40 Days and 40 Nights = A Boat Load of Adventures!

August 20th, 2017

I just arrived in Malaysia a few hours ago and I’m now sitting in a laundromat wrapped in a sarong and my last clean shirt, being eaten by mosquitos, washing my moist, smelly laundry that I had to jam into my bag 36 hours ago (ewwwee) before embarking on 25 solid transit hours over two days to make it from Koh Tao, Thailand to Kota Kinabalu before my visa exemption expired…and I’m realizing that it’s been 39 days since I left the States. THIRTY NINE DAYS and I haven’t written a single blog post about what I’ve actually done. In my defense, I have been kind of busy…

So. I’ve proposed a challenge to myself. Right now, as I publish this, I have approximately 20 hours until I hit the 40 day mark since taking off from Nashville International Airport on July 12. My challenge is to hunker down, peel my eyelids open, relive my miserable college-paper-writing days, and churn out/curate/edit/publish a few blog posts—pictures and all—summing up some of the highlights, experiences, conversations, takeaways, and funny moments over the the last 5 and a half weeks in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.

I’m already regretting this commitment. I can barely keep my eyes open and my brain is fried. I’d go for some Red Bull, but after my experience at the Full Moon Party, and don’t think I could stomach the stuff…but more on that later…

I originally created the Adventure Files on as a place to recount everything from the funny, the sad, the exciting, and the mundane. I have no clue what kind of structure, format, pattern, or frequency the posts in this section will take on over time, but I think my saving grace in this endeavor is the fact that I’ve been journaling.

As if the whole traveling-the-world -at-a-million-miles-per-hour thing wasn’t enough to boggle my mind and body with, I’ve been forcing myself to write down, daily, the memorable things that have happened since I departed on July 12 and formulate them into journal entrees…WHICH IS HARD WORK.

With the exception of a few cringeworthy childhood diaries containing heartfelt scribbles on the first 10 pages (and–also–tediously, painstakingly written daily accounts of my two treks on the Appalachian Trail in 2016 and 2017), I’ve never been one to journal.

On the one hand, my handwriting is horrible, and on the other hand…well, actually, my handwriting is horrible on both hands…but that’s why God invented Evernote.

In all seriousness though, I’ve just never had the patience for it and I truly regret never having formed the habit earlier in life. I mean, doesn’t everyone LOVE reading about and reliving the devoted, unconditional love they had for their middle school crushes that never liked them back (considering that I have a 98% unrequited crush history, perhaps I should be grateful)?

Transforming these journal entrees into blogs that another human being might actually want to read…this is an animal all on its own…

But, I’m certainly going to try!

I know, it’s going to be an overload of information, and all of about 7 people might make it to the end of all of them, but to all 7 of you…let me know of your amazing accomplishment in the comments section and I’ll send you a postcard from Malaysia!!

8 replies
  1. Sheila Hadley Schall
    Sheila Hadley Schall says:

    Julia you are doing a fantastic job.. One doesn’t take a trip to journal but to enjoy what’s going on.. If you have notes that can be transcribed and put into some format as you’ve traveled it’s all well and good, and perhaps even a book, however, the main thing is to enjoy your adventure each and every place you visit.. I’d give anything to be able to travel as you are, carefree and excited about what’s around the next corner.. Look at what you’ve already achieved – even done some scuba diving and got, not one but two certificates in the same.. There are many more adventures and exciting things ahead of you.. You go girl.. You’ve got the attitude and the fortitude to accomplish anything you want.. Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy.. <3

  2. Debbi Wollard
    Debbi Wollard says:

    Julia, so I am NOT the only one that has started (with every good intention of finishing) a diary or journal or even a grocery list without staying with it!! Whew- I thought I was a complete outsider in this world with the fact every place you turn it seems like there are journal books everyhere and how to journal there and don’t even get me started on my many failed scrap-booking attempts and plans!!! Don’t even get me started on handwriting–the worst Dr. scribble is 100% better than mine. Jot notes on ticket stubs and such and go from there. Do you get locals to take this pics of you. One word of advice, make sure you upload Daily your pictures and such to a safe storage service. A good friend had her camera/phone stolen at a shrine in Japan and she lost a whole trip worth of never to be seen again photos. Many of us are co-living your adventure (without the bugs:-) So, Be Safe, ENJOY and Thank You for sharing your grand adventure. Next question–who do you want to play you in the movie version??? 🙂

  3. Pat White
    Pat White says:

    Julia: Journal mainly for your own memories of such a special time. That you share them with us is incredible, but don’t feel that you have to. Taking us all along on the journey even with the glimpses has been amazing. Just soak it all in….this is a once in a lifetime experience!


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