I always knew I wanted to be an explorer when I grew up, that I wanted to travel the world – I just didn’t know how to start. My very first week of college I took the first step in what would become a lifelong journey for me. After a presentation made by past volunteers, I decided that I would follow in their footsteps and travel to Southeast Asia the following summer. Though there were many obstacles I had to face, in the summer of July 2013 I left my small hometown in southern Oregon for Cambodia and my life changed forever.
I spent part of July 2013, in Siem Reap and the jungles east of Phnom Penh in Mondulkiri and it was the best time of my life. I was able to dive straight into a new culture and was welcomed with open arms. I loved everything about Cambodia, from the smells to the sights, to the food to the people. If you were only able to travel one place in your life, I would tell you to go to Cambodia. It was the first place I ever really felt at home, the first place I felt where I belonged, and the first time I ever felt like I was doing the thing I was put on this earth to do.
I spent one week in the north, in Siem Reap, building a school room and teaching English. I loved every second of the building process. It was amazing to see what a group of dedicated and loving people could do in a week. I also loved teaching the children. Though the did not have much, they were happy for everything they did have. I have never met children who appreciated the little things so much.
You can see all my photos from Cambodia here.