Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What I Learned in Cambodia

by Ashley from A & B C the world

I'm so excited today to be featuring Ashley from A & B C the world. Ashley is a fellow travel addict and has been to six continents. She currently lives in Seattle, Washington with her fiance, Brian and they have a goal to be permanent digital nomads in about a year or so. They are currently planning a trip to Mexico and Belize (where they will be tying the knot!). A & B C the world features fabulous photos from Ashley's travels as well as travel tips, travel essentials and, of course, wanderlusting. Without further ado, see below to read what Ashley learned in Cambodia. 

Traveling in Cambodia is definitely not for the faint of heart. A lot of times I felt frazzled, pushed around, and like I was being scammed by everyone I met (especially around Angkor Wat). But, after meeting numerous kids along the way I started to understand a lot more about Cambodia and its people and even started to feel at home (well a little bit:).

When we arrived to the coast of Cambodia, we instantly left the town of Sihanoukville for a quieter scene at Otres Beach. We stayed in one small strip of delapitated beach bungalows for around two weeks. Everyday we would watch groups of children as young as three to around the age of 18, walk the beach all day in the hot sun. They would do constant laps, selling fruits, bracelets, or basically anything they could sell.  These kids were determined and we were constantly surrounded by a group of ten. We eventually gained their trust and asked them lots of questions about why they sell on the beach and why they are not in school. At first the answer was that they didn't have school that day...or that they were sick, but then it got personal. They talked about their home lives, how there really wasn't an option for them because school required uniforms that they just couldn't afford. After listening to these kids who really just wanted to learn and play, but were forced to work because of their circumstances, the poverty in this country became a whole lot clearer. I immediately felt embarresed about how I was viewing Cambodia and Cambodians and realized that their determination to sell anything was definitely not a means to drive me crazy.

We eventually paid for a group of kids to take the day off and visit a waterfall with us. It was great to see them just being kids, and how easy it was for them to be happy. I think those kids definitely humbled me and taught me that I need to take the time to understand a country and its people first because it will ultimately make traveling so much easier and more rewarding.

Be sure to check out more from Ashley at A & B C the world.


Jenna said...

I love Ashley! One of the things that stood out to me the most about Cambodia was also the children. I just remember them with their little bracelets and postcards saying "one dolla, one dolla, one dolla" over and over again. So incredibly sweet and heart breaking all at the same time. Great post!


Vanessa. said...

Wonderful pictures!


rooth said...

That's a lovely story - I've heard the same type of tale from people who have gone to work in Cambodia and it also really makes me feel so blessed to be living where I do and have the things that I do

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

I love that you let the kids be your guides!!!

Fiona said...

What a gorgeous story, and what a lovely idea to get them to hang out with you for the day.

A and B said...

I'm glad you all liked the guest post! Cambodia will always stick with me as having some of the most beautiful and friendly people and I definitely learned a lot about being a traveler after my trip there!

Thanks Catherine!

Clara Turbay said...

your suggestions are great, bold and versatile.

Meagan Murtagh said...

i love her blog and this is such a great post. thanks for sharing ladies!

xo the egg out west.