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After a bumpy bus ride from Vientiane, one that was an hour late in arriving and only made pit stops by the side of the road, forcing me to pee in a bush, we arrived in Vang Vieng: a backpackers mecca revolving around rafting, drinking, and drugs. After walking around a bit we settled on a cheap guest house knowing that we would probably switch to the backpackers hostel the next day. ...

I make weird faces at myself in the mirror. It's a quirky little habit that I picked up somewhere in my lifetime. Pursed lips, puffed cheeks, flipped tongue, squinted eyes. All kinds of nonsensical expressions. I've recently noticed I do it on Skype too, so if you ever have the privilege of video chatting with me, watch out for it. So when Jacob, an Australian who invited me in to a game of euchre, started making strange faces at me throughout the game I was an equal match. It may have just been a tactic to distract me from my...

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...

The next day was more than a little awkward. We said our goodbyes and I left to see if I could find a room. I went back to the place I was staying at before and they said to check back in an hour. And I ran into him again on the street and somehow asked if he wanted to get breakfast. So we both sat, and drank coffee, and waited. And then we both ended up checking in. And then we both ended up in the same room....

"Find a man who thinks your silence is beautiful." I often remember those words that an old artist told me while we were sitting in a bar in Amsterdam. It was a chance and brief encounter. He probably never would remember me or remember uttering those words. But it is a phrase that I've kept with me ever since. It may have only been appropriate that the man who once told me that was Dutch. Without really thinking I agreed to go on an overnight snorkeling trip with Jonno on Koh Rong Island, Cambodia, one of the neighboring islands of Sihanoukville. I...

The bartender, one of about seven working behind the small bar of Monkey Republic asked me where I was from. When I said "America" he didn't believe me. Apparently when they were all talking in a language I didn't understand and glancing over at me they had been taking guesses at my nationality. German or Russian was the consensus. Because they are quiet. Because they are the ones who sit alone at the bar, drinking, saying nary a word. ...

Again came just five days later. Gabriel and I arranged to meet in Koh Lanta, a nearby island, where we rented a bungalow for three nights on a quiet beach. It rained. A lot. But there was just enough sun for swimming, for lying in the sand, for watching half a sunset. And the storms were just an excuse for enjoying nights on our porch, drinking whiskey and soda, listening to music, dancing....