Just an average day in my life. Hanging out in the Old Market in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This is a normal occurrence that gives me tremendous joy. Do you think that Cambodian people take their market experience for granted? I don’t think so because grocery shopping is special. The Cambodian people get up every morning to work at the market and shop at the market. They have their lives, their kids, their meals, their personal stories. The market and food shopping is as social as it is practical. One thing that is for sure in Cambodia– the market experience is never generic. Each town has its markets and each one is similar to the next in its social mores and personality. But each market reflects the sentiment of its inhabitants.
It’s the same thing everywhere, though, isn’t it? The market is an opportunity to connect with community.
When I was living in Long Beach, there was nothing I liked more than getting up on Sunday morning and going for a run through Naples and then strolling the fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmer’s Market. There I’d run into neighbors, clients, friends and get the latest news about what’s happening around town and what folks were celebrating.
In Cambodia, the stalls were packed with the widest variety of vegetables that I’ve ever seen. Name a vegetable, and I bet it was there. Varieties of eggplant and cauliflower, carrots, squashes, root vegetables galore, leafy bunches of greens that I had never seen before and the most beautiful colored fruits that were bursting with juice and flavor. On one stall, I counted 30 varieties of veg. I stopped counting because it was ridiculous to sit there counting. My favorite fruits were mangosteen and longchan fruit. OH! And they LOVE peanuts in Cambodia. But you know what was NOT common? Nuts! I had to go into the western style market for almonds, walnuts and pecans. Many Cambodians had never tasted them before and when I shared, they were pretty underwhelmed! But raw almonds are kind of bland, aren’t they!
Cambodia also had mad meat in their markets. So look, these markets are NOT for the feint of heart. There were frogs, snails, tarantulas, and dozens of varieties of fish and shellfish– all alive and killed upon your request! The meat is not contained behind glass shields or kept in coolers or refrigerators– it’s all OUT in the open and the smell of flesh can hit you like a ton of bricks. Every animal part is used in Cambodian cuisine– tongues, hooves, ears, feet, guts. It’s all there for you to inspect and purchase. And oh how I would get a kick out of seeing a pig’s head propped up on the table while the rest of its body was sold off in the form of cutlets and ribs. You know that you’re truly carnivorous when you can come back home from that and proclaim, “I want a hot dog, please!”
And you know that you’re a Master Manifestor when one can materialize piping hot with onions, mustard and ketchup… and a beer.
The thing is, I am realizing that whether I’m in Long Beach or Cambodia, I appreciate the market experience. Cambodia might be more colorful and exciting– exotic, even. But I am the soul who is giving the market definition. The Cambodian folks are doing their thing. The Long Beach folks are doing their thing. I am the soul who is going to the market just so that I can be in the energy. I am the one who is going to the market APPRECIATING everything I see.
I’m sharing this, my friends, because I’m starting a Mastermind group for women who want to travel the world. Lots of women are wondering how I travel. They wonder how I get the courage, how I know where to go, how I know what to do and WHERE I GET THE MONEY!!!! They always start with the money, as if money is the answer to their problems… as if money is any kind of solution to ANYTHING. It’s not and never will be. A life of travel, like any life well lived, begins with curiosity, desire, and a glimmer of inspiration. And then you say, “Yes.” All great adventures begins with the agreement to participate in your life and co-create with the Universe.
Join my Follow Your Heart Around the World Mastermind and let’s unravel the mystery that surrounds the heart’s loving guidance and the Art of Travel. I say that anyone can have this lifestyle AND be a responsible tax-paying citizen. All you have to do is say, “Yes,” to the Universe and of course, sign up for the Mastermind! 🙂 <3
I’m currently setting up class schedules and I’ll be emailing you the dates. I’m really excited to be working with my peeps!