Cambodia - Part 1.
People travel for many different reasons - this kind of goes without saying. For some people it's to see a famous site or a place they've long dreamed of seeing. For others it's to see what their friends have seen. Yet others want a change of scene or to experience new foods or activities.
I've been trying to put a finger on why I love travel so much. And I can't. Although part of me is convinced it's because I'm searching for 'something'. Donno what 'something' is yet, but when I find it I'm sure I'll know. Or not.
To steal a phrase from a friend, many people are 't-shirt travellers' - been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, ticked it off the list - one country in one day? No problem. It's marked off the list now. I've just finished reading Alain de Botton's 'The Art of Travel' - which I recommend - if you like an observational kind of book. He certainly had me nodding away in agreement for quite a lot of his points. Anyway, he talks about people who whizz through countries and cities and how much people miss when they do this. How much people don't see.
It's also why tour groups do my head in. Whilst I'm happily skipping (well, when nobody is watching!) around in quiet areas of temples enjoying the quieter spots, tour groups are being herded, obtrusively, to the same spots and being allocated their 2 minutes before being herded onto the next spot. Like a gang of camera-clicking sheep, really.
One of my favourite parts of travelling is people. I enjoy travelling alone and one of the main reasons for this is that people talk to me when I'm alone and I'll talk to people. Every day, random people, random conversations. People enter my life for a few minutes or a few hours and, often, leave it somewhat richer for the experience. I love learning about people's lives. Little snapshots into who they are and why they do what they do. I meet so many inspirational people this way.
Cambodia was full of people like these. From a tuktuk driver, through many monks, ex-monks, travellers, holiday makers, ex-pats, volunteers, students, old people, young people... my conversations in Cambodia have left me with many happy memories, a warm heart and many potential new roads to pursue.
More to follow...