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JoeyO

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Koh Rong Cambodia

It was not long ago when the Island of Koh Rong was just another jungle in Southeast Asia with a few huts and villages. Today, Koh Rong has turned into a backpacker’s paradise, specifically the Koh Tuch Beach Strip. Koh Rong boasts some of the most beautiful, untouched white-sand beaches in all of Southeast Asia. Being one of the largest Islands in Cambodia, it is still surprisingly undeveloped, and has yet to be overrun with large hotel chains, which is a good thing as it preserves the natural beauty and local villages of the island.

Diving really wasn’t on my mind until a couple years ago when Chandler and another friend were talking about how they were PADI Open Water certified, and since we are a competitive group of friends I started looking into diving and how to get the open water certification. After reading some stories and watching a few YouTube videos on diving I was instantly hooked, nothing was more interesting to me than the alien world that lies below our feet whenever we’re in the water. With your open water certification you are certified to dive down to 18 meters or 60ft….

Upon stepping out of the airport at Phnom Penh, the first question we were asked is “Do you need a tuk tuk?” We said “of course” and as we are walking to the tuk tuk the same guy asks us “You want shoot RPG!?”. “Ummmm, hell yes!” One of Phnom Penh’s biggest attractions is the firing range. A person can legally shoot all kinds of weapons up to and including RPGs, heavy machine guns, and grenade launchers.

We are two explorers from Florida, with a passion for travel videography & photography. We have quit our jobs and sold our belongings to turn a dream into a reality. We plan to trek to some of most exotic and remote parts of Southeast Asia, along the way meeting new friends and creating awesome experiences. We will go where the every day tourist and backpacker will not, to get some of the best raw, unfiltered content to inspire others to pursue their dreams…

The day had finally arrived! Nine months of saving money, bagging groceries at Publix, and slow crawling through two semesters of classes had all led up to this moment. I was about to get on an airplane destined for Belize City to start my three week study abroad in Belize! I was stoked of course. I’d be taking a Marine Biology course while living on a tropical island and a Tropical Ecology course while living deep in the rainforest and visiting the world famous Belize Zoo. I was most excited about the five SCUBA dives I had planned. Although I’m from Florida and spent my entire life around the ocean, I had never seen a shark in the wild and to me they were the equivalent of a mythical creature. I was hoping this trip would change that.

It’s 8am and your alarm goes off. It’s Monday again and that means back to the same old classes. It means hours of lectures and death by PowerPoint and if you’re anything like me, you’re doing it all hungover. You walk through the halls of your University and see pictures of amazing and exotic places on the walls. In your major’s department you might even see people doing what you love or working in your future dream job in these foreign lands. You open your textbook at home and there it is again, a wealth of eye drawing photos from around the world, but there you are, in the same old rut wishing you could spend even just a brief time in one of these pictures you keep seeing.

I have always been very impressed and intrigued by some of the astrophotography shots people have been able to get with just a DSLR and a wide angle lens, so I set out to learn the art and hopefully capture that breathtaking shot of the heavens! I will go ahead and outline the process it took to get our first couple, maybe mediocre, but acceptable shots. Consider this part one in a series of posts and epic shots regarding this topic!

During our Florida road trip we had the privilege of diving in the Devil’s Den Spring. Devil’s Den is an underground pre-historic Spring that offers crystal clear 72 degree water year round, ancient rock formations with stalactites, fossil beds dating back 33 million years and a great diving or snorkeling experience for everyone. There is no general swimming allowed in the Den however.