Cave and blue lagoon in Vang Vieng, Laos.

Party ’til the cows come home.

Cave and blue lagoon in Vang Vieng, Laos.

Day 12.
Canada must die.

On the day after my birthday I did nothing. Literally, nothing. I sat down in the morning in a booth of the hostel restaurant with my computer and didn’t leave for maybe 8 hours.

Finally I left and got Gus, played a futile game of solitaire while waiting for him, then went out for a vegetarian dinner.

You can't play solitaire with that many clubs

Vegetarian dinner in Vang Vieng, Laos.

Since he was still in pain and I was still exhausted, we both decided to have a night in and cuddled in bed watching Grandma’s Boy because it seemed to be the only movie I had on my laptop that worked.


Day 13.
Turning out the lights.

I almost went to the river, just one more time, with a group of people from my hostel. But instead I decided to take it easy with Gus and Chris and we headed off to a cave and the blue lagoon.

It was a nice change of pace.

The lagoon was cool, but refreshing. The cave secluded, dark. We wound our way in and explored with no real direction. When you turned out our lamplight you could see absolutely nothing.

We set off for home, watching the sun set over the gorgeous Laos landscape, getting diverted by flocks of cows in the road, giant potholes in the unpaved roads.

We spent the night getting an organic curry dinner. I debated going out, saying goodbye in style. But I think I’d had enough. And I was tired. And I had to wake up early without an alarm clock. So Gus and I borrowed a DVD of Austin Powers from the front desk and spent my last night watching another movie in bed.


Day 14.
Moving on.

I woke up early and finished packing my bags. It was over. This time for good. I needed to move on. Truth be told I could have probably wasted weeks more there. Which is funny coming from a girl who has never been a big partier, a big drinker. But I think my two weeks in Vang Vieng made up for the boringness of my college experience. And I was beginning to like the lifestyle a little too much.

I said goodbye to Gus and Chris, who were waiting on visas and still had a couple of days left. And I boarded my bus for the long, long journey onto Chiang Mai…

Vang Vieng, Laos.

Vang Vieng, Laos.

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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