I’m back! What a trip. Definitely worth it, and definitely a dream come true. I feel very blessed to have been able to have this experience and to make this trip happen. It got me thinking about the good things to be thankful for.
Some good travel things . . .
- Although there were some bumpy flights on this trip (and one kind of scary landing), I made it safe and sound to all destinations.
- I got to have Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)—one of my favorite dishes—about seven times.
- We visited a school in one of the Khamo villages in Laos and brought them school supplies and toiletries.
- I kayaked in Ha Long Bay, a Unesco heritage site; I hiked in the midlands of Laos; I went on a bike ride through the villages of Cambodia, outside of Siem Reap, and picnicked at a “secret” temple site not open to the public.
- I saw Angkor Wat at sunrise and then spent half a day exploring the ancient site. I almost cried—it was so beautiful and unbelievable. Up until that moment, I had only seen photos of Angkor Wat. For so many years, I kept saying, “One day, I’m going there.” Well, that one day happened. And I was in awe.
- I met some pretty incredible people who also love to travel, are curious, and live active lives. Most of the people in my group were “retired” yet they were anything but retired. I was inspired by the work they are still doing, many of them volunteering and working with non-profits, lending their skills and putting their care and passion into action. One woman—in her late 60s–just got certified in paleontology and is going on a dig in Madagascar. Another woman works with hospitals in Haiti. One couple goes to Peru every year to volunteer medical services (he’s a doctor, she’s a physical therapist) to women and children.
And there’s so much more. I felt like every day on this trip was a gift. The whole experience is a gift I will always treasure.
Make it a great week!
(Image taken by Ela Aktay.)