When you think about Iceland, what do you think about? Probably green mountains and a beautiful, rugged coastline, right?
Well that's just one piece of the geothermal puzzle that is Iceland. Iceland's interior is a very different place. It's a vast, inhospitable, volcanic desert. And in this enormous highland desert, conditions are punishing, and water is scarce (unless it's in the form of a glacier).
It's basically Mordor.
It's been a little while since I left the States (except for that quick trip to Canada) but now it's time for me to hit the road again. This time I'll be heading northward to Iceland, via Boston. My brother is currently a resident of Reykjavik, so I'll have a local (or close enough) to give me the inside scoop. I'll be relying on his local expertise to provide you with a city guide or two. However, we plan on doing a lot more than just hanging around in the city.
I would be so racist against Indian people by now if I hadn’t taken so many trains. In a place like India, my white skin makes me a huge target because of my perceived level of wealth. As such, most of the interactions I have with locals are about money, and the unfortunate majority of them are not positive. Traveling through this kind of environment, it's easy to get cynical. My saving grace throughout my whole time in India was my time on the trains.
I had gone back and forth about whether or not I would actually visit this shrine to tourism. Was it really worth my time? At that point I was leaning towards skipping it. Maybe it was a genuine change of heart, or maybe it that thick southern accent triggering my American nostalgia, but I decided that this guy was preaching the truth. As much as I hated it, I was pretty much obligated to go.
For this, we'll need to rewind a few months and go back to when I was still kickin' it in Hanoi... After getting my visa into Burma, it was time for me to apply for my visa into India. Living in Hanoi is great because, being a capital city, every country in the world has (or, had) an embassy right next to my house. I could have applied for the E-Visa, but I like to do things in person if I can.
Now let’s back it up a little ways. When I first arrived in Dhaka, the customs agent asked me how long I planned on staying in Bangladesh. This is where all my problems started. Take this as a learning experience, should you ever visit Bangladesh.
Before getting into the articles about my time in Burma, we're going to flash back to my time in Hanoi, and walk through how to get a visa into the country. After I booked my ticket taking me from Singapore to Burma, I was eager to start the process of getting my visa. I went online to one of Burma’s government websites to apply for my visa. However, getting that visa turned out to be a lot more difficult than anticipated.
Continuing on now, I know that my point of entry into India will be Kolkata, via Dhaka, Bangladesh. There is a cheap train that can take me across the border. From there, the plan is to continue on to Varanasi, The Himalayas, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and eventually, Mumbia.
I’m leaving Hanoi! But before I come back state side I’m doing a last little stint of traveling. I’m leaving Hanoi on August 18th and I will likely be back in the States somewhere in the Halloween ballpark.
In this post, we'll cover the first few destinations of the trip: Singapore, Burma, and Bangladesh.
Considering making Hanoi your home for a while? Awesome! It's a great place to live, but it can take some getting used to, and knowledge is power. This guide should answer all the questions you could have about moving to Hanoi, but if you're still feeling uncertain, don't hesitate to reach out and ask me yourself!