an "inspirasianal" escape

The time has come to make a decision on what to do with my annual leave in August. We were originally planning on spending some time in China and Hong Kong (both places Boyfriend has been to but I haven’t) yet for some reason, as much as I knew it would be a great trip, it just wasn’t exciting me as much as it should have been.
Now, we have decided to cut back on the budget as we’ve had some big expenses this year and we would like to start planning for the future a bit more (we know there will be more massive expenses to come!) so back to the drawing board we went.
Working in my industry has some advantages and disadvantages. It’s great because I have so many options and resources at my fingertips, but it’s hard because the last thing I want to do when I get home is plan a holiday. Work kind of sucks the fun out of that! On top of this, after the last 12 months I’m not sure I can even be bothered getting on a plane… but the important thing is to spend time with Boyfirend, explore the world together, grow as people and create new memories. So that’s what we’re going to do.
It seems we’ve settled on Cambodia. No matter how many times I visit South East Asia, it seems I cannot escape it’s pull. It’s toxic – in the nicest possible way but, in some cities, the literal way too. The way affluent Western influence merges with centuries-old Eastern traditions and beliefs never fails to enthral me. The happy-go-lucky attitude of its people and the way no question is off-limits makes me feel so alive and complete.
I will never forget as an 18-year-old who had never been overseas walking in to Ben Tanh markets in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City so unprepared for everything I would experience over the next two weeks. Not least my first full conversation with a Vietnamese person: she simply grabbed my boobs with both hands and asked, “why so big?!” I really had no answers to give her.
A lot has changed in six years. I’ve grown up a lot and had a lot of experiences, both at home and abroad. I feel I understand people better and I understand cultures, religions and ideas better than when I was 18. I embrace differences and I like to make the best of them.
I’m looking forward to getting away again; to spending time with Boyfriend and experiencing new and exciting things with him, and also to learning about myself some more. I think that really is the most important thing in life because if you don’t know yourself, who do you know?


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