Can Vegetarians Visit Southeast Asia? An Herbivore’s Guide

Can Vegetarians Visit Southeast Asia?

Anyone with a dietary restriction may be hesitant before traveling to a new place, especially if you’re already dealing with new languages, new cultures, and new traditions.

I stuck to a plant-based diet while traveling through Europe, but I was unsure of what I would find when I got to Southeast Asia. All I saw on Instagram are people eating scorpions off the street, and I couldn’t find too much information on how easy it was to stick to a vegetarian diet. I’ve been in Southeast Asia for three months now, and here’s what I’ve learned…

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The Best and Worst Things About Living in a Hostel, As Told By RuPaul’s Drag Race GIFs

This post is for a bit of a niche audience, eh?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been living and Workaway-ing in a hostel in Kuala Lumpur. Hostel life is definitely a unique experience, whether you’re working for accommodation or just staying for a few nights. Every hostel is different, and every night is different depending on the people that are staying for the night, but in general, you’ll find great things (and not so great things) at every hostel. To make things fun, I added GIFs from Drag Race. No reason. I just miss watching Drag Race every week.

All images are via RuPaul’s Drag Race, in case you were not aware. Just feel like I had to say it.

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Five Strange Things I Ate and Drank in Da Lat, Vietnam (And Other Terrifying Experiences)

Things to do in Da Lat

Looking for things to do in Da Lat? Get your stomach ready. This is going to be a wild ride.

Andrew and I didn’t know much about Da Lat when we decided to add it to our itinerary. It’s a few hours away from Saigon, and another place in Vietnam to check out.  We had heard about canyoning and experiencing cold weather (for once,) but that’s about it. We were in for a surprise.

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72 Hours in Bangkok: Scams, Surprises, and All the Stuff You Need to Know Before You Go

72 Hours in Bangkok; Scams, Surprises, and Everything You Need to Know Before You Go
The Grand Palace in Bangkok

The journey has begun! Andrew and I have spent about a week and a half in Southeast Asia and already have learned so much.

Our first stop was Bangkok.

It’s Bangkok! A view from the Golden Mountain.

This is Andrew’s first backpacking adventures and my first time in Thailand, so we certainly hit some bumps in the road. Luckily for you, I’m collecting all of those bumps and putting them in one place. This is all of the questions we had about Thailand, and all of the things we researched, frantically.

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We’re Going to Southeast Asia for Six Weeks. We Should Probably Chat About It.

Going to Southeast Asia would not have been possible, or even a real thought, without my best friend, Andrew. Andrew was the first person to suggest Southeast Asia to me, and about a year and a half ago, we told ourselves we would save up our money and go this summer. Now it’s happening!

andrew and I
Small freshmen children. I promise I will not be wearing any zebra tanks..anymore.

Here’s a little background on our friendship. We met the second day of college through mutual friends. We joined the same gender-inclusive fraternity together (go Phi Sigma Pi!) and lived together for two years. He is 100% my best friend and knows more about me, highs and lows, than anyone needs to know. We’ve seen it all from each other, especially first semester senior year. Yikes.

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January 15, 2017.

I apologize if this post reads as frantic or a bit rushed.

I’ve been pressuring myself to share the moment I’m living in with you; there’s no Beat Broke Backpacking without my loved ones, faraway friends, and anyone who stumbles upon this blog for whatever reason. The past few weeks I’ve been challenged to think about why I want to go further with this project. What are my intentions? What am I willing to compromise? Can I sum my mission for Beat Broke Backpacking up in a sentence? How has that changed?

(More on that below.)

I have also felt pressured to share because each moment disappears so quickly. Since the New Year, I’ve hit so many turning points that I need something for nausea.

I’m writing this from yoga teacher training (we’re on lunch break.) I could go on and on in additional posts about my love for yoga (and I will, and I have) but I’ll have to focus.

You know that beautiful feeling when you realize you’re actually taking the action you’ve been dreaming up for months, years, etc.? That was present in every moment and every pose during my first flow of my first class. Since I’ve moved to Austin I’ve been saving for this training by working two jobs (one was always full-time.) In hindsight, I could have flipped my thinking into appreciating every moment heading to and from work as taking action toward my daydreams, but hindsight’s 20/20. Every moment from now until July I’ll be taking action toward the big plan (or lack thereof) my thoughts have drummed up since I got back from backpacking in September 2015.

My best friend and I purchased plane tickets to Bangkok that leave on July 5. His ticket is roundtrip and mine is one-way. After six weeks backpacking around Southeast Asia, he’s going back to work. The pages in my planner are left blank.

I would still be doing teacher training if I planned on putting a down payment on a house in Austin and staying here for my foreseeable future. But I’ve known for a while that this training is going to take me across continents. Yoga is everywhere, and it serves as the one form of universal expression I am comfortable using to connect with and show my love for everyone I meet.

I don’t want to have set plans for after Andrew leaves Asia; maybe I’ll hit up all of the places I will hear about in hostels, maybe I’ll stay in Bangkok, maybe that’s when I’ll head to Australia.

I am almost finished applying for my working holiday visa…where I hear they have quite a decent market for yoga.

Up until now this post is anti-climactic; I’m going to Asia aaaaaand…then what?

That’s why I’m going to revisit this blog. I won’t be posting every week again at first…I’m still working 55 hours a week on top of teacher training. But I want to make myself vulnerable and share my plans for BBB. I write full-time. I would like to use BBB as a project and experiment with making it a full-time job, while still keeping the integrity of what I want to share and promote. I want to explore making a career out of writing, out of traveling, out of being a travel writer. The moment I first picked up travel guides I knew it was possible to pursue my passions and make it a living. So I’m going to give it a try.

Buying my plane ticket to Asia was not as scary as writing this post because in July, it’s pretty set in stone that I’ll be on that plane. (Andrew and I even got seats next to each other after a hot mess of trying to book through different sites.) Trying to manifest my vision for this blog is terrifying because there is so much gray area. What will I consider “successful?” Can a blog that I completely control even “fail?” I know what the end result should look like, but I don’t even know how to begin.

The road ahead is foggy. I’ve been told to expect a lot of rain in July in Southeast Asia. But I’ve made a promise to myself since the beginning of teacher training that I would appreciate each moment and my effort to run (work, stand, fold, plank, downward dog, whatever) toward this new adventure.

So I move forward.