ecanteloHome for the next 2 weeks! On the small island of Koh Chang on the west coast of Thailand. (There are 2 Koh Changs, I'm on the small one) I've come here to write and relax through the 27th but maybe through the new year. Kind of skipping Christmas as holidays have been pretty tough this year. I get up every morning around 6 and mediate for about and hour. Then yoga in my bungalow, breakfast, and just sinking into the rhythm of writing now. I miss everyone so much, but don't worry, I'll be on a beach, writing and thinking of everyone with love and gratitude. #helloworld3d
ecanteloOh hey, this is important. I will be completely out of communication from, well, basically now until December 11th or so. I will be at a 10 day silent meditation retreat at Wat Suan Mokkh in Thailand. So don't worry, I'm alive and well, sleeping on a mat with a wood pillow. I think this will easily be the most challenging thing I do during my travels and I cannot wait. #helloworld3w
monicaelmore Awesome!! I want to hear all about it when you get back. Silent retreats intrigue me.
ecanteloYesterday. My last night in Cambodia proved to be an exceptional surprise with the lovely hospitality of Yumi, a concert pianist, and Soma, a Cambodian princess. Soma was born and raised in California and after returning to Cambodia spoke out as a journalist, against the Cambodian government and corruption. Pretty brave to say the least. Both lovely ladies were incredibly down to earth and we had lots of giggles. Oh and that monument on the left is Soma's great uncle, the late king of Cambodia. Her uncle is the current king. But all titles aside, Soma and Yumi were a ton of fun. #helloworld3w
ecanteloThai Thanksgiving dinner in Bangkok at the On Nut Night Market with @rkstratman and Quentin (who refuses to be on Instagram). Couldn't be lovelier, and I'm so happy to see familiar faces. We talked about America, traveling, disconnecting from technology, and life as it currently stands. We drank beer and I ate probably the best pad thai I've ever had. I could not have thought of a lovelier way to spend Thanksgiving this year. Thankful indeed. Thank you, Rachel and Quentin. #helloworld3w
rkstratman Great night! So glad you had a night to spare in Bangkok.
david_priego Love to see those faces, will be in China in January
ecanteloI am still alive. Today at The Killing Fields outside of Phnom Penh I was visited by this butterfly. It's wings were tattered and it hung around for 20 minutes or so. It would fly off, land on my shoulder, or on my hand, fly off, return to my hand, even when I was walking. I don't know if it means anything but it was a nice bright spot in a place with very dark memories. #helloworld3w
jennie0teresa Butterflies symbolize transformation, rebirth, reincarnation... Kind of pertinent perhaps ;) love you ️
jamiedb That is a beautiful story. What a gift. Have a wonderful day.
ecanteloI have decided that Kep is the Santa Barbara of Cambodia. But in the 80's when SB was still a sleepy, largely undiscovered gem. I ate a delicious desert while watching this sunset at a place my dad would have loved. I had a glass of Grand Marnier in his honor, which he also loved. I have thought about him so much on this trip and how much he would enjoy a lot of the places and people here. I miss him so much and yet I feel his presence on my journey every single day. I also have to thank him, because I can honestly say I would not be on this adventure if it weren't for him. In Battambang I toasted to him with a fun Brittish friend named Danny, "Here's to Geoff with a G!" I teared up and it was special and lovely. Here's to you, dad. I think about you every single day. #helloworld4w
ecanteloOddly enough this is about 3 hours from the other photo on the water I took yesterday. After this I walked to the Kep Crab Market and ate crab Tom Yum soup. The crab was in it's shell and although delicious, it took me almost an hour to eat. I think it was worth it. #helloworld4w
ecanteloThis is Kem. I met him after eating fresh grilled barracuda at his family owned beachfront restaurant and hostel at Otres Beach. He was a monk for a year when he was 15. He single handedly runs and coaches local kids on a soccer team on a makeshift field that he cleared himself. We talked about life, his views on Cambodian monks and why he left but still believes in Buddhism. He told me how he survived a blood clot in his heart last year and his friend had to drive him 4+ hours to the hospital in Phnom Penh after the local hospital didn't have proper equipment to help. And in all honesty, we talked because he asked if he could sit and chat and at first I hesitated and almost said no. I owe a debt of gratitude to Kem. He reminded me to be open. If we take a moment to be vulnerable we open ourselves to the opportunity to connect to another person. Great stories and a new friend. Thank you, Kem. #helloworld4w
ecanteloMade in Cambodia. Didn't see much yesterday as I was traveling on a bus all day but did get to see thousands of people pouring out of factories at the end of the day. They cram people standing into these open trucks as well as 30 people into minivans that leave the back hatch open with an added bench for people to sit backwards with the rear door open. I have no idea what the working conditions are at these places but their transportation was equally scary and impressive in a weird way. The women were cheery nonetheless and would smile and wave at us as we crept alongside them on the bus as the two lane road quickly became a makeshift 4 lane road. There must have been several thousand people spilling out of only 2 factories. #helloworld4w
ecanteloThis is where I met the amazing kids from the previous post. It's probably 35'-40' tall from the ground and houses a bunch of gold painted, colorful Buddha statues inside and is in the countryside. #helloworld4w
ecanteloMade friends with a group of kids age 7-13, who were hanging around one of the pagodas I went to today. They spoke some English and we talked a little but mostly laughed and giggled. I showed them photos of them that I took, which is what you see here. At one point they all disappeared and returned with some wild flowers and each handed me one. Then we took photos with them putting flowers in their hair and more giggling. They never asked for a thing. It was magical. I was sad to leave as they all waved, smiled, and yelled, "Good bye!" #helloworld4w
ecanteloMet these lovely and adorable ladies who were making banana chips that get laid out to dry on bamboo mats. I talked with the woman on the left as my local Tuk Tuk driver translated. She was so warm and would look right into my eyes and just smile when we weren't talking. She then squeezed my arm and smiled and gave me good blessings for the rest of my journey. This photo surely doesn't fully capture their joy or the incredible feeling they left me with. These women were the kindest, loveliest people and I am so grateful to have met them. #helloworld4w
ecanteloTook a traditional Khmer Cuisine (Cambodian) cooking class today. These are all fresh ingredients like turmeric, galangal, kaffir lime, and lemongrass. The teacher was a very strict and hilarious man who would praise or scold us depending on how we were doing. At one point he went down the line of the 6 of us in the class and said, "Good. Good. Good." To everyone and the just skipped over me. It was fantastic. We made a 3
Course meal of Fish Amok, Beef Lok Lak, and fried spring rolls. It was absolutely delicious.4w
ecantelo Oh and fresh paprika too! (That's the red skins).
ecanteloThis photo is strictly to commemorate my first stay in a dorm room hostel. These were the bathrooms/showers. No hot water, $3 a night. It was an interesting experience but I'll probably never hostel it again. I realized I'm a sucker for comforts like my own room and hot water. I feel very spoiled and privileged for being able to have both if I so choose. Also, even in hot weather, I freaking love a hot shower at the end of the day. #helllworld1mon
ecanteloAn oven that they use to make bricks here. A young girl who spoke English showed me the bricks before they are put in the oven, after, and the machine they use to make and cut the mud/clay into bricks. Her English was very good, her name was Jenna, and I gave her $1 for being a very good tour guide. #helllworld#Cambodia1mon