This year has been an adventure, I've traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, Mexico, Albuquerque, Chicago, Lake Geneva (WI), Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, Mexico (again) and back to Cambodia and Vietnam and all before July! Not to mention that I love where I actually live overlooking the ocean in Manhattan Beach, California and have taken full advantage of my time at home as well.
For all the family and friends that have been so supportive and want to hear about my journey, here's a bit more information on where I'll be for the next month:
Where are you currently? What will you be doing there?
May 27th-29th: Maneadero, B.C., Mexico (just a few hours south of the border)
Building a home for a family in need and supporting the community through the Baja Bound organization
These weekends are awesome - while we do support the community and work hard during the day, it's also a bit like adult summer camp with awesome like-minded people. Bunk Beds, sitting around the fire after dinner and getting to know people from all walks of life.
June 3rd-24th: SE Asia - Cambodia and Vietnam - A balance between community empowerment, cultural immersion and adventuring! In each city we'll have local dinners and cultural experiences. I've included a few more details on each city below:
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Hands on Journeys works with one village in Siem Reap with the goal to make all homes stable and teach all villagers useful job skills. We'll be teaching new skills and doing some building projects such as water filters, toilets and building developments
We'll also be experiencing this great country at visiting Angkor Wat at Sunrise, touring the temples, exploring Pub Street and more!
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Homestay and local community immersion - educational needs, water filters, toilets
Touring the Royal Palace, the Killing Fields & Genocide Museum as well as the city itself
If you want to learn more about the war and genocide in Cambodia I highly suggest reading First They Killed my Father by Loung Ung
Chau Dhoc, Vietnam
Delivering Water Filters, Helping repair damage to the floating villages and creating small job opportunities for the locals
We'll be taking the Mekong River to cross into Vietnam, exploring the villages and markets
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels, War Museum & Saigon City Tour
Hoi An, Vietnam
Exploring Hoi An Ancient Town, Traditional Cooking Class, Lantern Rickshaw Ride & My Son Holy Land Tour
Exploring the city of Hanoi and spending time in Halong Bay
Wait, how long is your trip? Do you have a full-time job?
Yes, in fact you may have been directed here by my Out of Office :) Since high school and especially after college, my work-life balance has been tilted very heavily towards work. I enjoy what I do, but this year has been about trying to even the scales to make sure that I'm not missing out on my life. I started this year with more PTO (paid time off) than I originally thought thanks to the state of California's generous roll-over rules and decided to take advantage of this opportunity!
You were already in SE Asia this year, why are you going again?
I was! I had a great trip over the New Year and into January (I still need to put up pictures...) through Cambodia and Thailand and was kicking myself that I didn't get to Vietnam! While I was in Cambodia I met Mike Sherbakov who was traveling with Hands on Journey and was telling me all about the village they were providing a micro-loan and training to get a food cart up and running near Angkor Wat. I was so intrigued by the work he was doing and asked how I could get involved. Since then I've joined a few House Builds he has led from San Diego down to Ensenada and met such wonderful people. The opportunity came up to join a trip back to Cambodia and into Vietnam (yay!) through Hands on Journey and I can't wait to get to know the people and the culture of these countries in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Where will you be posting pictures?
I can't wait to share this journey with everyone and will be posting pictures periodically - most likely on Instagram/Facebook first so be sure to follow me @jennyscholl
Thanks to everyone for their support!