Getting to Southeast Asia 

“Everything takes twice as long as you think” is a memorable statement that is ringing through my mind as we awake on the day of our flight. Things I thought would be taken care of days, if not weeks, earlier are being hastily knocked out  as we prepare to get to DIA for our flight. 

Important things buttoned up and we’re on our way to the airport! Bikes are in boxes, small carry-on in tow and we’re ready, stoke level is high, to say the least. 

We get to the airport with plenty of time to spare and roll up to the curbside check-in counter. “You’ll have to go inside to check oversized luggage” we’re told. At the check in counter, there is some confusion about our itinerary, “Thailand only offers 30 day Visas” came the first speed bump, we tried to explain that we weren’t to be in Thailand for more than 30 days at a time showing our itinerary, but the attendant needed proof, easy enough, book a room in Laos from my phone and that was enough. Bike boxes go on the scale, 54lbs & 66lbs respectively, they’re asking for $200 per box since they’re over the 50lbs weight limit: bring out the knife! We pulled items out of our boxes to get them to 50 pounds each and save ourselves $400, win! 

Through security and on the plane, ready to get this adventure on the road. Quick flight to Chicago to wait a bit more before getting on the next plane. Upon getting into Chicago, we didn’t have quite as much time as we thought we would. Looking for the gate which didn’t seem to match any of the signs, time to ask for directions: “Look for the lady in red” we were told, “there!” We turn, and sure enough, there’s a lady wearing red, more of a maroon really, and join a group that would be led through a series of unmarked hallways and onto a shuttle bus that seemed to have quite the knack for dodging airplanes as we were heading down runways. As luck would have it, we were in the right spot, despite the contrary feeling and boarded our plane for Doha, Qatar. 

Only 13 hours later and we land! Qatar was observing a holiday that prevented eating or drinking in public before sundown, so despite our hunger, it would have to wait. Get some food and board our final plane of the trip to Bangkok! 

Upon landing in Bangkok, we retrieve our cycling bikes and head outside to re-assemble them. We’re faced with a choice of taking transit or riding: we opt to ride. Highways are the only option out of BKK, but we observe instantly the controlled chaos that is Thailand traffic. A few wrong turns down some interesting roads that tourists will never see and a taxi ride to bail us out and we arrive at our first hostel. It’s been an exciting trip thus far and we’re only getting started. 


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