Category Archives: Travel Adventures

500 (+) Days of Travel

Travel is the only thing you can buy which makes you richer.

I saw that quote online a while back and have lived by that motto ever since.  My response to friends is always, “can’t take the money with you…”

It’s been 578 days (yes I counted) since a friend dropped me off at SEA and I boarded a plane for Korea; that was Sept 9, 2012.  I just had just flown back from Virginia Beach three days earlier where I hugged and kissed my dog, Lane, goodbye and told her I’d be back soon.   Dragging a rolling duffle big enough for me to live in, a massive overweight extended-trip suitcase, a roll-aboard, and a tote bag, all of which were stuffed within an inch of their seams, I boarded a plane to Seoul, South Korea.  I’ll spare you the details of my life story from then until now, however I do enjoy a good travel update post, but since I have 578 days of travel adventures to catch up on, I figured a little info graphic and statistics could do the trick.

My flight map of the past 578 days:


In the last 578 days I’ve…

  • made 20 trips
    • 4 of which were such a far distance for such a short trip that people called me “crazy”
    • 3 of which the flights were booked less than 24 hours before departure
      • 1 flight booked 2.5 hours before departure
      • 1 flight booked while in a taxi on the way to the airport, 1.5 hours before departure
  • visited 7 new countries (not including trips back to the USA or South Korea since I live here)
  • stopped in 3 new countries on layovers
  • flown 60 different flight segments
    • 18 of which were in business class (it’s really hard going back to economy once you experience international business class…yes I am the 1% of travelers now)
  • experienced 13 different airlines
  • traveled 135,732 miles on airplanes
  • spent 2 nights living on a boat while island hopping in Indonesia
  • earned Gold Status on United 3 times (including guaranteed for 2015)
  • carried Lane on 4 flight segments from ROA-IAD-NRT-ICN all in a 24 hr period
  • been escorted off a plane by paramedics 1 time upon landing

It’s been a whirlwind for sure, with some amazing adventures, fabulous friends, and great stories, but I’ll leave those for separate posts, hopefully soon.

Where have you been in the last 578 days?  Off to plan my next adventure…


Lovely Patong

At 12:05am Thursday night, technically Friday morning, I touched down for the second time in beautiful Phuket, Thailand. The airport here is always crowded, tiny, and falling apart, but who cares! I hopped in a taxi after a bit of negotiating with a few drivers and made my way to Patong Beach.

I ended up in Patong accidentally last fall when I booked a last minute trip to Thailand and just choose the most highly rated hostel in Phuket on I did no research or planning, just hopped on a plane and winged it. I was 100% nervous, although I never would’ve admitted that to anyone then, but it was my first time traveling completely alone to a brand new country and I didn’t know if it would be awesome or horrible. Turns out it was more than awesome! I met some amazing people, had some sketchy but memorable adventures, and started, what has now become, my strange love affair with Patong Beach.

Patong is not a family area, in fact, unless you want to drink till 5am and party a lot I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a different world here. There are more beautiful beaches and nicer resorts in most other places in Phuket and you’d avoid the shitshow that is Bangla Road, with the constant badger of “See the Ping Pong Show!” as you stumble from one loud club to the next. (Note: I can’t even dignify “ping pong show” with a link. It has nothing to do with table tennis, and I’d warn you 100% about googling images/videos of it, NSFW!). With that said, it’s not the beach or nightlife that brought me back to this touristy, sometimes trashy yet lovely, area of Phuket but friends and the promise of more sketchy and amazing adventures and memories for a lifetime.
My plan when arriving in Patong was to check in to Bodega and head straight to bed, seeing how it was already 1:15am (3:15am Korea time), but I should’ve listen to my friends advice to “expect the unexpected”. As I paid my taxi driver, grabbed my backpack, and rounded the corner into my hostel I saw familiar faces! I screamed out “Lucy!” And after a reunion of “Oh my god, you’re here I’ve missed you” and hugs I knew that sleep was not on the menu. I checked in, grabbed a Singha (Thai beer) and reserved to chatting with friends and familiar faces and it seemed although 6 months had passed and I had only met Lucy once before, it was like I had never left. We chatted and told stories, and drank, and went to the bar and sang along to a live band, and at 5am when I was barely awake in the lounge and people started finally turning in and the rain started to pour down I knew it was gonna be an amazing weekend and that I made the right decision to come back…trashy clubs, heat, humidity, and all. This place and the people here gave me a new outlook on life last fall and made my first solo traveling experience the best and feel anything but “solo”.
Thanks Patong for welcoming me back with open arms…I’m sure this isn’t the last time.