Category Archives: About Other Adventurers

Barang Exhibit: Unexpected Visitors to Cambodia’s Floating Villages – by Guest Trekker Gillian Rhodes

It’s always fun and interesting to receive a visit to the Girls Trek Too blog from guest trekker Gillian Rhodes, a young American expat in Cambodia. She made the following daytrip last fall, three-and-a-half-months into her eight-month stint as a dancer/choreographer in Phnom Penh:

Barang Exhibit
By Gillian Rhodes

The girl sitting next to me looks terrified. But when I say quietly, “Sok-sa-bai, own?” (How are you, little sister?), she smiles briefly, before her brow re-furrows and the look of concerned fascination returns.

When I say quietly, “Sok-sa-bai, own?” (How are you, little sister?), she smiles briefly, before her brow re-furrows.

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Which Way to the Cambodian Break Dancers? The White Girl is Lost Again – by Guest Trekker Gillian Rhodes

Gillian Rhodes is currently living in Cambodia, working as a choreographer, teaching workshops and dancing, and immersing herself in the rich arts scene of Phnom Penh. As part of her work, she has been meeting all sorts of organizations, in all sorts of crazy places. Here’s what happened to her on the way to find Tiny Toones, a break-dancing troupe and creative education project just outside Phnom Penh:

Which Way to the Cambodian Break Dancers?
by Gillian Rhodes

There are hundreds of stories like KK’s: many Cambodian people were displaced to America and France during the repressive regime of the Khmer Rouge, and then later deported back to Cambodia, to a “home” they knew nothing about and were unprepared to face. One of them is Tuy Sobil, or “KK,” a breakdancer who was born in a Thai refugee camp, grew up in the projects of Los Angeles, California, became a gang member, and got deported to Cambodia – a country he’d never before visited. In his neighborhood just outside Phnom Penh, a few kids found out he could break dance and insisted he teach them.

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Climbing Mount Pisgah and Creating Suspense: An Author’s Adventure – by Guest Trekker Karen McCullough

Please welcome my guest today, Karen McCullough, an author of mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy novels who will share how a personal adventure played a part in one of her books. Karen is one of my fellow authors from the new e-book 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror, 52 Authors Look Back. I hope you’ll also check out our stories in that essay anthology, a collection gathered to warm your heart, raise your spirits, and compel you to examine your own life. But first, here’s how Karen’s hike up Mount Pisgah helped her create suspense:

Climbing Mount Pisgah
by Karen McCullough

When our kids were younger, our finances were tight. Not desperately so, but we just barely paid the bills and there was no money for fancy vacations or even much traveling. Still, we wanted to give the kids the experience of different places and interesting adventures, so we looked for things we could do at low cost. We were fortunate that a relative owned a summer cabin in Asheville, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway, and she was happy to let our family use it. We live within easy driving distance of Asheville, so we took her up on it often.

Our most adventurous outing occurred the day we decided to climb 5700-foot Mount Pisgah.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is magnificent in spring and fall, but wonderful even in summer, and there are lots of things you can do with an adventurous family for little money. Fortunately we all liked walking and hiking. (Still do.) We set out from the cabin every day with a cooler full of drinks, sandwiches for a picnic, a first aid kit, and a map of the parkway. Our most adventurous outing occurred the day we decided to climb 5700-foot Mount Pisgah.

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Adventure in the Night: A Girl Escapes Abuse on an Angel’s Wings – By Guest Trekker Monica Brinkman

My guest today is an author who offers a spiritual twist on adventure. I often talk about the healing power of adventure, but Monica Brinkman shares how healing itself can be the adventure. Monica is one of my fellow contributors to the new anthology, 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back, with her funny story, My Life As A Singing Telegram. Her visit to Girls Trek Too is part of a tour to introduce the book’s 52 contributors to readers. I make no claims of either belief or disbelief about the experience Monica describes here, but only seek to maintain an open mind, as I hope you will too.


Adventure in the Night
by Monica Brinkman

Adventure can be described as an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks, the encountering of possibility, or perhaps an exciting or remarkable experience, such as an adventure in skydiving. Many see such ventures in the light of travel to exotic lands, a quest to discover a new hobby, or simply a visit to a less trodden road hidden deep within their own vicinity. As I ponder my personal adventures in life, one specific occasion outshines any bit of travel, quest, or chance meeting, one experience that has followed me through the years and formed my understanding of my place and purpose in life.

I found myself soaring upward, through the break in the ceiling and into the depths of the evening sky.

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Want to Help Save Giant Pandas? – Calling All Ambassadors – by Guest Trekker Ashley Robertson

Have you ever taken a leap of faith that changed your life forever? I did, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. My story starts back in 2010, sitting in the living room with my dad watching cute videos of giant pandas on YouTube. A website caught my eye that read www.pandahome.com. I thought it was a unique name for a website and since I had never seen it before, I decided to see what it was all about. That one click of the mouse changed my life forever.

“I’m going to China to work with pandas!” I screamed while jumping up and down.

I had stumbled upon a global contest to fly to China and work with pandas at the world’s largest home to captive pandas, and it was one week before the deadline! I nearly broke my computer as I leapt to my feet. “I’m going to China to work with pandas!” I screamed while jumping up and down. “They’re having a contest for Panda Ambassadors and I have one week to enter!”

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VERSATILE BLOGGERS – Awards for You & Stuff about Me

I tend to avoid following or giving instructions, but I enjoy giving and receiving awards. So I’m going to at least partially follow some instructions passed on to me by a terrific fellow-blogger who gave me “The Versatile Blogger” award. It’s scary to put words out there and not know if anyone will read them, so I appreciate when people appreciate my blog. Thanks to Cindy Brown of Everyday Underwear for this:

Now I’m supposed tell you seven things about me, then pass the award on to 15 bloggers. But ever since I had back surgery in January, I’ve slacked a smidge on blog rounds, so I’m trimming that list to 10, to ensure that it remains a meaningful representation of my recent blog habits. I like many blogs, which you’ll find on the right side of your screen under Links I Like.

And now, here’s my list of…

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HURLED INTO THE KENAI FJORDS: An Alaskan Adventure You Won’t Find in Travel Brochures – by Guest Trekker Laura JK Chamberlain

“-est”… That’s how I’d describe Alaska. It’s the United States’ furthest northwest state, with the Aleutian Islands reaching further west than Hawaii. It has North America’s highest mountain – Mount McKinley – the largest national park, the largest national forest, the globe’s third longest river system, and the world’s largest sub-polar ice field. The state is larger than most nations: divided in half, each half would still make the largest state in the Union. Lake Hood, four miles outside Anchorage, is the largest float-plane base in the world. Alaska boasts the northernmost railroad, in Fairbanks, the continent’s northernmost town, Barrow, and the southernmost tidewater glacier, Le Conte. It’s the lightest, darkest and perhaps boldest, harshest, prettiest place on the planet.

I heard the groans and felt the snap of calving glaciers.

My first trip to Alaska revealed characteristics of the Divine I’d never before imagined. Laden with supplies, I hiked across spongy tundra trying to imagine empty-handed Alaska Natives dwelling for more than 3,000 years in what appeared to be useless, barren land. I witnessed a bold land of non-stop daylight, heliotrope flowers, soaring eagles, black bears, blond grizzlies, moose, foxes, Dall sheep, caribou, snow hare, jumping salmon, humpback whales, puffins, and more. I heard the groans and felt the snap of calving glaciers. I watched forty-foot tides sweep over the deadly mud flats surrounding Cook Inlet and viewed lingering evidence of the 1964 earthquake – the most powerful quake in North American history.

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