Guess who’s back, back again

A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.


On this season of “Hayley Stumbles Across the World” we will be going to SE Asia!! Hopefully there will be absolutely no bed bugs this time and no falling into puddles of lord only knows what.

About two years ago I asked Eli about going to SE Asia with me, to which he replied “NO THANK YOU” and so I asked my friend Aspen and she said, “HECK YES!”. Me being me, I thought we can’t possibly go for only a week or two so why no make it 3/4 months. Go big or go home! We then spent the next two years slowly gathering travel items, saving and occasionally texting each other, “You’re still down for Asia, right? You better be or else I’m going without you!” to which the other would reply “I’m going without YOU”. And now the time has finally come, we leave tomorrow!

At times I didn’t think there was any way I would save up enough money to not only travel, but to also pay all my bills while I was gone. But I feel like I really lived up to the family hustle. I took odd jobs and did hours and hours and hours of filing for my mom. I babysat after work, over the weekends and during breaks. I hoarded my birthday and Christmas money. And Volkswagen recalled my car, which was not so great for my mobility but awesome for my savings account.

As someone who has been a planner since the days when my mom would pick me up from preschool and I would say, “What’s the plan?”, you’ll be surprised to know that there is none! HA! Well, there is a rough plan. We leave tomorrow night around 6pm where we will fly to LAX, then to South Korea where we have a 5 hour layover. Aspen and I got a little excited as I guess there is quite a bit to do in the airport, apparently there is an ice skating rink, but then we realized our layover is from 4:50am to about 9 something — not ideal ice skating time. We will THEN fly to Bangkok. We have our hostel booked, it’s pretty fancy for a hostel, and will be spending about four days in the city exploring. What you might ask? We don’t know. But we are going to eat a lot of food. Maybe some bugs. I feel like I can’t go to SE Asia and not eat a bug. After a few days we are going to travel up to Chiang Mai where we have a day scheduled to visit with elephants in an elephant sanctuary (and feed them and swim with them?), and a dinner and show (that I really know nothing about) for Aspen’s birthday. The one thing we did plan was to volunteer but, sadly, it was insanely expensive and so we had to put pin in that. We still want to volunteer so we are putting it out into the universe and hoping that an amazing opportunity comes along, like it did for Eli and I in Nicaragua.

After that… we are going where the wind blow us. We have some ideas, we know we want to take the slow-boat (a two day boat ride down the Mekong river) to enter Laos and from Laos we will go to Vietnam, then Cambodia, then (possibly) the Thai Islands, and finishing up in Indonesia, taking yoga and cooking classes, hiking and other fun activities along the way. Also possibly melting along the way because at 8am it’s 88 degrees, with 78% humidity, feels like 104 degrees! The Oregonian is not ready.

Alas, we are leaves on the wind. I really hope there is wind so we don’t spontaneously combust.

2011 Aspen and Hay
High School Graduation


Join the Conversation


  1. Hi sweet Hayley
    I’m so excited for you and Aspen on this adventure
    Be safe & have a great time
    Keep us posted

  2. I almost teared up with those pictures of you and Aspen!!!! Ah so sweet. I’m so proud of you… wow you have worked your buns off to make this happen!!

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