Sometimes It Feels Good to Be a Tourist

Sometimes It Feels Good To Be A Tourist

Sometimes It Feels Good to Be a Tourist

After a few weeks of staying in Cambodia, I have been feeling a little ‘over it’.

I’m now bunked up in Siem Reap, which is a lovely small city and all. There’s nothing I don’t partially like about the place, but lately, things just didn’t feel right here. Sure it’s like any other South East Asian city, cheap food, tuk-tuks, massages and souvenirs. But without any major companies or offices in the city, tourists are one of the primary income sources for locals.

Was it the constant hassle by tuk-tuk drivers everywhere I went that put me off the city?

OK, there’s the power cuts, they can be a nuisance, especially when you’re using the Wi-Fi for a long distance Skype call. One day alone there was a power cut at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even though I was dining in 3 different places, all of them had power cuts.

Could it be this that was tainting my view?

How could I forget the internet speeds can also be up and down like a yo-yo, testing even the most peaceful monk’s patience. Of course, this is life and not something I can necessarily control, and no matter how much I stare into space while swearing like a sailor, it won’t make the slightest bit of difference. Surely it wasn’t this alone that was discolouring my image of Cambodia?

Then I slowly realised the problem was me, not Cambodia.

You see once I’m wearing my work cap I transfer to ‘get it done mode’ and graft like a crazy man. While in this mindset the last thing I want to hear is words like power cut and mega slow internet.

These words are banned from my dictionary!

These last few week’s my life has revolved around work, work and work, with a gym session here and there to break it up. I have been working on some short and long term projects, after all, I need to earn money like everyone else. Earn money to cover food, to cover a roof over my head, not to mention to cover transportation around Cambodia and transfer me to my next destination.

Of course, I need to work.  Long gone are the two weeks of leave spent drinking, eating and sunbathing, while collecting a nice holiday pay slip.

Travelling is not the same as being on vacation, with the main difference being time. However, just because someone’s travelling doesn’t mean they have to work every hour of every day. That’s part of the reason I’m in Cambodia and not sat in some office stressing out about a deadline.

The problem was I have been working every day.

It can be hard to interrupt the rat race work routine sometimes. You think long and hard about it, and this job needs to be done ASAP. What about this important thing, what about that important thing!? You know what let’s try something different… let’s take a break and have a holiday.

This week I visited Angkor Wat for the first time. The original plan was to go for one day, but I decided to upgrade to the three-day pass.

Sometimes it’s good to take a break. Sometimes it feels good to be a tourist…

Barry Sproston

Barry is a traveller and expat who spends most of his time between Asia and Australia. He has spent 12 months training at a Gung Fu school learning Wing Chun. Explored the island of Taiwan by scooter more than once. Been tricked into eating raw horse meat sushi in Japan. Even tried to overcome the fear of heights by bungee jumping in Thailand. One day he plans to open a guesthouse.

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