Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of my favorite movies. That isn’t to say that I ever actually wanted to BE Indiana Jones, having headhunters, witchdoctors and Nazis chasing after me. I most definitely do not like snakes. What I like about watching Raiders is observing people solving puzzles that reveal exotic, hidden spaces. I mean, what’s better than that scene where Indy stands in the model of the ancient Egyptian city, puts the amulet on a rod, then gasps in amazement as the sun, shining through the amulet, creates a beam pointing to the site of the hidden ark? That’s movie magic right there, and travel magic as well. Indiana Jones is definitely one of my big inspirations for starting my treasure hunt business, Dr. Clue.

About the closest I’ve ever felt to donning Harrison Ford’s hat and whip is on my trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to visit Angkor Wat. There are over 72 temples in the Angkor Wat complex, some well preserved, some essentially ruins, and they cover a lot of ground. I doubt anyone tries to see every building. And to be honest, I’m not even a big fan of the main temple, the one you see in all the pictures with the river, the path leading in, and the 5 rocket-shaped towers. Oh, it’s grand all right, replete with carved bas reliefs of the Ramayana. But it’s also swarming with tourists and worse: wanna-be tour guides who won’t say no for answer.

What appeals to me far more than the famous, “guidebook” Angkor Wat sights is this smaller sub-temple, detached from the main complex, abandoned, decaying, and completely overgrown by towering banyan trees. If there is a more Indian Jones-y place in the world, I dare you to tell me where. Can’t you just imagine yourself here, following your treasure map to a stone door covered in ancient runes? You press on an indentation, two times, mutter a secret word in Sanskrit, and the door slowly rotates open, revealing the Golden Idol of the Monkey God! This did NOT happen to me, alas. (All I got was a few photos). But it could have!

What can you do to bring Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark excitement to your everyday circumstances? If you treated life as a treasure hunt, how might your life change?