|Evan, me, Lindsay ad Dawn|
My constant planning during the lead up to this first international experience has had its effects, both good and bad. The need to plan extensively has been somewhat based on insecurity.
Never having traveled outside the US, I was very scared I’d screw up and be stuck somewhere. The other comes from a lifetime of managing people, departments or projects of some kinds. It was natural to plan.
I got to Siem Reap for a two-week scheduled stay and quickly realized that there wasn’t a ton to see here as a tourist. Two weeks was way more time than I needed, even giving myself plenty of downtime.
And then I met several people who are moving through Asia on the fly and doing just fine, thank you! I watched as two couples and one solo woman traveler extended their stays at our hotel because they liked it here. No problem because they hadn’t tied themselves into a timeframe as I have every step of the way.
I learned a thing or two. They have gotten incredible last minute airfares and room rates because they haven’t been all hung up on scheduling everything out to the tiniest detail.
|Angkor Wat Museum - the only spot you're allowed to take pics.|
So…I have found a new way of travel which I’ll just call 'surrender.' My generation called it ‘going with the flow’. It’s a matter of being in the moment. I have found myself looking forward when I get bored with where I am, instead of looking around and deciding to enjoy what I have wherever I am.
For instance, this hotel I’m at – Van Song Villa –has a lovely pool which has engendered a number of fast friendships. About five days ago, I just felt myself let go and boy did that feel good. I’ve have had an extraordinary time just hanging out by the pool, with an occasional foray into the town or visit to two museums.