The one thing we needed to make Chiang Mai perfect

We are really enjoying our time off in Chiang Mai. We’ve found some excellent local cycling, some of the most amazing food in the whole world (omg khao soi, drool!), friendly kitties and puppies, comfortable neighborhoods, beautiful mountain views, night markets selling everything you don’t really need, beautiful temples, ancient ruins, a great Thai school, good WiFi for me to brush up on learning some technologies to keep my skills sharp, and we’ve made a few friends.

I can definitely see why so many expats end up staying here a while. It’s a very comfortable and welcoming place.

But one of the things I’ve really missed from home was something I used to make for breakfast every morning: a pretzel bun fried egg, ham, and cheese sandwich. Obviously, I can never truly be happy calling somewhere my home without this simple necessity.

We have a kitchenette in our current place, so we went shopping to make as close of an approximation as we could whip up with Asian groceries.

To our delight, the nearby market has all the Western ingredients you could dream of, including freshly baked pretzel buns, Wisconsin cheddar cheese, Polish smoked ham, and New Zealand butter. And of course the Thai eggs are some of the nicest eggs I’ve ever cooked with, rich yolks and hard shells. And so here is the result.

With that taken care of, we may just stay here a while… Friends and family, come visit!

Embarrassing myself in Thai

Yesterday I took my first Thai language lesson in Chiang Mai, and my excellent and funny teacher at TSL (Thai as a Second Language school) helped me with pronounciation and vocabulary. Halfway through the lesson, I told her I’d been having trouble asking for bottled water at shops.

She asked how I was asking for it, and when I pronounced “nom yay”, she was rolling on the floor with laughter.

Apparently, “nom yay” in Thai means “big breast”, นมใหญ่. Picture a foreign man on a bicycle walking up to a woman at a small shop in the middle of nowhere and asking for a big breast. Yeah, that explains the looks I’ve been getting!

Instead, I should be asking for “naám yay”, น้ำใหญ่.

A very important lesson, indeed! Looking forward to learning more…

Recognizing noodle shops in Thailand: ก๋วยเตี๋ยว

Once you learn what to look for, you’ll find noodle shops all over the place in Thailand, but it took us a while to learn to find them. In the touristy areas it’s easy since they will all have English on the sign, but step just a block away and you’ll find lots of street food and restaurants with everything written in Thai. This is where you get the best food if you know what to look for.

The key is to look for these Thai characters: ก๋วยเตี๋ยว which means noodles, pronounced kway-tee-ow. But practically speaking, all you have to look for is a sign with the “chicken letter” with a plus on top: ก๋ with a bunch of letters after it. It’s almost always a noodle shop because that’s one of the only food words that starts with that symbol.

The menus vary, but these places will almost always have noodle soup (kway-tee-ow naam), and may also have pad Thai (ผัดไทย), pad see ew, pad kee mow, and other noodle dishes.

To know what kind of protein is in it, you should learn the Thai symbols and words for chicken (ไก่ gai), pork (หมู moo), prawn (กุ้ง gueng), and tofu (เต้าหู้ tao-hoo).

We used this today to find an excellent pad Thai with pork cracklings, 25km away from anything touristy. It’s funny though, the locals predicted we would order pad Thai as we walked up, whispering “farang” and “pad Thai”, and giggled when we asked for it; I guess it’s kind of stereotypical for westerners to order pad Thai, but damn it’s so good! And it was the first item on the menu, so it was their specialty! No regrets, best meal we’ve had in days.

Watering the driveway

Ahh, we’re back in Thailand again, land of smiles, pad Thai, and people who water their driveways and the roads in front of their houses. Why is this a thing? More on that in just a minute. But first, some photos over the past few days.

Oh, and I’m completely recovered from the bad food incident now and feel 100% normal, except I seem to be lactose intolerant suddenly, something that has never happened to me. I’ll give it a week and try some dairy products again; I’m hoping it’s temporary. Luckily it’s super easy to avoid dairy in Thailand so no big deal.

Yangon’s Shwedegan Pagoda is one of the most important sites in Buddhism, so we couldn’t miss it!

Detail of a pillar.

Carvings of scenes from Buddhism.

Every night at 6:30, thousands of small oil lamps are lit surrounding the pagoda.

The use of LED lighting adds a strange bit of modern-ness to this timeless Buddha statue.

We got a chance to wear our longyi!

(Sorry it’s a bit blurry…) Back in Mae Sot at the night market, there appears to be “a thing” going on at the Mae Sot night market; as you can see we ran into 3 more cycle tourists and met up with Ton again. Mark is the guy on the solar-powered e-bike we met in Myanmar; he’s waiting in Mae Sot on a part to be shipped. Briana and Nick are on their way into Myanmar on their way through Southeast Asia. As always we exchanged stories and advice for roads ahead.

One of the great suggestions we had was from Ton to avoid the busy highway between Mae Sot and Tak. Instead he suggested taking the old road between Mae Ramat and Ban Tak. Briana and Nick had ridden that way and really liked it, so we gave it a try. It was really beautiful, almost no traffic, well-paved roads. Only challenge was a 3-4km climb that averages 10% and has sustained sections of 12+% grades. So we walked a lot of it. But it was a much nicer option than the busy highway, and we’d recommend it to anyone who has the extra day or two you will need to make the detour.

15km east of Mae Ramat near the top of the climb is a national park where you can rent tents for 250baht or bungalows for 500 (“baan pak” in Thai). We had a lovely evening but the food options were seriously limited; the restaurant only had ham fried rice and only opens on request. So we bought a few instant cups o’ noodles and a cup o’ jok (rice porridge with pork) for dinner and breakfast the next morning. The staff don’t speak English but are super friendly, and we didn’t see any other guests the whole time; it’s an amazing place to get away from everything! It felt different from anywhere we’ve been in Thailand so far.

Riding into Ban Tak, there was a section of road that for some reason had been watered recently. Maybe you’ll say it’s to help keep the dust down? Well this is how that works out when you’re on a bike. Of course, we’d just spent 2 hours a few days ago meticulously cleaning our bikes, and 30 seconds of freshly-washed roads made them the dirtiest they’ve been since we cycled through muddy trails in Portugal. Sigh, it’s a good thing our shower is big enough to sneak the bikes in and hose them down!

We’ve got about 6-7 more days of cycling through ancient Thai ruins and small villages before we reach Chiang Mai, where we are planning to chill for a while.

Learning about ourselves in Myanmar

It’s been a challenging past week for us as we’ve made our way from Mawlamyine to Yangon, and we’ve learned a lot about ourselves in the process.

Our big take away is that it’s time for us to pause or slow down for a bit, to put in perspective the huge jumble of experiences that we’ve experienced over the past year, figure out what is next for our trip, and re-energize after many draining (but rewarding) experiences of being cycling nomads for so long.

The roads after Mawlamyine got much better, with the road between Hpa An and Kyaiktiyo being an almost-completed widened highway, sometimes wide enough for 2 lanes of traffic in each direction. The traffic was moderate, but with that much space, it was easy to stay safe and out of the way.

But the biggest challenge for me was when my Montezuma’s revenge turned into full-blown food poisoning in Kyaiktiyo. When we arrived in town, the only hotels we could find had fogged out windows and little ventilation (except for the A/C), and I felt like I needed some more fresh air to settle my queasy stomach. So we found a “resort” on Google 3km outside of town but with almost no other info, so we took a chance and cycled out. When we arrived it looked quite nice but on the expensive side. Even so, we decided it would be a good place to relax for a night so we booked a room.

From 6pm for the next 40 hours, I was horribly ill, even worse than my last food poisoning incident in Bulgaria. Steve gave me a lot of space and brought me water and whatever else I needed, even though little of it stayed inside my tummy for very long, and I had absolutely no appetite. In the meantime, Steve booked us another night there and also started trying to find us a way to get to Yangon. I knew from past experience that it could be 4 days stuck in a hotel room, and it would be nice to have at least something more interesting around and also medical care in case it got worse.

It was during this time that we also chatted and decided that we needed a little break from cycle touring. The challenges that at first made this a fun adventure are starting to grate on our nerves after a year, and we are both in need of a bit more stability and time to reflect for a while. So with that, we decided to cut our trip to Myanmar short (we will come back, but maybe not by bicycle), get a 60-day visa to return to Thailand, and then find a place to rest for a little while, perhaps Chiang Mai.

So now we are in Yangon, my stomach problems continue (but are improving each day), and we’ve gotten our visa and will return to Thailand by Sunday, with the idea to then cycle to Chiang Mai.

So that’s the big picture. Now here are the little pictures!


This monk asked for a picture with us, so we asked for a selfie in return!

One of the main stupas in Mawlamyine at the top of the ridge that runs through the city.

Ornate metalwork on all the temples glints in the sun. It’s really breathtaking at times. Some of the stupas glitter with brilliance as you move past.

Leaving Mawlamyine, we saw a chance to avoid riding on the main road in exchange for what looked like a ferry on Google Maps. Actually it’s a little longtail boat that goes back and forth all day, so we joined the locals for a lovely 2-minute ride. We were not the only bicycle, surprisingly! Another local threw his on next to ours.

Ogre Island

There’s an island off the coast of Mawlamyine that’s just had a bridge built to it about 6 months ago and only has had electricity for about a year. Before that, it was extremely rural and difficult to get to. Now, it seems the whole island is under construction with new roads upgraded houses, reservoirs, and much more being built everywhere. It’s fascinating to see a region change so quickly and suddenly; your visit will undoubtedly be different from ours because things are changing literally every day.

The island is known throughout the country for its many handicrafts, so we took a guided tour to see many of these being produced.

(As usual, sorry these are all mixed up, the WordPress app seems to get worse with each update in terms of uploading photos; it’s extremely tedious now.)

There are still many buildings constructed with traditional materials like this, but many of them are now being rapidly rebuilt with concrete, stainless steel, and other modern techniques now that the bridge makes it easy to transport workers and equipment.

Locals from the mainland love to walk through the sunflower fields here to take selfies!

Our excellent tour guide and driver, arranged by Princess Hotel.

Driving through the farmland in our large tuk tuk.

Slate is a small industry on the island for making school blackboards for kids to use. The slate on Ogre Island is one of the highest quality in the country.

Brooms being made from natural material; we see brooms like these all through Asia.

Rubber is another big industry, with a lot of rubber being exported to China to make into car tires.

Slate pencils.

Rubber bands being hung to dry before cutting.

Rubber drying on sticks to form tubes to cut bands from.

In between spools of thread for making longyi (traditional clothing), each strand has to be painstakingly attached to the next one. (The makeup she is wearing on her face is called thanaka; it’s a traditional, all-natural makeup that also acts as sun protection. Some woman make beautiful patterns with it, and many apply it simply in circles.)

Rubber discards, sold as kindling.

In this metalsmithing shop, the bellows is run by a hand crank on this big wheel. The metals used are reclaimed from old bicycles and other scrap.

Amazing to see these completely manual looms made almost completely out of natural materials, wood, bamboo, and rope (a few plastic rods too!). It looks like tough work, and each woman can produce 4-6 longyi per day, which retail for around $4 each, at least that’s what we paid.

This ancient Japanese engine is still ticking just fine at the metalworking shop, running the grinder.

Metalsmith putting an edge on a new blade.

We also visited a potter and toured the kilns; these are some of the final products.

Hpa An

Workers unloading fruit in Hpa An.

On the road out of Hpa An, we ran into this German with a solar-powered e-bike! He’s got a knee injury but refused to let that stop him so uses the electric assist to compensate for his bad knee. He says the solar keeps the batteries charged just fine. Pretty awesome!

Yangon and Other Photos

You can find these noodles everywhere. They are often tasty and always really greasy. We quickly got tired of eating these as it’s often all we could figure out how to order in places that don’t have a menu and don’t speak English. The restaurants also usually have pots full of mystery curries with a thick layer of oil on top, which looked even less appetizing.

The best tea leaf salad we’ve had, maybe even better than Burma Superstar in San Francisco.

Most dishes are served with this side plate of potent, natural, antimicrobial vegetables (aka chilies and garlic), which seems like a very wise idea given the lack of food hygiene and refrigeration here. Unfortunately they weren’t strong enough to kill whatever got in my tummy.

Our new Thai visa! NB: we do qualify for a visa exemption on arrival at the land border, but it’s only a 30 day stamp (not 60), and you can only get a visa exemption twice per year at land border crossings, as of a recent change in the Thai visa rules. So we figured let’s do the legwork to apply for the longer one in Yangon. Very simple process, took 10 minutes to drop it off and 15 minutes to pick it up from the Thai Embassy.

We saw two Discovery Channel vans go by. Maybe they are filming a special on Myanmar?

The first item is the fried noodles! Other than that I have no clue. The numbers are all Sanskrit-ish, quite different from the Arabic numerals (0-9) used almost everywhere else in the world.

Betel nut and tobacco chewing is very prevalent here, it seems more so than in India. There are red stains everywhere on the ground and on cars and walls, and many people have red-stained teeth and mouth decay. We all have our own vices, but it’s sad to see this is so prevalent in the poor who can’t afford the dental work or medical care needed to repair the damage done by this habit.

Steve graciously offered to squeeze in with the bikes in the back seat so I could relax a little with my upset stomach in the front.

That’s all for now! Our next post may be from Chiang Mai, and we’ll let you know if we’re going to stay for a little while.

One Year on Two Wheels

3 Continents (Europe🌍, Africa🌍, Asia🌏)
19 Countries (Portugal🇵🇹, Spain🇪🇸, Morocco🇲🇦, France🇫🇷, Monaco🇲🇨, Italy🇮🇹, Slovenia🇸🇮, Croatia🇭🇷, Serbia🇷🇸, Bosnia🇧🇦, Montenegro🇲🇪, Albania🇦🇱, Macedonia🇲🇰, Bulgaria🇧🇬,
Turkey🇹🇷, Greece🇬🇷, India🇮🇳, Thailand🇹🇭, Myanmar🇲🇲)
8 Flights ✈️ (San Diego-Boston-Lisbon) (Marseille-Paris-Marseille) (Athens-Istanbul-Mumbia)
14 Islands 🌴 (Croatia: Hvar, Solta, Korcula) (Greece: Chios, Paros, Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos, Crete) (Turkey: Bozcaada) (Thailand: Phuket, Phi Phi, Samui, Ko Tao)
12 different currencies💲(Euro, Dirham, Kuna, Dinar, Convertible Mark, Lek, Denar, Lev, Lira, Rupee, Baht, Kyat)
15,948.6 Kilometers or 9,910.1 miles for you Americans…LOL
387,450 Feet of Elevation (the equivalent of just 15 AIDS/LifeCycle in one year)

This past Tuesday, March 6th, marked our one year anniversary of traveling mainly on two wheels when we landed in Lisbon, Portugal. I’m filled with many emotions from this incredible journey I’m on with Tim and feeling ever so blessed and thankful on many levels. As you might’ve read from Tim’s post, it’s not how either one of us imagined to celebrate this milestone with him stuck in the hotel room near the toilet with food poisoning and me lounging at the infinity pool gazing out at the mountains of Myanmar. But alas, a higher power and the concern for our safety and health has put us in this moment taking rest days now in the formal capital of Yangon. We just picked up our passports at the Thai embassy, booked a driver to take us back to the border of Thailand on Saturday, and making decisions for the rest of our touring in Southeast Asia with a possibility of slowing down in Thailand until after my 50th birthday in July.

First of all, I want to thank Tim for his planning, sense of adventure, and most importantly, his patience with me on this incredible journey he’s put us both on. Our compassion and love of traveling combined is unstoppable, and I can’t imagine being on this adventure with anyone else but him. I always dreamed of seeing the world, but never imagined it would be on two wheels….and I honestly can’t imagine any other way now. It’s in our opinion the best way to see a country and especially the quiet non-touristy areas where we are sometimes the only Westerners around. That took a little bit of getting used to at first but now we just roll with it smiling and waving and striking up conversations with the locals.

Secondary, I want to thank all our families and friends for their continued prayers, love, support, text messages, comments on the blog, Facebook, or Instagram. We feed off of this energy and LOVE it so much, and wouldn’t be where we are today without all of YOU. Since I took a step back from “The Book of Face” and deleted the app from my phone (best decision I ever made) at the beginning of this year, I’ve enjoyed keeping in touch with people more through a more personal form with FB or Instagram Messenger, or a WhatsApp/Google Hangouts text message. We’ve also enjoyed sending postcards for birthdays and anniversaries through an app I found called MyPostcard. The best part of it is including one of our original photos and also knowing it will be delivered within one week, hence buying the postcard, finding a post office, and relying on the delivery process of each country.

Some people will ask us, “What are your favorite countries so far”, and while that is often a hard one to answer because we have gained and learned so much from each country. If I had to answer the question though, here are my top 5 picks with a couple of honorable mentions.

Top 5 Countries

1. Portugal: This was my first experience with Europe and will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason. From the cobblestone streets and sidewalks to the amazing food it captured every essence I ever imagined that Europe would be. We enjoyed two free walking tours in Lisbon, and met some other wanderlust travelers (Megan Graham & Jessica Franzetti) that we still keep in contact with and hope to meet up with again someday around the world. We also met another cycle touring couple (Dana & Anne Douglass) from Maine on the ferry out of Lisbon to start our tours, and still keep in contact with them as well. The camping was amazing and we stayed with our first Warm Showers hosts, Nuno & Joana, just outside of Evora. Portugal has a rich, unique culture, lively cities and beautiful countryside. Although it was once one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, the end of dictatorship and introduction of Democracy in 1974 as well as its incorporation into the EU in 1986, has meant significantly increased prosperity. We pedaled along the beautiful Algarve just before the tourist season started and had many of the campgrounds to ourselves. We can highly recommend a visit to this country that gets overlooked with it’s other more popular Western European countries.

2. Croatia: I knew from the beginning of our trip that I would love this country with it’s long coastline along the Adriatic Sea, and it’s thousand encompassing islands. Unexpectedly, I fell in love even more with the capital Zagreb and the inland beauty this country has to offer. In Zagreb, we met up with our first friend from back in the states, Roko Cinovcic & met his lovely Mom Katarina Dragicevic enjoying many fun dinners and just happened to be there during there 15th annual LGBT Pride celebration that we walked in the parade with both of them. We enjoyed the comic relief of the Museum of Broken Relationships (they also have one in LA), and a “Secret Zagreb” walking tour with a guide that took us to remote places in the city including some amazing street art. While we were in Zagreb, Roko and his Mom suggested we cycle through Serbia and Bosnia while we were waiting to get back in the Schengen Visa zone of Greece that we had to wait 90 days for so we said “sure, why not”. It was never in our plans to see those countries and we are so thankful we took their advice. After Serbia & Bosnia, we went back to the coast of Croatia to Split & Hvar Island to meet up with some AIDS/LifeCycle friends (Cailin Corbett, Brian Bostwick, Megan Reilly, Madison Dempsey), and met their friend Celia Mueller too. We were so excited to meet up with these friends from So Cal, and not just for the caramel M & M’s they brought us but for the “love bubble” connection that initially brought Tim and I together in 2016 when we joined Team Mo’s and trained together for the 545 mile ride from SF to LA. When you’re around these people you can’t help but have a smile on your face as they’re the friends that become your FAMILY who lifts you up and encourages you to be a better human being everyday changing and saving lives. We celebrated my last birthday in my 40’s with them on the island of Hvar and enjoyed a fun bike ride, and dip in the crystal clear blue aqua water in a little cove we found. We then met up with another ALC friend Matteo Di Giovinazzo & Denis Emme from Italy that brought us a care package that arrived too late in Italy which gave them an excuse to come to Croatia and meet us again after we had spent a day cyclying into Venice with Matteo back in May. Now it was time to make our way to Dubrovnik where I learned my cousins Mark, Michelle, and Nicole Greiwe were going to be on a stop for a cruise they were on. It was great to see family and introduce them to Tim. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset hike and dinner with them inside the city walls one evening. We also met another couple we struck up a conversation with at a cafe in Dubrovnik that were visiting from Los Angeles (Pete Alexander & Ray Cochran), and enjoyed several dinners. We also enjoyed my first time at a ballet where we saw Swan Lake at an outdoor theatre that was magical beyond belief and loved the pianist who played within the city walls of Dubrovnik at there annual Summer Concert Series. The thought of being in Dubrovnik (Disneyland) for a week was not in our original plans but Tim broke his prescription glasses and needed new cyclying shoes so we had to stop to wait for both of those….and had it not been for seeing family and meeting new friends we might have gone crazy being there that long.

3. Bosnia: As I mentioned, this was not in our original plan in pedaling across Europe, but we will be forever grateful for the recommendation and expierience in this country that all we grew up hearing about is a war every 20 some years. Tim wrote an amazing blog post back in June titled “Top 10 Reasons to visit Bosnia”, and he explains it so well for both of us. If anything this adventure has taught us is more about history than I ever learned in a textbook in HS or College….and let’s be honest, History was never my favorite subject but now I’m fascinated by it more and more with each border crossing. While in the capital of Sarajevo, we arrived at the end of Ramadan, and the city became alive that evening with locals dressed in their best and celebrating the end of the holiday eating, drinking, and just enjoying life. We enjoyed two free walking tours (tip based and highly recommend these all throughout Europe). We covered the 500 year old history from Ottoman, Austro hungarian times, Yugoslavia, 92-95 war to present times, and sights related to siege time, like Sarajevo roses, Children’s Memorial,, canned beef memorial, and snipper alley. The tours were given by two guides in their late 20’s that grew up as children of war when they were 6 or 7 years old and taken to the basement of their apartment building to live and attend school for several years with their families. We also went to the museum Gallery 11/07/95, where they aim to preserve the memory of the Srebrenica genocide where over 8000 people tragically lost their lives. It wasn’t the easiest museum we’d ever been as it overwhelmed us both the moment we walked in, but they’ve done a beautiful job honoring these people through many forms of multimedia content including images, maps, and audio. It’s sad what’s happened over the years in this country and all they are remembered for sometimes is just wars and the one Winter Olympics they hosted in 1984 our tour guides told us. We hope they get to host another Olympics soon, and that you’ll consider visiting this beautiful landscaped country one day. Another thing we learned on the tour is that they have 3 Presidents in Bosnia, one being a Bosniak, one Croatian, and one Serbian that serve a four year term, and they all have to agree for anything to pass through legislation….can you imagine that in the US? 😆🤔😜. We also fell in love with the daily ritual we would hear of the call to prayer from the countless beautiful mosques we gazed upon throughout the country. PS….Don’t forget to read that Top 10 blog that Tim wrote.

4. Turkey: This was a country we were both very much looking forward to from so many recommendations of friends, family, and two of our last cycle tourist we hosted in San Diego with the Warm Showers Community. It would also mark our milestone of cyclying the length of Europe during our first six months on tour. We instantly fell in love with the food and it continued along from there with the warm and friendly welcoming people. We could eat Burek everyday which are baked filled pastries of a thin flakey dough known as phyllo and is usually filled with cheese, meat, or spinach and found all throughout the Balkans. Thanks to my cousin’s Brian & Katie Greiwe that used to live in Turkey for the quick responses they would give to a question we would ask in our Whatsapp group chat on what to order from a menu….although they both were quite envious when we sent pictures. We also fell in love with the Baklava and Turkish Delight sweets too. We met and stayed with two different couch surfing guests in Kirklareli and Biga that both went above and beyond to make us extra comfortable and show us around their respective cities. We enjoyed our time in Istanbul during their holiday called Sacrifice Feast which made the city half as full as locals traveled to their families outside of the city. It caused the famous market the Grand Bazaar to be closed but we loved our tour of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque and just wondered and ate our way around the beautiful city staying on the Asia side of Istanbul.

5. Thailand: The Land of Smiles and 🍤🍤🍤 -Shrimp Cakes
-Shrimp Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
-Shrimp Pad Thai
-Shrimp Pad Khi Mao (Drunken Noodles)
-Shrimp Tam Kha (Coconut Soup)
-Gaeng Som Phrik Sod (Hot & Sour Prawns with Green Mango
I mean seriously what’s not to love about anything made with shrimp, and in Thailand it’s usually peeled for you already just like the states and unlike Spain where I had to work to get to the meat of the shrimp and could still see there eyes. We decided to start in Phuket where Tim has two friends that I was excited to finally meet the Selfie King Colin and Tims longtime friend Mitch from the US Virgin Islands when they both used to live there. Once again we fell in love with the food just as we knew we would from it being one of our favorite cuisines when we both lived in San Francisco and San Diego where surprisingly you find good authentic Thai food, but what better place to get it now in the mother land. I love the tropical and greenery all over Thailand and could find myself staying in this cycle friendly country. The street food is amazing and we love trying new things at the numerous night and floating markets in every city. We have both said you would never go hungry here with the numerous motorcycle food carts that we pedal by all day long and it’s so reasonable. I think the cheapest we’ve found Pad Thai is 30 Bhat ($1.00 USD). The islands are amazing and we met up with another ALC friend of Tim’s (Jennifer Spinner and her wife Kat Broadway) that were celebrating their honeymoon and happened to see our post on Facebook on Koh Samui. The rural areas outside of the major cities are a cyclist paradise with wide shoulders and curtious drivers that are aware of you constantly. It was then onto Bangkok which we don’t recommend trying to cycle into but I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to see my friend Angela Conlon who was starting her Thailand vacation there and we hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years back in our hometown of Muncie, Indiana.

Honorable Mentions

Italy: What’s not to AM♥️RE about Italy. Isn’t it on everyone’s bucket list of places they’d like to travel to? Well it was mine and we only had 3 weeks to pedal across it as our Schengen Visa (Google It…LOL) was about to expire where you only get 90 days in certain parts of Europe. We wanted to see Rome and Sicily, but will save that for another adventure. I loved all the pizzas, pastas, and pastries that you hear, see, and read about. Cinque Terre was a huge highlight, and seeing the Giro d Italia bike race while we were in Florence too. Venice was nice but way to many tourist for both of us. I’d rather of been there last week when they received snow….I think.

Greece: This country again has always been on the top of my travel list of places I wanted to see during my lifetime, and it was Tim’s first time to this part of Europe as well. We arrived at the end of the season so we didn’t get to see as many of the islands as we wanted to because of limited operating ferry schedule’s. We both agree that Santorini is a must see but you can skip Mykonos unless you want to party, party, party. We loved the less know islands and amount of cyclying we could explore on the bigger island of Crete. The Greek salads, moussaka, and dolmades we’re some of our favorite cuisines as we cycled less and gained more weight. Butt…we both agree that this trip is all about the food in every country we’ve pedaled through and not about losing weight no matter how much we’ve cycled. We also met up with two more ALC peeps Erik Zamora and Andrea Casalboni, and it was great meeting them for a stunning sunset dinner high above the cliffs of Santorini. Jean Loutzenheiser Scherbert and Jill Micheli were also in Greece celebrating their year of turning 40 with some other friends. We only saw them for a quick visit wishing we’d had more time with these two crazy girls.

When we were in India, we we’re interviewed about our adventure around the world and asked what our Mission & Message was. This is the simple response we both came up with for that question…

We see a lot of division in the world recently with governments (including the USA) telling stories of how other countries, cultures, religions or people are somehow different and less worthy than us. We hope to show (and have found so far) that there are kind, generous, and loving people everywhere, and in fact we are all the same people.

Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will discuss the happiness of the Specialized bikes we chose for this tour and answer these two questions…..What do we miss? How do we spend 24/7 together? I felt this one was long enough and will do a photo blog soon of my favorite pictures from the 19 countries we visited in the past year. Are you following us on Instagram where I prefer to Photo Blog with hashtags.