Lost in Bangkok 

We made it to Bangkok after an extremely long travel day. Our flight from LAX to Bangkok was fifteen hours to Taiwan, ten hour layover there and then a four hour flight to Thailand. 

Once we arrived, we used the metro to travel from the airport into the city. We had booked a vacation rental and it proved to be near impossible to find the building. The people in the neighborhood didn’t speak any English (or Spanish) so we had to do a lot of critical thinking in order to find our condo.The directions we’d been given were pretty straight forward “Find the lobby, look for mirrored doors in the middle of this room, inside you’ll see mail boxes, the key is inside the condo mailbox labeled 559/228.” Sounds easy, right? Wrong. We couldn’t find the lobby. It didn’t help that the heat and humidity was out in full force and our backpacks were starting to feel like heavy boulders on our backs in the sun. Also, the cell phone we brought with us to use for local calls wasn’t accepting the SIM card so we were unable to call for help. When we did finally walk into the condo, the air conditioning felt heavenly. I think I dropped my bag on the floor and just sat to enjoy the cold air blow the sweat off my face. 

  
Once we recovered from the heat, we took a step out on the balcony to look at the view. The city seems to go on forever. Endless people and houses fill every nook and cranny of the streets. 

It was currently 15:00 in the afternoon and even though we were tired, we were determined to battle the first jet lag so we set out to explore Bangkok. Our goal was to find Khao San Road and do some people watching and street food eating.

However, we never made it to Khao San Road. After taking the metro as close as we could, we were supposed to take a bus. But without the assistance of wifi and with the language barrier we were unable to locate the bus stop. Some very eager tuk-tuk drivers were very persistent and tried to get us on board. They offered to take us to discount stores so we could buy souvenirs. We politely refused and walked away. The tuk-tuk driver followed us and said the direction we were walking would take us into the part of town full of “thieves and pickpockets.” We weren’t sure if this man was telling the truth or not but we were willing to risk our chances.

 
Turns out the tuk-tuk driver was right. The area we walked into seemed somewhat questionable. And the lack of businesses made it hard to find anyone to point us in the right direction. So Super Nel and I did what we do best-we trusted out guts and relied on our brains to figure out a solution. We decided to cross the street in order to get a different view of our surroundings and to determine if the two gentleman walking closely behind us were simply fast walkers or following us. Once we crossed the street I saw a building with a sign that listed the business as a hostel. A hostel is the best place to go to get help with your surroundings. Turns out it was a good choice because inside Yellow Duck Hostel we found some friendly faces who spoke a little English. They provided us with a map and showed us which way to walk in order to find a nearby temple and China Town.
China town turned out to be a “must see” for Super Nel because of the tasty street food.    

Every street we explored was full of people, cars, tuk-Turks, vendors and did I mention people?!  

We tried to retrace our steps back toward the hostel, but it was impossible. Every corner we turned brought us back to a new street. Nothing looked familiar and we had no sense of which way to go. 

  After more endless walking we found ourselves at a dead end. But we found this beautiful shrine and one of Bankok’s many canals was behind it. The sun was setting and this turned out to be the perfect place to watch it disappear behind the buildings. 

In the end, we found a bar and had a cold beer. Super Nel and I decided we would brave a tuk-tuk ride to get us back to the nearest metro station. It turns out, the tuk-tuk rides are exhilarating! It’s like being inside a live version of Mario Kart. 

When we finally returned to our condo it was 20:00. We had fought the jet lag off for as long as we could. Now it was time for some much needed sleep. 

 
  

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Osprey Porter 46 Liters: Inside the Bag

We depart for Asia in less than a week and that only means one thing: packing! I like to pre-pack my bag a few weeks before departure on big trips like this one. This gives me enough time to review the items in my ONE bag and decide if its worth carrying on my back for a month. In the last few weeks I’ve been able to eliminate quite a few items to lighten my load. I tried to fit everything into my 30 Liter backpack. However, it was too tight than I wanted it to be. Instead, I’ll be taking my trusty Osprey Porter 46 Liter backpack. This bag has traveled around Europe for weeks and it still looks brand new. This backpack is incredibly light, distributes weight evenly and the straps can be tucked away so you can hold the backpack by a handle like a traditional luggage. We’ll be traveling via budget airlines all over Asia and the maximum weight allowance for some of these flights is a total of 6kg (13.2lb).

The weight restriction means that every item that goes into my backpack must serve multiple purposes or will be used frequently enough to warrant taking up space and weight.

I found this Keen purse with fabric that is tough, water resistant and looks like denim. There are plenty of compartments inside the bag to store all my necessary items. This makes this purse the ideal day bag. Also the strap can be adjusted so you can wear the purse as a cross body or shoulder bag. 

This is my airplane bag. I always have this little bag stocked with antibacterial wipes (for disinfecting airplane armrests, tray tables and seatbelt buckles), eye mask, earplugs, compression socks and hand lotion. 

This waterproof zippered bag holds my first aid kit. Inside you’ll find your basic band aids and triple antibiotic ointment. However, since we’re nurses and will be visiting some rural areas of Thailand we decided to pay a visit to our travel clinic. We were provided with antibiotics, Immodium and anti-malarial pills. We also received a Hepatitis A booster and Typhoid Immunization (my arm is still sore!). Prior to departure, I visited our local pharmacy and stocked up on the following OTC medication: Mucinex-D, benedryl, ibuprofen, vitamin C/immunity supplements and excedrin. 

  

Liquids: shampoo samples, small bottle of conditioner, tide stain remover pen, face lotion/hydrating spray and a travel pack of essential oils. I’ve become a huge fan of DoTerra brand oils and use them for headaches, immunity boosts and muscle aches. 

  

This small insulated lunchbox always makes it into my bag. Inside I keep baby wipes, Kleenex, reusable utensils, zip locks and a cloth napkin. We’ll use this for picnics and to store daily perishable leftovers from breakfast or lunch. This helps keep food expenses to a minimum. 

Toiletries: razor, sunscreen stick, soap, comb, floss, nail files, lint remover sheets, solid perfume, deodorant and a loofah. 

  

Electronics: external battery charger, international adaptor plug, mini power strip. Not pictured: iPhone/iPad charger cord. 

  

I’m a huge fan of packing cubes. These Lewis and Clark brand cubes are made of thin lightweight material. This cube holds 3 tank tops rolled up, small bag of accessories and these two bows. My favorite bows are the ones made at this etsy shop: http://monasbows.etsy.com. The owner makes all kinds of different hair bows, but this Star Wars one ends up in my hair most often. 

Red Cube: 3 underwear, 1 exercise bra, 1 regular bra, 1 pair of socks and 2 headbands. 

 

Large Blue Cube: Bathing suit, lightweight waterproof jacket, sarong (doubles as a towel for the beach), 1 tshirt and 2 pairs of exercise pants. Not pictured: A new item from a company called  Encircled. They make clothes that convert to a variety of items. I purchased their Chrysalis Cardi. It can be word 8 different ways including a cardigan, cape, scarf, dress and more. I’ll be wearing it on the plane as a scarf.  

 

Shoes: Birkenstocks, Chaco’s and Ipanema sandles. 

 

Everything fits! And there’s stil plenty of room inside. 

Ready for take off! 

Miscellaneous items missing from photos: sleep sack, hydroflask water bottle, headlamp, combo locks, hat and clothesline. 

I’m a minimalist packer and hopefully it shows in my photos. What type of packer are you? What would you add to the bag? 

New Site, New Blog, New Adventures

I recently attended the Women in Travel Summit (WITS) and was beyond inspired to try something new. I had the opportunity to sit in a room filled with hundreds of inspirational and creative women of all ages. These women have been to countries I’ve only dreamed of visiting (to be honest I didn’t know some existed!). Going to this conference really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I attended all alone, without knowing anyone else and I shared a room with a fellow #WITS16 conference attendee. The entire conference is dedicated to helping bloggers and like minded travel gals to connect, network and learn how to grow your blog beyond a hobby and into a business.

I had a one on one mentor meeting with one of my favorite bloggers-The Travel Fashion Girl.

This leads me to this new site. I’m diving into the deep waters of word press and doing my best to navigate my way to creating a new blog. There is so much to learn about this site and during a breakout session at the WITS conference I learned that word press has an endless amount of plug ins that can make a blog stand out. I know I have a lot to learn and I hope anyone reading this will bear with me as I go through the trial and error phase. One thing that’s positive about making mistakes, is the learning that comes along with making them.

This blog will be very similar to my Blogger site (wonderwumanadventureisoutthere.blogspot.com). However, I hope to blog about travel tips and adventures year round. I’m making it my mission to sit down and write a blog post weekly. When I have an excess in content, I may be able to post multiple times a week-but I don’t want to make any promises I can’t keep.

My husband (Super Nel) and I are days away from our next big adventure. We’re headed to Southeast Asia for a month and to say we’re excited would be an understatement. We’ve spent the last two months preparing an itinerary, packing and prepping for an adventure of a lifetime. Unlike our last big adventure (read: honeygroupmoon), only the two of us are headed to Asia. However, there is a chance that a friend may meet us on our journey if she gets lucky enough to board the right Mac Flight. Company or solo, Super Nel and I love the idea of a month of travel in new places.

Stay tuned for more updates on our pre-flight preparations for Asia and as always-thanks for reading!