Written February 8, 2012 in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
“You have to detach yourself from your present life so you may look at it from a distance and discover what it is that you are doing wrong.”
This is my biggest take away from an evening with fellow travelers on my first night here in Siem Reap. A few hours after we arrived, Mica and I found ourselves in the Pub Street area frantically searching for a restaurant that we’ve never heard or seen before. We were to meet a fellow traveler whom we’ve also never seen and in my case, never heard from before. Tough situation is kind of an understatement. Not to mention, it was only a few hours ago when we were stuck side by side in the front seat of a Toyota Camry while being driven to our guesthouse. A 2-hour butt numbing drive to the guesthouse from the border, which almost made me want to turn around and go back to Thailand. Our exhaustion level was at its peak. But we knew we had a goal. And after having asked several locals who all gave us an I-don’t-understand-what-you-are-saying-but-please-give-me-1-dollar kind of an answer, we finally found the joint and immediately saw our fellow traveler.
We settled in a simple establishment and ordered ourselves a round of mixed fruit shake. Our fellow traveler is well respected in the community that we belong to. The evidence was so clear when Mica switched her fangirl mode on the moment she saw the well respected traveler. Gushing like a groupie, she asked various questions about blogging, about life and about other matters to which “the dude” generously had not just one definitive reply. The dude shared to Mica and to myself, a lot of important lessons that he learned whether on the road or off. Many of which, sensational enough to keep us dreaming and wishing we could be like him sooner if not later.
It was a rich exchange of ideas and thoughts over 2 rounds of mixed fruit shake. I was amazed at the amount of learning that I can get from a few hours of small talk. Hearing the stories I realized, when a person starts putting his act together, remove himself from the rut that he’s in and starts relentlessly chasing after what he believes is his true destiny, is when he becomes genuinely happy. Our fellow traveler or whom I most lovingly nicknamed in this post as “The Dude” is the best example. I witnessed how he was stripped-off of all the unnecessary material possessions but very, very focused on living a life that he sincerely believes is his fate. Devoid of fancy corporate clothes and without the latest gadgets on hand like it used to be but having the time of his life seeing all the goodness that this planet has to offer.
This for him is nothing short of bliss. And for me, a true eye opener.
After having experienced this, I wish I can say that I will one day commit to a life on the road. However, I can’t. As it is, I have been living as if in suspension all this time (almost like being on the road) trying to painstakingly achieve a certain set of goals. This reality makes living on the road for me sort of impossible.
One thing’s for sure though, at this point, I cannot be happier that I was given a chance to peek into the life of one who has dared to do it. Truly, I am beyond inspired.
This post was salvaged from the archive of my old travel blog. The now non-existent and formerly hilarious trippingsbydrew.com.