Thursday, March 29, 2012

Alice's Adventures in Wanderland ... a flight of fancy fueled by wanderlust while imagining the possibilities

I am pea green with envy. 

Most of you have grandchildren to die for … or fulfilling careers that didn’t stop cold when the AARP card arrived in the mail simultaneous to the precipitous drop in the DOW … or nest eggs that are more on a par with breakfast at Tiffany’s than targeting Target. 

Well, pas moi!

So once again, I have polished my CV, dusted off my yellow ostrich skin brief case and am heading to Cambodia to reinvent my career.  Not swimming there (although that is a distinct possibility in the city formed by the confluence of not two but three rivers winding their way through Indochina) but in an inspired carefully planned (albeit short which is my interminable style) few weeks everything has fallen deliciously into place.

Well about my decision to go to Cambodia for a few months to test the waters for the possibility of a future relocation (in the same region as Charlie and his way down the road babies) roll my shirt sleeves up and contribute to their developing economy:  April it is. 100 degree heat. The middle of the rainy season. And me, the intrepid traveler with hair that will expand to the size of a beehive all on its own, will arrive April 4th in this land of huge dichotomy with a horrendous tragic past yet where tuks-tuks (motorized surreys with the fringe on top) bandy one around town for a $1 or $2. Yes, they use US dollars mostly!

To provide legitimacy to this journey fueled in part by wanderlust, in part by desire to roll up my proverbial shirtsleeves and contribute to this frontier economy emerging onto the regional stage, I secured a position with Cambodian Centre for Independent Media (CCIM) as an expert volunteer spearheading their Good Governance team.

During that time I plan to nose around and see whether I can leverage my bravado, my seasoned professional experience and tempt fates by relocating semi-permanently to Phnom Penh, the former Pearl of the Orient where during the last century the French brought sophistication and joi de vivre. Of course, my Maine home will be a desired retreat when the intensity of the southeast Asian sun burns a hole in my floppy hat.

In a nutshell that's it!  I have been wanting to do this for years. Need to. Have to. I thought it would be teaching business English in the motorcycle craziness of Ha Noi. Or, microlending to budding entrepreneurs sprouting throughout the Vietnam countryside replacing generations of cultivating rice with technology ventures.

Mostly compelled to follow through on the one recurring theme threaded through Lemons, which chronicled the musings and stream of consciousness of my inner-most thoughts, insights, adventures, misadventures and drivel over the decades heading to my big 6-0. 

I’ll have a major regret when I go through my life review as I close my hazel brown eyes for the final time and venture out into the great mystery. So passport, visa and gumption in hand, here I go.  Feet first. All this from a five day visit last month. But, Cambodia speaks to me in a magical way, luring me to contribute to the underlying economy in much the same way as I did when I moved in 1996 to Oklahoma. So not really so strange to me.  And hey, what can I say? C’est moi … and most of you “get” me.
There you have it.

Lemongrass may not be anything more than a few month vacation from shop girl extraordinaire and sometime strategic biz consultant. May be the adventure of my life. May open all kinds of portals.  Might not. So try not to think of me as flighty, but industriously jump-starting my career and life in a place where being over sixty is a benefit!  And the local mode of transportation a hoot.

So now I know what crazy out-of-my-comfort-zone discovery is in store for this self-proclaimed adventurer in the year 2012, when the world may slip off its axis.  I am throwing a bit of caution to the wind and in less than a week will make good on my ramblings.  Finally. 

Welcome to the enchanting Kingdom of Cambodia.  Join me on this wild tuk-tuk ride.  Let me hear from you. A
nd above all else, imagine the possibilities, always. 

Cheers!