Travelling for me is all about experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and having my eyes opened to a whole new, different and exciting world.
However with any travelling, and when you spend a prolonged amount of time in one place there are things that begin to grate on your nerves a little bit, and things that you miss from your own country.
It is hard to believe that I have been here for 3 weeks and this time next week I won't be here anymore. To say it's going to hard to leave is an understatement so for now I am focusing on the things I am not going to miss in a useless attempt to make my departure that little bit easier.
So, in no particular order, I must confess there are 10 things I am not going to miss about living in Phnom Penh:
1. The Dust
|Even some of the streets are dirt, which means more dust!|
2. The Heat
|The forecast for my final week here.|
Now I am not usually one to complain about the weather. I figure, what's the point, nothing you can do about it. I especially don't like to complain about the warm weather as I much prefer it over winter any day! But there's hot, and then there's just plain gross! The temperatures are a whole lot different to what we get at home during a yucky Toowoomba heat wave, so I think it's the humidity over here that I struggle with a little bit. As well as the fact that there doesn't seem to be any reprieve and no way of cooling down.
3. Cold Showers
|Our pretty little bathroom..aka wet room.|
I know this probably seems a little bizarre given the above point but cold showers everyday is getting a bit much, it doesn't really relieve the hotness as you are sweating 2 minutes later, and when washing in cold water only I never really feel clean. Doesn't matter how hot it is, I always like to have a little hot water with my shower.
4. The smell
|Just one of the many piles of rubbish I drive past on my way to my placement|
It is not uncommon to see piles and piles of garbage just laying around the streets and people just throwing rubbish anywhere they like. Of course as it builds up, so does the stench. There are several points along my ride to work where I have to hold my nose and my breath, as does my driver! I realise that this country is growing and still developing and they have so many issues that they need to deal with but one one hand I feel like if they could get the rubbish situation under control somehow it would be a completely different place.
Each meal is provided by the volunteer house as part of our fee. Breakfast is white bread and an assortment of spreads. Lunch and dinner are varying versions of rice and meat and vegetables. White rice for lunch and dinner every day.....Every.... Single.... Day..... If I never see white rice again after this trip it will be too soon!
I am not quite sure it has anything to do with the rice in particular but my stomach has not been right the whole time I have been here. I have good days (or more like hours) and bad. A couple of bouts of gastro, constant bloating and cramping has plagued much of my trip.. no fun!
6. Sleeping issues
|Our beds are the volunteer house|
7. Being asked if I want a Tuk Tuk
|Some of the Tuk Tuks that wait outside our house|
8. Constant fear of being robbed
|The traffic is often intense|
When we arrived and had our orientation we were warned again and again... and again about being robbed in Cambodia. I read and heard other people's stories about how they were, or they knew someone who was, robbed in Cambodia. Sadly each time I travel around the city my eyes are constantly darting back and forwards, suspicious of anyone who drives/rides too close to my Tuk Tuk, wondering if they are going to reach in at any moment and grab my bag. We constantly walk with one hand firmly gripping our bags. Some of the Tuk Tuk drivers work in conjunction with people on scooters/moto and take tourists the wrong way, down alley streets and rob them. One of the other volunteers had her bag stolen on her last night in Cambodia. She was leaving a club, walking along with a group of friends and before she knew it someone on a moto rode past and cut her bag from her shoulder and rode off with it, all the money she had just gotten out of the atm and her iphone with 12 months worth of travel photos on it.
|Inside one of the market halls|
10. To be honest I couldn't think of a tenth point, but couldn't handle just having 9! It doesn't have the same ring to it! I honestly have loved my time here in Cambodia and all these things listed above are totally manageable and bearable and you do get used to, or find ways of managing them (except maybe the cold shower one! That kinda does suck!)
What things do you struggle with when you travel?
How do you cope?