Tag Archives | Adventure

Cambodia’s Countryside

otres beach in sihanoukville

Cambodia’s Countryside

Words and Photos by Hannah Loaring

Location: From Cambodia

The day begins much like any other. We dress, hurriedly bundle our scattered belongings into our daypacks with little care for creases, grab our helmets, and with one quick check under the bed, we are out the door and greeted by our travel companions, Sophia and Russ.

But today is not like any other. Today is different, and my heart is heavy with the knowledge that we have come to an ending of sorts: the end of our Cambodian road trip, traversing the countryside on a rusty 125cc Honda with two strangers who have become firm friends.

“I could almost feel my chest crack open as I let go of my tension and stress, my fears and reservations, and gave way to the countless possibilities that awaited us.”

We first met Sophia and Russ back in Battambang over a month ago. We’d been crossing their path for the past few days, drinking at the same bars, eating at the same restaurants, each time a smile of recognition passed between us. But it wasn’t until we came face to face as my partner Lee and I made our way out of a tiny cave in the hillside at Wat Banan that we finally exchanged words, and agreed that this serendipitous meeting was surely a sign that we should meet again. And so we did, the very next evening, to share beers and travel stories well into the night, before deciding to write a new one together on a month long adventure across Cambodia by motorbike.

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Escaping Kyrgyzstan’s ‘OTEL from hell on horseback

shopfronts

Escaping Kyrgyzstan’s ‘OTEL from hell on horseback

Words and Photos by Jacob Moss

Location: From Kochkor, Kyrgyzstan

I stood before the shackled door below a neon sign reading OTEL. Somebody had stolen the H it seemed.
A feeling of unease had groped me since arriving in Kochkor off that windowless minivan – the kind of unease a traveller feels when they arrive in an unknown place with the night at their back. Their rucksack is heavier; their senses flicker on like street lamps as they feel a vulnerability that can only be shaken by checking into a room, a place to shed their belongings, to gather themselves – a home base. These emotions are familiar to the kind of traveller who doesn’t plan,

“Here, in the fence-less land of nomads, I wanted to see this world from astride a horse.”

yet fumbles; who reads a map, rather than a guidebook or a brochure; who travels in countries that his government recommends only travelling to if absolutely necessary. Travelling is always necessary.
Exercise a high degree of caution in the Republic of Kyrgyz was the advice given by the Australian government’s Smart Traveller website. While such advice would deter many, it only plays into temptation’s hands for a traveller guided by curiosity. It’s like mother saying don’t play with the snakes in the creek across the road.
What if there weren’t any beds around? A prospect I turned over in my head while kicking the dust and shaking the melodramatic padlock on the doors to – what I had been told – was the only hotel in town.

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Letting Go in the Middle of Nowhere by Laura Baker

Laura Baker of Ethos Adventures

Laura Baker of Ethos Adventures

It’s human nature to form expectations, to plot and plan, hope and dream. We do it because we are taught to be goal oriented and outcome driven; we want the best. We think that by identifying what we need out of a single experience we can influence our circumstances to achieve these assumed requirements.

We have all heard stories about someone’s amazing trip that was made extra special by something they hadn’t expected to happen. We hear these and are inspired to travel ourselves only to feel disappointed when we don’t find the same result or experience.

“We become so committed to the expectation that we can’t see what is before us and instead fight the reality of the present moment, sacrificing it, in order to achieve the expectation.”

As an advanced society we are made to feel that if an experience doesn’t provide the expected outcome, there must have been a failure of someone, somewhere, and often we blame ourselves. “I should have planned better.” “I should have researched this more.”

I have long known that as much as I love being in control of my plans, travel and otherwise, that I truly have the most amazing experiences when nothing goes as expected. As part of my business I am constantly researching and scouting great adventures, which means that my personal experiences are necessarily planned and predictable. Yet, I recently found something completely unexpected when out scouting in Death Valley.

This is my story. (read more….)

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