A Moment in Time
I asked my husband a question yesterday. A seemingly simple question, or so I thought. Of all of our travels, what was your favourite moment?
He looked at me puzzled for a few seconds. He then proceeded to list off a few different moments, one or two from each of our big trips and even a few from local day trips and long weekend escapes:
That time we spent an evening eating crab overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge; or when we were at the luxury hotel (our honeymoon splurge) in Ko Phi Phi as we watched the sunset over the ocean.
We cannot forget that time we passed an entire afternoon drinking way too much on a beautiful day in a pool in Panama; or when we were backpacking with Sadie near Upper Kananaskis Lake in Canada on a picture perfect day. Or, that time in Cambodia when we sat in our hotel courtyard during a torrential downpour eating a delicious and simple egg breakfast; or, even that time when we were on Wayna Picchu sitting together in a quiet spot with our feet hanging over the edge enjoying a sip of water as we watched the clouds swirl and dance through the valleys below us.
For me, my favourite moment was simple – an evening in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We had spent the day touring the temples of Angkor. The temples were phenomenal, but not my “moment”. My moment was that evening.
That evening, we decided to have a late dinner. So, we spent some downtime at the hotel after a very busy day. We nursed our sore feet back to life in the hotel pool as the sun set. Eventually, we walked a few short blocks into the main part of town. We strolled aimlessly through the streets. Mixing with the crowds. Enjoying the smells and the sounds.
Finally, we settled into a pub that we had been eying the night before for a beer and a bite to eat. We got a great seat outside, so we could people watch. The food was phenomenal. I have no idea what we talked about, but we sure enjoyed the ambiance – the bustling street; the tuk-tuk drivers calling at us to take a ride; the little black kitten who loved our feet; the locals selling their handicrafts but not in an overly obnoxious way; and the children begging for money. We sat there for hours. We relished in the cool evening temperature; marveled at the antics of the tourists; and, our hearts sank for the small children in need. We enjoyed the experience, and we let it slowly soak into us to forever become part of our beings.
Eventually, we decided it was time to move on to check out the night market. We loved the markets throughout Thailand and Cambodia, but this one was great and extra memorable because it wasn’t too busy. We were there during the slow season, so the tourist crowds were not too bad. We wondered for what felt like the perfect amount of time. I bought a cute skirt, a dress and a few bracelets. My husband bought another pair of knock-off sunglasses. Nothing of real significance, but we had a great time.
Much later that night on the way back to our hotel, we ran into a little girl. We had run into her the night before, when she begged us for money. She broke our heart. She was probably no more than 5 or 6, and by our Canadian standards she was out way past her bedtime. She spoke great English. She was adorable, and yet so sad. So, because of the previous day’s events, this evening we were more prepared and we brought pencil crayons from home just in case we ran into her again. So, when she was right there waiting for us, we didn’t give her money, but we talked with her. We asked her about school and what she liked to do for fun. She was a bit taken back by our questions, but she settled in and seemed to enjoy the conversation. We gave her the pencil crayons and told her to study hard at school. She ran away, back to her parents, with a smile that light up her entire face, our hearts and maybe even the entire street. We didn’t see her the following night and even though I know it is unlikely, I still like to believe she was at home colouring.
If there were one moment in my life that I could capture in a time capsule to be re-played and re-lived, this is it. I would repeat that entire evening, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
It’s funny how our favourite moments are not the time we spend viewing and experiencing world landmarks like Machu Picchu, the Panama Canal, Angkor Wat or the Emerald Buddha; but rather, the simple moments we spend together, enjoying each other’s company without distractions.