November, 2016- The entire plane is enveloped in a thick mist created by the cloud we just flew through. The thought of not knowing when I’ll be back is exhilarating and a rush of excitement flows through my body. All of a sudden this bright light warms up my face. Hello sun : )
The plane was heading towards Vietnam, Hanoi that day. One could say that the journey started at that point, but for me it began a few months before take off…
Residing at my friend’s cabin a town over was part of getting all of this started, as my apartment was inhabited by an Italian girl and a guy from Aussieland : ) I have listed my apartment on AirBnb in an attempt not to have (m)any costs back home while I am traveling the world. After staying at the cabin, more kind people allowed me to crash on their couch, or even stay in their apartment while they were on vacation, and my family saw me in my pyjamas again like old times.
My Airbnb is doing quite well and the two girls managing it are doing a wonderful job, which makes me one happy traveler. Because of them I get to do what I am doing and I’m forever grateful. Do you know anyone that needs a place to stay, short or long(er) term in Groningen? Please refer to Casa di Mo.
Where Have I Been?
The first five weeks I volunteered at two different locations in Hanoi, teaching English to kids and young adults. The time I spent there was interesting, to say the least (read all about these adventures on the homepage). I’m still in the process of updating everything that I’ve experienced, because sooner than originally planned, I decided it was time to move on and start traveling. Best decision E-v-e-r. So where did I go, you ask? Here’s where…
Ninh Bình – A weekend trip organized by, and with all the volunteers from, ‘The Mercury center’. For a laugh see this link on my youtube channel- the sounds of Ninh Binh.
Mai Châu – The last weekend with the Hanoi volunteers (Mercury Center) – first homestay on poles and overcoming my fear of riding a motorbike,(See ‘About Overcoming Fears’), and dancing like a crazy person in a Hawaiian skirt – watch the short video here.
Ha Giang – First location riding solo…and when I say riding solo I mean it! Drove the loop there by motorbike (see ‘About Being Badass‘)
Hạ Long Bay – An intermediate location before moving on to Cat Ba- learned how to play ‘Cribs’ here.
Cat Ba – Probably the best time I’ve had in Vietnam. Oddly enough, I haven’t written anything about it, but the pictures say more than words. Funniest moment was when one of the cheeky monkeys attacked me when I tried to prevent him from taking stuff out of someone’s backpack – watch the video here.
Back to Hanoi for a splendid way to start the New Year with some great people I met during my travels and the friends I had made volunteering.
Da Nang – After a really nice 16 hour train ride I saw the ocean, surrounded by mountains. I felt like I could live there for a while. Stayed at the best hostel ever too, making me feel like I built a little home for myself, which was a feeling I had been craving ever since I arrived in Vietnam. Had loads of fun visiting a fellow volunteer I met in Hanoi- here’s the short video of our excellent driving and filming skills : )
Hội An – Letting loose & meeting new people. See- ‘About doing what you love’ – coming soon(ish)
Đà Lạt – Repelled down a mountain into the waterfall (called ‘The washing machine’ for a reason), slid backwards in the stream, jumped off a cliff, drank coffee pooped out by a weasel, and stood under a gorgeous waterfall. Click here to see the short video.
Mũi Né – Came there to read my book in peace- met a lot of fun people instead. Was also supposed to just stay for one night- stayed ten instead. This was also the place where I learned how to fly a kite and body dragged myself and the instructor in the water.
Saigon – Tried to catch up on some sleep and decide where to go next. Was a bit restless here. Luckily, I had a very kind and patient person helping me figure things out, leading me to…..
Bangkok – Recovery! Doing yoga, meditation, eating healthier again and finally catching up on writing and sorting out pictures. Needed it…loved it!
Koh Tao – Got my ‘Open water’ diver’s license here (a video of the last dive will be uploaded soon).
Koh Pha Nang – stayed in a private room at a guesthouse which offered some longed for peace and quiet and mostly a place where I could hang my clothes and put down my stuff. It’s such a nice revelation to, once again, see how these little things in life can make you feel happy.
Kuala Lumpur – My face is gently resting against the wooden windowsill, allowing the soft fresh sea breeze to graze my hair, making it dance like a shampoo commercial, as I look up at the star filled sky. On a Saturday evening the old wooden boat took off towards Malaysia. Read the rest of what that was like here. It had been ten years since I had last seen my friends there (back in 2007 I lived there for six months with my then boyfriend) Watch how I felt after seeing my former roommie again here.
Cameron Highlands – After two weeks of being pampered by my dad’s cousin, it was time to move on. This is where I started sharing the truly beautiful photography pictures on instagram. Everyday the group of followers grows -making me truly feel good : )
George Town, Penang – Felt like a German here haha hardly spoke English and met some really nice people at the coolest Boutique Hostel. Discovered that it was so much more than ‘just a city’. Watch the short video here to see what I mean…
Back to Thailand (had some exciting moments at the border- read what happened here)
Koh Lanta – Two of my closest friends came to visit me!!! We laughed, cried, laughed some more, shared food, inspired and encouraged one another, motorbiked, ran from monkeys, sang, played the ukulele, hiked, climbed, and got sand everywhere….Don’t believe me? Watch the short video here : )
Ao Nang – Time to get to work again! My friends gave me a new boost to implement some ideas and I started working on those mostly in Ao Nang. Met Seth, a really good vlogger, who gave me some insights in how to monetize my youtube channel.
Krabi Town – Needed some alone time. Hanging out at hostels is always wonderful. You meet a bunch of interesting diverse people, which allows me to be great at what I do best; getting distracted and chatting. Fun, but not very productive…so I went and found solitude here. I felt like I was a bear. Slept for days in a box without windows. Loved it!
Chalong – German Julian invited me to stay for free at his uncle’s gorgeous resort in the hills of Phuket. Doing morning yoga by the pool looking out on the ocean, driving to secluded beaches, visiting the Big Buddha and fishing plastic out of the sea while snorkeling…yup it was paradise.
Khao Lak – Songkran! The Thai New Year was upon us. Everyone goes outside to splash water on each other. Check out the short video here (coming soon-ish)
Khao Sok – Whoa! What a fun group of people. We all went on a two day trip to sleep in huts on the lake. Hiking in a cave full of fast streaming water was part of this amazing trip. Watch the footage here. (coming soon-ish)
Where Am I Now?
Back at Koh Pha Nang!! Loved it so much the first time around. Got Dengue fever right when I wanted to explore the island and had to leave the country, so I ended up hardly exploring the island. ” Oh, I love talking with you! I wish we could continue talking some more after this trip” Tessel from The Netherlands said to me on our last night staying in huts on the gorgeous lake of Khao Sok. That was the moment that I decided to change my plans again and head to the ruins of Ayutthaya via a different route. This was absolutely a good choice, got to experience the ‘zen’ part of the island and a slice of the half moon party part! Check out the video of all the fun we had at Koh Pha Ngan here. (- coming soon)
Where Am I Going?
Heading back to Koh Tao – When? Not sure yet. Why are you going back there? To get my advanced diver’s license. Found out that it truly is the nicest and cheapest place to get it at and it’s on route to Ayutthaya, where I’m heading to after Koh Tao, to discover the ancient ruins. Then I’ll head North. Very excited to feel the vibe in Chiang Mai, Rai and Pai. I might go to Myanmar as soon as my Thai visa runs out, or I’m going to get an extention to stay in Chiang Mai a bit longer. In that case I’ll go to Myanmar a month later. It all depends on how it feels….
Play The Where’s Mo Game
Okay, just one more thing. Have you read the section in ‘About Mo‘ where I talk about the game I play my friends? One of my friends made a game out of my nickname. He always says ‘ There’s a Mo everywhere’, and it’s true!
There really is a Mo everywhere. Whenever he and his wife see something with the word ‘Mo’ in it, they take a picture and share it with me.
I love that game and eagerly participate; )
Even though I’ve done my fair share of traveling in the past, I will soon be doing a lot more of it. Let’s play the game with everyone who wants to join. Just share your picture with a ‘Mo’ (see example to the left) in the Truly Feel Good Facebook page if you find a ‘Mo’ anywhere else than here.