Published on October 6th, 2013


I’m BAAAAACK! (from Nepal, Borneo and Brunei)


Yup, the TravelnLass is still alive. Nope, she hasn’t slipped off the Planet into an abyss, nor been carried off by headhunters to some secret jungle lair in Borneo. After 6 weeks on the lam I’ve landed safe and sound here in (my new “home”) Chiang Mai, Thailand.

But I have to say – I’m just so darn thrilled to be quietly stationary again – no need to rise at the crack of dawn to catch a flight, or cruise a crocodile infested river – I’m simply taking a little time to regroup and do… NOTH.ING.

Indeed, you might say I’m a tad burnt-out. I’ve often said that – as a traveler, I’m a sprinter, not a marathoner. And 6 weeks of dashing to ‘n fro – though filled with amazing and profoundly exhilarating experiences – is pretty much my limit. I honestly don’t understand how some folks manage to stay on the trail for months, sometimes years on end. It’s not so much the physical effort of bouncing from place to place every few days and living out of a backpack that gets to me. But rather – I simply o.d. on all the new sights and experiences, and after awhile they all start to blur together. I mean, it’s all well and good to lose track of the day of the week or even what month it is – but when I momentarily forget which COUNTRY I’m in, well… it’s time to settle down again and get a grip.

And that’s precisely what I’m doing here now in Chiang Mai. Taking some much needed quiet time to slow down, regroup, and savor the many memories I just gathered in three new and unique corners of the globe.


Ceiling of Namo Buddha – the monastery where I rose at 5 am for morning prayers with the monks (yawn!)

I have quite a long list of posts in mind to slowly unravel my many adventures over the past six weeks (like… over-nighting at a remote monastery, getting a tattoo, and pushing a rickshaw to the airport in Nepal, along with eating a raw oyster the size of a DINNER PLATE and tracking down Pigmy elephants in Borneo). But it will likely take me several weeks to wade through my 1,500+ images (including 36 video clips) and peck the many tales floating through my brain, so please be patient and do stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I’ve also much to ponder and do as I settle here in Thailand. Unfortunately, the visa situation here is a bit dicier than I’d grown use to in Vietnam. I’m presently on but a 30 day, non-extendable tourist visa, and still need to pick up my extra bags that I left in Saigon (including my nice BIG 17” laptop with my bff graphic software for editing photos), so will likely kill two-birds by flying to HCMC at month’s end to grab both baggage and a bit more generous Thai visa from the embassy there. That plus, look into the EFL teach ops here (which I’m assured are plentiful with my credentials), along with … just begin to explore this lovely city of Chiang Mai and sample its legendary street food.

In short, plenty to keep me busy. So I shall begin to get to it now, and leave you with an even dozen of  stray images that I’ve gathered over the past weeks (bearing in mind that I have only my bitty netbook here to edit with and precious little in the way of photo editing software.)

Oh, and do feel free – in fact, consider yourself earnestly encouraged to drop a comment below so that… now that you know I’M BACK – I’d surely likewise love to know that YOU’RE BACK and out there somewhere reading my blather, yes?

(Click on any of the thumbnails to start the slide show…)

About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

15 Responses to I’m BAAAAACK! (from Nepal, Borneo and Brunei)

  1. Four Letter Nerd says:

    Blather? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    A belated welcome back to you, TNL. Take your time sorting through the tri-national words and images. I understand as I’ve yet to start sorting my trip which ended 2 days ago. Your posts are worth the wait.

    • Dyanne says:

      Your genteel comments are too kind FLN – welcome back yourself!

      I look forward to reading your Japan odyssey, but… I must say… I (once again?) seem to have lost you in my RSS feed, and furthermore…

      While I did manage to unearth your WordPress blog (vs. your what – older blogspot blog?) so at least can catch up on your posts there, unfortunately I can’t seem to (again?) subscribe via RSS (I found the RSS link but alas it doesn’t give me the choice of choosing my Feedly Reader – only Yahoo or something called “Live Bookmarks”).


      I’d really like to follow your every post, but don’t seem able to technically do it. It looks like you may not be using feedburner for you RSS feed (highly recommend) but rather, some sort of WordPress flavor of it. In any case, it doesn’t seem compatible with my Feedly Reader (which is arguably among the top RSS readers on the web – bazillions of folks switched to it when our beloved Google Reader suddenly waved bye-bye).

      Any suggestions?

      • > Any suggestions?

        Yes, try again because I replaced the WordPress RSS feed with Feedburner which includes a Feedly chicklet.

        I also deleted the empty blog at Blogger. Thanks for the reminder. Also added a Contact Form to the WordPress blog. Should have done that long ago.

        • Dyanne says:

          Yay! Yes I was able to drop your blog into my Feedly reader and finally catch up on your many recent travels – thanks!

          One question: Did I, or did I not – read that you were/are… what? coming to live/already here in Chiang Mai?!!

          As I’m here now, do let me know so we can rendezvous for a coffee or some such, yes?

        • I arrive on Wednesday for (mumble) months. Rendezvous TBD, after which we can blog wildly differing accounts of it. 😉
          Four Letter Nerd kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Japan Trip: FAQMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Oh and… “blather”? You mean…

      “…nonsensical or inconsequential talk or writing ”
      “…foolish or dull talk or writing that continues for a long time”
      “…Talk long-windedly without making very much sense”
      “…Long-winded talk with no real substance.”

      Synonym for:

      chatter, babble, prattle and… yakkety-yak?

      Yup, dear FLN, I know precisely what it means and… g-knows some might well argue that I most certainly DO “blather” on ‘n on ‘n on here at TL at times. And besides – if I can’t wax self-deprecating here (in jest) than who better to do it, no? 😉

  2. Hogga says:

    welcome back
    Hogga kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Seeing Montreal with Le St. MartinMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Thanks Hogga – it’s great to be stationary again after 6 weeks of perpetual motion. Just the ability to sleep in, and sip a cup of caffeine whilst still in my pajamas is sheer joy.

      But… that said – no doubt (knowing my propensity for wanderlust) it won’t be long and I’ll be ready to do some serious damage to my passport once again. 😉

      Indeed, already I’ve booked a dash into Vietnam at the end of this month, to grab my extra bags and secure a 60 day Thai visa from the embassy there (alas, can’t be had here in Thailand).

  3. Welcome back!

    Sounds like your travels have been immense (can’t wait to read your posts as you get to them) and you’ve earnt a break! I totally know when you mean about the short sprint style travelling – and then putting down some roots in a longer, expat stay.
    Ruth Elisabeth kindly contributed to world literature by posting…The story behind street names in VietnamMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Yep Ruth, I’m quite the lightweight when it comes to perpetual travel. Indeed, though I surely have wanderlust DNA running through my veins, I make a pretty pathetic “nomad”. 😉

      So… where are you these days? When are you coming back to Asia?

      (and btw, just between you and me – though Chiang Mai looks very promising, I must admit – I’m already missing dear Vietnam…)

      • Vietnam has a special pull doesn’t it? I’m sure I’ll spend time there again. Just because you’ve left, it doesn’t mean you can’t return in the future!

        As for me, I’m happy nearer home back in Europe for the time being. Next week is the start of a French immersion trip!
        Ruth Elisabeth kindly contributed to world literature by posting…The story behind street names in VietnamMy Profile

  4. Paul says:

    Welcome back! Did you do any geocaching out there? (I’m heading over to read your logs in a few minutes.)

    So have you moved out of Vietnam permanently?
    Paul kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Bigger PlotsMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Geocaching, Paul? Why of COURSE! Indeed, I’m just now heading over to to log my (long overdue) finds in… lessseee, at least one in Nepal, and another in Borneo – plus a couple of acky DNFs – including one in Brunei that I paid a taxi driver a bundle to lead me to, but never found… ;(

      And yes, though I absolutely LOVE Vietnam and its wonderful people (especially Dalat), I do believe two years of living there is enough. So yes, I’ve moved away completely (save for a couple of bags I’ll be retrieving when I dash to Saigon to grab an extended Thai visa there at the end of this month).

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