Alexis M Spencer


Alexis M Spencer

I was an engineer on a long term assignment, first in Dubai and then in Qatar. During this time, I took advantage of my nice paycheck and proximity to other places to start seeing the world. After three years, I decided to take a much earned break and traveled for a year. After working about two years in New York State, I am on my way back to Dubai.

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor March 3rd 2022

Our last cycling day was to be a bit easier. We were to spend the day riding through the extensive ruins of Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer Empire, visiting three main temple complexes. However, the day did not start off great when half of us were ill. Everyone says food poisoning, but I don't think so. I think we were all different. For me, I am pretty sure it was the dinner I ate the night before - a sauce just did not agree with me. I was not in ideal condition, but I was mainly ok. However, the one guy of our group was very sick; we knew this because he was unusually quiet, resting more than site-seeing, and not taking any photos of this remarkable area! He must have been ill! First ... read more
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Bayon Temple - end of the ride

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap March 2nd 2022

For the next two days, we cycled the back country roads outside of Cambodia, to see the local life and experience more food stops! When we left the floating village, thankfully we did not have to cycle along the long long levee, and instead got a ride in the support van. We stopped at the village near the entrance to the park and visited the local market, where there were many vendors selling fruit, raw fish, meat, and pretty much anything else you could think of. It was interesting, but we did not buy anything here. We continued on the country roads, getting covered in more red dust, and getting some more shade this time. There no real stops on the way except for some refreshments. It was fun to see so many school children on ... read more
Phnom Kulen National Park
Lunch stop Day 2
Cycling Day 2

Asia » Cambodia » North » Tonlé Sap February 28th 2022

After having a short couple of hours in our very nice hotel, New Riverside Hotel, a quick shower and nap, we got ready to start our adventure. First we got lunch in the town center, "western" food, which was not all that great... but the fresh papaya juice more than made up for it! It was so good and the best one of the trip. Back at the hotel, our bikes were assigned to us (we had previously sent in our heights) and we put our day supplies in the pouches. We also gave our overnight bags to the van support crew as we were not coming back to the hotel until the next afternoon. Yes, 3 nights of poor sleep - hello Trekkup! Once we got our bikes and supplies for the day sorted, off ... read more
Preparing to cycle!
Along the levee to floating village
Floating village

Asia » Cambodia » South » Phnom Penh February 27th 2022

My next big Trekkup trip was a cycling trip to Cambodia, including a visit to Angkor Wat, one of my big bucket list items. The Far East is only now just starting to open after two years of Covid restrictions and we were amongst the first tourists to visit this lovely country. It was pretty interesting to see how happy people were to see tourists again, which I am sure I'll mention a few times throughout my blogs. First - we had to get there. We weren't able to get our plane tickets until a couple of weeks before we left due to some restriction and flight changes. So, we wound up going through Singapore (via a vaccinated travel lane corridor, meaning you had to be vaccinated - indeed you had to be vaccinated to enter ... read more
Cloud 9 Sky Bar
Passion Fruit Mojito
Singapore airport

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai February 6th 2022

My fifth time back, I started at the opportunity plaza again. This was early February, so not hot, but warmer than I thought. I stopped for lunch here after Vietnam, planning Vietnamese food, but found this nice Korean-Japanese restaurant instead: Kojaki. It was empty and the staff were friendly. I ordered a nice refreshing drink (non-alcoholic) and a bibimbap - it was good and satisfied any craving I may have for it, but it lacked that sizzling hot bowl that keeps cooking the rice and egg as you eat it. My sixth time was in the late afternoon during the week (Tuesday) after I had dropped my car off for service. This time I took the metro and was taken to the main entrance, so I finally got to see Al Wasl plaza. This was a ... read more
Saudi Arabia
Expo main entrance

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai February 5th 2022

Dubai Expo 2020 opened in October.... 2021. So, a year later, we were finally able to enjoy what has been advertised since I returned to Dubai in 2018. My friend does a lot of work there and in the months leading up to it, she was extremely busy and had canceled a lot of our usual meet ups - cycling, drinks, hikes, etc. So, to make up for it, she got me a season pass! Yay! I told her I would get her a spa day for when she finally had the time... Anyway, my friend and I made a few trips early on after the opening before he took his sabbatical to Central America and took delight in "judging" the pavilions. I think we went twice together and I went twice on my own. So, ... read more
Republic of Korea

After the volcano hike, our next adventure was to Lake Atitlán. It was about a 3 hour shuttle ride to Panajachel (Pana), the main town on the lake for transport. We were both a little grouchy and tired at this point and we still needed to find an ATM and a gift for Secret Santa. It was Christmas Eve, and the banks were generally closed and the ATM's did not work - third time was the charm thankfully. I finally convinced Luke to get a tuk-tuk to search for the gift rather than wander aimlessly around a town we did not know on Christmas Eve carrying all our crap. So, our driver, Manuel, took us to a place that had what I needed and then agreed to drive us the forty minutes to our stop: San ... read more
Christmas Eve - traditional clothes
yoga with a view
Michaela making textiles

I first arrived at Guatemala City airport from New York, not sure what to expect or do when I arrived. It was initially a bit confusing with regards to lines for checking your PCR test result and passport before officially going through immigration. Not sure what that was all about. After leaving immigration, there were two stands I was already looking for: Money and SIM card. The SIM card was easy and totally worth the purchase, my 4GB plan easily lasting the whole trip. However, the money exchange was a complete rip off - I recommend trying to find a bank ATM, preferably in Guatemala City or even the airport for better exchange rates. Anyway, after getting my bag, I saw a kiosk for a shared shuttle to Antigua. Initially, I was willing to pay for ... read more
Santa Catalina Arch
Iglesia San Pedro Apóstol

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala December 24th 2021

After setting up for a few nights in Antigua, my friend and I got ready for our big adventure: Hiking conical Volcán Acatenango and seeing the constantly erupting Volcán de Fuego. For Christmas Eve Eve! We used the Wicho and Charlie's tour company which was located near our airbnb and had good reviews. They also set you up in huts instead of tents. So we walked there for our meeting time of 8 am where we were given instructions and a small breakfast. Cold weather gear was provided for free or available for rent. Since I knew before arriving we were doing this, I had almost everything except hiking poles which I rented, and decided to also rent gloves which were warmer than the ones I brought. We each had to bring a minimum of 3L ... read more
Hike up Volcan Acatenango
Sunrise on Acatenango
Overnight Volcan de Fuego

Asia » Nepal December 12th 2021

Our second day started the same as the first: a 90 minute chill yoga session. Speaking of chill, we would start at 6:30 am and the room was cool having not been heated overnight. Gradually it would warm up, but there were just these amazing views of the surrounding mountains which made the session that much more spiritual. Our breakfast was great each day, with full options. It was too cold to sit outside, but the indoor rooftop restaurant had plenty of windows to see the views. Speaking of, the night before when we returned, many of us went up to have a night cap. It looked like there was an engagement party though - lots of people in fancy traditional clothes. So we went to the little bar to the side and had a drink ... read more
Durbar Square
Durbar Square - sculptor lost his hands!
Durbar Square

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