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KAY’s KILOMETERS

25 Jun

INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS
This month brought many surprises to our lives. We had to renew our visas for Cambodia. Our first month we spent in Phnom Penh. We were able to renew our visas by simply paying $50 each. Now we are in Sihanoukville Cambodia. We found a room about 1/2 mile from the ocean. It’s on the Gulf of Thailand, so the waves aren’t large but still give the feeling freshness that only the ocean can give. We had to leave the country in order to stay a third month in Cambodia.
We had a choice of three countries where we could travel by land in order to renew our visas. We could have gone to Laos or Thailand or Vietnam. We chose Vietnam since it was only $12 to get there. So we went to Ho Chi Minh City. It was a very interesting experience. The people seemed very disciplined there and clean. They were very friendly as well and helpful. When we came back to Sihanoukville my husband found a job. I’ve really been enjoying being on our honeymoon, but it’s time for me to catch up to myself and write down or thoughts on traveling.
Our dreams of meeting travelers from all over the world came true. In our hotel alone, Victory Beach, we sit and talk with Russian, French, Italian, and Cambodian people. My French improves a bit daily as far as understanding spoken French. I’m still too shy to use it now myself. But I enjoy that my husband speaks German, Italian, French, Spanish, some Flemish, English and Arabic, as well as his first language, Berber. I love that he has a French Moroccan accent. What is difficult is that every time a woman sees him she seems to want to touch him. I’m beginning to get used to his rock star quality that shines from him. I honestly think some people think he’s Jimi Hendrix’s son or something. Actually, many people believe that he’s MY son. 
When we traveled to Phnom Penh we rode on a normal bus. However, when we got on the bus in Phnom Penh, people each had their own sleeping compartments along with pillows and soft cozy fleece blankets. While I was able to stretch out totally with room to spare, my husband had to be in a bit of a twisted position for probably seven or eight hours. We had to wait at the border for it to open at 8 AM. The driver slept from about 5 AM to 8 AM. Altogether the six hour trip took 12 hours. 
After resting up for a night we decided to go out the next day and evening to the Sheraton to the 23rd floor to look at the gorgeous view we had read about. Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, looked so big and beautiful from high up.
We had a romantic ride using Uber. For about $2 we went maybe ten kilometers!
After our mini trip to renew our visas we felt happy to be home in Cambodia again. After all, we live by the best ice cream at Pat’s Restaurant. It’s out front from the Chandra Mealy Guesthouse. And just down the street we have wonderful French breakfasts at Tutti Fruitis and fabulous Italian food at Raphael’s tavern. It’s all in the Victoria Hill area. 

1 Jun

SETTLING INTO A LONG HOT SUMMER IN CAMBODIA 

18 May

Suddenly I feel as if we have come back home in a way. We are now near the beach in Sihanoukville Cambodia. 

From the common area balcony we view the Gulf of Thailand. The sea air cools the city to about 7-10 degrees cooler than Phnom Penh. Here also we can leave our hotel without several tuk tuk drivers yelling to us. The city houses about the same population as Eugene. I think the other reason Cambodia seems like home comes from the restaurants with menus combining the East and West. I always feel best staring my day with an American or Australian breakfast! Today, for example, I had a delicious vegetable omelette and assorted fruits, banana, mango, Papaya, watermelon and a magenta fruit with tiny black seeds, (dragon fruit).

It’s been so fun hearing native English speakers again. I’ve met Australians, Scottish and Irish, as well as British and Americans. It seems that many long time travelers end up here since we can get a long term visas more easily than any country I have visited. I’m continually researching different countries cost-of-living as well as airplane tickets, hotel and apartment costs. 
Normally when I travel I want to see people native to the country exclusively, but having been gone for a year and three months, I really love hearing the American accents again and eating, for example, French toast and American pancakes again, fries covered in cheese, and Mexican food with a banana shake on the side. They also serve hamburgers, hot dogs, fish and chips, coleslaw, roasted chicken, steaks, and, of course, fabulous rice.
I’m amazed that we would have been able to go this long without extra income. It’s pretty crazy that it’s cheaper for the two of us to live in Cambodia than it is for one of us to live in Oregon. If any of you would like to know how we have been on the road for so long with so little money I did write a book to explain how. I will be updating it soon and the updates are free. If you are interested please write me at KGILLETT 7@gmail.com. It’s a little eBook for only US$20. If you mention WordPress I’ll email it to you for $12.99. Just send it using my PayPal link. PayPal.me/kaygillett
Happy Travels!

THE PHILIPPINES TO CAMBODIA 

20 Apr

The Beautiful Sunset At Matabungkay in the Philippines
Since I’ve been in Cambodia it’s taken a while to adjust to the differences between the Philippines and here. What I miss is the spirited singing and children laughing and the chickens in the morning. I’d go to sleep to karaoke singing and wake up to the music of the roosters. 

Here life goes on peacefully from what I’ve seen. And the people in Cambodia seemed very relaxed, helpful, and friendly. I do wish we had a visa that lasted more than a month because of the pleasant life style here. 

View From Our Guesthouse 

I am in the middle of the city staying at a hostel with a restaurant below it. Many Westerners frequent the eight blocks here in the center because of all the sidewalk cafés. Mine is called Curry Bay. We have a private room which is very quiet. And when we want to be with people we come downstairs, finding many with whom we’ve already made friends. 

Independence Monument in Phnom Penh

A Mexican Restaurant Near the River I Phnom Penh
I love it when many cultures come together. That is the case here. Last night I had dinner with people from Nepal, California, Cambodia, Australia, and Morocco. Next month we may visit the south in a city where I have heard there are a lot of French people. First I’m enjoying watching people and seeing how they react to each other and us. People seem unable to take their eyes off my husband. He appears to them like a rockstar. I believe that it’s because they think that he looks like Jimmy Hendrix. 
I’m enjoying see Americans again. 

I’m sitting here at breakfast writing while my husband hunts for a job. From what I have heard, they hire real estate agents without a license. These agents then sell apartments and other things. They have English teaching jobs here as well. Native speakers often do not need paperwork saying that they are a teacher. They pay $300 a month though. When you have the proper credentials you can make $2000. 
It’s time to rest from our travels for a while. Cambodia might just be the place! It’s close to both Vietnam and Laos where we can renew our visas easily.  
It feels a bit like Amsterdam here with pizza places and coffee shops selling marijuana. It isn’t legal though people do smoke openly along the river in the chairs of outside restaurants. 
Tuk tuks park outside each cafe waiting for customers to take places. They sleep until someone wants a ride. 
Monks walk by or ride scooters (motorbikes). People dress comfortably for the heat and high humidity. 
We will go to Laos next in order to feel the coolness of the forests and waterfalls there. Then we may return again to this Kingdom of Wonder. 

Travelers gather in common areas to exchange information and ideas

Most guesthouses here have a restaurant out front

My husband job hunting in Phnom Penh

FIVE COUNTRIES IN TWENTY DAYS

13 Mar

Dear Readers, 
I have now spent the last year traveling. More than ever I advise moving around slowly so that your mind and body can catch up to themselves and so that you can save money. This last month taught me this more than ever. However, this isn’t always possible. The reason being that many times a visa is set to only thirty days. Also, sometimes cheap tickets present themselves only once a month. We feel that we must take advantage of that. 
January 25th we left Senggigi Lombok for Hong Kong. First we landed in Denpasar Bali, Indonesia. Next we arrived in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Then two hour later we got to our destination. The hotel was an hour away by bus in a very old place called The Chungking Mansion. The building was like a block of indoor shops with mainly Indian food, electronics and luggage. The upstairs, 13 floors, consisted of little hotels with tiny rooms, barely enough room for a bed. After spending two nights there we left on a ferry to Macau. It took about an hour. We enjoyed the magnificent view of the Hongkong skyline. 
Macau surprised me with its immaculate roads and 50 plus casinos mostly larger than Las Vegas. We spent six nights there enjoying the free shuttles which went from casino to casino. We also loved the good food, especially the pizza at Tratorria’s in The Studio City Casino. Then we decided to go to Lamma Island by a very cheap ferry. The Island had no motorized vehicles at all. We met westerners who had lived on the island for years, many with children, in search of a peaceful life, very low crime and no guns. 
The next day we went back to Hongkong, a very expensive city, enjoyed great Indian food, then took off for the Philippines to save money. The price of a cheap meal in Hongkong being $US11, we now enjoy a wonderful Philippine meal for $US2.
We decided to tent by the ocean again. This time we listen to karaoke singing as we fall asleep. I don’t miss the noise of Hongkong. I’m really happy to meet such warm-hearted people here, more like the people of Swisshome, Oregon. 
It’s been an exciting year with many changes and personal growth. I’m hoping that all of my friends and family in the States are doing well. Peace and Love to You. 

Below enjoy pictures of Matabungkay Bataras. 

Then I have samplings from Hongkong and Macau, including pictures inside Wynn Palace in Macau. Amazing design. Check out the life size poster for Gucci handbags. It stood beside a Gucci shop within Steve Wynn’s Palace. 

The pictures about represent a fraction of life in the Philippines at a place called Matabungkay. 
The following pictures show some of Hongkong. 

The Hongkong SkylineThe following pictures show some parts of Macau. Wynn’s Palace Casino in Macau Macau. The Galaxy Casino in MacauA Macau Subway Station. But why take the subway with all of the free comfortable shuttle buses running from casino to casino!The two pictures above and the two. Elow show Hongkong. 

TRAVEL PREPARATIONS

20 Jan

Travel Preparations

This month we busily prepare for more travel. We have spent five months adjusting to life together in the “normal” place. it feels like were in America until we walked outside into the intense humidity. We cook and clean together. We have come closer opening up about all sorts of things in order to understand each other better. I’m learning more about the life my husband left behind in Morocco as he learns more about me and my background. We have a deep and compassionate understanding about our differences. I’m continually surprised about our similarities! Some of the dynamics in our family seem remarkably the same. As we become closer, our relationship to each other strengthens as we share our prayers and hopes and dreams. The differences between us make life more interesting; the similarities and differences bring us closer. We feel strongly that God keeps us together. We firmly believe that God brought us together and wants us to stay together. Sometimes we fight, usually a misunderstanding due to English not being my husband’s native language, but so
strongly want to understand each other that we make sure that we do.

We will spend Christmas and New Year’s in Malaysia. Then we will fly to Lompoc Island in Bali
Indonesia. Then we will go to Hong Kong. We will live a ferry ride away from an island with no cars called Lamma Island. That way we will have less pollution and more peace.

As we plan each leg of our trip we research each of our different visas seeing how much time we have before renewing them, then if we get a free visa or have to go through a consulate and different hoops in order to get one. Then we research how much the flights are and where they land in case we have to get another visa or a transit visa in order to get to the place we want to go. Then we have to find out if that place requires onward tickets. This all takes a lot of planning and budgeting which has made us real partners with everything that this involves. 

Please follow me on Twitter under @Kaytravel. I post quite a few pictures there. Hope to see you all soon on the net. Please let me know if you’re from the Swisshome area. 

Happy Travels

Lumut Perack Malaysia

THOUGHTS ON TRAVEL

21 Nov

Traveling slowly I enjoy life so much more. I feel as if I am catching up to myself. I feel less culture shock as well. In Morocco I began to feel at home, especially in more cosmopolitan Tangier. Next I went to Turkey. The modern aspect of the newest parts of the city stunned me. I barely missed two terrorist attacks the day before I arrived and a week after I left. They happened exactly places where I had been. Then I went to Jakarta by way of Saudi Arabia. I had felt afraid to go there. I had to stay in a large crowded room with others transiting Saudi. Women went through a private room where many had to remove their scarves. Many were frisked. The women smiled at me fleetingly, not in a rude way, but more like a “We’re in this together” way. The stop was to be four hours which turned into six. People charged their phones when places opened up at the one charging station. People showed nervousness. Finally our plane came and we all felt as though we had arrived. Beautiful gracious men and women served us. On our fifteen hour flight we had really tasty western food. Everytime I even thought of food we received another meal. We had three meals and a picnic lunch to go. I’m not kidding. Saudi Airlines is the way to go. The flight attendants kept us in luxury even though this was an economy flight, even giving us socks, a sleep mask in satin, and a toothbrush with paste. Of course we had movies as well, new great movies. I honestly have never been on a flight where I didn’t want to get off. But we did. My husband and I proceeded on to Jakarta for a week, then on to our destination, Kuta Beach, Bali outside of Denpasar. This place, having been like a zen Buddhist retreat in the seventies, had become a place where you could barely see the beach for the people. Motorcycle noises filled the air. Modern bar managers called out “happy hour” to passers by. I could walk only a few steps without hearing the words “Do you want a massage?” At least the hotel became my refuge with its tropical grounds and pool. 
I found my real paradise in Malaysia on an island pictured below, Pangkor Island. We actually were the only campers. Camping is free in Malaysia. We stayed 23 days, cooking ALL of our meals on the campfire. We ate rice or noodles always, using spices, eggs, and sweet chili sauce for variety. 
We still live in Malaysia. We chose a wonderful apartment with everything we need, even a washer. 
Well, we are finally able to let the whole trip sink into our beings. We prepare every day for our next adventures.