We call you Bro on this blog, but would you mind telling our readers what your real middle name is?
My middle name is Traveler.
Why do you think we gave you that middle name, and how do you feel about it now that you’ve traveled the world a bit?
You gave me that name because you knew that sometime in my life I would travel really far away from home, and here I am in Bali right now! I think having the middle name “Traveler” is cool, especially when I’m traveling.
What countries have you visited this year?
I’ve visited Bali, Indonesia; Thailand; Cambodia; China (just a tiny bit for one night in Hong Kong); Vietnam Malaysia (also just a tiny bit for one night); and Myanmar (a very tiny bit for one hour to renew our Thailand visas).
Do you have special memories from some of those countries that you want to share?
In Canggu, Bali, I loved the beach because the waves were very high and really good for boogie-boarding, even though I got stung by some little bug in the ocean. That was the first time I tried riding really big waves like that, and I got wiped out a couple of times. The wipeouts are fun because the wave crashes and goes over my head, and I’m boogie-boarding under the water, then I get thrown off the board and it’s like I’m bodysurfing the wave!
In the Chiang Mai Province of Thailand, there was a waterfall where you could climb up it because the waterfall rock was made of limestone, and you could go up the waterfall while the water was rushing down on your feet! It’s really cool. When you look at it, it’s really beautiful. When I first put my foot on it and stepped up on it I realized that I could actually climb up it. When I got to the top, there was a deep pool of warm water. Climbing it was a little scary because the mossy parts were slippery.
In Cat Ba, Vietnam I really like kayaking. We rode on lake kayaks that were in the shape of a diamond. I rode in one with my dad, and we stopped on a beach to see a cave where they buried the ashes of dead people a long time ago. It was a little scary because one time our kayak got stuck in a little cave and it took a while to get it out, and by the time we got out of the cave my dad and I were far behind the other group. Daddy kept saying, “Jeez” because he couldn’t keep up with the group, but it was really fun. It was so beautiful because there were big rocks everywhere in the water and it was like boating through a maze.
Do you have disturbing memories from visiting those countries that you want to share?
In Bangkok, Thailand, I had the stomach bug and threw up a couple of times. I’ve had the bug a few times at home, but in a foreign country it’s harder because we’re in a hotel room with one bathroom, not in our house.
In Ko Yao Yai, Thailand, I was on a motorbike with a sidecar (called a Samlong), and my dad was driving it. We crashed as we were going around a bend and I fell out but I didn’t get hurt, luckily. I was wearing a helmet, and he wasn’t going very fast. It was really scary. It was the first time I ever crashed in a vehicle. But, I was fine, I just skinned my pinky finger a little bit. After that, I kept riding a regular motorbike with mommy, but not with a sidecar. I’ve ridden on lots of motorbikes on this trip. I usually feel safe. I don’t feel like I’m going to fall off anymore.
In Chiang Mai, Thailand, my dad said we were going to see a movie, but then I found out it was “Frozen Sing-Along” and I was really disappointed 😦
What, if anything, do you notice all those countries have in common?
Everyone has darker skin than I do. They all speak a different language, so it’s hard to communicate. It seems like the people here have less money than people I see at home. People always look happy and usually smile here. People seem nicer in these Asian countries; maybe they are nicer to us because we have lighter skin or maybe they’re just nice people here. When I walk down the street in America, people don’t smile and wave at me all the time like they do here.
When you get to a new country, how do you feel?
When we first land in a new place, I feel really excited to see what it’s going to be like. When we first landed in Hong Kong at the beginning of the trip, I thought it was so cool to see so many people who looked different, and it was cool to see all the apartment buildings with people’s laundry hanging outside their balconies.
What has it been like eating on this trip?
There are a lot of Asian foods I don’t like. I’d rather eat mommy’s spaghetti and meatballs than fried rice. Sometimes I don’t like the Asian food, but I eat it anyway. I eat a lot of rice, plain chicken, and fruit. Sometimes we find western food, like french fries and pizza. Sometimes, I don’t like the western food here because it’s just not as good as it is in America. In Bali I had really good Mexican food at Taco Casa!
What has it been like sleeping on this trip?
We’re usually in a hotel room to sleep, which is not as cool as a house. A hotel room is a small space for my whole family. In our house at home, my sister and I share a room that’s the size of a hotel room that we get here that my whole family shares. Sometimes we stay in a small space that’s cool and cozy like some bungalows in Thailand. It’s really fun when my big sister and I get our own little space. We didn’t feel that way at home when we shared a room, but on this trip we love our own space. I like how it seems like we have a new place to stay all the time, that it’s always something different, and we don’t know what we’re going to get. At home it’s always the same.
If you don’t go to school, how do you learn while you travel?
I learn by seeing things. I’m doing more social studies here than I do at school. Every time I do something new or see something new, like go kayaking or go to a temple or see ancient ruins or play with Asian kids on the beach, I’m always learning. When I’m playing with Asian kids on the beach, I’m learning that I can play with someone even if I can’t speak the same language as them, and without the language it’s even more fun, because we use our senses like our hands more than talking. You just have fun, you don’t talk about it. In the ancient ruins in Siem Reap, Cambodia, I learned that a long, long, long, long, long time ago, there were kings and wars and they built these beautiful temples, and it’s even more beautiful now that it’s covered in jungle trees. There are stories about the ruins and you can walk through the maze of halls and steps, and it’s just so giant and old and cool!
I also learn by homeschooling in a foreign country. I’m not at a desk in school, but I’m laying on a bed with a notebook and I’m writing a paragraph or doing math. That’s not as fun as having experiences, though. When I choose to learn something, it’s more fun. On this trip I’ve chosen to learn how to draw 3-D shapes and how to do computer coding and web pages, which is really cool. I learn this stuff on the computer by watching youtube and on the Kahn Academy website.
I do a lot of reading! I have a kindle, so I’m basically carrying a library with me all the time. I like to read silly books like Dan Gutman books, and I love Roald Dahl and Louis Sachar. Nobody tells me what to read, but my dad and my sister give me good suggestions. I’m on the 4th book of Harry Potter and my dad and I read that together.
What’s one thing you want to say about traveling?
When I travel I can experience lots of stuff. In the middle of any day, I can be doing just about anything.
Our SE Asian tour is coming to a close in a few weeks. How do you feel about that?
I feel really, really sad because I’m not going to be in Asia for a long, long, long time. A lot of the things I did here I loved, but at least 50% of them I probably won’t get to do again. I’m happy that I get to go home because I’ve been homesick for a million hundred hours. I’ve wanted to go home sometimes on the trip, but now that it’s almost over, I want to stay, and I also want to go home. I need to enjoy our last days here.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your stories from the world my sweet, young Traveler. I wish you many more adventures wherever your curiosity takes you. You are a pleasure to travel with, little man.
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