HOT INFO On The Road

Margaret and Keel's Asian Adventure
Riding Tigers

ITINERARY Sep 19, 99

WELCOME
Thanks for stopping by our small place on the web. We hope you enjoy our ramblings and periodic updates from our Asian Adventure. Come back often to see where we are and how we're doing. Also, be sure to check out the ITIS web site completely. Taka and the good people at ITIS have created an excellent web site for the budget travel enthusiast.

The primary purpose of our place on the web is to provide accurate information to budget travelers so they can be better prepared for their own adventure. Additionally, we want to keep our family and friends informed of our experiences. We hope you will find our information helpful and enjoyable. If some part of it inspires you to take your own adventure, our efforts will have been a success.

ITINERARY
We will begin our trip in Bangkok before traveling into rural Thailand. We hope to study, teach, and learn much about Thailand and her people. We plan to travel to Laos and perhaps Vietnam or Cambodia before joining friends for the Y2K celebration on Kho Phangan, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. In March, we will join friends from Maine for several weeks of trekking in the Nepal Himalayas. India is on the agenda somewhere and we've left plenty of room to freelance and take advantage of the unexpected opportunities that will inevitably come along. We hope to conclude our trip on the European continent, via the Trans-Siberian railroad. The only thing for certain is that these plans could change. Keep checking back to see where we actually end up!

NOTES FROM KEEL
This particular odyssey represents my longest entry into a travel log full of low rent, high adventure trips. I've longed to return to Asia since my first trip to Nepal, India and Thailand in 1989. Prior to that, I spent considerable time traveling close to the ground, throughout Mexico, Central America, Europe, Canada and the US. Since then, I've managed a career. A true Sagittarius, my father tells me that when I was young and our family would travel long distances in the car, everyone else would be fast asleep, while I stood in the backseat, quite awake, staring out the window long into the night.

My priorities include traveling light, getting good value for my money and drinking good beer. I have a keen interest in natural history and hope to bring that bias to my reports from the road. Look for my hot bird list or commentary on some fantastic wildlife viewing opportunity. I also intend to provide honest commentary on the state of environmental issues that I may encounter. Not to be missed however, will be my continuing critique of the local beer!

NOTES FROM MARGARET:
A WOMAN'S PERSPECTIVE ON RUNNING AWAY

Life is like a wild tiger: you can either lie down, and let it put its paw on your face, or you can get on its back and ride.We're off to Asia to Ride Tigers! For years I have been dreaming about running away from my normal life in the state of Maine, and living abroad. Having lived in London for a year during college, I caught the travel bug and the yen for learning about myself
through the lens of a foreign culture. I've traveled much with a career as director of field trips for an environmental organization but those group trips did not afford much opportunity to strike out on my own or veer from
the beaten path.

Finally, my husband (Keel, 39) and I (34) are taking the plunge. We're off to Asia for a year!

For me, this adventure is more of a pilgrimage: a journey to find out about myself; what my real values are; and who I want to be in the next phase of my life. Travel strips away the ideals of a person's own culture and extends the opportunity to examine the self in its naked and true form. So, I am searching for What is really me? - vs. What has my native culture ingrained into my psyche that is really separate from me? I hope this journey will help me find a distinction between the two.

Another very excellent and serious reason to quit one's job, re-lease one's apartment, and drain the savings account is to have a lot of fun! As Ben & Jerry (the Vermont ice cream moguls) say, If it's not fun, why do it? And as the Romans used to say Carpe Diem! Seize the Day -- or perhaps in my case, Seize the Tiger.

Check back with Keel and me as we will send updates of our travels to be posted here. You may note that Keel is the realist and I am the romantic so our readers will be able to glean two distinct opinions, perspectives and voices from our travel news.

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