people travel for two reasons: to learn about the world and to learn about themselves. usually they end up getting a combination of both. i'm on a bus to ho chi minh, leaving beautiful cambodia. being stuck on a bus with chinese music playing for 7 hours gives you plenty of time for reflection. here is what i have learned about the world and myself in the past weeks:
1. pringles are a completely acceptable breakfast choice.
2. i'm more easy going than i thought i was. i know when to take my time out, but usually and when not hungry i'm quite happy to go with the flow. i have met some real princesses on this trip and i wasn't one of them *pads own shoulder*.
3. the content of my backpack seems to be growing though i haven't bought anything. i am wondering if there is a traveller's secret to this that i don't know about?
(the above was a lie. i have bought three kromas for myself and one silkscarf in pink for my mother and a whole bag of spices that i have no idea if i'm allowed to import them.)
4. monks go commando i was told my multiple sources. not sure why i needed to know that, but our tour guides apparently deemed it important so i'm passing on the wisdom to you.
5. the one luxury i don't want to live without is face spritz. i lost my rosewater in bangkok and have been unhappy ever since about it. yesterday i shrieked in delight when i found evian spray at a pharmacy and promptly spent a little fortune on it to make it mine.
6. things don't make people happy. doing things that you love makes people happy. smiling makes people happy. i was told planting rice with your family during the rainy season makes people happy.
7. if you have ever spend a night in the cambodian countryside you will learn that crickets can be bloody loud and not very romantic and you will not go out and buy yourself a sound machine with jungle noises because you miss that sound so much. at least i won't.
8. sometimes doing really touristy things can be loads of fun. like doing a group cyclo race in really hectic traffic. especially when the locals around you don't mind.
9. traffic in cambodia is manic. i didn't see a single accident and still don't know how that is even possible. it seems to be an intricate system of organized chaos an outsider cannot understand.
10. i can live without wine. well, spider wine doesn't count and there is always beer, but still...who would have guessed?
11. i'm completely mesmerized by rice paddies and the harvesting of them.
12. kids are kids anywhere in the world: some are cheeky, some are shy, there is always a leader, one with pigtails, a big sister bossing a little brother. i like that certain dynamics are the same wherever you go. same goes for men and watching sports.
13. i need to spend more time by the beach. i become a different person when there is sun and salt on my skin (and yes, minus the sunburn obviously!).
14. i still need to find the balance between when to take pictures and when to put my camera down and just absorb. i think i miss out experiencing when i see through a lens too much.
15. i'm a hair tier upper. always. sorry. even with my new short hair the tropical whether just calls for it.
16. i am really really afraid of snakes. i won't eat one (and mind you i have eaten a spider leg) and when we were on the tonle sap lake and a boy in a small boat with a snake around his neck came close to ours i almost jumped into the water.
17. travelling puts me in a bubble. while that can be a great thing of living in the moment at times, i also need this trip to spend some time thinking about where i'm going and what i want out of my life. i haven't done that at all. then again, i tend to overthink everything so maybe it's a good thing to just be for a bit.
18. food! i get ridiculously excited by the local menus. i usually want to order everything. the best part about any town for me are the food markets and thai basil is the bestest of all herbs.
19. i love lotus flowers. i almost bought some to put in my hotel room, but then sanity prevailed. lotus flowers don't like 7 hour bus rides very much.
20. i do like going away and coming home equally.