By the end of March of 2009, I'd spent more than 10 months living & working in the US, the longest continuous amount of time I'd spent stateside since 2005. I had unexpectedly landed in Utah after returning from South America in June of '08, and due to a combination of great people & great times, ended up staying far longer than I had initially imagined. It was a good run -- a 6-month-long production job with the Sundance Film Festival, quality time spent with new friends & fun family, many hours of late night Rock Band sessions, dozens of days of snowboarding the Utah pow pow for free, a boatload of adventures rock climbing at classic crags in the States, and a decent share of boisterous nights at the bars. But, eventually, I grew tired of Utah's absurd liquor laws, "private club" membership fees at every bar, oblivious & horrible drivers, the snail's pace at which life crawls by, and was itching for international adventure.
To those that know me, it should come as no surprise that I chose to return to Asia. I've spent quite a chunk of time exploring Southeast Asia, and from my very first time here it's had a special place in my heart. I've been ready to come back since I last left (in November '07), so I guess it was due time for my return trip. Originally, I was thinking only of Southeast Asia, as my climbing partner (& then some) Tim had long since planned a climbing adventure in these parts. The idea of returning to SE Asia as a better & stronger climber was beyond tempting. When I found out my college friend Erica was living in Shanghai, I expanded the picture to include China. Then when I started researching China (oh what would I do without the color photographs in Lonely Planet??!!?), I decided I may as well include Tibet since I was already going to be all the way over here!
Thus, my 2009 Asian travel itinerary/sketch/plan/idea was born. That being said, there is not the slightest hint of doubt in my mind that it will change. But here's the plan:
China > Thailand > Laos > Cambodia > Vietnam > Tibet > China