What's Your Dream Destination?


One of the famous faces carved in the rock at Bayon Temple at Angkor Wat in Cambodia


I recently shared a few of my Cambodia photos on Instagram with the #takemetoremotelands hashtag. It was exciting to get a message that the Remote Lands staff liked two of my pictures from the hashtag feed and wanted to feature one of them in their monthly Travelogues page, which they did. Yeah! (If you click the link, scroll down a little to see my picture and "Travelogue.")

Exploring the Temples of Angkor Wat was fascinating. I love history. I find ancient ruins inviting and intriguing.

I remember how interested my kids were when we took them to the Colosseum and the ruins in Rome. My son took 800 photos of the Colosseum alone. Thank goodness for digital - delete, delete, delete. I guess he gets it from me!

In Angkor Wat, I found myself drawn to the same things over and over within the temples, and I certainly took a lot of photos.


Maybe it's the air of the place, the wonder of standing inside something so old, but I kept getting an other-worldly feel as I explored in and among the different temples.

It didn't hurt that I was blessed to be there before high tourist season. On several occasions, I found myself totally alone with only a god or two staring down at me from a lintel, ceiling, or altar, and I was able to sit and take it all in as I listened to the sounds of the jungle.

It was also the tail end of the rainy season, so a few times I found myself running for cover to wait out a downpour - and I do mean downpour! One time, I ducked into an alcove about the size of a large closet, only to find it was an active altar complete with love offerings and incense. There were surprises around so many corners.

One of the Temples at Angkor Wat during a downpour

As my youngest would say, "Mom, anything that old is bound to be haunted!" (She says this about my tiny little 1930's home too. Believe me, there's no room for ghosts here!).

Hmmm…haunted? Maybe, but I was comfortable with the oddly supernatural feel that emanates from the place. I tried to capture it somehow in the photographs, though that's a pretty elusive thing to capture in a photo!


I love doorways, and I took a lot of photos of them in Angkor Wat.

This is one of my favorites:

A series of doors leading to a brick wall in one of the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia

I call the photo "Wonderland," because the scene gave me such an Alice-in-Wonderland feel - the misalignment and tilt of the doorways, the fallen stones stacked on the floor, and the way the doorways led to a brick wall.

When I posted "Wonderland" on Instagram, I found a quotation from Alice in Wonderland that perfectly captured my mood on the trip:

"Door: Why it's simply impassible!

Alice: Why, don't you mean impossible?

Door: No, I do mean impassible (chuckles). Nothing is impossible!"

That was the feeling I had ever since getting a seat on the flight of that last leg of the journey from South Korea to Cambodia - nothing is impossible.

The farther away I got from home, the closer I came to myself, the more resourceful I had to be, and the more I trusted that things would work out.

Cambodia was the farthest from home I've ever gone (9,000 miles!). It was my first trip out of the country alone - in the past I always went with my husband or my husband and kids. Getting to and from Phnom Penh, as well as many times on the trip, I had only myself to fall back on, which is why it was such a life-changing adventure for me.


Travel is about more than seeing places I've never been. It's about getting out of my comfort zone, meeting new people from different cultures, and trying different things. It widens my horizons, tests my resourcefulness, and helps me to trust myself and others, which is why I'll continue to travel as much as I can - that, and, of course, to get the best travel photos I can get!

I hope you get the opportunity to have that sort of trip some day. But, the fact is, you have to make the opportunity. So if it's something you dream of doing, then stop dreaming and make it happen! You won't regret it.

And since making the decision to follow my dreams, doors keep flying open, and I intend to keep walking through them.

Keep walking through your open doors!

And, see you between the raindrops!



P.S. - If you're interested in joining me in Enchanting Ecuador in May for the trip of a lifetime, please email me at susan@susanjphotography.com or Jessie at Jessie.cassar@traveledge.com for details.

You can find the photos from this post here.