Go, go, go! That’s how I’ve felt since I last posted my travel essentials entry before our departure to Kep for the Khmer holiday, Pchum Ben. It’s not a feeling one usually has before departing for a vacation full of naps, snacks, and lounging- yet somehow it feels like October is quickly disappearing and with that time, so do opportunities.
Our time at Raingsey Bungalows was peaceful, relaxing, and exactly what a vacation should be; we never left the resort once, imbibed in a few bottles of delicious pinot, and soaked up the bouts of sun that would make their way through the constant showers while reading books of our choices.
One day after I returned from Kep, I headed off to Sihanoukville to the Independence Hotel (more on that in a future post, come December once the issue is released) for editorial and photo shoots for the magazine with a team of photographers, a model, and stylists- and while it was relaxing in a number of ways; I’ve been on edge with a number of projects, unforeseen problems regarding finances, basic work things, and just finding time in the day for myself and to get down the thousand thoughts running circles around my brain. Although the resort and hotel had great Wi-Fi, it was difficult to sit down and pound out any articles or really gather my thoughts- my return home was greatly welcomed simply so that I could get a few things in order and move forward with the daily.
Now, as I sit down on a Saturday afternoon (after dozens of back and forth emails regarding business, projects, etc) watching a television omnibus of Adventure Time in a favorite and well worn North Carolina Chip and Pepper tee, I feel like I can finally manage to create a little posting of Ritchie and my time in the beautiful Kep.
Although there were light sprinkles of rain and some downpours the majority of the time, the aura was perfect for vacationers like us- we don’t find the need to push and pummel our way through a vacation; exploring every tree, unturned rock, and cave and finding the desire to taste something from every roadside shack to feel like we gleaned enough from a trip. Rather, allowing ourselves the time to have five hour dinner conversations about our dreams, goals, frustrations, futures, and jokes then cranking up the air conditioner to full blast while making our way through a few books (Night Film by Marisha Pessl was enjoyable and a page turner, an easy read that has just enough creepiness to keep you interested but enough reality to keep it from getting Twilight-y) then eating cheeseburgers and chicken strips in a fluffy down bed whenever the desire so crossed our minds- that was just perfect for us.
We made new friends in the form of Moi (the resort cat) and Jib, a friendly member of staff who was eager to chat- lingering sometimes a bit longer about the table than we’d have preferred, but his jovial demeanor made it quite enjoyable. The rooms were simple, yet outfitted nicely- the only downside was hearing the rats atop the ceiling doing what sounded like the Charleston then getting into a saloon bar brawl. I kept imagining one of them gnawing through some piece of the ceiling and landing on my face. Cute!
The food was overall good, a bit pricey for what it was (basic Western and Khmer fare), but considering we were too lazy and comfortable to venture out and find something else different we couldn’t complain- and the service was friendly and accommodating. We were only there for two nights from October 3-5, and the amount of guests at the resort seemed to be picking up the day we left- which was a perfect for us. I prefer a glimmering blue swimming pool uninhabited, a peaceful restaurant quiet, and unobtrusive neighbors when “getting away from it all”; I am a geriatric as far as vacations go.
Choosing to take our route by taxi ($45 each way) was something I appreciated for the ease and peace of mind and I would highly recommend, as getting there and back took the 3.5 hours that it should rather than 6 on a bus after stopping at all of the pre-arranged toilet/food destinations by the bus company. If you can swing it or get a group together to share a taxi anywhere, I say go that route.
Although it was a beautiful retreat with wonderful company, it felt good to return home- bags in hand, slight tint to the skin, and travel pillow on my shoulder knowing that I was arriving home. Home where at least I can go through the motions of keeping things in order, appointments scheduled and arranged, and my work load steady.
Now, I can look forward to upcoming horror films in the theater, pizza nights at home, wine and Scrabble at my mother’s, and sitting at my brand new desk going over new business proposals and venturing into new territories. While it was an incredible and perfectly short and sweet getaway, the homecoming was utterly appreciated and made me realize just how grateful I am for the things I have in my day to day and to remember to not allow myself to forget that feeling of gratitude.