January 2017 Updates from That Backpacker

Hello from Nepal! My month in Chiang Mai went by in the blink of an eye and all of a sudden I’m back to rolling my suitcase around and unpacking in a new place every few days. I kind of ended up in Nepal by chance because I had about two weeks between the end of my Thailand visa and the start of my India visa, and since this was “on the way” Sam and I decided to visit. This is also our first new country of 2017, woot woot! Now let’s rewind for a quick look back at January:

January 2017 Travel Updates from That Backpacker

Where I went

Thailand: Chiang Mai

Nepal: Kathmandu

January in review

LOLs: “You need to start walking with me. I was offered drugs so many times out there!” Sam is looking a little scruffy these days – he wants to get a haircut and a shave from a barber on the street once we’re in India – and the bearded look has been inviting all sorts of offers on the streets of Kathmandu. Funny thing is, I tried walking along with him and the touts will offer me, “Rickshaw?”, and then I hear them whispering, “Weed? Hash?” into Sam’s ear. I’m finding it a little too amusing.

READ: This past month I read Travels with Myself and Another by Martha Gellhorn, which documents her misadventures travelling across China, Russia, East Africa, the Caribbean, and a few other destinations. I love reading accounts about travels gone terribly wrong – those experiences make for the best stories! – and I found myself laughing out loud and reading portions of the book to Sam, who didn’t seemed all that enthused. The book kind of reminded me a little bit of Chuck Thompson’s To Hellholes and Back, which I read a few years ago – though Martha isn’t snarky like Chuck!

DRANK: I have an obsession with the Energy Me smoothie at Dada Kafe in Chiang Mai. That main ingredients are mango, banana and coconut milk and it is the most delicious thing I have ever drank in my life. Seriously, when I’m not in Chiang Mai I dream of this smoothie; I’ve even tried to recreate it at home, but it always pales in comparison. Well, this month I made up for lost time and guzzled more glasses than I care to admit. If you’re ever in town, you need to track this place down.

ATE: Speaking of food, can I just ramble for a second about the do it yourself wraps at Salad Concept? These ingredients may sound a bit unusual, but try adding pumpkin, asparagus, raisins, black olives, feta cheese, avocado and a tamarind dressing to your wrap next time you make one. (Yes, that may require some advance planning in the kitchen, but it’s oh so worth it!) I may have a slight addiction, but at least it’s a healthy one.

TRIED: It seems the theme for this year is going to be learning new skills and trying new things, and that also covers photography. I’ve been using sub-par editing software for far too long and it was getting to the point where I dreaded photo editing because I knew I wouldn’t be able to tweak things exactly the way I wanted to. Well, I finally dove headfirst into the world of Lightroom after wimping out once before. It’s been a slow progress and I’m watching lots of tutorials, but I’ve been happy with what I’ve learned to do so far.

Cool travel opportunities

Female Travel Presenter for India

World Nomads is looking for a female travel presenter to host a series focusing on Women in India, while sharing stories on food, culture, religion and more. I’m kind of tempted to apply for this one (!) but I’m also sharing it in case there are any wanna-be travel hosts reading this.

Travel tips

Travel planning tips

Let’s kick off the year with a few posts from the archives to help you plan your next trip:

How to get ridiculously cheap flights on your next trip! – Because we all like to save on airfare.

5 items to keep your backpack organized when you travel – Because no one likes a messy bag.

Sleeping in airports: Tips to help you catch some zzz’s – Because sometimes layovers suck.

Instagram of the month


This temple tucked in the jungle got quite a bit of love! Wat Palad is located on the way to Doi Suthep in the outskirts of Chiang Mai, and I didn’t even know it existed up until a few weeks ago.

What’s next?

I still have a little over a week left in Nepal, so next up I’m spending a few days in Pokhara. I’ve enjoyed my time in Kathmandu, but at the same time I’m looking forward to a quiet lakeside setting by the mountains. After that Sam and I are flying to India to meet up with his parents. We’re all going to be travelling together for a whole month focusing on Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. I’ve been to India before, but all of the destinations on our itinerary are completely new to me, so I’m really looking forward to that!

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