when her grandma walked up the stairs. Though she was a bit winded from walking up the stairs, she seemed in good health and spirits. She […]

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How The Happy Nomad Tour Rolls – This Website

September 22, 2012

My Location

Many people have asked me how I could just leave my job and seemingly travel perpetually. How can I afford it? How do you find places to stay for free all the time? How do you find places to volunteer? All questions I’ve received by email, and now I’m sharing the secrets in a series […]

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Photo Friday – My Happiness Clinic – Davao, Philippines

September 21, 2012

My Happiness Clinic - Taken 14-Sep-2012 - Davao, Philippines

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Hanoi, Vietnam – A Chaotic And Historic Capital

September 20, 2012

The Temple Of Literature

Hanoi was a bit underwhelming, to be honest. It’s the capital of Vietnam, its second-biggest city, and it was the last city I’d visit before heading to Laos. As I headed north in Vietnam, the people seemed to get less patient, more frenetic, more confrontational, and less respectful. And being in traffic was just horrible […]

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The Former Vietnam DMZ – Tunnels, Cemetery, And Military Base/Museum

September 19, 2012

Tunnel Entrance

The Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone cut the country in half along the 17th parallel. It was later moved to the Ben Hai River as you can’t see a degree of latitude in real life. Here is a video crossing the river from what used to be North Vietnam into South Vietnam: I visited the Demilitarized Zone […]

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Knowingly Getting Robbed On A Bus In Vietnam

September 18, 2012

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I’m sure I have been cheated out of money dozens of times on my trip. I pay the “foreigner” tax or the “gringo” tax and that’s just how it goes. Sometimes I catch a small smirk as they earn twice as much as they should have from the sale, other times I’d never know. But […]

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Anh – The Smiling Undercover Superhero Of Da Nang, Vietnam

September 17, 2012

thumbnail anh

For me, Da Nang, Vietnam conjures up one image – the smiling face of Anh. In Da Nang I arranged to couchsurf with Phuong. But she told me I couldn’t stay in her home, but rather I’d stay with a friend of hers – the founder of an organization called Tam Thien that helps kids with […]

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Hoi An, Vietnam – Asia’s Ancient Trading Hub

September 15, 2012

Traditional Hoi An Way Of Life

Hoi An is one of the stops on the Vietnamese Tourist Trail. It used to dominate trade in Southeast Asia a couple hundred years ago and was a melting pot of trade among Asians, Arabs, and Indians – later Europeans as well. With such a rich history comes a very beautiful town. The streets are […]

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