January 5, 2011 § 2 Comments
What a weekend! An open mind and an open road lead to unexpected adventures here in the Khmer Empire. A short list of highlights from the NYE weekend:
-renting motor bikes and cruising along winding ocean roads for a whole day
-riding out to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere (on said bikes) and getting taken through these ridiculously awesome caves by local children only to find buried deep inside, the ruins of a hidden buddhist temple inside,
-going out to the abandoned colonial casino resort of Bokor. Built in the 1920′s, it sits empty on the ridge of the highest mountain in the region (complete with bullet holes from when the Khmer Rouge used it as a hideout agains the Vietnamese),
-hiring a fisherman to take us to Rabbit island, a tiny spectacularly chilled out beach/fishing community, where we rented beach huts for 8 bucks a night and drank .75c beers
-going out to some Cambodian guys house for a new years pig roast and trying not to get killed by the small children wielding enormous handmade roman candles.
-ordering crab at a local market and watching the market lady pull up a trap, grab a crab (new dance move!) and puncture it’s brain with mangled fork
Crazy Cambodia for sure, but really the more I thought about it, the more I kept thinking that this adventure could just as easily have happened at home. There are countless little adventures waiting to be had in and around Ottawa/Montreal/Toronto, if only we could see these places like a traveller does. Just hop on a bike/jump in your car and wander around asking locals what hidden adventures they’ve got tucked away in their town. Be open and the world almost always seems to cough up a few golden opportunities.
That’s really all that travel tends to do, break up the patterns/ruts the define our lives at home. Left with nothing solid to depend upon, you go out in the world and cast about following whatever’s interesting to you. The key is to try replicate this attitude at home. Go to that part of the city you’ve never been to. Check out an opera. Find out what’s going on at the Armenian community centre around the corner. Pick a direction and head that way for two hours.