Why Am I Here And Not There?

Mountains along the Mae Hong Son Loop in Thailand

It seems that border towns are funnels for bicycle tourists. More often than not I meet multiple long distance riders at or near borders. When I was near the Thailand/Myanmar border I ran into a number of long distance bicyclists.

We always have the same conversations: where are you from, where are you going, how long, how far. I started noticing a pattern from the cyclists that have come to Southeast Asia from Europe.

Vietnamese boy eats noodles at his home.

They have all traveled around 12,000 kilometers to get this here.

Wait a minute! That is the same distance I have covered. But I didn’t ride from Southeast Asia to Europe. I am less than five-hundred kilometers from where I started a year ago but I have over 12,000 riding kilometers under my belt. Read More

I’m A Minimalist. How The Hell Did That Happen?

Sitting in a cafe in Chiang Mai, Thailand looking out at the rainy world outside.
A good place to avoid the rain and ponder life.

Have you ever thought about decreasing the clutter in your life? Becoming a minimalist? There are countless books, blogs and articles describing ways to achieve that goal. For me it just happened over time. I didn’t plan for it or seek it out. It just happened.

I am sitting in a cafe in Chiang Mai, Thailand drinking my usual Thai Ice Tea and I began to wonder about the last ten months on the road. I gave up my apartment back in March ’18 after deciding being homeless was a better option than paying rent while I was also paying for guesthouses as I traveled.

I have gone through a number of downsizing moves in the past as I moved further and further west until I ended up in the east. House to condo, condo to small apartment, apartment to freedom. Read More

It’s a Good Thing I Like Thailand

Mist covers the valley with the mountains in the distance at sunrise.

Early morning view from my tent in rural Thailand

My plan was simple. Enter Thailand at the Poipet/Aranyaprathet border after a short ride and stay in Cambodia, stop in Bangkok to get some routine maintenance, repairs and some needed parts for my bicycle and then head to Mae Sot to cross over into Myanmar.

My thought was two weeks would be enough time. But as they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Two weeks turned to four. One month stretched to three. I would have preferred more of my time  was spent actually sitting on my new Brooks seat pedaling but my trusty bicycle decided it was going to cause problems for me. And to make things worse if a bicycle could actually not only make plans but cleverly execute them the plan was a success.

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The Tale of the Ten Dollar Bill

The Tale of the Ten Dollar Bill

A ten dollar bill in front of a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The traveling ten dollar bill

Find out why I have carried this ten dollar bill around the world with me for the past thirteen years. What does Madame Pele (the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes), green sand and two high school virgins have to do with the story? You will have to read on to find out.

Sometimes the bill is in a suitcase or a camera bag or in my wallet. This bill is not always on me but it is always near me. I carry it with me when I travel and when I am home. Now that I have no home it is on a constant journey as I make my way around the world on my bicycle. Read More

Five Weeks in Laos

After spending two months bicycling through Vietnam it was time to crack another border and head to Laos. Although I have lived in Cambodia for the past three years I never made it to the neighboring country of Laos. I guess it was about time. And boy am I glad I did!

Although I had heard and read a lot about Laos I really did not know what to expect. Laos is a very laid back country compared to the others in Southeast Asia from what I learned. I found this was as true as it could be. From the small mountain villages to the capital city of Vientiane the contrast between Laos and Cambodia/Vietnam was enormous. Read More