Where we went. Thanks, world.

Thank You For Reading

So that’s it. Time to head home.

We had a great run. We did it. We hit the pause button, we got away, we reduced life to its core elements in an effort to really find what matters. Things were simple. Things were complicated.

We disconnected. We reconnected.

It was a good thing and it was a great thing. Good things may end, but no truly good thing ever dies. The wonder of our escape can never be undone, and in life’s hardest moments we will always have the Asian sunshine to smile back upon. Because the memory lives on.

We lived, loved, and learned. But now the gravity of home is sucking us back. Wedding, career, family, life. We missed it. We’re ready. We’re fulfilled, and returning home with a touch of magic in our back pocket, and the knowledge that the world is a beautiful place. And it beckons.

Countries Travelled

6

Time Traveled

10 weeks

Fights Fought

2 or 3 (pretty good!)

Best Hotel

Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, India

Worst Hotel

Aerocity Hotel in Delhi, India (Ed picked it)

Photos Taken

Probably 3000

Times We Went to Burger King

2

Favorite Meal

Quon 94 - Soft Shell Crab in Saigon

Worst Meal

Chili and Cheese (for the 11th time) in Bhutan

Time We Almost Quit

3 straight days of rain when we went backpacking in the mountains of Bhutan

Time We Were Closest To God

(tie) Seeing a ten-foot manta ray while diving in Komodo AND summiting the Druk Path between Thimphu and Paro, Bhutan

Person Who Was Almost the Victim of Our Homicide

The Lombok, Indonesia Lion Air rebooking agent, who can still go &%$@ himself

Amount We Missed Home

In the beginning not at all, in the middle a little bit, in the end a lot

First Meal When We Get Home

Lobster and corn on the cob

We love you, world. Thanks for everything.

Spotted - a Komodo Dragon!

The Komodo Dragon. It’s the closest living relative to dinosaurs (no offense to all the grandpas out there.)
It can break your arm with its jaw, and its venom contains dozens of types of poison, which together will kill you within minutes if one of these gargantuan lizard things bites you.
We took a motorboat to Bintang Flores, in Komodo National Park, to see them.
We docked in what legitimately looked like the entrance to Jurassic Park, and were greeted by a park ranger, who would lead our day’s hike and defend us from the danger, which we learned in the last five years had killed two victims. A few years back a Komodo dragon wandered into a park ranger’s cabin and laid a fateful bite, killing the ranger in no time. Even more recently a young boy had run up to a sitting dragon (the dragons freely wander the park), and had received a Komodo bite. The boy died in minutes.
So what weapon did our trusty park ranger wield to fend off these poisonous dinosaurs, who wander freely in the park with no enclosures? A STICK. Yep. A wooden stick. And it wasn’t a walking stick. I asked him about it, and he said his stick was to defend against Komodos. A crappy stick vs. a 250-pound dinosaur. Indonesian weapons technology.
So tell us more about the Komodos, we asked the ranger.
Well, they are cannibals, they eat their young, and they are aggressive. Right.
Nevertheless, we wandered into the park, where the ranger encampment was located. Before we could blink we saw a group of tourists in the distance huddled around… a group of Komodos! Shit!
As we approached the huddled mass, we saw to our left a few other Komodos. Just hangout out, no big deal. Everywhere. Gargantuan lizards. One Komodo was huddled in the shade of a cabin and with intense ferocity was eating… a beach towel! The Komodo just absolutely inhaled a red beach towel. The whole thing.

We wandered the park, we came within 15 feet of the Komodos, and we survived. It was an indescribable feeling to wander through a place with a semi-legitimate feel that an animal might kill you. Ponder that.

The Komodo Dragon. It’s the closest living relative to dinosaurs (no offense to all the grandpas out there.)

It can break your arm with its jaw, and its venom contains dozens of types of poison, which together will kill you within minutes if one of these gargantuan lizard things bites you.

We took a motorboat to Bintang Flores, in Komodo National Park, to see them.

We docked in what legitimately looked like the entrance to Jurassic Park, and were greeted by a park ranger, who would lead our day’s hike and defend us from the danger, which we learned in the last five years had killed two victims. A few years back a Komodo dragon wandered into a park ranger’s cabin and laid a fateful bite, killing the ranger in no time. Even more recently a young boy had run up to a sitting dragon (the dragons freely wander the park), and had received a Komodo bite. The boy died in minutes.

So what weapon did our trusty park ranger wield to fend off these poisonous dinosaurs, who wander freely in the park with no enclosures? A STICK. Yep. A wooden stick. And it wasn’t a walking stick. I asked him about it, and he said his stick was to defend against Komodos. A crappy stick vs. a 250-pound dinosaur. Indonesian weapons technology.

So tell us more about the Komodos, we asked the ranger.

Well, they are cannibals, they eat their young, and they are aggressive. Right.

Nevertheless, we wandered into the park, where the ranger encampment was located. Before we could blink we saw a group of tourists in the distance huddled around… a group of Komodos! Shit!

As we approached the huddled mass, we saw to our left a few other Komodos. Just hangout out, no big deal. Everywhere. Gargantuan lizards. One Komodo was huddled in the shade of a cabin and with intense ferocity was eating… a beach towel! The Komodo just absolutely inhaled a red beach towel. The whole thing.

We wandered the park, we came within 15 feet of the Komodos, and we survived. It was an indescribable feeling to wander through a place with a semi-legitimate feel that an animal might kill you. Ponder that.

First Third World Problems

  • There are first world problems (“Whole milk instead of skim in my tall Americano!? What is this?”) and there are third world problems (“I am really hungry.”), but on this trip we have been introduced to a new breed of sanity busters that come from being a first world person in the third world. First Third World Problems. In no particular order, here goes:
  • S: There are ants coming out of my Macbook Air keyboard.
  • S: I can’t keep a constant jog going on the treadmill because the hotel keeps losing power.
  • E: I don’t small enough bills so I can’t tip you. I’m sorry.
  • E: I’ll have a beer, please, because it’s less expensive than a bottle of water.
  • S: McDonald’s in India at last! But, they don’t serve hamburgers because the cow is sacred.
  • E: I guess I’ll have my boxers ironed, because I don’t know how to say “no iron” in Balinese.
  • S: So you’re telling me that this is organic Diet Pepsi?
  • E: So the baggage fees cost more than just buying an extra ticket? Can I do that instead? My bag could just sit on the seat. Like a person.
  • S: So you have air conditioning, but the windows don’t close? Are you sure that’s energy efficient?
  • E: Wifi costs $20, but you offer free foot massages?
  • S: I found the gym, but it doesn’t have any equipment in it. It’s just a room with a floor.
  • E: The flight is twenty minutes, but you thought we’d prefer to drive thirteen hours instead?
  • S: Looks like they brought us a toilet tent. Think we still use leaves as toilet paper though.
  • E: Honey I don’t know how much it costs in dollars. These bills have too many zeros.
  • S: These fake Converse shoes are $40? Do you know how much Pho I could buy with that?
  • S: It’s great, but it costs more to ship it than it does to buy it.
  • E: All the kids here wear helmets when riding on back of a motorbike, but are you sure that toddler right there is old enough to smoke hookah?
  • S: So, we can’t buy sunscreen here because all cosmetics in India have whitening agent in them?

Some of our wonderful crew (these are the interns). Thank you, Plataran Ambasi boat, for showing us that there is unending beauty at the edge of the universe

The busiest town in the park

Don’t ever want it to end.

Just no words. Komodo National Park. 

Sunset, last evening on our boat

Aqua Fun Aqua Fun Aqua Fun
Ed goes scuba diving… At night Ed goes scuba diving… At night

Ed goes scuba diving… At night

The happiest tree in the world. 

Beauty in the basics. Sand. Water. Sun. Komodo.