Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the stunning experience of visiting Scotland- the homeland of my beau, Ritchie Munro. Through old streets where I envision sheep roaming the cobbled stones to sprawling mountains where blood was shed over freedom to ancient churches where beauty still strikes through stained glass and spire, the spirit of the old has not left this place.
Is there something about traveling that makes writing seemingly so utterly tasking?
Maybe not even the writing part, but sorting through every moment and compartmentalizing them so they make sense in some form of linear way. So that I could even begin to piece sentences together and deconstruct the jumble of nuances, emotions, and thoughts that have built up over the past week.
Usually the Monday after Easter Sunday I’m floating on a high of closeness, an intimate afternoon with family and friends, and a pile of goodies at the foot of my bed.
Something is amiss this year.
Recently, I’ve grown to love organized crime films and shows (if you’re not in with Peaky Blinders, do yourself a solid and get on it) just as much as, well, almost everyone- not just because of the gratuitous violence, gritty history, heavy one-liners, suspense, and bevy of men with slicked back hair who pull of suits extremely well but because of the fundamental family aspect of each story.
This Saturday the 25th of January marked a special day for the Scots in my life, Phnom Penh, and across the globe: Burns Day.
To celebrate this honored date, Little Kitchen– Cooking for Change partnered up with a few good lads to host a memorable evening in honor of Robert Burns for the first time in the Charming City. Little Kitchen provides a monthly culinary event that brings people together who share a love for food, interaction, and education while supporting social and humanitarian activities in the local Cambodian community. Held at Meta House, each event is devoted to a particular country or region’s cuisine along with presentations and on some occasions, performances.
I could tell from the start of our trip to Bangkok for our 2014 New Year’s celebration it would be the beginning of a year full of adventure, growth, trials, opportunities, and plenty of reflection. Ritchie, my wonderful mom Sheila, and I hopped onto the little Air Asia plane from Phnom Penh to Bangkok ready for five days of solid holiday to meet Ritchie’s mom, Wendy, in her transit from Glasgow, Scotland to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I couldn’t think of a more special yet understated way to begin a new chapter together.
The contrast between this year’s Christmas Day and of 2012 was stark. Twelve months ago, my mom was in the United States celebrating with family and I was here in Cambodia with Allison, Nico, Giacamo, and Ritchie house sitting for our friend Dan. Allison and I woke up hungover as all get out and hurriedly found soccer socks to shove random what-nots into for Nico and Ritchie before they arrived- our Christmas gifts for our Christmas guests! Inside they found random massage coupons for Passion Spa, broken candy canes, Kurt Vonnegut/Chuck Palahniuk books, photos of our friends back in the States, tiny golden wedding gift spoons, and cigarettes- a stocking gift blend of a struggling college student, latch-key kid, and confused third cousin.
Technically I am a day late posting for Thanksgiving (in Cambodia and even America). My slight lateness does not reflect how grateful I am for what I have been received this year, both tangible and intangible.
Well, looks like I haven’t done a photo roll since July…incredible how time flies.
Here are some snapshots of my everyday.
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.