the twelfth month: no better place to be [phnom penh, cambodia]

Already! I remember thinking about this day when I first left, hoping I’d make it this far. I had so many dreams and yet had no idea what to expect. Did I think I’d be in Cambodia writing this update? Absolutely not. But I couldn’t have asked for a better place to be. And so, the twelfth month summary.

The Twelfth Month

The twelfth month was one of the fullest and most enjoyable months of the past year for me.

For those of you keeping track, the twelfth month saw me leave my scuba diving “camp” of Koh Tao for daytrips in Bangkok (Death Railway, Kanchanaburi and the Amphawa Floating Market), followed by the old capital of Ayutthaya (photo below) en route to cooking classes and temple visits in Chiang Mai in the north.

Yourlocalkat in Ayutthaya, Thailand

Then it was time to leave Thailand with an absolutely lovely boat trip down the Mekong (photo below) into Luang Prabang, Laos, which, if you’ve read my post, you know that I absolutely loved it, and honestly, could’ve easily spent a couple more weeks there.

Then it was a whirlwind route down to Vang Vieng for caving, Vientiane to see the capital and then Don Det to relax and celebrate my one-year-traveling anniversary while tubing on the Mekong and watching the sunset. (Yes, I’m rubbing that in).

Boat trip down the Mekong to Luang Prabang, Laos

Why I Loved It So

The twelfth month was particularly fantastic for two reasons:

1. The people I met and traveled with: From reuniting with two good buddies from Bangkok and Chiang Mai, to traveling longer term with two brilliant women I now consider very close friends, it was amazing to connect with what I’ve started terming “good people” – and I barely considered myself a solo traveler because of them in the past month.

2. I had relaxed: I was more used to backpacking, being on the road, and traveling alone – a variable that simply couldn’t have been present in my first week in southeast Asia – and I realized that to stay sane I require time for myself, time to write, and space to think every once in a while.

I also let go of all control and all expectations – one of my favouritest parts about travel. Once I started to go with the flow not letting anything phase me, it honestly cast a glow of euphoria on everything I did.

Mekong sunset tubing. Don Det, Laos

Of Blogging

Thank you to everyone who’s subscribed already. Seriously. THANK YOU.

If you haven’t already, I have my first newsletter coming out at the end of this month, and all you have to do to receive it is fill your name and email at the top of the sidebar at the bottom of any page on the site (like this one).

What you’ll get is an email a month with:

  • a personal update like this one
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Yourlocalkat with the adorable Khamu hill tribe kids, LaosWhat’s next?

The next month, which will no longer have its own update (*tear) will be spent here in Cambodia, learning about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh, admiring the beauty of Angkor Wat, and then writing and relaxing somewhere in the south on a beach before I head to Battambang.

After that? Well…let’s just say I’ve got a few things planned ;)

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