Wandering with the Wows: Cambodia By Bike

Finding Inspiration

The other weekend we had a grand ole time in Portland, Oregon, with lots of running around town, drinking delicious beers, and stuffing our faces with incredible food (see below).  But the best part of it was hanging out with a few awesome peeps.  And not the ones that Mr. 1500 dunked in his beer; the ones who are also on their journey to FI (or are already there).

 

   

 

One of them being a fellow Chautauqua attendee who we met in Ecuador last October.  Wendy was one of the very first people that I chatted with on the first day in Ecuador and I still remember her calling me out (graciously of course) on how busy I was and how real she was when it came to life.

 

So after a few amazing beers in Portland, I decided to get real and ask her for feedback about our blog.  Being that she is a friend and also a reader of our blog, I wanted a truthful and honest opinion, including what we are doing well and also what we could improve upon.

 

The feedback she gave us was utterly on point.  One thing she mentioned was how she wanted to hear more about our travels.  And while I realized that we have briefly disclosed our travel plans, we really haven’t written too much about them.

 

I’m changing that today.

 

In addition, I also have to give credit to my other source of inspiration for this post. Fritz over at the Retirement Manifesto, recently wrote a post about his new hobby “Bictography” aka the act of bicycle photography or riding a bike with the sole purpose of taking photographs.  Somehow I started this same hobby while in Cambodia around the same time he did, but he gets all the credit for the name for sure.

 

Out of necessity though I had to put my own little spin on this whole bictography thing.  While Fritz stopped to take pictures, I was forced to add the extra challenge of taking the pictures while still in motion.  Why you might ask? Well, we were part of a bike tour, there were tons of cool things to take pictures of, and we only had a limited amount of time.  Failure to finish the tour in time would cause me to miss the ferry boat back to the city.  So I schemed up a way that I could still take all the photos I wanted and not miss the boat literally.

 

Exhibit A: Ferry boat to the island

Below I will share some of my bictography-in-motion photos.  And I’m actually pretty proud of my work too.  While some might be a tad blurry, that just proves that I was in fact in motion during the taking of the picture.  Its pretty cool to look back at a snapshot of life during our time there.

 

Bictography-In-Motion

To help set the scene, here’s a video of me in action (the sound & music is from the wedding we pass):

 

      

 

Here is Mr. Wow cruising with some of the other people from our group, as well as one of the many stunning temples we passed, and some cute kids playing in a wagon.

 

      

 

These are 3 of my favorite pictures from the tour.  First is a man with all his goods, heading to the market to sell them.  Check out that balance! The middle picture is one of the many dogs that we passed, just waiting (and totally posing) for me to take his picture.  And the third picture is of a bike with 3 little girls on it.  They joyfully smiled and waved at us as we passed by.

 

      

 

Of course I had to post some fresh food that we saw along our journey.  There were coconuts and bananas everywhere!  Honestly, I actually never really cared for coconuts, but once in Cambodia, they quickly became one of my favorite things.  Nothing beat some fresh coconut water in the middle of the day when the temperature was in the high 90s.  You know what they say, a coconut a day keeps the doctor away.

 

      

 

We also saw some young monks hanging out, a boy carrying some goods down the street, as well as some boys playing on a muddy field. I forgot to mention that it had been pouring rain the entire morning before our bike riding adventure, leaving massive puddles and mud everywhere.  Just a few more obstacles that we had to pay attention to and attempt to avoid, but the boys didn’t seem to mind.

 

  

 

At one point we passed this school that was completed decorated with plastic water bottles and lids.  It was actually hard to tell that it was recycled goods until we got up close it.  During our time in Cambodia, it was hard not to notice how much plastic is used, from plastic bags, to straws, to water bottles, everything came in plastic.  I even saw some vendors pour coconut water from a fresh coconut into a plastic bag so it was easier for people to transport.  And being that they don’t have a reasonable way to recycle all the plastic, they simply sweep it off to the side of the road and light it on fire. It was definitely neat seeing how this school found a good use for all the plastic by turning it into charming art.

 

         

 

About midway through the tour, a few of us turned off the main road and stumbled upon this awesome monastery.  The entire road leading up to it was lined with beautiful winged statues and animals.  They were unbelievable to look at! I seriously could have spent hours here.

 

      

 

We were also lucky enough to pass by a local wedding, with everyone all dressed up and music playing. I could not get over how ornate all the decorations were.  If you didn’t watch the video above, go watch it now.

 

      

 

Quite possibly one of my favorite things to take pictures of while on this tour were the cows.  I loved their bold, white color and how they stood out against the bright, green grass. By the end, I easily had about 50-60 photos of these majestic creatures, but figured I spare you from all of them and narrowed them down to only 3.  If you want to see any more, just say the word 🙂

 

All in all, my bictography-in-motion adventure was a great experience.  Even though it was raining in the morning, it luckily stopped right as we were getting on our bikes.  So even though it was a bit muddy, we were at least dry.  And I think I did a pretty good job navigating around the endless obstacles, i.e. dogs in the road, potholes, motorbikes, puddles, all while taking photos too.  I can honestly say that I managed all of that very well, despite coming within inches of a motorbike parked in the middle of the road.  I came close to hitting it, but I didn’t, I promise.  Yet that didn’t stop everyone who was behind me from yelling at me.   I clearly was too busy taking a picture and not paying enough attention to the road ahead of me.

 

What do you think?  Do I have a future in bicycling photos?

36 Comments

  • Mrs Adventure Rich April 11, 2018 at 5:35 am

    Beautiful! I love it! Keep including your travel pics on your blog… they are amazing 🙂

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 11, 2018 at 7:23 am

      Thanks Mrs.AR! I’ve got plenty more where those came from.

      Reply
  • Dads Dollars Debts April 11, 2018 at 6:22 am

    Cambodia is my favorite country visited thus far. The people were awesome. So friendly. Plus so much beauty to see. That along with the sheer sobering reality of their recent past made it a magical land. Thanks for taking the pics and allowing me to reminisce. Experiences are really better than things.

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 11, 2018 at 7:27 am

      Cambodia is definitely a special place! I totally agree with you about how amazing the people are and the beautiful sights. Plus, the food was great too! The volunteer work we did was challenging to say the least since we were dealing with people who lived through that awful part of history, more on that to follow.

      Reply
  • Mrs. Groovy April 11, 2018 at 6:42 am

    I love the photo with the man with his goods, and the cows — especially the one placing her head on top of the other.

    Very good shots for a man in motion (or still for that matter). But don’t you think you might be tempting the fates doing this while in motion? In another country? Haven’t you learned something from your car accident? YESSS, I’m like the people behind you yelling at you!
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…Building Groovy Ranch: Update 15

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 11, 2018 at 7:31 am

      I might be worried if it was Mr.Wow taking the pictures, but my track record is clear for bike accidents (knock on wood). But do take notice, especially in the video, that most everyone was wearing helmets. You’d be amazed by how many medical professionals did not put on a helmet in the beginning. After informing them of Mr.Wow’s story, I think we got all but a couple of them to wear one.

      Reply
  • Gwen @ Fiery Millennials April 11, 2018 at 6:57 am

    You know me, I’m always down for more cow pictures! I seem to remember having a contest with someone in Ecuador related to cows….
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…I Like to Move It

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 11, 2018 at 7:32 am

      I think I’m winning BTW…

      Reply
  • Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto April 11, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Loving the travel post!! Thanks for making #Bictography official (quick, head over to Wikipedia with that sentence about me being the originator of a new word!). Looks like an amazing trip. Your reader was right, we all love a good travel post!
    Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto recently posted…The Ultimate Pre-Retirement Checklist: An Infographic

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 11, 2018 at 8:46 pm

      All in all, it was a great trip. But there were some hard parts about it, given the recent history of the country and the stories we heard while volunteering, which we will be writing about in the future. I’m thinking we’ll both have to do a bictography part 2 for more biking pictures.

      Reply
  • My Sons Father April 11, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I’m glad you’ll be writing more about travel. I always like hearing about different adventures and adding to my growing list of places to visit. By the way you take better pictures while biking than I do while stationary!
    My Sons Father recently posted…Bear Markets Aren’t Dangerous…You Are

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 11, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      I don’t know why I haven’t posted about our travels before, seems odd since I love to travel and tend to travel quite a bit. And traveling is one of my why’s of FI, a big why at that. Now if I can just find the time to write them…

      Reply
      • My Sons Father April 11, 2018 at 9:32 pm

        This blogging this is great, but I thought I was stretched thin before I started blogging!

        Reply
  • FIRECracker April 11, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    YAY! travel pictures! I especially love the idea of taking photos from a bike.

    Ah Cambodian..brings back fond memories. I can’t wait to go back to eat some Lok Lak and drink soup served in a coconut.
    FIRECracker recently posted…Derek Foster: Canada’s Other Youngest Retiree

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 11, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      Not gonna lie, I totally re-read all your posts on Cambodia before we went. And even though I did some research, it was still crazy to actually see and experience some of the sights in person.

      I also loved having noodle soup for breakfast (I’m definitely prefer savory over sweet) and an iced matcha latte with condensed milk. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! But I can’t say I had soup in a coconut, I completely missed out.

      Reply
  • Mr Crazy Kicks April 11, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Great pictures, and awesome video! It’s like I was there going for a ride 🙂

    Looks like a really interesting place. I hope to get to that part of the world one of these days. If I can just get myself to sign up for the long plane ride…
    Mr Crazy Kicks recently posted…Travel Hacking Our Way to Grenada – The Spice Isle

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 11, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      I was super worried about 14 hours on a plane, a short layover, and then another 5 hour flight after that. But honestly it was a piece of cake, slept for most of it and then did a little work/blogging. I would highly suggest going to Cambodia. It is still not super touristy, except for Siem Reap, and is definitely worth a visit. Stay tuned for more from this place!

      Reply
  • wendy April 11, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Woot! So happy you posted about some of the travel! Very nice pics and you are super brave for taking them whilst riding – I would have ridden into one of the cows or taken a mud bath for sure.
    Since freedom to travel is one of the (many) reasons for FI, it helps keep me motivated to see the amazing places you’ve been!
    (that and food porn, which you also posted pics of – a TwoFer)
    You’ve set a precedent here, so Now I Have Expectations 🙂

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 11, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Sometimes you just need the right inspiration 😉 I will definitely keep the travel pix coming!

      Reply
  • Mr. SSC April 12, 2018 at 7:58 am

    I like the bictography idea and am excited to read more about your travels, too! Great collection of pics, espcecially taken while moving! Nice job pulling that off. those are as good or better than my regular pictures taken when I’m not biking. 🙂

    You can always post more pics of cows!
    Mr. SSC recently posted…Fully Funded Lifestyle Change (FFLC): Origin Story

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Maybe I have a whole post dedicated to pictures of cows since I also took a ton of them while in Honduras. I can see it now “The Sacred Cows of FIRE”

      Reply
  • Michelle | Operation Husband Rescue April 12, 2018 at 8:42 am

    I love travel posts. It’s a nice break from all the money talk. Photos are always appreciated so keep them coming! I thought they all looked great considering you were in motion when you took them. New to your blog, but looking forward to following along!

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 12, 2018 at 11:16 am

      Thanks for stopping by! And here I thought people wouldn’t like it because there was no money talk.

      Reply
  • Mr. Groovy April 12, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    I agree with Wendy. More pictures please! Love the glimpse of Cambodia. It looks like you guys had a blast. Hey, you said you were in Portland. Did you get those donuts from Voodoo Doughnut?
    Mr. Groovy recently posted…Building Groovy Ranch: Update 15

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 12, 2018 at 8:11 pm

      This was only a small taste of Cambodia, I’ve got many more pictures to share!

      And the donuts were from Blue Star. The 1500 days family taste tested both Voodoo and Blue Star and recommended Blue Star, so that’s what we went with.

      Reply
  • Dr. McFrugal April 12, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Beautiful pictures. It takes me back to when I did a mission trip in a small village along the Cambodia- Vietnam border. The people are so kind and grateful.

    Btw, what kind of camera did you use? Those are some amazing shots. I was really impressed by the stability of the video while in motion.

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 13, 2018 at 7:31 am

      We haven’t posted about it yet, but we were also a part of a medical mission in Prey Vang, right near the Cambodia/ Vietnam border. Is that where you were? The people were just amazing!

      The pictures and the video were all taken on an iPhone. Super fancy schmancy I know!

      Reply
      • Dr. McFrugal April 13, 2018 at 7:47 am

        We were based on the Vietnam side in a small city called Cao Lanh. From there, we visited various surrounding villages, but I don’t remember the names.

        That video is very impressive for an iphone!

        Reply
        • Mrs WoW April 13, 2018 at 9:25 am

          Vietnam is definitely on my list, would love to go there one day!

          Reply
  • Codrut Turcanu April 17, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Cool pics, maybe you could add them in original seize and have them displayed larger? 🙂

    Greetings from Bucharest, Romania!
    Codrut Turcanu recently posted…Biofreeze Review 2018 – the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

    Reply
    • Mr WoW April 17, 2018 at 11:21 am

      You should be able to click on them to see them full size, let me know if you can’t.

      Reply
  • onthepath April 20, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Love the pictures. I’ve been to SE Asia a few times on mission trips and for a friends wedding. Any plans to visit other countries? Thailand is a personal favorite.

    Travel is my biggest reason for FI and possibly even move over there some day so it is great to see others in the FI community doing the same thing. More pictures/travel updates are always appreciated, even in lieu of money talk.

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW April 23, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Oh yes! There are still many more places to go to. Haven’t been to Thailand yet, but we will get there one of these days. Great to find another FIRE walker who loves travel as much as I do.

      Reply
  • Kim Mibram May 29, 2018 at 2:22 am

    Very nice sharing with good stuff. I am also a traveler and rider. I like your way of photography.

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW May 30, 2018 at 5:58 am

      Thanks for stopping by! Hope to have some more bictography posts coming in the future.

      Reply

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