Thursday, December 23, 2010
Another crazy year in the Bedsaul household has come and gone and what a ride it was! From the frozen tundra of the upper Midwest to the stifling heat of southern India, we wrapped up what ended up being our two year world tour by visiting the two most populated nations in China and India with Myanmar (Burma) thrown in for good measure.
We began the year in North Dakota making it to the annual fishing tournament in Devils Lake before hopping on a plane headed for Asia once again where we promptly landed without luggage (a problem which was rectified a day and a half later but what a start).
First on the list was Myanmar. For the past 40 years the country has been controlled by a military junta and little progress, economic or technological has been made in that time. It’s a nation stuck in the past. British Colonial buildings dot the cities in various degrees of crumbling beauty, American WWII transport trucks serve as buses shuttling people to and fro and electricity is a luxury not to be taken for granted as it disappears for hours at a time. Tourism in Myanmar has been severely restricted and travel there is tough but extremely rewarding with some of the world’s friendliest people.
Our next stop was India, home of the Taj Mahal and two of the world’s largest religions – Hinduism and Buddhism. We started in the north and made our way south taking in all of what India had to offer for better or worse. India is a land of extremes as there seems to be a huge line between the haves and the have not’s. By the time we reached the south of India, we had had enough of the heat, the poverty and the attitudes. We were ready to leave. But as the old adage goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and of all the places we have been, India ranks near the top of places we would revisit. We love to hate it but can’t wait to go back.
Leaving the sweltering heat behind, we moved on to our final country, China with quick stops in Hong Kong and Macau along the way. A nation that is clearly on the upswing, China proved to be one of the hardest countries to travel independently around. English is virtually nonexistent and the accommodations, in particular the bathroom situation, were among the worst in the world. The varied ethnic minority groups and stunning scenery made it all worthwhile but by the time we made it to Beijing we were ready for a dose of clean, more westernized China before heading back to the states to begin the starting over phase.
Our travels have been put on hold while we both explore new and exciting opportunities. Tracy is now a partner in a translation company which she manages from the comfort of home. Jason has returned to college at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake. He hopes to receive his AA in Accounting and then continue on to get his Bachelors in Web Development at NDSU. Ty and Athena have adjusted well to the extremes of North Dakota, although Ty makes his trips outside far shorter in the winter than summer!
We hope this letter finds you well and in good spirits. May you and yours have a joyous holiday season and best of luck in 2011!
Tracy, Jason, Ty and Athena