A true travel story from Asia
1999 one of my best friends Anders and I was traveling around Asia for three months. It was an amazing adventure. We met great people and made new friends. We saw breathtaking nature and marvellous buildings and spaces. One of our stops was Cambodia and getting there was really tough. The country had been in war and conflict for a long period and was considered to be one of the poorest in the world.
10 hours on the road
Our journey started at the back of a pick up truck at the Thai Border and we drove for 10 long hours on dirt roads until we finally arrived to our destination, Angkor Wat. A temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. It was forgotten for several hundred years but was rediscovered in the 19th century.
On the way the car broke down two times and still today I don’t have a clue how the driver fixed the issue. The peddle-box seemed totally broken and I could not see we had any tools to fix it. At one broken bridge a big red cross truck had roll from the bridge and we helped and organised to unload all the rice.
Angkor Wat – Just like an Indiana Jones movie
Let me tell you. Walking among these amazing temples was like being in a Indiana Jones movie and I loved every second of it. I remember dreaming back and imagine all the people that lived there. I imagined how the elephant highway was in full use and monks walking in groups laughing. A place full of life and activity.
After two days of exploration it was time to go back with the pick up truck to Thailand. We started our journey and along the way, there were stops where we had to give money to former soldiers that guarded the road. They were mostly drunk and who knows what terror that have seen and most likely done.
They signaled we should stop
At one stop our driver missed to give money to a guy. A few minutes later a new modern pick up truck with some angry looking guys with guns was driving after us. We noticed it immediately since the other car was driving fast and signalling we should stop. Our driver did not seem to be interested to stop and was driving faster and faster and our follower was increasing speed.
Eventually our driver was overtaken by the truck and it forced us to stop. The angry guys jumped out and ran up to the car pointing the guns at us and wanted to pull us out of the car. I felt extremely confused and adrenaline was pumping in my blood and I had a gun pointed to my chest.
I guess I was in shock and after a lot of discussions between the driver and the angry maffia guys the situation calmed down and they got their money. We could continue to drive and we safely arrived back in Thailand.
Life is an adventure
For me life is an adventure and just as my story above it is full of amazing and scary experiences. We go through life experiencing love, sadness, anger, shame and happiness. I believe you need to embrace it all and see it as gifts to help you develop and grow.