J-Ro BAMF's Traveling Adventure Blog

One bad ass chick on one bad ass journey

Lessons Learned II- Random Kindness April 19, 2011

Filed under: Couchsurfing,Lessons Learned — jrobamf @ 7:14 pm

So as many of you may have noticed, I have gotten a bit behind (ok maybe 8 months is more than a bit) on my blog. I have good intentions to go back and catch it up but all my adventures seem to keep me busy. However, today my couchsurfing hosts, Pin and Alin, brought up such emotion in me with their kindness that I started thinking about all the people the universe has brought into my life that have treated me better than I could have ever expected. I have been lucky enough to have many different people come into my life in the past year and show me such kindness without expecting anything in return that I feel like they have touched my soul and overwhelmed me with gratitude. It comes to my mind frequently and I feel inspired to express it today.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

(more…)

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Seoul Searching In South Korea February 14, 2011

Filed under: Couchsurfing,South Korea — jrobamf @ 6:29 pm

I felt like the only westerner in the subway on the hour journey to Seoul because I WAS. With all my heavy bags strapped to me like cargo, the Koreans all had a good stare at me, especially the elders. They didn’t even try to be discreet, they just stared right at me. I just listened to my ipod and focused on getting to my station- Gangdong (which apparently I say like a westerner and nobody can understand me). It was my first time maneuvering in the subway on my own and I wanted to make sure I was reading the maps correctly. I had to transfer twice and each time the train would arrive minutes after I arrived. It was so seamless that it had to be a good sign. I made it to the station right on schedule to meet Zach- my couchsurfing host. I was feeling a bit better having done something on my own and regaining confidence, but I couldn’t help feeling incomplete without Jeff around to act like a goof until he made me laugh. I tried not to think about it but a couple times on the subway, I couldn’t help but reminisce and tear up a bit. I have no idea what the Koreans who were staring at me thought of that situation, but they did continue to stare. (more…)

 

Picture Me Rollin in South Korea February 6, 2011

Filed under: Couchsurfing,South Korea — jrobamf @ 12:20 pm

So good to see this face after 10 years!

I stepped off the plane groggy after spending the last 8 hours in a drug induced sleep to ensure my back wouldn’t cause me extreme pain again on the flight. I was immediately jolted awake from the unfamiliar feeling of cold weather that slapped me across the face. Whoa, this is going to be much colder than I expected. Then the realization that I was about to see Jeff after 10 years hit me and I was wide-awake and anxious with excitement. As the doors parted to exit customs, I scanned the crowd and there he was standing right in front with the same smile I remembered. He looked essentially the same and when I hugged him it felt like only days had passed instead of years. We chatted and tried to catch up on the whole drive north of Seoul to Camp Red Cloud in Uijeongbu, where Jeff was stationed for the past year and I would be calling home for the next 4 weeks. When we got in, I had to sign in at the gate and would continue to have to sign in and out every 24 hours everyday for the entire time I would be staying, which I think goes without saying that was going to be a huge pain in the ass. (more…)

 

Mental Trauma From my Head Trauma and the Path of Healing in Luang Prabang October 31, 2010

Filed under: head injury,Laos — jrobamf @ 11:23 am

Stitches are out!!!

As much as I would have liked to never see the inside of the hospital in Vientiene again, alas I had to return to get my horrible stitches taken out and make sure I was healing up without infection. It had been about 10 days since I had been traumatized by the hospital and it was a long 10 days of trying to keep the wound dry and clean when its hotter than hades and feels like a sauna. I left Luang Prabang and went straight from the bus station to the hospital not knowing what kind of new trauma I was about to experience. I was able to get the stitches out relatively easy without having to exchange too much English and lots of sign language. When he showed me the gauze that was sewn into the stitches it was about the nastiest looking thing I had ever seen. He removed the stitches and I took a picture of the top of my head so I could get a first look at this gash on top of my dome. It didn’t look pretty but it wasn’t as grotesque as I imagined……yet! (more…)

 

On the Road (to recovery) Again…..in Laos October 29, 2010

Filed under: head injury,Laos — jrobamf @ 11:27 am

Back In the Tubing- bandaged up under the bandana

I took the first bus back in the morning and was planning to meet up with the Holland boys, Harriet and the Irish gals. I ran into the Irish gals first and they were all getting ready to go tubing so I dropped my bags at their place and made the split decision to return to the river with them but NOT drink and try to walk from each bar to the next as much as possible. I was hoping that by returning to the scene of the head cracking incident I would remember what had happened. I taped plastic over my head to cover the stitches and put a bandanna over that and off we went. I was a little nervous when we got into the river but I kept my head well above the water and stuck close to the sides.

 I ran into a bunch of people who were there the day of my accident and strangers were coming up to me all day long retelling the story of how they had seen me nearly die in front of them. The one I was most interested in was the video taper that records people swinging off the rope swings all day and replays them each night at QBar. Pride told me that he had caught the entire accident on video but he erased it because he didn’t want footage of a girl dying. The video was played that night at QBar and after showing me and Shannon dropping in the water, the tape just cut off. (more…)

 

I Lost My Mind Tubing in Laos October 26, 2010

Filed under: head injury,Laos — jrobamf @ 11:00 pm

The bus ride to Laos was an interesting journey. We were set to leave at 5pm and a Vietnamese man came and grabbed me, Harriet, Pride and Rainbow from in front of the hostel and took us to the street where we had to wait for another hour for a van to pick us up to take us all around the city in one big circle to pick up 2 guys down the street from where we were picked up. During this time it began pouring down rain out of the clear skies. So the van driver dropped us with our luggage off in the middle of nowhere pouring rain underneath a cement structure with electrical wires shooting off sparks about 15 feet away.

my sleeping area and sleeping Vietnamese woman right next to me

It was popped and making so much noise I thought for sure something was going to explode. It was so strange and there were about 15 of us all wondering when our bus was going to finally appear. After about an hour the sleeper bus shows up and we all run over and it is half filed with Vietnamese people and the remaining seats are for us. After some crazy shuffling around we all got a bed. They were double stacked and 3 across with some people in the middle. One of the craziest buses I have ever seen. We were really packed in there tight. I had a Vietnamese woman sleeping right next to me for at least half of the 20-hour ride to Vientiane. (more…)

 

I cant be asked/arsed to remember all these names…. October 19, 2010

Filed under: Rock Long Rock Hard Halong Bay tour,Vietnam — jrobamf @ 1:19 pm

2 days later, I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day as I stood in the line to check into my 6am flight to Hanoi to meet back up with Kirsty, Ed and Sarah. Only this time, I had gotten my Vietnam visa sorted out in Bangkok and was going to actually get on the flight!

Finally....GOOOOOD MORNING VIETNAM!

I had waited long enough to finally be able to step off the plane and say those 3 words. GOOD MORNING VIETNAM! I met a super cool English chick named Pippa waiting to board, ended up sitting in the seat next to her and then we were both heading to Hanoi Backpackers Hostel to meet up with other people. It worked out nice and made it a better travel journey to chat it up with Pippa until we arrived. I was able to get into the same dorm room as Kirsty and the place was absolutely packed. Completely booked and seething with partying backpackers. I had no idea how much drinking was going to be taking place in the next couple of days. (more…)

 

 
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