Helen’s Travel Corner

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Surreal Travel Moments

April 28th, 2008 · No Comments

Last night I got into a great conversation about art with a friend who works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which triggered a tangent on surreal travel moments. There’s one of these moments that stands out in my mind from this past summer that I’d like to share.

While traveling through Cambodia with The World by Road Expedition we passed miles and miles of rubber tree farms. These farms have trees lined in perfect rows and alone, make for beautiful road-side scenery. The surreal travel moment came when they made me think of Van Gogh’s Undergrowth with Two Figures painting. The original is housed in Cincinnati’s Art Museum of which I wrote a reflection of the painting for an Art and Theology class while at Xavier.

I was in awe of the fact that half a world away, 117 years after Van Gogh painted Undergrowth, I’m in Cambodia reflecting on how the rubber tree farms relate to his work. Not knowing what inspired Van Gogh’s work, the resemblance of the trees in Cambodia, a place Van Gogh would never have been exposed to, amazes me.

What a surreal feeling to see something I once described as Van Gogh’s fictional world come to life in Southeast Asia!

Check it out for yourself:

Cambodia Rubber Tree Farm



Vincent Van Gogh Undergrowth with Two Figures, 1890


Tags: cambodia · reflections

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