slowly conquering the world, one country at a time
vang vieng, laos, december 2013
the weary cycle
My first real Vietnamese meal since I left Saigon- pho tai and bun cha gio from Saigon Feast in Newcastle, Australia.
The more I travel, the less I feel like I’ve seen and the more I feel I need to do. It’s undeniable- this travel bug, the need to push yourself , the uncomfortable feeling of being grounded or stationary, the more uncomfortable feeling of being somewhere new and the thrill of conquering this.
Equally though, is the Fear. This Fear comes in many forms but every single traveller has it. There’s the Fear of going ‘home’ and finding work, a home. There’s the Fear of outgrowing the life you have for yourself halfway across the globe, or that it will have outgrown you. There’s the Fear that you’re running out of time, that you’re not using your time, that maybe the experience isn’t worth it and maybe home is a better option.
But then there’s also the Fear of never leaving- when you find a place where you could work, make a home, meet people who are growing with and around you, and are constantly pushing yourself. When you find that place, that’s when the real Fear sets in. The uncertainty, the ‘this could be the rest of my life’ and the ‘but I have so much waiting for me’ and ‘what is really holding me back?’
For me so far, these fears are everywhere. You just have to push through them, until you find clarity. I guess there is one main thing I’ve learned so far- losing yourself isn’t all that bad, and finding yourself is severely overrated. And that home is a state of mind.
A photo of me shot by my platonic lover Lizzie, on a sunny autumn day in Newcastle.
It’s looking like Alex and I will spend just over two weeks on the Malaysian Peninsula, then I’m going to spend a month between Myanmar and Laos but I’ve got no idea how to split my time up! I decided to save Indonesia for when I have a solid few months/preferably over June-July!
"Visiting an orphanage in Cambodia is often an item ticked off a tourist’s to-do list. An alternative is to research and support social businesses and community organisations."
In Cambodia, busses are your only option. I’m not sure whether you can find times online (they change frequently) but you can get busses between all the major towns - many of them go via Phnom Penh though which means getting around can be slow, and as the roads are rubbish it’s rare to find overnight busses. Taxis are also pretty cheap- for example, a taxi from Kampot to Phnom Penh cost $25 between two people and was quicker than the bus ($6 each). Vietnam has a great train line and even the cheapest berths are good for sleeping! Google ‘the man in seat 61’ and search for Vietnam for train times! The busses there are also much nicer and cheaper than those in Cambodia, and follow pretty much the same route as the train. I never had trouble getting around using busses in either country, but they can be unreliable in terms of arrival/departure times so be flexible :) it’s not really worth flying in Cambodia as it’s such a small country, but if you’re pressed for time in Vietnam it could be useful to fly between places like Hanoi and Danang!