Is it safe?
Very. What’s interesting is three of my volunteer colleagues have felt that Siem Reap, Cambodia feels much safer than parts of the U.S. that they have been to.
Many people default to being fearful and project that on to all experiences if they haven’t explored something new. Not all financially poor countries are unsafe or less safe than Western countries. No matter where we travel or go around at home, it’s important to be safe. I’ve heard of more problems of thefts from my friends in Vancouver than when we’ve traveled.
Same guidelines apply when traveling as being at home: don’t go anywhere in the dark you’re not familiar with, trust your intuition when you make friends along the way, avoid wearing your purse diagonally across your chest, ask the people you know where the best places are to go and you will be just fine.
Are you taking a leave from your jobs?
No. My past employers have been extremely supportive and I’m very grateful for that. I didn’t want to give myself a year time restriction and leave the organizations hanging either so I thought it would be best to step down from my roles so they can find a replacement. And we found great ones!
Traveling is so different when you get the opportunity to live in another country and live as the people here live and connect with them in a totally different way.
What are your plans after your internship?
My plan is no plan. I’ve spend most of my life with most things planned out, taking short trips with a strict schedule and living with a sense with the illusion of control.
I’ve been here in Siem Reap for just a few days and it is so liberating to not have to rush to experience everything I want to experience. I don’t have to rush to take a picture, or make hard plans to try a restaurant. There is time to just live, observe, learn and settle in.
Many people, including myself for most of my life, fear not having a set plan or blueprint for the next 20+ years of their lives. If we leave ourselves open, let go of the illusion of control, you’ll discover the world doesn’t end as we predict it would and open yourself to opportunities you may not have otherwise experienced with your “plan.”
Can I meet you in one of the countries?
Absolutely! After the internship, free for all exploration as needed.