Luang Prabang Lao_Alex Pullen Photography-6881Seven years ago, I crossed the same bridge I stand upon now, both figuratively and literally. Looking back upon completing this circle 9000 miles from home, I realize this decision has been one of the most influential of my life. That being, to humbly submit myself to the unknown, and dance with it…

Again, emphasizing the title of this series, “Trail Magic“…

I’ve traveled through time, lost myself to the breeze and here I stand again, on a bridge, eons away and a million miles from home. Lost in the flux of probability, riding a compulsorily wave to some unforeseen destination, and sharing bits of magic I come across along the way.  Laughingly, I looked across the heavy brown Mekong. The river still tumultuous and swift, its shores rugged and mysterious… and yet, I am now a different person from who I was the first time I crossed.

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Mekong River – Luang Prabang, Laos

I must admit at times all this wandering has come with a cost to my peace and sanity… It’s happened every time in the past and I’m welcoming the fresh discoveries that come along with raw character building processes involved with traveling.  A solo wanderer now with a partner in crime… The game has totally changed, in some really fun ways…

A few times, I’ve been showed tremendous hospitality from the locals we’ve met on this journey. Those, I find to be some of the most memorable experiences. An example being, Marion and I spent a day in a small Lao village learning about weaving silk and making paper by hand, then later that night had dinner with a local family…

Although there have been some neat local experiences, it’s been a bit harder this trip to connect with the local culture. I think mostly because I’m here working full time. I had to dial back the totally unrestrained adventure for sure… The expat community is strong and vibrant here, and I’ve made some neat friends. But still sometimes I crave more of the local flavor. We’ll see what opportunities arise now that I’m feeling more settled.

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The street food is amazing. Crossing the street is exhilarating… The Asain hustle is hard to explain, and must be experienced at least once in your life. The colorful food stalls, smiling vendors and piles of motorbikes, all mixed with this laid back “sabai sabai” (easy easy) lifestyle. The shops don’t open till 11:00am and there only predictable event is some form of collectively managed chaos…

In any cafe you will find three or four Europeans and Americans channeling their creative spirits through their computers.  Like them, I make my money week to week and from multiple continents… Every job slightly different, every day new and fresh. In theory pursuing a path that will allow us to work less by working smarter. We must remember, traveling is the bonus…

Making this jump around the world has been laced with troubles, exploration and demanding situations. Three weeks in, I’d had time to let it all fall apart and come back together again. The highlights have been spent outside with my lady, walking fast enough to avoid the mosquitoes, but slow enough to find the mushrooms calling to us from the leaf litter.  Remote waterfalls and a few memorable sunsets have been icing on the well-earned cake.

Opportunities have come and gone, more will do the same. The future is about a week out for me right now… It’s not looking like Myanmar is on the table this round, but India is still beckoning for a visit on the way to France. There’s still some time to feel into what the future holds, for that I’m thankful.

Much love to you all, and go cross some bridges,

Alex

This was part 2 of the series, “Trail Magic”. View Part 1 – The Digital Nomad

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