...dare I trek it alone?

My travel lady and I mapped out our SE Asia conquests today.  Things look good and we are panda-amped.  However, it turns out I still have a whole month to fill on my own.  

Originally, my other travel lady and I were going to meet in Nepal to trek Annapurna during that month.  Alas, her new life plan to attend clown school (excuse me, physical theater school) has interrupted our trip, and it's all on me now.  I fully support and high five her new direction, so it ain't no thang, and luckily I really enjoy traveling solo, however... if I find myself in Nepal, that hot mama Annapurna would be right in front of me, all enticing and appealing and stuff.  "Come hike me, little girl," she would say, irresistibly.  How could I say no?  Just look at her!

As if she weren't magical enough, turns out her name in Sanskrit means "bestower of food in great quantities."  I. Must. Go.

It's just that...I trip a lot, especially going up.  Something about not picking up my feet or whatever.  It would be really sad if I cracked my teeth off my face from a fall and no one was there to laugh and cry with me over it.  You really need a friend in situations like those to help find your missing teeth.  And there's the other obvious, rational potential problems to consider when it comes to a multi-day trek, like getting lost (I get lost in my own apartment most of the time), sick, murdered, blah blah.  I'm not sure I have the plums to go it alone, but the desire to see the magic is po-tent....there's a legit debate inside my brain, unwise as it may be.



Korea finally WOW'ed me

We went to Gangwan-do Province, near the DMZ border in Sokcho for Lunar New Year.  We were looking for a snowy, winter wonderland, and a warm cottage with wine and awesomery.  And holy shit. We found it in a major way.

My ladies and I decided to hike Ulsan Bawi, part of Mt. Seoraksan.   We were ill prepared.  At least, I was.  For whatever reason, I packed pajamas for the whole weekend.  My thought was "it's gonna be cold, I should be fuzzy and snuggly!"  I'm dumb.  I sho' did bust out the ol' cozy sundress and fuzzy pants for a seriously snowy, steep, and slippery hike.  I mean, I was warm, and I managed to be one of the last ladies standing on ice.  But Jesus Taliban, Korea is affecting my style.  I don't think I had much to begin with, but I've recently found myself taking 'fashion faux pas' to another level.


It was supposed to be a 2 hour hike up, but we professional hikers like to pause for snowball fights, sandwiches, and photo montages.  It took something like 5 hours.  Going down was easy; we sledded down on our butts almost the entire way.  Snow enemas!

We also almost died from a roof avalanche, and I learned that if you are ever trapped in snow, you should drool (or spit) so you know which way is up.  Releasing other bodily functions will help, also.  Whatever you let out of yourself, gravity will pull it down so you know to dig the opposite way.  FYI.

ready'ish to hike

fashion adviiiice?

Ulsan Bawi - we hit the top o' that mother



I've never seen so much snow!  I've never been so soaking wet from so much snow.  I've never had so much fun.  Hands down, best day in Korea.  Or, hands up.  Praise Korea!

The next day we bebopped down a valley to check out Biryon Falls aka Narnia.  NARNIA.  I was also allowed to borrow real clothes.  I have good friends.  Or, I embarrass good friends.  Either/or.

It's good to finally know there is at least one place in Korea that can take your breath away.  Sadly, it still gets infiltrated:

Happy Lunar New Year! Here's the usual collage o' events:



NYE was great and exactly the way anyone/everyone should start out a new year.  We opted to forego any partying and hopped a bus to Ilsan beach to check out Daewangam Park, an awesome set of rocks on the water that you get to by a wee little footbridge, that as you cross, you think "Wow, it would totally blow if this fell and I crashed into the water."  Since it was a night hike, we couldn't really see anything and we froze our eyeballs off, but we concluded that water and nature-y stuff at night is cool and ominous.  The waves hit the rocks and it sounded like thunder, and there were stars and planets in the sky.  We stared at Jupiter and Neptune for a while and then went to thaw out at a coffee shop.  BUT!  Before we thawed out, we found this thing.  This crazy thing called love...

On our way down the rocks, there was this random booth.  I was seriously excited because it looked like a photo booth, and has anyone ever not had fun in a photo booth?  Turns out, it was a Post Office...a Post Office of Love.  It offered little postcards so that you can mail love letters.  WHO DOESN'T WANT TO START OFF THEIR NEW YEAR SENDING LOVE LETTERS?!  So, Old Man Pops, check your mailboxy, here's hoping the Post Office of Love mails internationally.

Post Office of Love with ladies I love.

Poor Matty Pants was poooooped after this hike, and he was frozen because I went a little crazy with the scissors and his hair earlier in the day; he lost about 10lbs of curls which apparently = brrr.  We be-bopped into a coffee shop with our own soju, our own snacks, and our own dog and sat there for an hour without ordering a thaang.  It was a lot like being homeless and looking for a warm place to sleep, which Matty did immediately with a giant thud from his head onto the table.  At which point, we were all "let's annoy him and dress him up and take pictures."  Because ain't no thang sweeter than a sleepy pup in winter scarves and stuff.  I need a major dose of my pitbull/shepherd/doberman crew at home.  Life with this guy is getting way too cute for comfort.


Six days into 2012 I booked a one way ticket to Bali, departing July 1.  Where I go from there, nobody knows, but my adventures will include an amazing lady alongside for part of the way, some solo travel (seeking another fellow traveler or two, any takers?), and lots of sights/living/falling in love/being dirty/hopefully eating well/volunteering/exhaustion/happiness.

I anticipate a lot from this year.  I am most looking forward to another year of me-on-my-own-thinking-freely, exploration and discovery, and love; love for myself and all of the incredible people who surround me in my life (dude, there are so many of them.  and their levels of incredible'ness are overwhelming).

This song defined my 2011.  To be honest, I hope it defines my 2012, as well.  Nothing like growing up and finding yourself, and then finding yourself again (and again).   Right?  Go '12.