Tag Archives: Cambodia

Vietnam to Cambodia, and Back Again.

24 Dec

Currently

When I last left you I had wrapped up my first day in Saigon. More than a week has passed since then, and now I am on a bus riding through Cambodia, and on it’s way back to Saigon. That’s right, I am going back. The past few days have been somewhat chaotic which has led me to this moment, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s rewind.

Củ Chi Tunnels and Realizing What a Small World It Really Is

Wednesday morning, Mike (New Yorker) and I were informed last minute by Vivian (Singaporean) that she would be joining a tour to visit the Củ Chi Tunnels, and if we’d like to tag along we would have less than an hour to get ready, leave our hostels, and arrive at her hotel. No pressure, it’s cool haha. Mike shares the same “why not?” attitude that I have while traveling, so we went for it and made it to Vivian’s hotel, with extra time to spare to grab coffees and some snacks.
*I’d like to take a moment here and advise those recovering from food poisoning that going on a two hour, bumpy bus ride is not the wisest choice you might make, but you won’t know if it’s worth it unless you try it. 😀 *

As we were picking up different passengers for the tour, I noticed that one of the faces was quite familiar. Enter Mike, from Wisconsin, not to be confused with New York Mike. For the purpose of this article, we’ll refer to him as Mike 2, while the other one will be Mike 1. Are you keeping up with me, or have I lost you? :p Moving on. Mike 2 and I were on the same flight from Seoul and ran into each other again at the immigration office in the Saigon airport because neither of us had cash for our visas, so we wandered around searching for an ATM. Once we found one, and collected our passports, we wished each other luck and parted ways. And now here he was, on the same tour! A small world indeed. You might be able to imagine how my “everything is a coincidence” attitude faltered for a moment, especially with Vivian next to me the whole time whispering about how it was fate haha. My romantic friend.

The tour itself was not only educational, but it was also fun, and we had a great tour guide who had an incredibly dry sense of humor, which kept us on our toes, always second guessing whether he was joking with us or not.
But the most interesting part to me of the tour was a video that they had us watch at the beginning. I’ve never seen something so boldly propagandic before. I’m not sure if it was just a reenactment, or real footage, but it seemed sort of surreal. I would later see this same theme appear in the War Museum, but either way I appreciated getting to experience another perspective about the Vietnam War, especially since American textbooks don’t really like to go into detail about the facts of the event.

After the video we got to see how people in the village lived during wartime, with a whole network of tunnels created to hide underground, away from the enemy. We also saw the different booby traps that were created by the Vietnamese to trap their enemies, and then we had the opportunity to crawl through a tunnel that was about 100 meters. Nobody wanted to volunteer to go first, so I went ahead, (with an ice cream cone in my hand, I might add) and led the rest of the group in. I surprisingly didn’t experience any claustrophobia, but I didn’t find the fit to be too tight, and for once I found my compactness to be a blessing. Once out of the tunnel, we were greeted with what would be our dinner. Some potato-like vegetable. I guess the point was to experience what the villagers had to eat. Needless to say, we were still hungry and after the tour, Mike 1 and 2, Vivian, and myself went in search of a famous vegetarian restaurant Vivian had heard about (I love you Vivian!!!!). The restaurant was just my style, with a very open and simple decor. Everyone agreed the food was delicious, although I think Mike 1 didn’t feel quite satisfied without meat in his dish. After dinner, we said our goodbyes. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike 2 and I run into one another again in the future as we will both be in Seoul, and I know that Vivian and I will meet again in the New Year when she stops over in Seoul for work.

Changing Districts and More City Exploring

The next day Mike and I met again as he had talked me into staying at the hostel where he was, because my reservation was finished and I really didn’t like staying in the party district. His hostel was a welcome surprise and was located in a local neighborhood, with very few foreigners to be seen. We spent the day walking around the city again and visited the War Museum shortly before it was scheduled to close. I was disappointed at first that we arrived so late, but after being in the rooms that showed the cruel acts American soldiers had commited against Vietnamese people, I don’t know if I could have taken much more. But I do believe that it is important for us to learn about and face past events, no matter how uncomfortable they might make us feel.

While at the museum, we had met up with another Couchsurfer, Kai, a very cool Vietnamese university student. The three of us walked around and talked, while Kai showed us some local spots, including a noodle soup restaurant and a very cheap, bubble tea vendor that he visits regularly. At the end of the night Mike and I were ready to book massages, and Kai was nice enough to patiently walk around with us as I kept finding reasons not to go inside the different spas. Finally, Mike had enough and googled one with good reviews, and that’s how we came across the best massage I experienced during my trip. We had to go back to the party district and walk down a super seedy alleyway to reach the spa. But once we were inside, the atmosphere felt relaxing and professional, unlike previous spas we had visited. It was here that I experienced my first Thai massage, and it was amazing. Thai massages are a bit more tough than your typical relaxing sort, and include a lot of twisting, stretching, and pressing on pressure points. I don’t think I can ever go back to a regular massage again! And I even made friends with the owner, who has family in West Virginia and has asked to meet up with me in the States the next time she visits. Friends can be found anywhere and everywhere is what I am learning!

Lame Pub Crawlers and the Mekong Delta Tour

After saying goodbye to Kai, and finishing our massages, Mike and I, for some reason, agreed to go on a pub crawl with a very cool, and tough young woman that Mike had met before. I think we might possibly be the world’s worst pub crawlers since Mike didn’t drink at all, and I only bought one beer. After arriving at the second bar, we both decided that we were far too relaxed from our massages to participate in such a wild activity and headed back to the hostel. We got back quite late and our host reminded us that we were signed up for a tour for 7 in the morning. Uh oh.

The next day was rough to say the least. After only a couple of hours of sleep, we got on a bus for two hours that took us out of the city and to a village on the Mekong Delta River, where we spent the whole day getting on and off of various boats of all shapes and sizes. Neither of us were particularly impressed with the tour, perhaps because it was too touristy, or maybe we were just cranky. It was fun, however, to ride on a local boat and get to participate in an activity that involved us sticking our finger into a honey comb that was surrounded by bees. Sadly though, the one reason I joined the tour was not included, and that was the floating market. I might return to the area just to see it, because I’ve dreamed of visiting since I was a child, when I saw a postcard my grandmother had from Saigon of the floating market she visited when she was younger.

Goodbye Saigon, Hello Again Phnom Penh

The next morning I said my goodbyes to Mike, as he would be flying to Thailand and I would take a bus to Cambodia. I spent four days in Phnom Penh, half of which were spent with Kirsty, a traveler from New Zealand.We spent most of our time in one of my favorite cafes, Artillery, and swapped travel stories and talked about how to stop having so many expectations in life, and live with more mindfully. Spending time with Kirsty was refreshing, and in a very short time, I knew that she was someone I would travel quite a distance to see again. Here’s hoping we meet again in Fiji and New Zealand, Kirsty! ❤

The last bit of my time was spent with my good Cambodian friend, Sinorng. We had originally planned to visit his province by the sea, but we attended a birthday party that lasted a lot longer than we had expected. The party was a lot of fun, with so much food and kind people. And a few days after that party, I was invited to another one, this time a wedding anniversary. I had fun there as well, joking with one older man who could speak a little English. I think he was trying to get me drunk as he kept egging me on to “one shot”, and then the others started joining in on the cheer, but I had to decline since I was still recovering from the other event. Cambodians sure know how to party, and even more so how to drink. It’s not something I will even attempt to keep up with and I’ll leave it to the real pros.

Traveling Hiccups

All in all it was a nice time, and the only real stress I was facing was to head back to Vietnam, or to go on to Thailand. Oh the horror haha. But then, just as I was about to get a Khmer script tattoo (it’s not as random as you might think!), I checked my bank account to make sure it was an expense that I could afford, and that’s when I saw a suspicious charge for about half of what was in my account. I spent most of the day and night going back and forth between my bank and the company the charge was coming from only to be told that my card would need to be closed out and I would be allowed a short amount of time to find an ATM and take out everything that was left. I’m not really sure if the charge can be disputed, or how long it will take, or even when I’ll have access to a check card again, but I guess there could be worse things.

So now that brings us to the current moment. I’m about half way to Vietnam, waiting at a rest stop while the passengers grab snacks from the convienent store. Part of me wishes I hadn’t paid for another Vietnamese visa and just bunkered down in Phnom Penh until I get this mess situated, but as I’ve already got the visa and bus ticket, and prices in Vietnam are quite similar to Cambodia, I say why not. Worse case scenario, I find a teaching job in SEAsia again. I could imagine more terrible situations 😉
Let’s take a poll. Will I make my way back to Seoul, or will I start a new life in Vietnam?
P.s. OR That Time I Had to Bribe Thank Immigration Officers

Upon arriving at the border between Cambodia and Vietnam, I was informed by the immigration officer that I would not be allowed to exit Cambodia in order to enter Vietnam because I didn’t have enough room in my passport for a stamp, although this hadn’t been a problem when the travel agency took my passport to issue the Vietnamese visa only two days before. In the midst of all of this, my bus left. I can’t say it was my finest moment, and I admittedly started to cry in front of all of the immigration officers, as they just looked at me, probably wondering how to get the crazy foreigner away from their booth.

After pulling myself together and trying to think of what to do next, one of the officers approached me and said he would let me try my luck with the Vietnamese immigration. So I walked over to the Vietnamese side and asked if they could possibly stamp my passport. They said it was no problem and there was no reason for Cambodia to not let me pass, so they sent me back, but this time with an escort, and there was no doubt in my mind that I would be paying at least this person for their “kindness” at helping me walk back to where I started.

Back on the other side, the Cambodian immigration officers kept shaking their head in disbelief saying that it can’t be right that Vietnam said it was okay, but eventually my escort convinced them that I was telling the truth, and the Cambodian officer looked at me, smiled, and said “you’re very lucky”. Oh yes, I felt incredibly lucky.

Once I paid all of the appropriate people on the Vietnamese side, and bought another bus ticket, I was finally able to make it back to Saigon, and I felt so much relief as I arrived at my hostel. This has been the first, and hopefully the only, issue I have ever had while traveling between borders, and although I had heard stories, I kept thinking “oh, I am glad I am lucky when it comes to traveling”. Nobody is safe is what I take from this experience haha. 😛

[QA] Liebster Award

12 Aug

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since my last post on here, since I’ve focused more on my Facebook page for sharing my adventures.

The reason for today’s post is because I was lucky enough to receive the Liebster Award, by An from Caffeine Berry. Be sure to check out her blog and follow her adventures as an expat! Thanks so much for the nomination! 🙂

The Liebster Award was created to help new bloggers connect with each other, and spread awareness about bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

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Here are the questions I have been asked to answer…

Where are you from?

    • I am originally from the Hampton Roads area in Virginia.

When was the first time you got on an airplane, and to where?

    • My first time on an airplane was to San Diego, California. My sisters, mom, and I were visiting my father, who was doing a contracting job there. I was around 13 years old.

What is your LEAST favorite dish you have tried abroad, and why?

    • Definitely Hongeo, or fermented stingray, in South Korea. The smell is so incredibly powerful, and just awful.  When I ate it, my tongue felt weirdly numb. It’s something I have no desire to try again, but it was a fun experience with lots of Soju (Korean rice liquor). Natto, or Japanese fermented soybeans, comes in a VERY close second. I was given a small serving by a guesthouse owner, and I barely managed to get it down, and only did so because I wanted to be respectful to my host.
hongeo2

Fermented stingray Source

Natto

Natto Source

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

    • Anywhere and everywhere? Haha. At the moment, if I had to choose, I would like to live in Kampot, Cambodia. Cambodia has a very special place in my heart, and Kampot is a small, but lovely, river town with a great laid-back vibe.
Salt farm in Kampot, Cambodia.

Salt farm in Kampot, Cambodia.

What are your 3 must-have items you take with you traveling?

    • A neck pillow
    • Headphones
    • A smart phone so that I can easily take pictures, or listen to music/audiobooks

What is your favorite form of travel and why?

    • I like taking a bus or slow train. It’s not as fast as a plane, but I like taking my time when I am traveling, and it gives me time to just sit and look out the window at the passing scenery.
Train station in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan

Train station in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan

What languages do you speak, and if you can’t speak more than one, which language do you wish you could speak?

    • I know enough Korean and, almost enough, Khmer for travel purposes. I would like to learn at least the basics of French, Italian, and Japanese.

What inspired your blog’s name?

    • I love travel so I thought it would be fun to combine traveling with my last name, which is King. And that is how Travelingking was born. 🙂

If you could have anyone in the world as your travel companion, who would it be?

    • I’d probably choose my youngest sister, because she is one of the few people I’ve ever traveled with, and exploring Southern California together was a blast. I’d also like the chance to travel with more of my family in the future!
My sister and me at the San Diego Safari park.

My sister and I at the San Diego Safari park.

Would you prefer to stay at an All-Inclusive resort, or a hostel, and why?

    • Probably a hostel, just because I feel like resorts have a limited or exclusive feeling to them, which doesn’t seem inviting. I’ve never actually stayed at a resort, so I could be wrong! I have stayed in hostels, and I know that it is an easy and comfortable way to meet other travelers. I’ve met some of the coolest and interesting people in hostels.

In what city did you have the best coffee ever?

    • It’s a really weird tie between Rome, Italy and Seoul, South Korea. I had an amazing cappuccino with a girl I met in Rome, and in Seoul I was lucky enough to find Afro coffee shop, where the barista serves, what is probably, the best iced long black I’ve yet to try.
Cappuccinos and pastries in Rome!

Cappuccinos and pastries in Rome!

Iced coffee at Afro Cafe in Seoul, South Korea.

Ice coffee at Afro coffee shop in Seoul, South Korea Source

And now, introducing my nominees!

  1. Madison from Three’s a Crowd: Tales of a Girl, Her Dog, and Her Car
  2. Cydney from Woman with Wanderlust
  3. Katie from Hummingbird Away
  4. Kim from the kim times
  5. Hannah from Fresh Off The Plane
  6. Shalinee from Life, Love & Travel
  7. Vanessa from Girls Drink Stout
  8. Ciara from CIARA COHEN-ENNIS
  9. Sarah from Saritas Travel Moments
  10. Ariam from Homecoming91
  11. Molly from Living the Chai Life

Instructions for Nominees:

  • Create a blog post on your site, answering the questions that I’ve provided below.
  • In your post, be sure to link back to the blog who nominated you (aka myself, Meghan of Travelingking, with a thank you and shout out).
  • After completing the questions, add a section for your nominees. Select, list and link 11 other bloggers with under 200 followers. Provide these instructions. Finally, create 11 questions for them to answer.
  • Notify your nominees and provide a link to your post so that they know what to do.
  • Once you’re done, come back here and comment with the link to your post so I can check out your answers.

Questions for nominees (and visitors!)

  1. Where are you from?
  2. What was it that first motivated you to travel?
  3. What is your best travel memory?
  4. What festival would you like to visit the most?
  5. What has been your scariest travel experience?
  6. Where is your favorite travel destination?
  7. What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten abroad?
  8. Do you prefer traveling solo or with company?
  9. If you could only travel in one country, which would it be and why?
  10. How long have you been blogging?
  11. What inspires you?

Breaking up with Cambodia. :P

23 Sep

Dear Cambodia,

I’m bringing our on again and off again relationship to a close. Yes, this last month has been really great and you’ve showed me you could change, but we both knew early in the game that this wasn’t going to last for very long. I mean, I’ve already tried to leave you ….twice now, but you pulled on my hear t so I decided to give you another chance.  You threw in plenty of distractions composed of lovely people and wonderful memories, but I can’t stay in this dream like state forever.  You’re not exactly great for my health. I mean at least you didn’t try to kill me off multiple times like your big neighbor, Thailand (I still love you, Thailand!), but still. I’m tired of living out of my backpack, and I know I can’t blame that on you, but I never felt comfortable enough here to really try to settle down in a place more temporary than a guesthouse room.

Besides the aforementioned, why not stick it out and give it another go? Here’s why. I’ve learned more than I expected in less than six months and the one thing that resides with me the strongest is this, nothing is permanent. I’ve been practicing on letting go of my attachments (thank you, Nop!) to things, people, places because they are all temporary and placing so much into them does result in a suffering of sorts. I don’t mean to say that I’ve stopped or am trying to stop valuing friends and family. That’s not it at all. It’s just that, I am starting to see that it is possible to love unconditionally, but to not hang on to it and invest so deeply that I can’t see the way out. I’ve done that my whole life and even if there are an infinite amount of moments of happiness, that happiness fades at times and is replaced by other not so great “feelings”. I’ve talked about finding balance for as long as I can remember and I am finally starting to get a look in on how to do that. So yes, Cambodia, while I will technically miss you, I can’t let that fear of feeling longing for something keep me stuck. I would love to come back again, so if that opportunity happens, then awesome. If not, you have given me so much and I can’t ever forget that, so here is a list of 7 things that I love about you, and after this closure, let us part ways.

1. Seeing monks in orange robes. Even after six months it still makes my day to see monks walking around Phnom Penh.

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(Being sneaky even though he had already taken a photo with me :p)

2. Cambodians. I am oddly enough a people person who isn’t really a people person. I love human kind but I am very ummm selective (I am in need of a better word!) about my personal relationships with people. Those reservations go out the window with the locals here. They are the warmest, smiliest (yeah, I just made that a word), and generous people I have yet to meet. What makes Cambodia so beautiful to me are the people.   428754_10151484187553143_1235923604_n
(SSD kids. One of my best memories of Cambodia <3)
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One of the sweetest girls I have ever met. We visited her family in their province and they were so generous and kind. Love you Choryee.
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(While I wasn’t passionate about teaching, if I were to teach anywhere it would be here.
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(My little munchkins and friend, Panha.)
 3. Foreign cafes. I know this is a weird thing to list, but I have been to some of the best little foreign-owned cafes in this city. For example, The SHOP and their raspberry chocolate tarts goodness. Now I’m hungry!
So good!
4. Wat Botum Park. I love coming here when the sun is setting and the city begins to cool off and go for a run, or sit and people watch. It’s pretty empty during the day but at night it fills with families having  picnics, aerobic dancers exercising (I say this loosely as they aren’t really exerting themselves lol), and the cute couples who can finally be together without it causing too much of a fuss.
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(I love these beautiful overcast days.)
5. The sky. The other day I was talking with a friend about how great Cambodian clouds are lol. But seriously, they are! The sky always seems so close here and when a storm comes, it feels as if we’re enclosed in a snow globe of fluffy clouds of white. And have you seen the pictures of the sunsets?!  Beautiful. As I have been a lazy girl here, I cannot personally say the same for sunrises. Sorry sunrises, I’m sure you have plenty of fans!
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(This is like every day!)
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(Do you see how close these clouds are?!)

6.) The traffic. I know this is a weird thing to love, but I really do. I love the chaos of it all. All of the motos and tuk-tuks and people selling things in the streets. It was just so full of life.

traffic in PP

(This doesn’t do justice to what I’m talking about)

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(Motos everywhere!)

7.) The Markets. Though I didn’t buy much from the markets, I loved walking through them and just being there. I love how fresh the fruit is and it’s SO cheap. Sadly we don’t have markets such as those found in Asia back in the States because of food safety, or some such nonsense.

market

fresh fruit

(Fresh fruit everywhere! <3)

I am now posting this back from Virginia, and seeing all these pictures really confirms how lucky I am to have had such an experience and to see so many beautiful people and places. You’ll always hold a very special part of me, Cambodia. Thank you for all the memories and lessons. ❤

Closure.

8 Jul
Whenever we cling to negative thoughts and experiences, we create our own demons that will follow us to the ends of the earth. I know there will be difficult moments of doubt and loneliness, but I am choosing to see something beautiful in each day. Be it a smiling face, a moment of perfect stillness, or even a torrential downpour that leaves the city flooded. Every moment we breathe is beautiful and sacred.

I am happy that I had left Cambodia back in June. It opened my eyes in a way that would have been hard to do if I had stayed. Getting out for even a week gave me the different and fresh perspective that I needed. I am grateful for the strangers in Thailand who went out of their way to help me, the friends who lifted my spirits by showing me a good time, and those who helped me by making me face some hard truths about myself. I am forever thankful to you and I will never be able to express that fully.

      With that being said, I am also glad that I came back to Cambodia. I did not want to, as many of you know, because I was scared. Being back, however, has shown me that there is nothing to fear. I have been given a chance to fall in love with Cambodia all over again, and can now leave without regrets and with a light heart. Although I am ironically sad to leave, I am excited for my new opportunity in Phuket. It is always a little bittersweet to say goodbye anywhere, but that is how it will always be. I fall in love with each place I visit and always leave a little piece of me behind, but I also take a wealth of new experiences and ideas with me, so it is a fair price. I am sure that I will visit again, but now it is time to move forward. I am so lucky to have had this opportunity of closure and will always think of Cambodia fondly. Thank you for everything. ❤

        “If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting(which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments)and set out on a truth-seeking journey(either externally or internally),and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all -to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself….then truth will not be withheld from you.”

Aside

Personal findings and opinions about women’s rights in Cambodia.

27 Jun

(This is just my opinion of situations I have witnessed and been told about. This isn’t backed with any professional research, and doesn’t apply to everyone in the country.)

I have never considered myself a “feminist” but I do believe in equal rights for both genders. We are lucky in the states that we do get fair treatment (I understand this doesn’t apply to all), because I have seen the other side of the coin, if only briefly. I know this may be a rule of thumb for all SE Asian countries, but I only have experience with Cambodia. Women here are not treated as equals. The men are free to go out and visit brothels, but god forbid a woman shows a little skin or just wants to go out dancing.  I understand that cultural differences aren’t a bad thing, but sometimes it is just so frustrating.

Sure, there are lots of issues out here, but what stands out to me the most is the violence against women and the lack of education about women’s rights and mental health. I have heard stories about men taking what they want from women, even if the women do not give consent. If you are married, it isn’t considered rape. The whole “face” part of their culture makes it hard to know exactly what is happening behind closed doors. I have however gotten close enough to a few women to find that self-mutilation must be quite common here. When I ask why they hurt themselves, they tell me that they are sad, think too much, and cannot make it stop. Mental health services, such as counseling, seem to be abysmal in Cambodia, because talking to a professional would be admitting that there is a problem.

Since I have been here my idea of right and wrong has become blurred and has changed. When I first arrived, the large number of working girls really bothered me, but I have accepted the fact that some (not all) made that life decision, and I respect their right to do so. It is the abuse and emotional pain that really gets to me. Violence against women should be fought against everywhere. Education, including learning about women’s rights and mental health, should be offered to everyone. But this is the problem. All of the “shoulds” in the world won’t make a difference.

How can I help???

Sorry for all of the grammatical errors and just all over the place content.

Stepping back and looking in.

18 Jun

I came to Phuket, Thailand with the intention that it was only for an interview. Yes, I did have an interview, but I don’t think that was the point. I’ve been here for four days and already I have felt something in me shift, and I wish I could identify this change or put a name to it, but it eludes me. I have had to face some hard internal truths on this trip and it has been painful but I know that it is good, because I am learning and growing.

I am not one to ever say that things happen for a reason, because I have just never thought in that way before, but now I am not so sure and it is an uncomfortable idea to deal with.  Leaving Cambodia has put something in motion and I am beginning to see a chain of events that may never have happened if I had stayed. I don’t know if I will go back. I wish that I did know, but now I don’t believe it is in my best interest because my well-being was being sacrificed.

A part of me wonders that if by leaving, I have failed. But at this point in my life, because of a pinnacle moment, I don’t know if it does more good or harm for me to try to “stick it out”. I have a lot of things to figure out and learn about myself and it is going to take a long time, maybe I’ll never be finished but I need to start before I get complacent again and ignore those nagging feelings.

I am looking at some volunteering prospects, so I will update you all soon with where I have decided to go next.

Until next time.

The good and the bad.

17 May

Alrighty everyone, let me catch you up to speed!

The month of May has been interesting to say the least. I’ve seen people fall apart and some put themselves back together while others are still working on it. Hell, to be honest, I did a little falling apart myself but I got back up and have learned some valuable lessons. The most important being this, nothing in this life is permanent. Sometimes things are good and sometimes they aren’t, but regardless it won’t last and there will be periods of ups and downs. I think that is one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with now that I am out here on my own. Not alone though, because I have tremendous support from loved ones and I haven’t once stopped feeling that. Right, enough of my “philosophical insight”! :p

So it has happened! That’s right, I am officially a teacher. I’ve worked for about two weeks now and it is challenging to say the least. I am teaching English to three different kindergarten classes of about 20 students or so. My first week was pretty rough. I wanted to run as far away from my school and never look back because you all know that little monsters…I mean children… aren’t my strong suit, but I stuck with it and it’s getting better. Marginally. A friend of mine told me that this is an opportunity to help build a part of myself that I normally wouldn’t focus on and he was absolutely right. Teaching young children is definitely a learning experience and I am constantly being challenged. I hope to come out stronger after all of it but regardless it’s another experience that I won’t soon forget.

 

Now that I am no longer at the Marady, I am living with a really nice couple in a great apartment in a popular expat community. I’ve only been here for a couple of days now, but so far I am really thankful that I made the decision to come out.

As of  now I am content living here in the Kingdom of Wonder, but as I mentioned earlier, everything is temporary so I can’t rightly say how much longer I’ll be here. I am looking at a couple of future prospects which may take me to either a rural province about two hours outside of Phnom Penh, South Korea, or even a different South East Asian country. It’s all up in the air at the moment, but I can say that I will be grounded here for the next couple of months because Cambodia isn’t quite done with me yet.

Until next time.

Cheers!