Sixy-five days. That’s the number of days it took for me to decide it’s time to come home. Actually to be perfectly honest, the thought crossed my mind five weeks into traveling, but I would have never allowed myself to hop on that plane. Going to Asia was not just a mini break from home for me, it was a conscious decision to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I would be damned if I didn’t at least stay for two months, and I’m so glad I did. It was one of the most wonderful things I ever did for myself.
From speaking with the other travelers I met on the way, it seems one month away from home is usually the amount of time that makes for us question what we’re doing. It may be a moment of weakness, but also it’s just natural that you want to re-evaluate what you are doing. Am I truly happy doing this? Is this what I wanted? Am I doing all the things I had planned? What do I like so far about this trip and what should I change?
From my experience though, for every moment that I felt lonely, scared, nervous, or homesick, the excitement of the day ahead always triumphed. Most of the time I didn’t even know where I was going next yet that was the best part. I learned to embrace not knowing where I was going the next day, how long I wanted to stay in one place, where I was going to get lunch or dinner, and most importantly even my mistakes. Oh, there were a lot of mistakes. When you travel, I believe we all suffer from a “should-have” syndrome. It goes like this:
“MAN! I paid way too much for this! I SHOULD HAVE bargained harder!”
“Dammit! I SHOULD HAVE booked that other hostel!”
“I SHOULD HAVE just ate over there instead of here.”
“I SHOULD HAVE just taken the bus!!!”
Yah, you get the drill. But the thing is, no matter how many “should-haves” we could of have, we didn’t, and it’s a fact that we all have to come into terms with in order to move on. I experienced plenty of this myself. Paying way too much for a meal, too much for a taxi, going the wrong way and not asking for directions earlier on, it’s all been done. But if I beat myself up for every time I should have and could have done something better, I would have NEVER moved along! And the silver lining to all this, was that many of those mistakes led me to greater things. I made friends and saw things that I would’ve never gotten to if I didn’t make those choices. So if you ask me, I wouldn’t change anything.
So what now?
Well this isn’t the end of traveling for me for sure! I’m already trying to figure out where I would like to go next and how I’m going to make that happen, and it will! Sixty-five days was simply the amount of time that I felt I got a good grasp of the culture in Asia, without feeling overwhelmed. I’m pretty sure I will be back for more. Meanwhile I’m happy to be back at home to my family, my boyfriend, my friends and my dog. They all warrant just as much time as my trips, and through traveling my perspective of all things home actually became so much more beautiful, grand and wonderful. And that’s a feeling I truly believe you cannot experience without leaving home.
More photos coming soon on Cambodia and more! But first, I will need to sort through the thousands of photos I took…a daunting task that I do not look forward to. Yikes.