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Wonder.

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

It’s one of those quotes that I feel like I’ve been told more times than any normal person should be told, but again- that’s probably just me overanalyzing once again.

I haven’t completed a blog entry in some time now, I’ve started plenty, but none seem to encompass the roller coaster of a ride my life seems to be on right now. This one probably won’t either but I might as well try.

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Cambodia, Expat, lifestyle, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel

The Best Coast.

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I’m sitting at my wonderful desk with my Panpuri diffuser wafting lemongrass into the air, the kittens are making their rounds about the apartment- mewing here and pawing there- and rapid fire video game noises and cliché phrases are overtaking the living room thanks to Call of Duty. There isn’t anything all that out of the ordinary. The smells are the same, the sounds are generally the same (although the headphones are about to go on for some Lana for some, you guessed it, West Coast)- but the general aura is different. How come?

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Expat, Personal, Travel

Unknown.

Ireland

It’s days like today that make me miss home the most. The sky is an ominous gray, rain drips down the window mirroring the tears I deftly try to wipe away before anyone notices. Even the music I have plugged into my ear buds, music that should make me happy, excited, and alive, only ushers my thoughts to a warm car, artificially heated, flying down a highway with the sound turned up high and a friend in the passenger seat. Something completely unavailable here in Cambodia.

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2 years.

To Cambodia

It’s been two years now since I stepped foot in the lands of The Kingdom of Wonder to make it my home. It’s actually not difficult to remember how I felt those first few hours off the plane.

Being picked up by my mom who at the time lived here and somewhat paved my way into Cambodia, and sitting in her orange and white tile checked kitchen smoking Esse menthols and listening to the geckos chatter outside on her patio. I won’t forget the first week when the luscious scent of frangiapani overwhelmed me as I roamed the quiet back streets, the soothing sound of monks chanting in the morning from the wat across the street, the romanticism of this foreign world and all that it introduced me to, the people I first gazed upon, and the will to create something of my own.

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Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh

Count your blessings.

Photo: Aimée Han

Photo: Aimée Han

I am always in awe of the expats who have lived in Cambodia for 5, 10, 15 years; even 2 years has proven to be utterly taxing. Not because of the dusty streets, the grime that rinses away when you step into the shower, the harried and hectic traffic, the miscommunications and culture gaps- but because of our expat cohorts. It hasn’t been the first time I’ve noted that Phnom Penh seems to draw some real characters: from the slightly confused to the absolute deranged, there is not shortage of “wtf“.

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Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel

Feet on the ground.

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Well kids, it’s been one week since my mom took off on a plane back to Washington and guess what? I am still alive! I am well(ish)! I am eating, drinking, and making merry! As we dropped her off at the airport, it felt like it would be ages before that would be a possibility or that life would fall back into a natural rhythm for quite some time. Although I do feel lethargic, without much motivation to go to the gym or out to do much socializing other than under the comforting roof of my favorite restaurant run by some of my favorite people- I know I have to push through to this next week and get back into action full force, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

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Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh, Travel, United States

July 4th.

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The last Independence Day I really celebrated was in 2012 in Tacoma, Washington. I spent it with my then boyfriend and the Miller family at Nicolette’s beautiful waterfront house and climbed up onto the roof to drink Fat Tire Beer, eat hot dogs, nosh cheeseburgers, and crunch Doritos to watch the air show with the jets dipping and diving in a choreographed dance in the clear blue sky.

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Cambodia, Expat, Personal, Phnom Penh

Tandem.

Comfort.

Comfort.

Living in Cambodia has taught me many things, but the one that has been looming most recently is that you can’t truly ever plan for more than the day you’re living.

Sure, you can schedule lunches and meetings and cocktails with clients and friends, even sometime those fall through- but in the large scheme, more “life” planning type decisions, they’re things that you can grasp at but not know if they’re actually in your hand or if they’ve floated away somewhere unknown.

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Cambodia, Expat, lifestyle, Personal, Phnom Penh

From sea to shining sea.

Friends

Well friends, the holiday season- in Cambodia, that is- is now over until the excitement of Pchum Benh builds in September. We’ve gotten to enjoy 5 day weekends, 2 day work weeks, and a few random days off thrown in for the past few months and I had definitely gotten used to it with days full of cat naps, ordering in, and writing to my hearts content both publicly and privately, for work and for pleasure. Continue reading

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