We ride off into the morning light, the sun’s rays golden over farmer’s fields with an occasional palm tree jutting out of the horizon. The air is cool for a change and I wrap my scarf around my shoulders and neck to shield myself from the wind. A few motorbikes pass us and an occasional farmer. Fifteen minutes later and we are at the admission gates for Angkor Wat.
Ta Prohm is the reason I am in Cambodia, even why I’ve come to southeast Asia. Jungle and stone merge together to create something almost mythical in appearance. I walk through the temple in awe and silence as it is early morning.
The world is under my skin, itching to be discovered. The songs of foreign lands flow through my veins and a thirst to explore never seems quenched. One trip hasn’t finished when I’m already fantasizing about the next. Yet during my time in Thailand, the grass started to seem greener back home, even in the dead of winter. I had fantasized about being somewhere warm and now dream of pine forests and retreating to a cabin on a lake up north. I’ve had at least a handful of dreams where I’m searching for a new house and always end up on the water. I’m gazing out a window to see the ever changing blue patterns floating by and know that I have found my home. Yet I wasn’t home. I sold my house to take this journey. I would wake each morning during my two months in Thailand and often question why I was there. I was never really drawn to southeast Asia, but it seemed a warm, exotic and affordable place to spend my …
I hover over a bathroom sink in Thailand scrubbing my shoes with a sponge and cleaner that smells of cherry and disinfectant. My sneakers were once bright and colorful—they would attract compliments and questions as to where I bought them. I discovered them on a rainy day in Glasgow, after destroying my first set of shoes hiking Isle of Skye in Scotland. I could barely walk around the clammy, cold town as my heel throbbed in pain from a mud caked pair of low hikers I had bought for my year long trip around the world. They were the classic case of being comfortable in the store and now causing me to hobble and cringe my way through the streets with only one goal, to find new shoes. I threw practical out the window and bought my floral patterned, Nike Pegasus sneakers with a twinge of happiness. I would be cool again, not trudging around in functional, but with flare. I knew I wouldn’t be hiking again for a while and my two week old …
One of my reasons for visiting Sorrento Italy wasn’t the usual stunning cliffs and seaside views, but the Valley of the Mills which resides further in near Tasso Square. The abandoned mill is easy to miss as it’s tucked away behind the city’s attractions and far below the streets tourists flock to.
Two sisters unite in ancient Athens. We stand on stone older than Christ and gaze at the city mixed with ruins far below. The sun’s last rays dip each column into a golden light and we wander down through green spaces and savor the view from below.
I’m starting a new section on the blog. “Moments” will be more frequent, featuring a single photo and caption from my days on this incredible journey. The first is from the island in Thailand I’m currently on, Ko Pha Ngan.
What does a memory contain that makes you fall in love with a place? What qualities make you bottle it up and put it on a shelf in your heart as a favorite travel destination? My own recipe for a perfect getaway includes a dash of small town charm, pleasant people and the mountains or sea nearby to explore or relax into. I’ve compiled a list of six favorite places I’ve encountered in my six months of solo travel. I hope you find them as captivating as I did.
As I walked back to my apartment on the shores of Perast, I noticed all the couples walking hand in hand. I often feel the pangs of loneliness when traveling. I haven’t had a lasting boyfriend in a long time and rarely go on dates. Sometimes I feel a wave of invisibility when walking by men.
I’ll never ride a motorbike. I remember saying those words when prepping for my trip around the world. I’ve been in Pai one day and I’m zipping through lime colored fields in the countryside holding onto my new friend tightly trying to swallow my fear. I first rode with her last night, short stints around town following the local live music. Now as we take a longer trip, I watch the beauty of Thailand pass by and the cool mountain air washes over my sticky skin. Part of me relaxes and savors the moment with a smile. The other part of me wishes for a helmet.