#105 – Chaos In Cambodia

“Are you sure you want to eat my food?” He suggested we go to some of the other more established and palatable touristy places, before finally agreeing. 

He was our tuk-tuk driver. It’s how tourists get around in South East Asia. We knew Sammy wasn’t his real name. I’m sure constantly explaining his true Khmer name to foreigners could get annoying.  

I can’t tell you how many times I wished my name was Zeus or Heracles. You know, something modest and unassuming. 

In any case, he was hesitant to let us into his world. I get it. With thousands of places to eat, frolic, and culturally appropriate in Cambodia, we were insistent to savor his taste of home.

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# 104 – Make Some Cookies — A Story About Mom

Mom and I. Circle 1988

Before leaving, I told her again to park away from the front of the school.

“Mom, please park away. I don’t want people to see it again,” I said with stern sincerity.

With a smile, “Okay, Beta (term of endearment in Hindi), don’t worry, I’ll remember.”

We had an old beat-up Nissan Sentra that my parents had purchased before I was born. The four-banger, manual transmission, was pushing a buck fifty and wouldn’t relent. From the outside, the car looked like it had its days numbered, but the Japanese are known for building bulletproof engines, and this one was no exception.

It had stains galore, ripped seats, and a smell of Nescafé and burnt toast that seeped its way into every fiber of the cloth upholstery. What was once a radiant red car, now had an off-color pinkish burgundy hue.

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#103 – Who Is That Voice In My Head

Photo by Ansh Minchekar on Unsplash

Are we the voice of thoughts?

A 2020 study, published in the journal Nature Communications was carried out by psychologists at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.

They uncovered that humans think an average of 6,200 thoughts a day.

All thoughts are outward and come from an experience. This is the “cause” of the thought, and the “effect” is our reaction to it.

Through my own learnings, I am coming to an interesting idea. 

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#102 – The Inner Light – How an Iconic Sci-Fi Show can Enlighten Us

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

I’m not a Trekie by any stretch of the imagination.

I’ve only watched, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

It’s up for debate, but the Inner Light is arguably one of the best episodes ever created.

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#101 – The Dragon That Saved a United States Veteran

Photo by 順平 黃 on Unsplash

Imagine if you will.

Having to drink your own urine to fight dehydration.

So little food that you can count the number of grains of rice for dinner.

Imagine taking part in a daily dance, called the Death March, where you are tasked with holding a heavy object over your head and the moment you drop the object, your life ends.

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#100 – Point the Finger, and Three Fingers Point Back

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash
“If you step outside and you have a pain in your foot, you have two options. The first is you can try to wrap the entire world in burlap, or you can put on a pair of shoes.” – Ramana Maharshi

It’s easy to blame others for our problems. 

It’s easy to push off responsibility to someone else. 

However, what we perceive as easy, is nothing more than denying the inevitable. 

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#99 – 4 Reasons You Should Laugh at Your Problems

My wife and I at the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, OR

We all deal with stuff. This can aptly be described as suffering. 

When we are in the thick of our own suffering, it seems as if the world is closing in on us, and the capacity to deviate from the emotions of those issues may seem intolerable. 

However, there is a refuge, a safety net, and new ways to comprehend our problems when it seems we have no way out. 

I feel as if I’ve gone through hell and back these past few years. I’m still here, smiling, living, and embracing every single second I have on this giant spinning rock.

I hope the reasons presented, offer you some level of peace and tickle a funny bone. 

No matter what you’re going through, you’re going to be okay, because if you’re reading this, then you’re alive, which is an excellent segue into my first point. 


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Homeward Unbound- Chapter 6: Leaving My Tech Job, Nomad Life, and Re-thinking Reality

Image by rihaanmeshal from Pixabay

A few months ago, I made the decision to leave my job. The factors and series of events were many that led to this calling, and untimely as it may seem to outward eyes, it was a yearning and timed perfectly for the sweet fruit of change was ripe for the picking.

I think much of life is a tug of war between what is within our control and what’s not.

Having a watchful eye on events outside of my control and being mindful to not be vested in their outcome has been important for my sanity.

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Homeward Unbound —Chapter 5: Deliberation with Nature

Photo by benjamin lehman on Unsplash

Perhaps the greatest gift bestowed to each of us is our innocence. In a grief-stricken world driven by calamities and chaos of varying degrees, it is difficult to maintain the innocence of our youth. Where the world was once new, and the peculiar and weird were something of amazement. I am surprised to still carry some of this innocence and bewilderment, even if only an iota.

To see the world every day as new, untamed, and full of possibility is a beautiful thing.

I have promised the self a life of growth, that is it.

That with each new day, I have become a man who can, with all sincerity and honesty, make the bold statement, that I am a better man than yesterday. With this, I take great pride.

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Homeward Unbound — Chapter 4: The Worst Day Ever, Tears, and Triumph

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

It was 7:00 PM. We had just traveled about 6 hours from Phoenix, AZ to San Diego, CA. There, Alicia felt terrible and I was agonizing over yet another emergency room visit. We knew the drill. It would be yet another visit where doctors tell us nothing. Another tedious emergency room bill to deal with. Another visit with no answers, diminishing hope, and continued despair.

I made the decision to drive back to Phoenix, AZ. It’s where she felt good. It was her safe zone. A term we use for locations where the potential of her health being comprised is minimal. She has the nose of a bloodhound and her body responds in accordance with her present environment.

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