Get Your Moto Runnin’ in Cambodia


Get out on the highway! (or the back roads with the potholes…)

Lookin’ for adventure…

Or whatever comes our way!

I may not be born to be wild, but today certainly was a great adventure. We set off from Kep with our rented ‘motos’ and headed for the town of Kampot, 25km west. It was a beautiful journey through local villages and farms, as the boys became acquainted with their ‘beasts’.

I was able to take in all the wonderful sights and sounds (over that of the engine) from the comfort of the back of Tyrhone’s bike, which by the end of the day turned to discomfort in the form of a seat-shaped imprint, embedded in my butt-cheeks.

But it was totally worth it!

We had ridden bikes before in Turkey, and ever since, we have been craving the feeling of the wind whipping our faces as a myriad of wonderful images flashes past.

And today delivered.

From Kampot, we set off for Bokor national park, and had our breath taken away by the first glimpse of the mountain.

As we wound our way upwards and into the clouds, an icy and somewhat eerie mist enveloped our eager little motos, and provided our sun-kissed skin with a surprising chill.

Marty’s bike was somewhat of a gas-guzzler, however, and he putt-putted before running dry on fuel as we almost reached the top. Waterfalls and abandoned palaces beckoned, but then, so did Marty’s poor fuel-less bike, so we turned around to free-wheel down the mountain again, picking up a surprising pace in the absence of motorised propulsion.

We made it to the bottom, where we deserted Marty, leaving him in uncomfortable silence with a man taking his cows for their afternoon graze.

He thought he may not see us again, and may have to etch out a living in the foothills of Bokor, but, alas, we returned triumphant with a coke bottle full of liquid gold.

Oh, I forgot to mention my bright idea of siphoning fuel from our tank using a dis-used straw found on the side of the road, high up in the mist-filled mountains. I’d rather not mention the failed attempt by both myself and Tyrhone (hang on, wasn’t it Marty’s bike that died?!) to transfer the fuel, though we did succeed in gaining the knowledge that petrol DOES NOT taste very nice.


Today, with all its breathtakingly gorgeous views, exhilarating hair pin turns, and aforementioned mis-haps, made me realise, that in just over a week on the road, I have changed.

We didn’t get to see the waterfall. Or walk the halls of the abandoned palace. And yet, I wasn’t phased, it was all part of the adventure.

A few weeks ago (and for the previous 31 years or so) I have been impatient, frustrated, reactionary and subject to extreme bouts of disappointment when things didn’t go my way.

Our Indefinite Travel Adventure, however, by its sheer nature of neither being planned nor defined, has already allowed me to take each and every day as it comes.

Every day I say a little prayer that I be ‘shown’ through the day, rather than trying to manipulate and control outcomes as I have my entire life.

And it’s working.

Therefore, when things happen to divert us from our intended path, I am able to accept it and see the beauty in it, as well as the lessons I am being taught (like, carry extra fuel guys!!!).

It is truly a wonderful way of being, that I hope I can continue to embrace.

As we made our way back to Kep at sunset, more confident in Tyrhone’s riding abilities and in my own ability to hold on, I realised it was Valentine’s Day.

We both agreed that there was no place we would rather be, than right where we were, dodging potholes in the back roads of southern Cambodia.

Sometimes things just feel right. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. Those moments back home were lessening. Today every moment felt like that, and I am so damn excited about my life today.

Just before we left, Tyrhone received news of his  ex-boss committing suicide. To say the guy was his favourite person would be a lie, but that did not lessen the intense compassion and sadness we felt for him and his family.

Are things ever that bad?

Apparently they were.

As we flew past fields where local volleyball tournaments were played out before the backdrop of an amazing red sunset, I had a feeling I can’t quite put my finger on, but will try to articulate here:

If you think things are really that bad, that you have nowhere to turn, and that the cards are stacked against you, surender. Chances are your way isn’t working. Give up your preconceived ideas of yourself and your role in the world, along with other people’s expectations.

Give up on your old self, along with your ego that tells you “I can’t change”.

Throw off society’s expectations like an ill-fitting coat, and ask who would you be if you could be utterly and unashamedly happy? There is nothing wrong with happiness, and you do deserve it.

If your life is suffocating you, sucking the joy from you or simply making you numb, make a change.

Be bold. Be honest. Give yourself the love you wish everyone else would. Be irreverent. Rustle feathers, challenge expectation.

Throw out the rule book.

Life is for the living, not for the enduring, and it is available to everyone. 

Especially you.




Get Your Moto Runnin’ in Cambodia — 19 Comments

  1. That was a beautiful post and well worth the reading. My heart goes out to the loved ones of this person who committed suicide and all those who knew him who’ll be affected by this tragedy.

    That said, it’s awesome to read that during the progress of your travels short as they are, you are changing as a person becoming more spontaneous, in the moment and authentic. It shows and flows in your writing and we are all the beneficiaries of that.

    It’s a shame that you didn’t get to make it to see the waterfall and the palace this time round but as it is with long term travel, you can always start again tomorrow or at any given moment. And I think that’s a lesson for us all: that if we are not satisfied with the outcome of anything, that we can change it at any moment that we choose. Whether it’s a job we hate, living arrangements that don’t work out for us or something else, we always have the power to make a decision to change. It’s just that our minds sometimes tell us we don’t.

    • Thank you Matthew, I am honoured that you enjoy reading, it really us such an unexpected gift – one of many I have experienced throughout this journey.

      I appreciate you taking the time to respond, and am glad you can relate,

      Sarah :)

  2. Sarah, this was simply wonderful to read. I really felt like I was right there with you, sore bum and all! It makes me so happy to read your beautiful words and share in your adventure. Your voice sings with contentment and joy and this just spills out in every paragraph. It is wonderful to share this time with you, as you blossom and grow in every way possible and awaken into your most authentic self xxx

    • Thank you Hannah, I am so grateful for your love and support, and of course for your own inspiring story. What an adventure we are on! And the fact that our lives are now intertwined fills me with unexplainable joy XXX

  3. Cambodia taught me to not fear being on the back of a motorcycle, because often I didn’t have much of a choice but to take mototaxis to get around. But, I only made it around the land on buses. So, while reading your post I thought: WOW! I was blown away just looking out the window when I took my first bus ride in Cambodia, it must be incredible to see the country on a motorbike.

    • Thaks Mike! I enjoyed your last posts also, got half way through a comment, and forgot the name of the place we went yesterday! Will have to go back, take care and happy drifting…

  4. Sarah,

    I simply love this:

    Be bold. Be honest. Give yourself the love you wish everyone else would. Be irreverent. Rustle feathers, challenge expectation.

    Throw out the rule book.

    Live is for the living, not for the enduring, and it is available to everyone.

    Especially you.


    Imagine how much you’ll have changed by the time Hannah and I meet you for our India adventure.

    My heart goes out to the man’s family, such a sad story.

    Keep living boldly. You’re an inspiration.

    • Except for the typo I made!!!! “Life”is indeed for the living :) thanks for the positive feedbsck Kim, sometimes I feel like a fraud saying stuff like that, but it does come from the heart. Lots of love X

  5. love the post – gave me something to think about especially since i’m a self confessed impatient git, but i’m working on that…

  6. Gorgeous words sar. What an amazing well you’ve had, and it’s just the beginning. I just love your perception of exploration in the way you want to be shown through the day rather than control it. Something I will def take on board. Love you darl. Xx

    • Thank you Ambs, it really is so nice to have the time to be able let things unfold. Thanks for reading it’s so nice to hear from you, Wish you were here!!! Love you too XOXO

  7. Great to hear of this ongoing change in your outlook and attitudes Sarah. Allowing each day to unfold and going with the flow is definitely the way to go!!! An inspiring and uplifting post . . .

  8. Great post as always, Sarah. Really sad about Tyrhone’s boss, no life deserves to end in such a way.
    And, did you really try to siphon fuel with a straw?? Man, the mountain air must be something, I would’nt attempt that even if I was smoking something good!
    Good to read about your RTW experiences. It makes my waiting easier :-)


  9. So glad to hear you are enjoying and learning from your adventure. I loved Cambodia when I was there – can’t wait to read more about your trip.

    My heart goes out to the family of the man who died.

      • Your post brought to mind this quote from Robert Louis Stevenson:

        To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.

        Of course, as you suggest, the hard part is being open to what you prefer and then not being afraid to go for it.