So, for those of you getting the news about my travels abroad this summer for the first time, let me give you a quick pre-departure briefing about my plans. Despite hot weather, loads of rain, and the current political unrest, I leave for Bangkok, Thailand in less than 48 hours for a six week study-abroad program at Thammasat University in Bangkok. Thankfully, I am not traveling alone, so allow me to introduce Ruben, Elliott, and Christa--my travel companions! Ruben, Elliott, and I will attend classes together in Bangkok, but we all leave together about a month before our classes start for some relaxing days on the beaches of Thailand, a trip north to visit my cousin, and a two week adventure to Vietnam and Singapore.
After our arrival, Christa and I hop on a plane to visit my cousin Rachel and her husband Nate living in Chiang Rai, Thailand for a few days. Christa is accompanying me because she plans to conduct research for her senior honors thesis at UC Berkeley on a topic related to Rachel's work in Chiang Rai. After about 10 days there, we fly back to meet Ruben and Elliott in Bangkok.
Then, Ruben, Elliott, and I fly to Hanoi, Vietnam, and we plan to visit Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, and Nha Trang as we utilize our wits (and an incredibly slow train) to end up in Ho Chi Minh City. After this two week adventure from north to south Vietnam, we hop on another plane bound for Singapore to meet Christa and her boyfriend (Eric, who is flying to meet her when we leave her in Bangkok).
After a few days with our entire group in Singapore, Christa and Eric will leave for San Francisco and Ruben, Elliott, and I fly back to Bangkok for our six week program. We're looking forward to an incredible time in every country and during each leg of our trip. As well, we'll have a few surprises to send through The Dandygram.
While I am abroad (May 18 - August 2), I'll be using The Dandygram as the primary means to stay in contact with friends, family, Facebookers, and anyone else interested in following my trip. So please feel free to share this blog! With a new camera, I will frequently share stories on The Dandygram using posts loaded with pictures, videos, and stories of my adventure. I remain ambitious in saying that I will post something everyday, but if it is not possible (because of limited wireless internet), I will have a notebook to capture the not-to-be-forgotten stories!
With just hours left (33 to be exact) until my departure, I must get back to the inevitable last minute packing, laundry, and therefore limit my distractions to being with the friends I won't have a chance to see for quite some time. Oh, and I still need to call my MOM!