When Dan’Yelle and Travis asked me if I would be interested in photographing their wedding in Thailand, I squealed. Um, YES PLEASE. I was so honored and excited. Not to mention, they are super awesome wedding photographers, so it made the honor that much greater.
The first time I went to Thailand was in 2006. I was single and I went by myself. It was quite the adventure. And, to make things even more exciting for my adventurous soul, I decided to go to Cambodia before arriving in Thailand. The thought of going back to these countries immediately brought flashbacks of monkeys and glowing tuk-tuks and floating villages and drinking out of a bucket and ancient Buddhist temples at Angkor.
During my trip, I wrote about my experiences. I decided to re-read them and share some snippets here… (please excuse the awful quality of the photos…I’m writing this in the airport, so I’m using the photos from my old travel blog)
July 20, 2006… Did you know that you can fit 3 people and a huge pig all on one small motor scooter? Well, ya can! I‘m in Cambodia now and I’ve been having a great time. I was told to hire a tuk-tuk driver for $10 per day so I did and it has been well worth it. A tuk-tuk is a cart attached to a motor bike. I have closed my eyes and wondered if it was my time to go more than a few times…. (click here to see more)
July 22, 2006… I was on my way to a “floating village”, which is about an hour ride south of Siem Reap, when I noticed a baby (about 2 years old) sitting on the roof of a grass hut all alone with a big grin on her face. There were a few people sitting below her inside the hut. I wonder at what point someone thought, “I know! Let’s put little Susie up on the roof!” During the ride to the lake where the floating village is, we passed through several smaller villages. I could have been on that tuk-tuk for hours just watching… (click here to see more)
July 25, 2006… The area was so gorgeous with cliffs and turquoise water. Okay, so lots of self-talk and dramamine later, I was prepared. I had my eyes closed and must have fallen a sleep for a minute. I opened my eyes because I started getting wet. I looked up and I actually thought that they had started to pull down dark gray covers from the roof to shield us from rain. Um, no. That was the sky. The driver looked at us and said, “You get ready”. Okay then. How does one “get ready”? I was so scared that I actually started to belly laugh. (click here to see more)
July 30, 2006… Yesterday I took a snorkeling/kayaking/island tour. I can’t explain how amazing it was! We first stopped at Monkey Beach and got to see wild monkeys and feed them pieces of bananas. It’s so cute…if the banana lands in the sand, they run to the water to wash it off, then they peel and eat it. I heard an awful noise and saw two monkeys fighting over a banana. I wanted to show them that I had more bananas and that they shouldn’t fight. I ran over to them and the guide grabbed me and scolded me. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have tried to break up a wild monkey fight… (click here to see more)
August 3, 2006… One night I was eating dinner outside and there was a spider about the size of my fist jumping towards my table (this part wasn’t so fun). The waiter saw me pointing at it (I took a picture of it) and came over with a pair of chopsticks. I didn’t want him to kill it or anything, I just wanted it the hell away from me! He had obviously done this before because he slowly went towards it and grabbed it with the chopsticks in a way that paralyzed it while he put it in the street. Phew… (click here to see more)
There is something about traveling alone that, to me, is so liberating. I have traveled to several countries alone and it forced me to do a lot of self-reflecting. It allowed me to spend time with myself, to learn to problem solve, and to experience intense independence. I am so very grateful that I had those experiences.
While I did enjoy my solo journeys, I am so incredibly excited to share this trip back to Cambodia and Thailand with my husband. To be able to share the experiences together. To watch his face light up when he sees Ankor Wat in Cambodia for the first time. To have him as my guide since I have zero sense of direction.
Not to mention, I get to photograph the loving union of Dan’Yelle and Travis in one of my favorite places in the world. Dan’Yelle and I have become friends over the last few months and she is one of the sweetest, most compassionate people I know. I can’t wait to be part of her wedding day with Travis and their son, Roland.
Wow, I am insanely grateful.