To all my friends..
Thank you for keeping in touch with me while I travel. It’s really quite a bit easier to keep in touch these days as a traveler. Anyone can text, call, skype, or email. This wasn’t always the case. People sent postcards and saw each other when they did. 🙂
I remember going to slow internet cafes in 2002, there were no cell phones that worked internationally and expensive phone cards could be bought every once in a while to call home.
Now, you can buy a sim card for cheap, call in country to anyone you need to get in touch with and Skype call to your friends off your phone for 3 cents a minute. It works well for the traveler.
So Wanna see some pictures?
I spent about 10 days in Siem Reap, soaking in the culture, making friends with the local Cambodians and expatriates, visiting some of the rural villages and of course, Angkor Wat was enjoyed for a couple of days.
Travel for me isn’t just to “see” places and do “cool” activities. You can go see the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids and the Great Wall and while they are amazing feats of engineering, the reality is that they are all overcrowded with tourists everyday. I did enjoy seeing them all, but after a while, most of the famous monuments of this world start to look the same.
For me, travel isn’t even travel. Travel is living for me. At some point in your travel life, you evolve from a tourist to what I term a “global citizen.” We are all on this planet together, let’s learn from each other, and help each other as needed. The world is large…There are over 260 countries, tens of thousands of languages, a vast array of cuisine, music and environment. A wealth of ideas, businesses and family structures. Relationships, love and marriage looks different everywhere.
One thing to factor in this life is the physical ability we all may or may not currently have going for us. For me, as a man going onto 30 years, I am still quite active and have all my physical and mental abilities intact and strong. While I still have use of all these faculties, I plan to use them while I can and do “adventurous” things like travel around Asia. My “creature comforts” have not settled in yet, though I expect they will in time.
Once you have your own family, these circumstances change yes. Once you get over 40, you may begin to have some physical issues. One of the top things people said to their caregivers while on their deathbed, was “I wish I lived out my dreams and did what I could when I was physically able to.” If you wait till retirement, unfortunately, it may be too late. Live your dreams now. You may think it’s difficult now, but you have to think differently. Anything can happen.
I have seen much of the world already, I recognize I have a unique vision and voice, and my current goal is to expand and sharpen that vision, build partnerships with other like-minded individuals and groups for future collaboration and support, and to just simply give some love, however possible, to a country that is limited and being tied down.
There are others in the world, who are committed to seeing people helped. Simple things like basic education are lacking in a country like Cambodia. Teachers will get paid $40 a month, and they may only be interested in the paycheck, not the real education of the kids. If the kids suffer from abuse at home, who can they turn to? Will the education they receive from the state really do anything for their future? Likely not.
I met a man named Sambath and he showed me his school he started. Kids in Cambodia go to the state school from either 7am-1pm or 1pm to 7pm.
They then can go to an additional school in their free time. This is the school that Sambath created. In it, kids have specific focus tracks like english, computers, sports, agriculture or teaching. 700 kids come in the morning, and 700 kids come in the afternoon. There are about 30 teachers, some of which are foreigners.
I visited the school and enjoying seeing “real change” in action. Here, children could really have an opportunity to build specific skills beyond what the state could provide. They were happy on the campus, they had fresh water from the wells at the school and materials and resources to learn from. I played some soccer with the kids and had a blast. Reminded me of when I played soccer with kids in Mexico back when I first starting doing volunteer trips.
I am continuing to be blessed while here in Cambodia. I have connected with people from YWAM here, which was an organization I used to work for. I had stayed with contacts in YWAM in the town of Battambang for 4 nights, and when I left Battambang for Siem Reap, I ended up running into them again! The funny thing is, I was hanging out with another YWAM group, and so I connected them together! Funny how things work like that, but they’ve happened so much in my life, I don’t react as crazy as I used to, I just smile slightly and go about my way.
Thanks for reading