It’s only fitting that a summer spent in my favorite region of the world would end in one of my favorite cities in the world, Bangkok. I don’t have anything new or exciting to say about Bangkok that hasn’t been covered to the point of exhaustion already on this site but suffice it to say, it was a perfectly relaxing place to spend my final days of freedom before the college football season starts next week. Sadly, I spent most of my time while in Bangkok working. Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t squeeze in a massage or two…I’m not a total glutton for punishment.
This past month has been yet another absolutely incredible adventure. I have always wanted to visit the Himalayas but January (during my annual RTW trip) just seemed like a bad (i.e. cold) time. The summer months, as it turned out, were just perfect, despite the rainy season. I mean, sure, rare was the day that I didn’t sweat entirely though my clothing in the humidity and, ok fine, I did trudge through at least one flooded out intersection in Myanmar. But who’s counting?
Overall, I think I was extremely lucky. On the few days that I really needed good weather (to fly over Everest, to make the Tiger’s Nest hike and to tour Lhasa) I got it. Who cares if I had a few rainy days at the beach? In fact, there’s something to be said for a lazy, rainy day at the beach. Especially if you can say it from a luxurious villa or a spa massage table.
My sincere thanks to Shannon and Angela for joining me on various parts of the trip…we basked in the beauty of the good weather days and we laughed off the bad. It was an epic adventure, to be sure. We also had a pretty successful run of suite upgrades, definitely my best percentage yet. And that sure makes a month on the road a bit more comfortable!
So, thank you to Starwood Hotels for all the fabulous upgrades (my Platinum status sure does pay off, especially overseas!) and big thanks to the two new hotel companies I worked with on this summer’s trip – COMO Hotels in Bhutan and Orient-Express Hotels in Myanmar, I hope to visit many more of your beautiful properties in the future.
In case you missed any of the installments from this trip, here they are in all their long-winded glory, in one convenient location:
Stop #1 – A Second Date with Beijing
Stop #2 – Panda-Monium in Chegdu, China
Stop #3 – The Kathmandu Krush
Stop #5 – The Full Monsoon-Season-Monty in Krabi
Stop #6 – Long Lights & Late Nights in Bangkok
Stop #7 – Myanmar, Part One: The Beauty of Yangon
Stop #8 – Myanmar, Part Two: The Temples of Bagan
Stop #10 – Kicking Back in Khao Lak
Stop #11 – Thin Air, Don’t Care: Three Days in Tibet
Stop #12 – Not Much to do in Haikou
So, there you have it…one more month of globetrotting in the books! I realized the other day that after 8 round-the-world trips and now 5 big summer trips, I have traveled the world for a solid 13 months in the past 8 years. So to all of you who think you could never possibly take a year off to travel…you don’t have to! Just do it a little at a time and eventually you’ll get there.
So, yes, I’m finally headed back to the US, but not home just quite yet. In fact, I actually have a little bit of fun news to share. A few months ago, I was approached by a production company interested in making a travel TV show based on my website. So…after months of planning, I’m on my way to New Orleans to film a pilot episode for the show!
Of course, it’s just a pilot, so it’s a long way from actually being on a network somewhere but, fingers crossed, that’s the direction it’s headed. So, over the next few days we get to find out if someone who is used to being behind the scenes in the TV world can pull off being on camera. Only time will tell…wish me luck, I could use it!
And fear not, plans for Round the World #9 are already in the works. Thanks to all of you for following along again with me this summer. Enjoy your fall season as I toil away at small town stadiums across the country for the next few months helping to bring college football to America’s living rooms.
What keeps me sane during four months without a day off? Planning my January round-the-world trip! And that’s just what I’ll be working on as soon as we wrap in New Orleans. Until next time…happy travels!