This is Cambodia!

The english edition of “¡Esto es Camboya!” is here, thanks to the work of a great team of excellent professionals and to everybody who supported the project and made it a reality. Today, new goals are on my mind… Thank you very much for your enthusiasm and energy!

JMorente, ¡Esto es Camboya!, kog Rong sanloem

Foreword for the traveler

Some people see a little shit behind a huge gift so easily. Those people say again and again that they are not cut out for this, that this or that cannot be and, last but not least, show no patience with those who are different and see the world from another perspective. They usually belong to that kind of people who enjoy playing the tourist, tiptoeing across the culture of the places they go to without missing one of its must-see attractions. Must-see? At the same time, they forget to live, learn, feel, engage, enrich and enrich themselves. Kingdom did not belong to that group.

Kingdom used to spend her days in the very same city where she was born. She had never had the chance to go to anywhere else, just like she never had the chance to know any man until well into her twenties. She could cook though, and even improve her mother’s recipes. Her life was as the Cambodian society dictated –her father chose a husband for her and she worked until she had her first child, when she stopped working to take care of him. Then more children came in. Kingdom loved her husband for one simple reason: he treated her with respect and cared for the family’s well-being.

One day, Kingdom packed a few clothes in a bundle, took some money she had, and left her town with her family. She had always wanted to see her country, to know what people did in other regions and how the capital Phnom Penh looked like, to see the beaches in Sihanoukville and the Angkor temples. Kingdom and her family had the opportunity to learn about their own culture, to try traditional meals from other regions, to witness complex situations in the capital… They even attended a sporting event that they could have never imagined that existed. Surely, her bundle came back full of experiences.

Back in her hometown, Kingdom realized that everything remained the same. She had been away for a long time, yet it felt like she had left the day before. She and her family had a wealth of experiences, anecdotes and stories to tell. Those experiences changed them somehow, giving them a different perspective of the world –their world. That was their first travel.

There is a big difference between traveling and tourism. If you’ve read this far, I’m sure you are more a traveler than anything else. You enjoy every moment of your journey and you treasure stories that unfold the country you are exploring: its people, cuisine, culture, religion… that’s it; their way of living. And that’s precisely what I try to reflect in these stories. Through the anecdotes that I gathered during my trip to Cambodia, I intend to depict a people that left me speechless and among whom I was lucky to live.

There was a song that travelled with me every day of my trip. That song and that became a hymn, a philosophy of life. The lyrics made me feel full of energy, ready to give my best at all times. When you travel, it happens: Hey man, now you’re really living. Open yourself to the world and enjoy every second. Live and be happy!

 

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