Thursday, June 25, 2009
Today, Thursday, is my last day of work. After ten months of living and working in Gwangju, South Korea the time has arrived to move onto bigger and better things. For those of you wondering my plans for after SK, here they are:
After packing up my life and either donating it or shipping it home, Caitlin and I will be trekking around South Korea for one more week before departing. We are planning a week long camping trip with our friend Shane starting in the Southeastern islands of the peninsula. We will leave the city of Gwangju on Sunday and head for the island of Geoje-do, just south of Busan. From there we will seek out the private botanical island of Oeido and enjoy some beachfront camping. Next we will head of the eastern coast and to Seoraksan National Park in the Northeastern corner. Beyond some more camping and hiking through beautiful wilderness, we will make our way over to our final destination - Seoul. After saying goodbye to some friends and taking in the last waves of Korean culture over the July 4th weekend, we will depart Korea forever heading for the city of Hanoi in northern Vietnam on July 6th.
The next three months of the summer are still being hashed out but our basic scheme is a three month tour of the Southeast Asia Peninsula. Starting in the north we will do a loop through the uppermost mountain regions of Vietnam and Laos, stopping to checkout major (and not so major) cities along the way, climb Fansipan, explore tropical rainforests, and do a bit of volunteering along the way. From there we will return to Hanoi and head over the Cat Ba Island in Halong Bay to visit our friends Ashley and Matt, who are now living there and working as rockclimbing/adventure guides for a company called SloPony.
After a rendezvous with our good friends the route will continue down the eastern coast of Vietnam stoppig in the likes of Vinh, Hue, Hoi An, Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park before arrving in Da Lat and Saigon. From there the best way into Cambodia will be a ferry trip up the Mekong River Delta. Pnom Penh and Siem Reap will not be our only stops in the beautiful country of Cambodia as we are sure side trips and travel buddies will come with the wind.
Thailand will be one of our final destinations and we will try to explore as much into the vast country as we can. If time and budget permit, we would like to adventure south towards the Malaysian end of the peninsula. There is still much to figure out along the way but as budget travel permits itself to living by whats cheapest, safest, and most convenient at the time - plans will change. In our experience with traveling the good nature of local people always help guide you in the right direction.
Our departure plans are set for either Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, depending on which country we are in at the end of our travels. From there I hope to fly into the west coast of the United States, visiting university friends in L.A. then heading up to the Pacific Northwest to see Ryan and Jen, little Jenny, and maybe even baby RJ. If it is possible I would like to check out Vancouver and Portland as possbile places to live and work while I am in the area.
Everyone take a deep breath.
Then its finally back to home. Where I hope to be greeted by family, friends, and mounds of assorted cheeses.
I won't have a computer on the road but there will be many PC Rooms that I will be able to drop a line every now and again to update everyone with progress and pictures. I hope to keep in touch with everyone near and far so I will be using my email more frequently. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So long for now and take care, Justin
Posted by JUSTIN at 12:30 PM