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Reflections – Cambodia

Friday, August 4th, 2006

I didn’t know too much about Cambodia before I went, and I’m actually really glad that I didn’t do too much reading or preparing for my traveling there, as I was pleasantly surprised by many things there, especially the main tourist sights such as Angkor Wat, Tuol Sleng Museum and the Kratie Irrawaddy dolphins, along with the delicious food and the warm and friendly people. Learning about what a horrible history the country has had, makes travel there even more interesting, especially when you realize their civil war only really ended about 9 years ago. The infrastructure is appalling however, and getting to and from certain places definitely needs patience, and sometimes, buns of steel. First impressions the day or two at the border crossing aside, I found my travels through the country my most rewarding so far. Sometimes, the worst day or event turned into my favorite memory or adventure, which is something that no guidebook can arrange for you. [read on]

One month…

Monday, January 30th, 2006

So I’ve been traveling a little over a month now and while I’m sure some things are different depending on the country you are in, it is becoming apparent on how things work in the travelers world. In the States when you meet someone, the first thing you do is introduce yourself. Not so while you are traveling. In fact, it really makes no sense to introduce yourself or ask someone’s name. They will never remember it and you will probably never see this person again. You begin the conversations usually with some small talk about where you are going, or about the place you are staying at. You ask about where they have been, where they are going next, how long they are traveling for. You might get advice on your next destination or hostel to stay at and somewhere in there you ask where they are from. Never in there do you ask the persons name or give yours. You meet so many people that it would make it impossible to remember everyone’s name, and just wastes everyone’s time. Once you know you really like a person and maybe want to continue to travel with them, or even just spend the day with them, then you ask their name. It is an unwritten rule somehow that once you ask the name, then you know you will keep in touch or at the very least spend the next hour or so together.

[read on]