Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 15:58:27 -0000
From: "Sharon Amick" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: a trip update - finally!
Hello family and friends!
This is a very overdue message to let you know what Warwick and I are up
to these days.
I'm going to cheat and skip a bunch of details and just give an overview, in the interests of time and not overwhelming email networks.
If I have a chance, I'll send out separate descriptions in the future for the countries we've already visited, but no promises....
We've been having a fantastic time.
We left San Francisco on Feb 15th, and visited Japan (for 1 week), Taiwan (for 1 week), Hong Kong (for 4 days),
Thailand (for a couple of transit days), and Cambodia (for 2 weeks).
We started out visiting college friends of mine (Dave in Tokyo and Josh and his family in Taipei).
Having people to stay with and show us around was a great way to ease into traveling mode. Many thanks to Dave, Josh, and Terry for being such excellent hosts!!
We've experienced a lot of extremes on this trip.
We've seen a wide variety of locations, from huge, developed Asian cities to a pretty remote area of eastern Cambodia.
We've visited some amazing temples in many places (especially in the Angkor Wat area of Cambodia) that indicate the heights that human beings can achieve.
And we've also seen the horrible things that human beings can do to each other, as we visited the area known as the Killing Fields near Phnom Penh, Cambodia and learned more about the terrible actions of the Khmer Rouge.
We've seen people living in luxury, as well as people living in little shacks or on the streets and barely surviving.
We've eaten some very tasty food and some food that we hope to avoid for the rest of our lives! And we've ridden very clean, efficient subway/train systems, and gone on an elephant trek through a forest.
These are examples of the kinds of experiences and exposure to new things that draw me to traveling, and I'm looking forward to many more adventures to come!
Speaking of adventures.... We're in Kathmandu, Nepal right now, and have
been here for about 5 days.
We're leaving tomorrow morning to fly to Lukla, Nepal to start a 3.5-week trek in the Himalayas. This is something I've wanted to do for years, but I have to admit to being a little intimidated about it now that we're about to start.
I think Warwick is wondering what I'm getting him into (and not for the first time this trip)!! ;)
Our plan, assuming things go well and we don't have any altitude sickness problems, is to trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp, and then trek back to Lukla via the Gokyo Lake region.
We have a really conservative schedule, and plan to take our time and enjoy the process.
We've hired a guide/porter, and, in addition to the benefit of learning more about the Sherpa culture through him, are very thankful that we'll have someone to help carry our gear!!
Our flight back from Lukla is scheduled for April 18th, so we won't be back
on email until after that.
Once I have a chance to recover from the trekking, I'll send out an update about how it went. :)
One more note for those who just can't get enough information about this
Warwick's dad has put together a great website for us (see www.websitesuk.clara.net).
I've been lazy about sending out updates, but Warwick has provided lots of commentary about our trip so far.
One warning - Warwick likes to combine truth and fiction in his accounts, so don't base your opinions of these countries on anything he has to say! I'll provide more factual accounts if I ever get caught up....
The site also has photos that we've been able to send on email.
(Thanks, Kimber, for loaning us the digital camera!)
Hope you all enjoy it.
Okay, that's all for now. Take care and send email when you have a chance.
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Sharon Amick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
05 August 2004 18:52
another travel update
Hello family and friends!
How time flies! In my last update, Warwick and I were in Nepal getting ready
to trek for 3.5 weeks. That was over 4 months ago, and countless things have
happened since then. I'd like to take some time to go back and write about
our experiences in the countries we've visited so far, but who knows when that
will actually happen. :) In the meantime, here's an overview of where we've
been. (Warning: long message to follow....)
From late March until late April, we were in Nepal. The trekking was
incredible! Despite some problems with minor altitude sickness, it was
definitely one of the highlights of the trip so far for me. We made it to
Everest Base Camp, and to a few places with amazing views of Mt Everest and
the surrounding peaks. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. After the
trekking, we stayed in Kathmandu for another week, where we ate a lot,
relaxed, shopped for souvenirs, and explored some of the sights around the
From Nepal, we went to Bangkok for a few days, and then headed overland to
Laos. Neither of us knew much about Laos or what to expect, and we were very
pleasantly surprised. We visited a few towns, where we spent most of the time
walking around on our own to see temples and limestone caves. We also had
several Buddhist monks (usually young men who are monks while they're
studying), approach us to practice their English, which was pretty fun.
We flew from Laos to Hanoi, Vietnam, and spent 4 weeks working our way from
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Our time there started out somewhat
negatively, as we adjusted from the laidback nature of Laos to the feeling of
having people regularly trying to rip us off in Vietnam. Fortunately, the
situation improved once we left Hanoi, as we became wiser about how to respond
and also went to smaller towns where those situations were less frequent. In
Vietnam, we visited a variety of areas, including mountains in the north with
several minority hill tribes, a few areas along the coast with limestone
cliffs, nice beaches and great snorkeling, interesting (and somewhat
depressing) military areas and museums from the Vietnam War (or the American
War, as it's called in Vietnam), and the Mekong Delta in the south.
From Vietnam, we flew back to Thailand, and finally spent a little more time
there. We went to Phuket, where we met up with Ian and Kate, good friends
from CA. After being on the move so much, our goal was to have a couple of
weeks of quality beach time. In spite of being there during monsoon season,
we were lucky and had pretty good weather. We stayed at a couple of beautiful
beaches near Phuket and Krabi. While the beaches were nice, the best part by
far was being able to spend time with Ian and Kate!
After we said our sad goodbyes to Ian and Kate and the beaches, Warwick and
went back to Bangkok, where we had another week before flying to India. We
arrived in Delhi on June 26th, and spent about 3 weeks traveling around
Rajasthan and then going to Mumbai (Bombay). In Rajasthan, we spent most of
our time visiting forts, palaces, and other holy sites, while trying to
survive in the sweltering heat. We also made sure to see the Taj Mahal (which
was as impressive as I remember it being from my visit in 1992), and went on
an overnight camel safari in the desert near Jaisalmer. The camel safari was
incredibly hot, dusty, uncomfortable, and still fantastic!
On July 15th, we flew to London, where Warwick's dad picked us up and whisked
us away to the comforts of home (Warwick's parents' very lovely home, to be
specific) near Birmingham, England. His parents, Frank and Chris, spent the
next two weeks taking excellent care of us, while we basically sat around
being lazy. We were both exhausted from the last five months and were quite
happy to take a break. On July 23rd, we had the pleasure of going to
Warwick's brother's wedding, which was beautiful. (Congratulations, Richard
and Sarah!!) Then, the hard work of being a tourist called again, so we
managed to get out and do a few things. We visited downtown Birmingham, took
a long walk along the canals and locks to Warwick (Warwick being the name of a
town in this case), toured Warwick Castle (which has nothing to do with
Warwick the traveller, no matter what he claims!), and took a quick trip
through the town of Stratford (Shakespeare's birthplace). I really enjoyed my
time in Birmingham and the surrounding areas, and felt very at home. Many
thanks to Frank and Chris for their warm hospitality, and especially to Chris
for so many tasty home-cooked meals!
On July 31st, I left Birmingham to come and stay with my cousin, Kathy, and
her family (husband Steve, son Jake, and mother-in-law Joan) in West Sussex.
The English countryside is beautiful - so lush and green - and Kathy and Steve
live in a particularly nice country setting, with forests, fields, and duck
ponds all around. Our days have been full of fun, with tennis, swimming, and
bike riding. I'm quickly settling in and wondering if I'll ever want to
As for future travel plans.... Warwick will be visiting friends and staying
with his parents through the end of August, when he's scheduled to return to
the States. (I think he's happy to have his days of traveling in developing
countries come to an end! More about that on the website, for those of you
following along.) :)
Until Sept 23rd, I'll be spending my time staying with Kathy, Steve, and
visiting friends around England, and trying to work in trips to see friends in
France and Ireland. On Sept 23rd, I'll fly back to Mumbai for two more weeks
of traveling in India. Then, my plan is to be in Egypt for most of October,
in the UAE for most of November (can't wait to see you, Chris and Tena!), and
to travel overland between Istanbul, Turkey and London for a couple of weeks
in December (with actual stops along the way to be determined). It should be
lots of fun, with many adventures to come!
Okay, that's enough for now. And just think - this is only the overview.
you're all looking forward to the more detailed summaries now! :) I hope
you're well and are enjoying the summer months, wherever you are.
PS If any of you have been considering a trip
to Egypt in October, just let