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Month in Review: April 2010

April has been a month of variety.

Things started off with a look back at PAX East convention that was held at the end of March in Boston. This convention marked an important convention in PAX history being not only as the first PAX of the east-coast but also being the first PAX outside of Seattle.

A deeper path was taken with some discussion on the benefits of having a positive attitude. While the idea of a “positive” attitude is often misunderstood, we see that there are indeed benefits to thinking positively.

A peak into one of the methods used in effective inter-personal communications – a hidden jewel that is often underrated but can produce great results when used properly. Who knew that just how you word things can make a big impact.

Back to back reviews of the adventure series starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their motorcycles as they traverse Asia from west to east and follow up by traversing Africa from North to South.

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year! I am looking forward to 2009 and I look forward to another year of living my life for me and following my dreams. This past year I have set out to accomplish many goals and I think I’ve done just that. This year I will most certainly be doing more volunteering and certainly do more traveling with and without volunteering.

Happy New Year to everyone!


Revision Coming Soon!

Angkor Wat

Angkor WatIt seemed to me that where ever I heard about Angkor Wat it mentions the wonder that was Angkor Wat during sunrise. Even a good friend of mine (an expat living in Vietnam) made a point to describe how the world’s largest religious structure appeared to him as he witnessed the first morning rays reflect on Angkor Wat.

My little velcro wristwatch began to beep at five in the morning. I tumble my way into some clothes and then tumble out of my hostel room. I manage to make my way to the lobby. Outside, I find Ratanan already waiting for with his motorbike puttering.

Ratanan, a clean-cut Cambodian in his mid twenties, is my driver and guide. I met Ratanan by chance. When traveling, everyone you meet is “by chance”. As a moto-taxi driver, it was Ratanan’s turn for a customer when I stepped out of the airport. It did not take the exchange of too many words to settle on a price for him to drive me to and within the temples Angkor Wat.

The ride to Angkor Wat takes us through the quiet ghost-town of what will be the city of Siem Reap once the sun rises. The darkness is creepy. My eyes try hard to make sense of all of the turns through town. We arrive at the temple complex where the chatter of tourists began to replace the quietness of the early morning.

Ratanan pulls up to the steps leading up the main temple at Angkor Wat. I pull out my little key-chain flashlight and begin to walk down the stone path towards the darkness of the temple. I find myself an almost perfect spot by one of the pools. I can sit down to watch the great spectacle and snap some good-enough-to-frame photos. I begin to see the darkness of the sky fade away and I wait. I wait.

The rainy season of Southeast Asia brings, well, rain. The rain is accompanied by large dark clouds and overcast skies. Unfortunately, this morning was no different. The beautiful scenery I have heard about like a legend will remain that way for me, or at least until next time I visit the temples of Angkor Wat. Nevertheless, watching the early morning mist fade over Angkor Wat has been an experience I will never forget.

This entry is part of a series of posts on my trip to Southeast Asia in August of 2008. You can see all of the posts in this series the post: A look back to my trip to Southeast Asia.

The Thai Islands

Ko TaoI slip my feet into the swim-fins and pull the tabs to tighten them on my feet. First the left, then the right. I waddle my way to the edge of the boat with my new aquatic appendages. I place the mask over my eyes and bite the mouthpiece of the snorkel. I hear a voice behind me telling me it’s clear to jump. I jump.

Millions of little air bubbles surround me as I splash into the water. As the bubbles fade I lift my head out of the water and sharply exhale to get the water out of the snorkel tube. I put my face back into the water as I swim away from the boat making way for the next person.

Underwater there is a silence unlike any other. It’s as if someone turns the volume down and the only sound to hear are the air bubbles. The silence brings a tranquility that is difficult to describe. I have seen footage of fish and coral underwater before and it is nothing compared to the experience of swimming with the fish. Countless specifies of fish in crystal clear waters surround me. It is almost as if they notice me moving about and they swim and dance just to show off their beautiful vibrant colors. A well choreographed show just for me.

Off of the coast of Ko Tao, the coral that the fish swim in and out of, the “Japanese Garden” as the guides referred to them, is really a lot like a giant underwater sculpture. The forms, shapes and colors seem to be molded together by nature’s precise hand. Varying brush strokes give the coral an amazing texture, unique to each little piece. It’s as if mother nature wants us to see a great work of art – one that represents the beauty of nature itself.

This entry is part of a series of posts on my trip to Southeast Asia in August of 2008. You can see all of the posts in this series the post: A look back to my trip to Southeast Asia.

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