At no time is the contrast in how I live my days more pronounced than when I travel and then return home. At Farm Dover, Ed and I live quietly and comfortably, in simple abundance, going about our lives with a routine that varies only by the season. Suits us fine. As my mother liked to say: I wouldn't change a thing.
Oh, but when we travel, life does change. We seek out the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable, the strange, the risky, the spicy.
On just this most recent trip, we ate assorted street food (and survived), helped plant banana trees, sat on a hut floor with four generations of women and assembled sticky rice bundles wrapped in banana leaves, kayaked through caves to sparkling blue lagoons and later through dark and mucky mangrove swamps, learned to cook crispy pancakes stuffed with shrimp and pork, rode ATV's through the dusty Cambodia countryside, taught a class at a rural primary school, received a chanted blessing from a Buddhist monk, rode atop an elephant through the jungle, and lounged by the pool at the Peninsula Hotel while sipping fancy drinks. All incredible experiences; all so vastly different from my ordinary Shelbyville life.
It is this contrast -- this yin and this yang -- that keeps me in balance. It is what makes me delight in coming home -- happy with my days and nights spent tending to all things Farm Doverish -- but also excited to pack my bags and seek out what the broader world has to offer. Both complementary forces are essential to me. I crave them both: the comfort of home and the adventure of travel. It is this application of duality that feeds my well being. Home is my yin; travel, my yang.
How about you? What keeps you in balance?
|Planting banana trees, near Hue, Vietnam|
|Early morning visit to Angkor Wat, |
7th wonder of the world, Cambodia
|At Royal Tomb of Minh Mang, near Hue, Vietnam|
|Feeding tiny bananas to tiny monkeys, Thailand|
|View of Da Nang harbor, Vietnam|
|Beach to ourselves at Hoi An, Vietnam|
|Ed learning to make crispy pancakes, Hoi An, Vietnam|
|Making friends while making steamed rice bundles, |
|Feeding monks at daybreak, Chaing Mai, Thailand|
|Child at lakeside temple, near Siem Reap, Cambodia|
|Cruising Halong Bay, Vietnam|
|Dusk in Hoi An, Vietnam|
|At Ta Prohn (Jungle Temple) in Seim Reap, Cambodia|
|Jack teaching an English class in rural Cambodia|
|Jack and new friend at Doi Suthep mountain temple, |
Chaing Mai, Cambodia
|Monk at lakeside temple who chanted a blessing for each of us,|
near Chaing Mai, Cambodia
|Night market in Can Tho, Mekong River Delta, Vietnam|
|Inspiration for a neat and tidy garden, Mekong River Delta|
|Posing before ATV ride, Cambodia|
|Riding Asian elephant through the jungle to a|
local ethnic minority village of the Lisu tribe.
|Spoiled at our last stop: Peninsula Hotel, Bangkok|