The thing I value probably most about this year-long excursion around the world is being able to learn and understand the culture around me. Sometimes there are positive lessons to be learned and other times it becomes a reality check and humbling experience to the utmost degree. There are things that I saw, that will stick with me forever.
I should also not continue on without mentioning that this was my first bout with, what seemed to be, food poisoning. I thought, “nahhhh I’m in the clear,” after being in Asia for about a month and a half without any issues. Boy, was I wrong. The struggle was felt and the struggle was real. I now have a new found appreciation and respect for anyone who has dealt with this foul, uncomfortable and uncontrollable issue more than once in their lives. You deserve a medal, or at the very least a long heartfelt hug from yours truly.
The part of the trip that will stick with me the longest was the trip to Kompong Phluk. We headed down a bumpy dirt road about an hour outside of Siem Reap to then take a river longboat to a local village. This village was home to about 500 families whose homes had been built on stilts to be accessible for wet season and dry season. During the wet season, becoming fisherman and the dry becoming farmers. Some of these families have never left the village. The water is used for everything you could imagine; washing clothes and dishes, bathing and even going to the bathroom. Their everyday reality was something I had never witnessed with my own eyes. But the thing I will remember most is the children. Running around, playing, enjoying life with a smile. Most of which without shoes or clothes on. This is their life and they don’t know any different or have any preconceived notion of what else is out there in the world or that they had any lesser than others. It made me regret complaining about my ‘hard as a rock’ bed at a beautiful hotel that morning, seeing that they were happy to even have a wooden board to lie down on at night. Humbling moments like these, make me so grateful for the life I have been provided but also to remember that there are people out there complaining less with a lot less than you or I.
Be grateful. Daily.
Angkor Wat at sunrise was another huge highlight of my trip to Cambodia.
Thanks for STAWPIN’! 🙂