Do you have one of those moments when you try to figure out the meaning of your life?
Recently I felt like I was caught up in the system, working at least 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, spending my weekends already exhausted. In one of those weekends I asked myself what I was doing with my life. Where was I going. There needs to be more to this life. after all what are we are just living around 80 years in this 4 billion year of earth. That was the exact moment I thing I wrote The Ultimate Reason Why We Start Living Our Lives and Explore.
It was one of those Eat, Pray, Love moments that pushed me to make a hotel reservation in Siem Reap.
One of the main reasons for me to want to go to Siem Reap was Angkor Wat of course. When saw the photos of Angkot Wat, I couldn’t believe a structure like this can exist. I was against any architecture knowledge I had. Not that I am an expert but I was never been to Asia before and never been to a place where Buddhism is the major belief. I had always visited churches or mosques, familiar with these religious sites but not Buddhism or Hinduism.
Apart from all curiosity, I needed to get away from my life even though it was for a week or two.
After 20 hours of flights when we arrive to Siem Reap I felt unfamiliar with what I saw. I felt like an alien. It was totally different than what I saw in Europe or America. It was not just my surroundings it was also the people. It was just weird. I understood that moment that this trip will be more than just a getaway.
How people can smile if they wanted to
I don’t know if you ever realised that generally, people don’t smile. At least I know I don’t smile that much and I know I see many people every single day, commuting to work and coming back without having even one expression change on their faces. When I arrived at Siem Reap I was shocked how kind and polite people were. They were polite to tourists as well as to each other, on the streets, in restaurants everywhere and it was contagious. You can’t help yourself but to smile.
Even though I read about their history and saw how they suffered over the years, I couldn’t help but thought that no matter what happens if these people can still smile. These people maybe don’t have many things but they do have a kind heart. I realised when you have a kind heart, you don’t need much else.
Belongings do not matter as much as we think
We work for the money, we work for a better life with a fancy car or a great house, branded clothes… We believe we need them. We believe our lives will be better when we have them. But do we really need them or we just want them. While we were walking around in Siem Reap, I understand a nice watch, a branded handbag means nothing. Nothing at all. When we saw the floating village in Tonle Sap lake, I was traumatised and enlightened at the same time. People living on a lake, just because they can’t afford to pay taxes to have a house on the land.
They are a community, in a floating village. They smiled at us waved at us and I was ashamed to have a sunglass, a go pro, a belonging. When you see people who doesn’t have equal conditions as you do, you realise immediately, how greedy person can be, ow many things they want, how many things they think they need and how unhappy a person can become, because of money.
To have peace inside is the key
As we walked inside the temples, which were kept hidden there hundreds of years, we saw trees grown inside stones, flora mixed with temple walls. You can immediately understand this place was once sacred, stilll sacred, so peacefully quiet. Temple itself was influenced by the lotus flower, guarded by snakes, emphasises its power with lions. People still come to pray, bring fresh water and food, believe they can save their loved ones from their illness. Some monks still live there, take donations, food and water from tourists and people who come to pray.
The sensation is surreal, is otherworldly, is in slow motion. Like you are moving so slow that you can embrace every bit of the environment. It is meditating and self realising. I understood that we can be peaceful inside easily, maybe not let our daily lives to stress us that much. We can sit down for a moment under a tree, facing the sun and think about what we want from our lives.
You can encounter with the best food of your life at the backseat of a tuktuk
Forget about the restaurants. The best food you can get is at the backseat of a tuktuk in a Cambodian street. I never thought a noodle can taste this good, smell this good and feels so good. Just sit on a plastic chair, and enjoy the traditional Cambodian food. Taste all the spices all the flavours and I can assure you can’t get enough of it.
However the realisation for me was bigger than this. I realised I can’t just sit and wait for the best things come to me. I can’t make plans. I can’t try to make everything perfect. The perfection will find me, mostly in the most unexpected places, when the time comes but the most important thing is to explore as much as we can without waiting for anything.
Maybe sometimes we should try to get out of our comfort zones to explore something new and to have little realisations for ourselves. If we don’t get out we won’t see. If we never try we never know.
- Angkor Wat
- Angkor Thom
- The Bayon Temple
- Ta Promh
- Chau Say Tevoda Temple
- Ta Keo
- Banteay Kdei
- Prasat Bat Chum
- Prasat Kravan
- Ta Som Temple
- Preah Khan Temple
- Phnom Bok
Tonle Sap Lake
Where We Stayed
Lynne Urban River – Siem Reap/Cambodia