Bye-Bye Southeast Asia, Hola Barcelona!

Via: GlobaLinks

I vividly remember…

the impact of the hot and humid air (which I am so used to now) the moment we stepped off of the plane in Indonesia; the smell of incense coming from the corridors of the airport; a beautiful display of orange flowers near the exit, adorned with pieces of fruit and the fragrant sticks sitting on the floor, at the feet of a stone monument with an elephant head named Ganesha.

When we got outside of the airport, the hustle started; taxi drivers approached us offering their services. Then, out on the road, we became aware of the crazy blur of traffic. Hundreds of motorbikes and cars in an organized chaos. Families of four jammed on one tiny motor-bike, the noise, dust, smells of food and incense, and the temples… Buddhist temples everywhere! Soon after that we discovered the food: soups, curries, barbecues; all spicy and delicious.

We were officially in Southeast Asia!

Mesmerized by the revelations of a new country with such a fascinating and rich culture; with kind, gentle and short people like me, I felt welcome.

This is the best feeling of traveling; the arrival to a new, unknown place ready to be discovered, absorbing it with all of your senses. I love this first introduction.

From Indonesia it was Thailand, a long weekend in Malaysia, then Laos, Cambodia, and ending in Vietnam.

Five months later…

We hold very precious memories from every place, but these are the ones that stand out:

Our trip from Lombok to Komodo Island and Flores: Looking back, this was the worst boat we’ve ridden and so uncomfortable to sleep, but despite it all we had a wonderful time because of the interesting people we met and the gorgeous beaches we visited. They were the most breath-taking we’ve seen so far.

– Diving in Flores was the best of our life. Surreal underwater scenes and we saw our first shark! Nothing tops that.

– Riding a motorbike all over Indonesia and Thailand while exploring on our own.

– Living (renting an apartment) in Chiang Mai.

– The food in Thailand!!! My favorite: Pad Thai, Adam’s: Green curry.

– Caving in northern Thailand stands out as our favorite adventure.

– The Mekong cruise; visiting the villages from the banks of the river was an eye opener of the needs and poverty of Laos.

– Learning about the unfortunate history of Cambodia and then experiencing the warmth of the people there despite it all.

– The scenery of Ha Long Bay and enjoying an eight course dinner inside of a cave… our most luxurious three days of travel so far.

– In every country we visited people adored Adam’s beard and assumed I was a local.

We had a wonderful time here, but today we say goodbye.

Thank you Southeast Asia for letting us get to know you. Thank you for introducing us to remarkable people. Thank you for feeding us soooo well. Thank you for being so easy-going and friendly. Thank you for sharing your natural treasures with us. Thank you for being!

We leave with a smile on our faces. Today we fly to BARCELONA!

In other exciting news my mother and aunt are coming to visit us later this week! We haven’t seen them in over a year.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to roam around the streets of Spain, eating tapas and drinking wine with them… can’t wait.

And one more thing… we are going to PARIS!

All four of us: Mom, Aunt, Adam and I. So as you can imagine, I am floating in a bubble of joy thinking of the wonderful time coming up and this opportunity to hang out with the family. Priceless!

I still have a couple of stories from Vietnam; we just came back from Halong Bay and a motorbike trip through the country side. I have a lot of catching up and pictures to edit. Please bear with me, they are coming soon.

Ha Long Bay

Until next week, writing from Barcelona :D

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