Part 3: Siem Reap | Travel Diary

Over the next week, I’ll be posting series of posts sharing stories from my whirlwind trip to South East Asia last spring. This is a little more personal than my typical content- enjoy!

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Chiang Mai
Ko Pha-ngan

“Do one thing that scares you every day”

I’m repeating this mantra as I’m facing one of my biggest fears: a propeller plane. I absolutely have to get on this flight: it’s my only chance to see Angkor Wat and my return ticket to the US is leaving out of Siem Reap in just a few days. In case you didn’t know, propellers are loud. I thought I could ignore it, except as fate would have it, I’m seated in 6D- a window seat at eye level with the engine, propeller in full view. And, thanks to airline safety procedures, I can’t even close the window to shield it from my peripheral vision. So I’m faced with a constant reminder of my impending doom on the quick, 45 minute flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

When you’re traveling alone, a new destination feels like moving to a new city. With any luck, you’re leaving behind a few travel buddies and a favorite cafe in your old “home”. I’m a bit anxious as I’m on the flight. Yes, the propeller is still scaring me half to death but there’s also the little voice inside my head whispering “The hostel will suck! Nobody will talk to you! The city isn’t as great as what you’re leaving behind.”

And what I’m leaving behind? Sandy beaches, cheese toasties, a trio of friendly Canadian girls who adopted me into their clique, and a charming British man who tried to persuade me to extend my stay to spend just a little more time with him.

Taking my last tuk tuk to the airport, I’m all smiles. The smell of the street carts, the cool summer beeeze, the lightning flashes in the distance. Maybe it’s the jagerbomb finally hitting me, but I’m genuinely happy. I’m sad to leave Cambodia and I’m even sadder my adventure is ending but my heart is full. Maybe this was the best week of my life, maybe the best is yet to come.

As I pull up to the airport, it starts to rain. I don’t necessarily believe in signs, but maybe this is one.

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