a year ago i climbed through this crazy jungle on Railey beach in Thailand and found this view... and so so much more. it's cheesy and it's cliché to say that solo-travel changed me forever--and it's also my Truth. || i have so many #instaworthy pictures i've never shared and even more stories of moments that were so perfect they hardly seem real anymore in the here and now. but it's never enough to do it all justice. and anyway, they are just mine. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀i'm honored and i'm humbled anytime someone talks to me about my adventures or follows along (and sharing it all IS my favorite part), but more than any of that i just want you to know you can have it all too. it's available and it's yours. || i've found that i can read books or watch movies about where i want to go and what i want to do. i can get inspired by others. but it's nothing like forgetting all of that and saying--this is my life and i deserve THAT too. i'm worth that too. im going to go climb to the top of some random jungle that i find and see the most beautiful island in the world. i'm going to go get my experience. maybe yours doesn't look like this at all... most days, mine doesn't either. it looks just as beautiful, though. 🏝👁 #gogetyours#adventureforever#Thailand#solotravel#femaletravel#backpacker#blessedaffffff
I have spent the last 3 days on a little island off the coast of Cambodia by the name of Koh Rong Samloem. It has been the most relaxing, disconnected part of my trip thus far. No cell service, and little to no wi-fi. Although it is peak season here, there are very, very few people on the island right now. To put it in perspective, I went fo a run along the main beach this morning, and in 40 minutes, I didn’t see any tourists, only a handful of locals who were sweeping the sand out in front of the hotels.
I stayed in an open air building, with a mattress pad that sat on the ground, with the most stunning view of the white sand & teal ocean waters. I finished two of the books I am reading, and have barely spoken to anyone. I needed this time to myself. It has allowed me the silence, and space to really go within and deal with all the “things” in their that I’ve been ignoring.
I saw a post this morning that perfectly summed up some of the internal things I’ve been sorting out the past few days.
The quote read “I am fucking insane but my intentions are gold and my heart is pure.” I related this this quote more than I was anticipating. A few years ago, if someone would have called me insane, I would have been super offended. Flash forward to now, and I can 100% admit that I am insane! One definition of insane is “a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction.” If you define “normal” as what the masses are doing, then I am by definition, very much insane. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t perceive situations the same as most people that I come into contact with. This is a quality that I actually love about myself. I think that my “obscure” view of situations has led me to avoid a lot of conflict & negativity in my life, and has allowed me to experience unexpected joy. Also, my behavior is far from “normal”. I make decisions on a whim, and while many think I’m insane, I like to think of it more as trusting my intuition, and trusting the support of the universe. My “craziest” decisions have without a doubt been my best decisions.
[continued in comments because apparently I’ve got a lot to say today...]
I'm finally starting a portrait series inspired by my 5 week trip on the trans-siberian railroad last Summer. Friends have been asking me for a map of the trip.. here it is! All my stops are highlighted (ranging from 1/2 day to 3 days in length). Through my rose glasses the trip felt magical, the people were hilarious/sincere/welcoming and nature beautiful - more photos to come 😶
A few days ago, I took an amazing tour of Bokor Mountain, with Darren from @madmonkeyhostels Kampot. (If you are in Kampot in the next two weeks, you MUST go on this tour!)
This is the view from behind the “Old Casino”. As we were walking up to this building, that has recently been converted into a luxury hotel, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming wave of eerie, negative energy hit me. I couldn’t make sense of it. Although this hotel is currently in business, it was clearly empty of guests, however there were tons of hotel staff both inside and outside of the hotel. This was weird, but didn’t give me reason to be having this intense of a reaction. I turned to the girl next to me, and showed her how the hair on my arms was standing up. Again, I had no reason to be creeped out by this place, but something was off, and I knew it.
Our tour guide then took us around the back of the hotel to take in the breathtaking panorama of Gulf of Thailand & nearby Vietnam. I snapped this photo, thinking that it was so beautiful, but something still felt off…
A minute later, Darren started to tell us a little history about this very spot. He shared with us, that the Khmer Rouge had control over this mountain, and continued to perform executions here… AS RECENTLY AS 2006!
I WAS SHOOK! 1996! YES, you read that correctly. So until the time that I was 7 years old, Cambodians were being shot in the leg, then thrown over this cliff, plummeting to their death. The jungle beneath is so dense, that it is inaccessible, so the poor victims bodies still remain there. I think that would explain why I felt the energy shift upon arriving here. This information also helped me to understand why I have felt an overall sense of somberness since arriving in Cambodia. The Cambodians that live here today survived these grim times. Locals my age, recall hiding under floor boards as children, when the Khmer Rouge would invade their villages. I can’t even imagine experiencing this, and it gives me such a broader perspective of the world, reminding me how incredibly blessed I am to have lived an EASY life.
I am realizing more than ever, how rare this is.
Checking off another bucket list item - Flying a plane (plus take off and landing) for the first time 🛫🛬
Also get to play a wee role reversal sitting the pilot boyfriend at the back as a passenger 👨🏻✈️😂
"I have one month left." A phrase I've been saying the past week to travelers I meet but today marks officially one month until I'm back on US soil.
It doesn't feel like two months have gone by.. yet at the same time it does. And today I find myself in reflection.
I came to South America to learn to slow down and appreciate travel in a different way. And man, has South America abundantly done that.
Travel isn't always "planned candids", mountain top views, & beach sunsets.
South America has been a lot of uncomfortableness. Long bus rides, crappy wifi, altitude headaches, immigration lines, and wondering if the food you're eating is going to make you sick or not.
But SA has taught me to appreciate time and find beauty in simple things in a way I hadn't before.
Time is your most precious commodity. Find time to look around and see the beauty around you. Find time for yourself in the morning. Find time to smile and realize that this world is beautiful and just outside your doorstep, dying to show itself to you.
Two months down, one to go. I can't wait to show you all more of this beautiful continent 🌎
I was looking back in my journal to write this post and read “I never want to leave Northern Italy. I would love to spend a summer here some day.” I should probably make that happen, but for now I can sit in my mountain-less town and reminisce about this wonderful part of the world. 💙
The endless pizza, pasta, wine and gelato alone could convince you to visit, but Northern Italy is also home to the most unique mountain range I have ever seen. The Dolomites. This mountain range provides tons of activities; hiking, climbing, hidden hot springs, and many more. One of my all time favorites was the hike to Lago Di Sorapis.
Read more about it here! Link in bio.