When I learned of my illness in February of 2010, my thoughts were not exactly of my condition but of what I can do with my remaining time. I told myself "I won't leave this earthly existence without seeing the world". So while I was trying to find the courage to wholly accept my fate, I started to pack my bag (at that time I used to travel with a suitcase still) for a few day trips around Asia. Although my first few trips were not entirely because I wanted to go sight seeing as I was just on a tourist visa in Thailand during my first 3 months (I needed to do visa runs either by crossing the border by bus to Myanmar, Laos or Cambodia and be given a 15 day visa on arrival or book a flight so upon return I'd be given a 30 day visa on arrival) but I always consider it a pleasure trip still.
The first border run I did was to Cambodia. I didn't get to see much of it as I only stayed less than an hour excluding the long lines at the immigration check point in the Cambodian border town called Poipet, a stone throw away from Thailand's border town Aranyaprathet.
Next stop was after 15 days of this Cambodian visa run trip, Vientiane Laos. I was only supposed to stay here for 2 nights but due to my limited, almost close to nothing knowledge of Thai holidays I was forced to stay in this Laosian Capital, Vientiane for 4 nights. I must say that this said capital is the most boring and deserted capital I've even been to. I was expecting that it would be as "grand" as Bangkok or even half of what you can see in Manila but it was not even a fifth of the 2 capitals. The only good thing in this country's capital is, it's not as expensive as the other two I mentioned and close to ZERO traffic jam plus with literally 50 cents of a Euro/dollar you can easily alleviate your hunger. Indeed traveling will give you tons of priceless experiences! Gradually I was educated about the world around me which I've never learned in the confines of my school's classrooms.
Ho Chi Minh City formerly called Saigon, the capital of Vietnam was my 3rd visa run destination. Again same as the other places I've been to, Saigon gave me a whole new level of experience. I was toured around the city by a local whom I've met online and was really nice enough to let me experience the real Vietnam. We took his motorbike and drove around the city with it but for the first time in my life I've never been so scared of riding a motorbike. Believe me I was never scared of riding a motorbike as I have been riding one myself since I was in grade school. Motorist in this city would never stop unless they're about literally 2 inches away from you! Never have I seen this kind of road manners which lead me in believing that Vietnamese motorists has none at all not to mention their hobby of honking their vehicle horns almost every 30 seconds. I was told that when you want to cross the street, never wait for the motorbike to stop to let you pass as it will never happen. So for the first time ever, I've been screaming like a high school cheerleader with my eyes closed while cruising the streets of Saigon. Nevertheless, I left a part of my heart in this bustling city and its warm hearted people not to mention the cheap, good food.
After these 3 visa run trips, the succeeding ones are for purely pleasure trips. My feet were always itching for more travels and adventure but my real travel adventure was when I discovered a whole new way of traveling through Couch Surfing. A new travel junkie in me was born...