It was a rather epic journey getting Erin and her compatriots dispatched to Bangkok -- three days of driving back and forth over various mountain passes and through various snowstorms -- but at 10:30 last night I took this photo and then left them to their own devices in the International Departures area of the Vancouver International Airport. I was nice and dropped at the door before parking so that they wouldn't have to wear their sandals and light clothes through Vancouver's almost record snowfall to get within the airport terminal.
We'd been up since 6 a.m., driven 9 hours, had dinner and hung out for 4 hours and then headed to the airport. They checked in at 10 pm for an flight leaving at 2 am which would last 15 hours, a 2-hour layover in Hong Kong and a final 2-hour hop that will land them in Bangkok at about 10 in the morning local time the day afterwards. A very long journey!
They'll be in Bangkok on New Year's Eve recovering from jet lag, acclimatizing to the tropical weather and enjoying the culture shock, before heading up north in Thailand and on into Laos. Erin will have her 15th birthday there. They'll spend time in Burma, very much off the beaten track (excellent article here) and eventually end up back in Bangkok.
I've never used a passport myself and am suffering rather extreme travel envy after spending all yesterday in a minivan with five excited travellers!