My friends and family have been telling me I should blog for years, and today I finally cave. The motivation: my upcoming adventure backpacking around China and South East Asia for 5 weeks.

To be honest, I wish I had taken the advice of everyone smarter than myself and started blogging years ago because this trip would appear a lot less random to my readers (in the hopes that I have some), and it would be clear that this trip is actually the culmination of many connecting dots.

Some of those dots, in an effort to stay brief, include my decision sophomore year of college to no longer play soccer for the University of Rhode Island in exchange for the one-year opportunity to study at the University of Hawai’i in Honolulu, HI. I left Hawai’i convinced that I would return, and so I decided to learn Japanese to make myself more marketable there. One year later I moved to Fukuoka, Japan and studied at Seinan Gakuin University where I met people from around the globe.

On November 6, 2011,  I am embarking on a journey to meet up with those people.

However, the biggest, most static of the connecting dots is in regard to my travel partner, who I knew long before my spontaneous college years. On my pre-school report card (where a “C” stands for “Can do”), my teacher wrote in the comment box: “Tess enjoys digging in the dirt and looking for worms with her best friend, Jordan”.

Still fascinated with the world, (and conveniently both recent, unemployed college graduates), Jordan and I decided to cover more ground together.  Our goal is to travel cheaply and minimally (each of us are taking only a backpack), couch-surf and completely immerse ourselves in different cultures.  We hope to explore the people, tradition, food and activities of the locals. We plan on reporting our observations by written, photo, and video journalism.

I am open to any suggestions, criticisms, comments and concerns. Enjoy!


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