This morning is becoming a more frequent anomaly - having time to just sit back and relax with a magazine or a cup of coffee, and so I find myself updating the blog which hasn't seen any attention since the summer.
The college process has been a whirlwind, but only in the most positive of senses. And the fall academic semester is coming to a close. This may all seem quite banal, and to some extent it is. But there is more in store.
In 5 days, I am going to be on a plane back to Hanoi, Vietnam with my bike as luggage. Over the ensuing 35 days, I will ride 1,200 miles south from Hanoi to Saigon. Hawken gave me the time off to pursue this project on my own, but was not comfortable in sponsoring the trip. So here I am. At the cusp of the next adventure. Even as trite as the "winding down" theme may be, it seems to encapsulate a particular threshold this year.
There is academic value to the trip as well. I am going with a broad research question in mind: "what is the changing cultural and economic face of Vietnam?" Armed with a GoPro, iPhone, and microphone, I will be interviewing locals, expats, teachers, and NGO organizers, writing about my travels, photographing everything that might add something to anything, and videoing some of the best sections of biking.
I've decided that to celebrate Thanksgiving next Friday, I would like to have a whole roasted duck. But I'm not there yet, I still need to finish the packing, take my bicycle apart, and say my goodbyes. This trip seems to be a threshold in some other ways too. A threshold from high school to college, an all-too pervasive backdrop this last year. But it's a threshold into adulthood as well - I'll be celebrating my 18th birthday in Saigon, and I cannot think of a better way to spend it.
I am also rebooting my travel blogging. Follow my daily writings here, in additions to photos / videos on Instagram / Facebook.