Our week in Vientiane, Laos drew to a close and we wept into our espressos over the loss of our motorcycles. Joel received his Indian visa and planned to travel by overnight train to Bangkok to catch his flight to his homeland. In an effort to postpone our separation as long as possible, we tagged along to savor a couple more days with him. We saw Joel off to the airport and all agreed that it takes a special kind of relationship to be able to spend most hours of the day together for two solid months. Fodenvensel Studios notes that our comical moments seem to have reduced by at least one third since Joel’s departure.
Now on our own again in the world, we decided to ride some trains. Our motivation was purely for the fun of it rather than to actually get anywhere. Our train from Vientiane to Bangkok reminded us that overnight travel seldom allows for sleep and so we opted for the day train to Chiang Mai. We’d heard Chiang Mai was full of delicious, cheap food and that was reason enough for us. We got to the train station about ten minutes prior to the train’s scheduled departure, bought our tickets and settled in for the 12-hour ride north through beautiful scenery. We enjoyed the air conditioned car, the plentiful snacks we’d packed, the lunch of mackerel included in our train fare and a movie half-marathon. When we arrived to Chiang Mai we met Emer and Matt in a tuk-tuk who saved us from the strangeness of being without delightful Torontonians. We spent a couple of very nice days talking with them and found some good coffee tucked away in Chiang Mai.We write this post now from another train that is bringing us south again to Bangkok. Why so much time in Bangkok? Because it’s the hub of SE Asia and we’ve got a plane to catch. And this is where the big news comes in! Drum roll please…
Tomorrow will mark the end of this Fodenvensel chapter. We’ve spent two years, four months, one week and three days timidly exploring Spain via el Camino de Santiago, France (for about three days), Norway, Turkey, Bulgaria, Germany, Morocco, Spain a couple more times, Morocco a couple more times, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos and now we are heading home! Well, sort of. We like to think of this as the beginning of the Fodenvensel Studios USA edition. After 24 hours of airplanes and airports we’ll arrive in Arizona to enjoy a small reunion with some of Austin’s family before embarking upon an epic 3-week river rafting trip through the Grand Canyon organized by Austin’s brother. And so the adventure will continue, but in a place where toilet paper is the norm, we speak the local language and don’t have to convert the currency.We’re excited for our return, and a little anxious too (all this time away didn’t change who we are inside). We expect to be back in Portland by late July. We don’t have plans (though there are rumors of a US bicycle tour), a home, job prospects nor mobile phones. Things look promising! If you’re reading this sentence, you are invited to our soon-to-be-scheduled coming home party.
For any who may be wondering, we intend to continue publishing here as long as there are still stories to tell. We hope to share some photos with you from our time in the Grand Canyon upon our return to civilization and electricity in about a month. Until then!