While I still have some blog posts to finish from my time in Cambodia, I thought it important to post a reflection about my summer.
Being away for 3 months from home was honestly pretty hard. Surprisingly though, work and day-to-day living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was actually really easy: good food, available clean water, air conditioning, privacy, fast Internet and mobile service, very kind and generous people, good public transport, etc.
But, home is home. There are certain things that I really missed. Some are obvious, some are not.
1) Wife, dogs, house, neighborhood (i.e., the givens)
2) Low humidity and temperatures: I got used to the persistent >90 degrees and >90% humidity after 1 month or so. But, it was still really uncomfortable, even to the Cambodians, who were just as sweaty as I was.
3) Not having to apply sunscreen and DEET post-shower every morning and having to reapply at ~2 pm everyday due to sweating constantly (see #2).
4) Traffic laws actually being obeyed and enforced: While I got used to cycling and being driven around town while people drive the wrong way (mostly motorbikes driving against traffic in the emergency lane); people running street lights and not stopping at stop signs; seat belts not being present or having been cut out of cars and buses; and massive potholes and construction debris being strewn about the roads in many places, it was all very stressful!
5) Clean drinking water coming out of faucets and showers: Having to carry drinking water everywhere and spit constantly when showering is taxing.
It’s great to be home. I missed it.
But, I also find myself missing Cambodia, my new friends, my amazing landlord Vanny, and my work. Despite the discomfort, I’m sure I’ll be going back.