It was a decade ago and a half ago. I remember the excitement I felt as I began to architect what I believed to be the best life possible. I was going to study computer networking and databases…yes, for real!
In my mind this would eventually lead me to a position where I could work from anywhere in the world. Of course that in turn led me to see myself on a beach in the tropics holding down the cyber-fort with my laptop.
My first position in corporate America was with a law firm for whom any chance of working remotely were quickly dashed. Next up was a consulting company. Working from a remote location was standard practice however being outside the continental US borders was not.
Kansas, no problem, Milwaukee, good as gold.
I left the consulting firm and started a travel company and a blog. My vision finally came true when I found myself sitting in a lounge chair out front of the Scooby Doo cafe on the harbor side of Lembongan Island, just east of Bali. Continue reading Island Lembongan and Leatherjackets
As my trip comes closer to its conclusion I have decided that one last full day on the beach would not be a bad idea. Place that beach on an idyllic island populated by next to nobody and you have a great relaxing day in the making.
Koh Tonsai, aka Rabbit Island, is just a 25 minute boat ride from the town of Kep. Kep is just a 40 minute bus ride from Kampot.
A series of thumps on my door at the Moliden followed by a very polite but urgent “Sir, Sir, Sir” roused me from my sleep. I was late. The bus for Kep was leaving at 7am and it was now 6:50am. I had to pack my stuff for the day, get downstairs, and make it to the bus depot in 10 minutes.
Luckily this is Kampot and very little is more than a few hundred yards away.
Even in my half-dazed one-legged flop around my room, as I pulled on pants and walked at the same time, I managed to pack all I needed. Mostly because I adopted the “just throw it all in a bag and hope for the best” method. Stumbling downstairs to the tuk-tuk Continue reading Black and Blue
Traveling by sea between islands in any developing country carries with it a certain amount of risk. Whether it be the fast boats on the Mekong, the island hoppers in Indonesia, or the Koh Rong Sihanoukville double decker, overloaded, elevated center of gravity, ferry.
The trip across to Koh Rong had been an adventure even though uneventful. Two older obnoxious Americans, the stereo-typical kind, had very loudly pointed out the sub-standard safety of the vessel.
The high seas and accompanying large waves caused our ship to bobble in the water like an apple in a cask. Tipping did not seem like an unreasonable outcome.
But with that said it was still not something you needed to vocalized the entire two hour journey.
That however was on the way over; not the way back.
The way back started out fine. Continue reading Stranded At Sea
My arrival in Sihanoukville was after a very long and disjointed journey via Phnom Penh. All in all about 15 hours. The first eight hours though were a little more unusual than I was expecting.
In Cambodia there is a bus that connects all the main centers; Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Battambang. It is a special bus.
It’s called the Hotel Bus.
All the regular seats have been replaced by beds; train sleeper-car type of beds. They are arranged in an upper and lower level on both sides of the aisle. Two mattresses per curtained unit. Four mattresses on each level across the width of the bus.
Yes, if traveling alone you spoon with a stranger!
The first stranger I was drafted to join was an older Cambodian man with a quick temper. He was adamant that he was not sharing with me. It may have been because Continue reading Spooning Strangers
I have been coming to a trifecta of beaches in a little town called Padang Bai for quite a few years now. It has always been my place of refuge when absolute relaxation, peace of mind, and beauty were all I was after. Unlike other places in Bali, Padang Bai has remained in an almost static state for as long as I can remember. It is not a destination town but more a thorough-fare for those transiting to other islands. Fortunately the secrets of Padang Bai had remained just that. On this return visit I was hoping for the same but had my doubts that reality would not live up to my expectations.
Continue reading Bali’s Three Little Secrets