The BIG Surprise!

Well well well, hello again my friends. I know, I know. It’s been over a month since my ‘weekly’ blog post. So let’s play a 3 minute game of catch up, and we will skip the first two minutes. Last you heard from me, I was exploring the cultural metropolis of Cambodia. If you forgot said post, maybe re-read it HERE after this because it was most definitely one of my highlights and we can carry on from there. Caught up? Good.

So, From Phnom Penh, Cambodia I took a ‘sleeper bus’ across the border back to Bangkok. How awesome does a ‘luxury, extended leg room, wifi, headrest tv, beverage service, sleeper bus’ sound!? Well it still sounds like a bus, but a damn good one considering the busses I have been on. Given it was going to be a 12-15 hour journey I figured, “VIP all the way please”. Paid the 29$, walked to the bus station at 10 pm and awaited my pleasure cruiser to whisk me away. Unfortunately there was a huge typo in their advertisement / sales pitch. The bus screeched to a stop in front of the station. It was dark, and I saw no chairs in the bus. “What have I done?” I thought as I boarded. The aisle looked like a two story asian massage parlor, a series of beds lined the path, each partitioned by a curtain that covered half the entry to each space . Now, the sleeper bus did have a beds instead of chairs which is pretty cool. They were roughly four and a half feet long and just wide enough for you to curl yours knees into the fetal position. “Ok, not exactly what I was sold… but no problem” I thought. There’s no beverage service, but you do get a small bottle of water… skimping but still okay. So the bus attendant directs me to my little bed and I crawl in. No room for my backpack, so I tuck it into the corner and slide the napkin sized curtain closed. With my feet flat against the far wall I can sit up with my back flat against the other, it's cozy to say the least. I get about as comfortable as I can and plug my headphones in when ‘whoosh!’ the curtain opens. “No fucking way” I thought. Yes, yes fucking way, this bed is for two people and the bus is full. A full grown Cambodian man (luckily not american sized) crawls in next to me, slides the curtain closed, and falls asleep faster than the light goes out when you flip the switch. Needless to say, I’m baffled. I spend the first few minutes telling myself this is it, this is where I draw the line. Then I somehow sink into ‘my side’ of the bed (and my soul) and fall asleep. Yeah, I actually fell asleep. I woke up once or twice and realized that I was back to back and ass to ass with the bite sized man and proceeded back to sleep without moving. I crossed the border, took a shuttle to Bangkok and laughed about how hard core of a traveler I have become.

I digress, this post is about the big surprise, not forced cuddling sessions. After having left Cambodia I caught a nice 12 hour flight to Stockholm, Sweden. There I spent one night at my buddy Johan’s house and did the typical swedish things. You know, ate meatballs at his grandma’s house, tried the local pastries, walked around the city and finally took the bus to the airport for a 9-ish hour flight directly to Las Vegas. That’s where I pulled of the big surprise, that you can view right here!

 I followed the surprise up with a month of hiking, yoga, catching up with friends, playing with my dog and spending time with my family. That one sentence actually sums up my whole month at home. Fast forward to March 4. Bags are packed, tickets are booked and I’m on the way to the airport with a few additions. 1. A DJI Mavic Pro drone, 2. A Sony A7Rii Camera and new lens, 3. A travel companion. No one cares about my camera equipment except for me, so I will jump straight into #3. Friends, meet Jazmin.

Hiking in Vegas: shot with the drone

Hiking in Vegas: shot with the drone

Jazmin and I have worked together for 4 years at Shapiro and Sher Group in Las Vegas. She was the director of marketing for our real estate company and we have become friends over the years. Blah, blah, blah so what happened? Well, Jaz was always fascinated with travel and kept telling me that she was going to do the same thing one day. We kept in touch and when I went home in August 2016 we kept in touch even better. She bought a backpack, she came to visit me in Thailand for my birthday and new years, she resigned from her position, we’re now traveling together until she gets sick of me. Slippery slope, right? So that happened what is next? Well, we flew from Vegas to Paris, spent her birthday there and then continued to Israel. We arrived here March 6th and I’ve been saying, “I really need to write a blog post” since then. Now that I have gotten all of that out of the way, I’ll have to get onto writing about Israel. Game plan for the next X amount of months is Israel, Jordan, Egypt and then planing on buying a van in Europe in order to see the continent. Stay tuned for the ensuing adventures!

**Oh yeah, I added a videos tab on my web page where you can find all of the videos I have done up to this point! Happy viewing!**

Stay Wild,

-Joe