I am writing to you from a cozy swinging chair in a tiki hut hostel off of a southern coast beach in Cambodia. Otres beach 1 to be exact. What a little tourist community it is but sort of sleepy right now due to low season and a local holiday.
Cambodia has not been what I thought it would be and I am starting to think that it is my fault. It’s my fault for not informing myself more but to be fair you never understand things completely even with the internet. Other travelers show Cambodia in a beautiful but very filtered light. Of course I find myself doing the same thing on social media while I am here but I am also trying to convince myself of the reason why I came.
This country has an incredible history and the more I look around the more my heart breaks for the people. I wish I was having a better experience so that I could truly say the people are beautiful. I just haven’t had that experience, yet. But I am only ten days into the trip with some amazing plans still to come.
I guess the reason why it is my fault is because I have been trying to be a “cheap” traveler and have been one in America for 2 years now. I thought I could just apply those same ideas to Cambodia. I am now discovering I need to change my mind to my new surroundings. Cambodia is a cheap country but it is full of corruption in every way. I have been scammed and misunderstood so many times now. And keeping a “happy-pick your battles-what’s my next adventure” attitude can be difficult when the next thing has a 50% chance of not happening and the other 25% being something completely different from what you were sold.
I bet to an experienced traveler this sounds like I don’t even understand the concept of traveling. I do, but up until this trip I have been “taken care of” long enough to get my legs about me in a new place. Going completely solo for a whole month in a 3rd world developing country 40 years after one third of that country’s population was murdered is apparently pretty ballzy. It’s a no brainer that they have mastered the art of scamming and corruption. They have needed to to survive.
I can travel cheap in America because I know the rules. Now I am slowly learning the rules and the tendencies of the people in Cambodia. I am finding friends within the hostels which is super helpful to figure out where to go next and what’s worth the trip. I also am able to fill that “I am not alone” void with these new friends.
All in all my trip has been good and definitely memorable. I have only lost my sunglasses(which might be in my bag) and paid more for transportation. The food has been hit and miss but I think I am learning what I like to eat in their culture. I haven’t gotten sick and I have made it to everything I have had planned. It’s just that for every good experience there is a bad one lurking around. Once I have dealt with something once I am trying to be immune to it the next time it comes around so I can move on to the next good experience.
Another positive thing for me is that there has been decent WiFi at most places and that most places have WiFi. Communication is very important to the culture here so everyone has a phone. I am able to get online and talk with friends back home and keep up with my YouTube journey on a daily basis. I would find it much more difficult if I did not have this ability to be keep up with things back home.
Thanks for reading 🙂