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I was never really considering seriously shopping in Hoi An, Vietnam and buying the custom tailor made clothes the town is known for. I am, after all, technically a "budget backpacker," which means that I'm supposed to be frugal and not over spend on unessential things like clothes. Right? But, seriously, I've been wearing the same clothes for five months now. And I got so sick of some of them that I dumped half of my backpack into the donate bin in Sihanoukville. Plus it was Christmas. Really, I owed it to myself to go get some custom tailored clothes in Hoi...

After spending my first two days in Hoi An, Vietnam, in a cheap but moldy and damp guesthouse I decided to splurge for three nights in a nicer hotel. It was Christmas, after all, and I was looking forward to celebrating my first Christmas abroad, my first Hoi An Christmas in Vietnam, and sometimes you just have to treat yourself. I met up with Matilda, a Swedish girl I met a few days earlier in Nha Trang. We both were going on the same path and both now staying at the same hotel &msash; NhiNhi Hotel — and celebrate Christmas in...

When traveling there's always going to be what ifs. What if I had gone to Italy instead of Spain? What if I had started in Asia instead of Europe? What if I had stayed? What if I had never left? You're constantly making choices and while, really, there is never a wrong choice there may have been a better or worse choice. But you never really know....

I didn't even really want to go to Nha Trang, Vietnam. I'd heard it was beautiful, but after spending way too long in Sihanoukville I wasn't quite in the mood for another party beach town. But I wanted a quick one or two day diversion after touring Dalat and before heading up on a long overnight bus to Hoi An. And so I went. As I took a walk on the beach, well, the sidewalk near the beach, I immediately regretted that I'd checked in for two nights. The weather was chilly and the waves more ferocious than any I've...

I don't like fast travel. I don't like repacking my bag every other day, spending hours a week on buses, leaving a place before I'm used to it. But I'm running out of time. Yes, in theory, I have all the time in the world. But some plans to go to India (hopefully) in March cut down my Southeast Asia time by about a month. And I wasted a lot of time in places I didn't even care for, like Malaysia (though, don't get me wrong, I met awesome friends there, it was just a lackluster locale). And my plans to...

At my dad's funeral there was an American flag, folded in a triangle, displayed next to the urn. All day people remarked to me, "I didn't know your dad was in the military." They were strange comments because it wasn't like he was an Army guy. It was never something I really associated with him. He was in the army, sure, because he was drafted, forced to be. Just like many other men his age....

After a terribly uncomfortable 15 hour "10 hour bus ride" to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, one that had me switching seats three times on the first sleeper bus only to end up next to a man who talked on a cell phone for an hour and then invaded my space as he snored, one that after four hours switched to a regular bus that had me sitting in the back row in the middle of five people, I was just ready to find a place to sleep....