Thursday, July 31, 2014

Banteay Prei: Cambodia

Happy Thursday Y'all! 

By the time this post is published, Matt and I will be cruising down Ha Long Bay sipping on a nice cold drink. Are you a little jealous? Hopefully it's as exciting as it sounds. 

So while we are cruising- I thought I would continue to share the never ending trip to Cambodia. 

On our second day of exploring the temples, we started with Banteay Prei. Some call Banteay Prei Wat Angkor since it shares a lot of the same characteristics. However, it is not as popular as Angkor Wat, but it really should be on your list because it is pretty amazing. 

As you can see- this temple hasn't been fully restored, but I think it just adds to the beauty of the temple. There was so much detail in every piece of the temple. It had been rainy so it made everything really green. 

I know you guys have been bombarded with temples these last couple of months, but I really wanted to give each temple we saw it's spotlight. 

So what did you think of Banteay Prei? 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bucket List: Travel Tuesday

Happy Happy Tuesday Y'all! 

The topic for today's Travel Tuesday is Bucket List. 

When I first started traveling- I thought my bucket list would get shorter, but actually- it's gotten longer and longer. It seems the more I see of the world- and the more blogs I read- and the more pins I pin on Pinterest- the more my list grows. And my bucket list priorities are constantly changing, but for now here are my top bucket list items. 

I know this trip is far far in the future, but it's at the top of my list. 


New Zealand
We've actually been talking about moving there after Korea. I know it seems crazy, but it's a possibility for us. If that doesn't happen- I know we will get there one day. You better believe seeing The Shire is on the top of our list. 


This is one of Matt's bucket list places- but I won't pass up on beauty like this. 

This is one of places that I recently added to my list after reading about a recent trip someone took. 


I know this is like a long-shot travel destination until things get a bit safer, but Egypt has always been on my list. I can't let this slip off my list. 


And those are my current top five bucket wish lists. We are so lucky to be living in Asia right now and to be able to travel to wonderful places like Cambodia- Vietnam- Japan, etc, but I am excited to move to a new area and continue exploring the world. I honestly can't imagine ever stopping traveling (sorry family.) 

What are your bucket list items? 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Phare: The Cambodian Circus and The Green Star

Happy Monday Y'all! 

I hope your week is going well so far. Today I want to share a couple wonderful experiences we had while visiting Cambodia. On our second night, we decided to visit The Cambodian Circus. We weren't really sure what to expect, but we heard it was a non-profit group that worked in educating and training children that were living in poverty and begging on the streets. The performers learn their skills through Phare Ponleu Selpak (an arts education program), and the students learn to 'express and heal themselves through the arts.' 

The 3 goals of the organization are: 
1. Create a gainful career opportunity for our artists
2. Financially sustain our business and our parent organization (PPS)
3. Develop the artistic culture of Cambodia

The Cambodian Circus is marked by the big red tent that is set up right outside of town. The shows and performers rotate every week or so, and the students write and choreograph most of the performances. We watched the performance Proniap (Panic!) which was about a group of 7 circus artists that are given the opportunity to audition for a world famous circus-theater company. We absolutely loved the performance. It was amazing to watch and see how the students genuinely loved what they were doing. 

Matt and I bought 'Seat A' tickets which were $35 each, and we sat right in the front row. We were also given a complimentary water and a goodie bag at the end of the show. The venue is pretty small, so I would not be worried about being able to see if are in 'Seat B.' The tent is a bit hot, but they give you fans to use during the show. 

The show was not perfect. The performers made mistakes- including the fire dancer dropping his fire baton right under my skirt. Talk about an up close experience! But the show was amazing. It was put together well. The story was fun and watching what they could do was amazing. My favorite part was seeing how much the boys trusted each other. They were throwing each other in the air- balancing each other- throwing fire at each other- and there was always someone spotting them. You could tell they enjoyed what they were doing and that they trusted one another to get the job done. 

I really feel like this is one experience you can't pass up when you are in Siem Reap. For more information about The Cambodian Circus (including how to donate)- click here.

Here are a couple of videos from the end of the show.

And if you are interested for another non-profit opportunity while in Siem Reap- check out The Green Star (part of the Green Gecko project). The purpose is similar to The Cambodian Circus- to provide education and housing to children living on the streets. The Green Star is a restaurant that serves pretty darn wonderful food and excellent service. 

The fried corn is one of their specialities (above right) and it was delicious. We also had the onion rings, glass noodles, and the pork ribs. Everything was delicious. Just like the circus- I think The Green Star is not something you can pass up while in Siem Reap. For location and reviews- click here

I know this post was a bit long, but I'm really happy I finally got to these posts. Visiting these non-profit organizations and feeling like we were giving back some how was amazing. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Letters #47

Happy Happy Friday Y'all! 

I hope you all had a wonderful week. This week was pretty low key for us. A whole bunch of work and a little bit of fun. 

Here's what we have been up to. 

Dear Worldwide Indexing Event, It felt really great to be a part of you. It was a perfect way to spend a Family Home Evening. Indexing for those that don't know- is taking old records (census reports, marriage licenses, immigration records, etc.) and typing the information to make the record digital. The goal of the event was to get 50,000 people to record and submit at least one batch of records throughout  a 24 hour period. The event got over 61,000 people and over 5 million batches completed! It was really cool to be a part of this. I really love indexing because I feel like I am  helping others make connections to their ancestors (plus- the records are pretty fun to go through). I've indexed obituaries, divorce records, marriage records, passport applications, birth records, immigration records- and they have all been fun to do. 

 {If you are interested in indexing or learning more click here.} 

Dear Big Brother 16, So happy you are making my summer a little bit better. This weekend I caught up with the season and I got some journaling done. It feels good to be all caught up on both fronts.

Dear Malia and Caleb, Congrats on your new baby. Baby Eden looks beautiful. Dear Eden Celeste, You are looking pretty darn cute. Uncle Matt and Auntie Alex can't wait to meet you next year. 

Dear Work, I am ready for a break. Our 'summer' vacation can not come quick enough. Dear Vietnam, We are beyond excited to see you next week. 

And that's about all in the boring week of Alex and Matt. We have some weekend plans that we are excited about, but mostly we will be getting ready for our upcoming trip. 

Have a wonderful weekend y'all! 

Love, Alex 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Prsat Kravan: Cambodia

Happy Thursday Y'all! 

The week is almost over, and this time next week I will be cruising down Ha Long Bay in the wonderfully hot Vietnam. I can't wait for this next adventure, but until then- I'll take you guys back to Cambodia. (The trip of never-ending posts.) 

The last stop on our small circuit tour was Prsat Kravan. This is a really small temple right past Ta Prohm. We didn't take a lot of pictures of this temple, but I still wanted to show it because it looks so different from the other temples. 

I love the color of the stone used to make it. And I love that it's a pretty simple design (at least compared to the other temples we had seen). 

So what do you think of Prsat Kravan? Worth a stop on the tour? 

{Believe it or not- I think I only have about 5 more Cambodia posts left!}

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Project Life: 2014 {Catching Up}

Happy Wednesday Y'all! 

A few months ago I shared the start of my Digital ProjectLife journey. My goal was to do a few pages a month and be up to date with my ProjectLife. However, this did not happen. I am really far behind on my book, but this weekend I started with my catch up project. 

This weekend I finished with the month of February, and I wanted to show you the pages I got done. Overall, I am really happy with the way the pages are turning out. I love adding the extra page elements and the date stamps. I love being able to add a little journaling to each page. And I love that each page is a little different. 

Here are my pages for the month of February. 

{Click on the images to make larger} 

I know I am doing ProjectLife a little different because I dedicate whole layouts to one or two places we visit, but that is just what we have to do for this wonderful year of travel. Maybe 2015 will work out a little differently, but right now- I am loving the way my book is turning out. Some pages are picture heavy- but it's hard to narrow down all my places to just a couple of pages.

My biggest obstacle is how tired I get when I start working on this. I can only do a few pages at a time. If I do more- I find myself making mistakes. 

Hopefully this week I can get up to Cambodia and then start on that big monster of a trip! 

So what do you think of my ProjectLife? How do you document all your adventures? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reflections: Month 11

Happy Monday Y'all! 

A couple weeks ago- I hit my 11th month anniversary! My one year mark is just around the corner- I can't even believe it. So keeping with the theme of my reflections, I thought I would share some feelings and thoughts about life in Korea. 

To be honest- this last month has been hard. I've been really homesick. I have really been missing my family and the comforts of home. I miss the variety of food. I miss my little Asian babies. I miss my mom. I miss driving a car. Like for real- will I even be able to drive when I get home? It's been a  year since I've seen my Georgia family, and I can't believe I have a whole 10 more months before I get to see them again! UGH- why did we extend! I mean I know why, but somedays it's hard. I hate feeling like this, but I guess that's part of the expat life. 

On the other hand- I don't want to waste these next 10 months. I want to soak up as much of Korea as I can. We haven't been exploring too much because of my test (which is now over), and because it is flipping hot here. We have a lot of fun adventures planned for when it gets a bit cooler, so until then we are keeping cool with our Air Con. 

This was short and sweet, but next month will be a big one!