Saturday, March 30, 2013

Accessories 2


Bandana- For mopping sweat, shielding face from sun, and managing my longer hair without having to use styling product in the humid Vietnam climate.

Fresh bath wipes- For staying fresh sitting on an airplane for 23 hours.  Also for quick cleanups if forced to shit in forest.  You never know.

Pocket Laundry Wash- Dispenses individual soap leaves.  Compact and allows me to wash clothes in the bathroom sink.

Ray ban Folding Wayfarers- Compact and fly.

Daily Contact Lenses- I usually wear extended lenses, but have recently decided to try out dailies on my trip.  Will save considerable space and weight not having to lug around bottles of saline solution.  Also more sanitary and easy to manage when fumbling around drunk before bed. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013



Bison Design Ellipse Belt - Tough nylon with plastic buckle.  Has not slipped once in 2 weeks of wear.   Minimal, versatile, and scoots through airport security with ease.

Exofficio Give-and-Go Boxers - Antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and durable.  They say you only need 2 pairs on any trip, alternating between washing in a hotel sink.  Saves lots of space too since 2 boxers is lighter than 10.

Casio G-Shock GW-6900 - Solar/atomic/200m.  Almost immortal.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Never sell the good stuff.

I spent quite some time mulling over the perfect pair of shoes to bring to Vietnam.  I wanted something functional enough to handle both the dirty crowded streets of HCMC and sandy shores of the coast.  I also wanted a pair that looked great with shorts, but also smart enough to wear with pants in case we went out somewhere nice at night.  The shoes should also be leather due to it's breathability and natural antimicrobial properties.  Canvas will get disgusting after multiple days of wear since my feet sweat profusely.  One pair to do it all.   I finally decided that I wanted to take boat shoes.  

I remember back in Texas I used to own a pair of Sperry Top-Siders purchased from Gilt for like $50.  They were velcro instead of laced (good for breezing through airport security), had red accent stitching, and were super comfortable with or without socks.  I also remember selling them to a thrift clothing store when I moved up here during a closet purge.  Mistake, these would be the PERFECT pair to bring along if I still had them.  Finding another pair of these would be a long shot since they were super unique and out of production, but to my surprise after a few quick internet searches I found a pair on ebay.  Exact model, in my size.  Located in Seattle, WA.  

WTF.  These are the shoes I sold 2 years ago.

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 4.20.45 PM

It seems that someone else had made my trash their treasure, and the universe has now returned the favor back to me.  This is a ridiculously mind-bending coincidence in timing by both parties.  Ebay listings are finite.  So is the window where I go out looking for shoes I used to own for an upcoming vacation.  I swiftly purchase the shoes and don't even bat an eye at the $10 shipping fee even though I probably live 2 miles away from the seller.  This is a miracle.

Evidence #1 that these used to belong to me, the smell is still familiar.


Evidence #2, soles marked with some form of possible thrift-store identification.

If you love something, set it free.....forget about that.  If you love something make sure you keep that shit so you don't pay for it twice.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Simplify and Compartmentalize.

In approximately 3 weeks, Tramanh and I will be heading to Vietnam for a 9-day vacation.  Even though this is my second time visiting, I'd like to consider this visit a first time "do-over" considering my last visit was 13 years ago and I'm no longer an awkward teenager being led around the country by his parents.  This is me with siblings and cousin (local) in HCMC circa 1999.


This will also be Tramanh's first visit ever and I'm super excited.  So excited that I've resurrected this blog in order to chronicle the trip as well as a personal project I've created for myself during the days leading up to our departure. 

My plan is to travel 3 cities in 9 days throughout Vietnam with all of my belongings packed in an North Face Heckler backpack.


Moving to Seattle has forced me to shed many of my material posessions due to our small living space.  Through this forced lifestyle change I've grown to embrace being more thoughtful about the things that I own.  My closet is smaller, more versatile, and of much higher quality as a result.  Traveling with only a backpack will also allow me to haul all of Tramanh's luggage with my both of my hands if need be.  This will be useful if we are in a situation where we require two free hands between the two of us, such as in running away from Communists (just kidding maybe not) or scrambling to an airport gate.

I'll be posting everything going into this bag with reviews in the next few weeks, then live-blogging from Vietnam each day during our trip.

Here go hell come.