This past March/April, Mike Rogers, Meghan Shea and I spent more than a week documenting our friend, Sam McGoun, as he swam, cycled and ran more than 670km across Cambodia to raise awareness of, and help to fight against, human trafficking.
Inspired by the challenges overcome by the students of Sala Bai Hotel & Restaurant School, Sam’s route across the Kingdom of Wonder followed the actual journey traveled by a former student named Khatna: from her floating village in Mechrey on Tonle Sap Lake, to Sala Bai where she studied in Siem Reap, to her graduation celebration on the sandy beachfront overlooking the Gulf of Thailand in Sihanoukville.
As the documentary photograph- and film-making team tasked with chronicling Sam’s odyssey, we did our best to keep pace with him as he dove into snake-filled lakes, crossed muddy rivers, ran through small villages and pedaled across the countryside of rural Cambodia on his way to raising more than USD$30,000 for Sala Bai.
We also tried to take the time to briefly turn the cameras on ourselves as we shared in Sam's epic journey, sleeping in active Buddhist monasteries, exploring abandoned 7th century pre-Ankorian temples and stumbling upon
beautiful, cinematic scenes of village women plunging fully-clothed to the bottom of a muddy river to catch trey phtok, a local freshwater fish.
Set to the recently released song "Anderson" by Wishes and Thieves, the result is a short two-and-a-half-minute video that Mike and I created to go behind-the-scenes and offer a brief glimpse into our personal experiences photographing and filming Sam's adventure.
Interested in more? Click here to follow Sam's cross-Cambodia journey through our "Report from the Road" daily journal. Or visit my website to see more of my lifestyle and travel photography portfolio.